(warning – highly sarcastic blog title)
I’ve just read a couple of stories that add to my belief that traditional enterprise software is on its way out. First up apparently a Colorado retail chain has just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Nothing unusual about that in these trying times you say?
Well it seems that part of the reason for their demise is that they apparently entered into a contract with SAP way back in 2005 for a “highly sophisticated ‘point of sale’ and inventory management system” at an original cost of USD8 to USD10 million and a one-year project schedule according to the court filing. But costs, as they do with enterprise software projects, ended up at USD36 million and the project extended to 32 months, finally being livened in September 2007.
The company subsequently found that the system “did not yet provide accurate inventory count numbers,” causing it to become “substantially overstocked with inventory, and with the wrong mix of inventory,” the court documents say. The system “became stable and functional” toward the end of 2008, but still does not deliver “the full functionality originally contracted for”.
Amusingly enough a Google search for the company brings up on the first page a link to a SAP press release touting the implementation as a win for both partners.
Second up was the news that anther business had put their SAP implementation on ice as part as a cost-cutting effort (and allegedly with much shareholder pressure as well). Select The company said that ending the SAP project would help it save about $15 million annually.
Now I know that lots of SAP projects are ongoing and that SAP has been a positive move for a number of businesses but I also know that the tide is slowly turning and that the disadvantages in terms of time, cost, complexity and sheer big-ness are becoming more and more stark when compared to the agility, economy, simplicity and nimbleness that well integrated, but discrete solutions can bring.