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10 biggest ERP software failures of 2011

Chris Kanaracus | Dec. 21, 2011
With the year drawing to a close, one thing seems abundantly clear: There are still an awful lot of ERP and other software projects running off the rails out there.

The system is supposed to handle claims from health care organizations that treat patients who receive Medicaid. But design defects and other issues led to many payment delays and faulty processing of claims, according to the auditor. The state ended up sending more than $100 million in advance payments to providers while figuring out the problems.

It since began attempting to get that money back, but some $2 million was "at risk of not being recouped at all," the report said.

The auditor's report also pinpointed a potential root cause for the problems, noting that the system went live before certain testing milestones had been reached.

Lawson, CareSource Management head to court

Health care plan administrator CareSource Management Group sued Lawson Software in September, claiming that an ERP system from the company hadn't been able to get beyond the testing phase and wasn't the fully integrated suite Lawson promised.

The system instead was two modules, including the then-new Lawson Talent Management, according to the organization's suit. CareSource was in fact one of the first companies to install the new application, it added.

As the project went on, severe data-transfer issues between the talent management module and a financial application occurred, to the degree that at one point CareSource had 20 open tech-support cases with Lawson, it states. CareSource is demanding at least $1.5 million in damages.

In response, Lawson acknowledged that "certain issues" occurred with the modules' integration, but they were resolved. In addition, while the project did remain in a testing phase, CareSource "halted" it before filing the lawsuit, according to Lawson, which is seeking more than $335,000 in unpaid fees.

SAP-IBM payroll system woes fouled up nurses' pay

 Nurses in Nova Scotia reportedly suffered through at least six months of faulty paychecks this year due to problems with an SAP system project led by IBM.

After the Victorian Order of Nurses flipped the switch on the SAP system in January, some nurses got shortchanged while others got double their expected pay, said Janet Hazelton, president of the Nova Scotia Nurses Union, in a July interview.

"My concern is with the nurses that got $100 more," Hazelton said. "They may not have noticed it. Our pay is never the same."

SAP's payroll software is solid technology, but tricky to implement given all the variables with worker pay, as well as the job of mapping over details from the legacy system, consultant Jarret Pazahanick previously told IDG News Service.

Most problematic SAP payroll project failures have the same characteristics, according to Pazahanick: "The common thread is junior consultants and weak testing."

Despite the above roll-call of ERP horrors, there's reason to be hopeful, said consultant Krigsman.


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