SAP, IBM tangled up in another high profile failure


Enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects are supposed to be transformative and productive for a company, but time and time again we read about massive failures on the news. And unfortunately for SAP, being the top ERP software maker and seller, its reputation gets hit hard every time a piece of negative news surfaces on the Web.

It’s unfortunate for SAP’s partners and customers, too. In the case of DHL’s implementation, it had to write down nearly €200 million. Then there’s the nasty blame game: SAP points fingers at IBM for doing a poor implementation job.

The scary part is that this isn’t a rare occurrence. Google “failed ERP projects” and you’ll get hundreds of links that document many companies’ struggles with ERP implementation. More often than not, SAP and its partners are in the picture.

What gives? It seems ERP implementations would make great course material for business schools and project management lessons. Is there a need to construct a special methodology just for ERP projects?

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