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The scariest software project horror stories of 2012

Billions of dollars were wasted and tempers ran hot as multiple projects hit the skids this year

By Chris Kanaracus, IDG News Service
December 10, 2012 05:14 PM ET

Page 3 of 3

Epicor project failure suggests customers take risks when they go it alone

Epicor found itself hit with another ERP project lawsuit in April, this time by contract manufacturer Group Manufacturing Services.

The vendor allegedly told Group Manufacturing that its software would be a great fit, with Group's own employees able to manage any minor tweaks that might be needed, according to the lawsuit.

Instead, the project "consumed countless hours of [Group Manufacturing's] staff time, was sporadic, and problems endlessly erupted throughout," it stated.

Group Manufacturing ultimately told Epicor that it wished to end their agreement, according to the suit.

In a letter filed with the court, Epicor's general counsel John Ireland said Group Manufacturing's claims were "baseless." Ireland also wrote that Group Manufacturing "essentially fired the project manager and adopted a go it alone mentality which in no way relied upon or utilized Epicor's expertise."

Group Manufacturing's staff wasn't prepared to handle the job on their own, Ireland added.

Ultimately, the dispute reached a quick and quiet end, with the parties agreeing to have the case dismissed in May, according to a court filing.

Construction company can't file annual report on time due to ERP woes

In May, Pennsylvania construction firm New Enterprise Stone and Lime said it would have to hold off filing its fiscal 2012 annual report because of problems with an Oracle JD Edwards system rollout.

"Unexpected delays and other issues" with system interfaces as well as operational and financial reports have made it impossible to collect all the data New Enterprise need for the report, the company said.

New Enterprise dodged a bullet, however, saying that its "current projects, material and product shipments, and customer experience" weren't "materially impacted" by the system's woes.

Oracle software glitch leads to financial aid frenzy

 

Issues with an Oracle PeopleSoft system at Washington State University resulted in a wild startto the semester in August, causing widespread delays in financial aid disbursements.

The problems were due to communication issues between the software's student financials and financial aid modules, a school official said in an interview at the time. Other factors included a lack of staffers to help students and parents use the system, the official said.

IT personnel managed to fix the issues fairly quickly, according to a published report.

The system, which cost roughly $15 million, is replacing a series of older student-information software applications at WSU.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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