I appreciate Bill stepping up to fill the Evolving Excellence blogosphere over the past couple weeks while I deal with some family medical issues. Also great timing as no one is better than Bill at insightful comments on the auto bailout (err… sorry… "taxpayer partnership") quagmire.
It's been many months since I've picked on SAP and bloated ERP systems in general. Most readers know my thoughts on the issue… from suggesting a $100 whiteboard instead of a quarter million minimum on SAP, or the chasm of ERP complexity. A few days ago I came across an article that was just too much to resist commenting on. Not necessarily because of the primary premise… alleged misrepresentation in SAP's product demos… but the fact that the customer pounding on SAP is Waste Management.
There's just some sort of beautiful irony in a company called Waste Management sueing SAP.
But the irony doesn't stop there… the product demo in question has gone missing. Isn't it the purpose of a garbage company to make things "go missing"… I bet they're experts at that. Although Waste Management accuses of SAP of similar magic.
Ok, presumably this has whetted your appetite a bit and you want to read some of the juicy story.
demonstration software package that is key to Waste Management's
rancorous lawsuit against SAP has gone missing and both sides are
claiming the other should have it, according to documents filed in a
U.S. District Court.
The trash hauler has said SAP used "rigged and manipulated"
demonstrations during sales presentations. A motion Waste Management
filed May 18 said the demos were a key element of the "false
representations" SAP made to "induce Waste Management into entering a
software licensing and implementation agreement."
Waste Management has been asking SAP for a copy of the demo since mid-2008, according to the motion. But in a May 22 filing, SAP said it had the system until August or September 2006, but does not any longer.
SAP has "searched extensively" for the system and wants it "as much
or more" as Waste Management, since it "will help SAP disprove WM's
fraud claim," the filing states. In addition, SAP said it has produced
ample discovery materials related to the demo, such as its scripts and
hundreds of e-mails.
In fact, Waste Management should have the demo in its possession, as
it was transferred to the trash hauler's system in late 2005 and early
2006, according to SAP, which demanded in a May 14 filing that Waste
Management turn it over.
Moral of the story? Be careful of product demos. Might be a good idea to keep a copy of the demo to see if the final installation provides the same functionality.
And if you "transfer to [a] trash hauler's system" you might want to consider that they are experts at making things disappear.