Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Manufacturer Sues IBM over ERP Software

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Chemical products manufacturer Avantor Performance Materials has filed a lawsuit against IBM. Avantor accuses IBM of lying about the capabilities of its Express Life Sciences Solution software which runs on SAP’s platform.

Computing’s Graeme Burton reported, “[Avantor] claims that IBM misrepresented the capabilities of the application, which was designed to run on Avantor’s SAP enterprise resource planning platform. It is seeking damages of ‘tens of millions of dollars,’ claiming that the implementation brought its operations to ‘a near standstill.'” quoted Avantor president and CEO John Steitz, who said, “IBM representatives assured us that its Express Life Sciences Solution, a pre-packaged software solution, was suitable to run Avantor’s core business processes. In fact, the solution – and the service and support offered by IBM throughout the implementation – proved to be woefully misaligned with the unique needs of our company and our customers.”

Computerworld’s Chris Kanaracus wrote:

IBM also violated its contract by staffing the project with “incompetent and reckless consultants” who made “numerous design, configuration and programming errors,” [the lawsuit] states.

In addition, IBM “intentionally or recklessly failed” to tell Avantor about risks to the project and hurried towards a go-live date, the suit alleges.

“To conceal the System’s defects and functional gaps, IBM ignored the results of its own pre-go-live tests, conducted inadequate and truncated testing and instead recommended that Avantor proceed with the go-live as scheduled — even though Avantor had repeatedly emphasized to IBM that meeting a projected go-live date was far less important than having a fully functional System that would not disrupt Avantor’s ability to service its customers,” the suit states.

The resulting go-live, which occurred in May, “was a disaster,” with the system failing to process orders properly, losing some orders altogether, failing to generate need paperwork for U.S. Customs officials and directing “that dangerous chemicals be stored in inappropriate locations,” the suit states.

According to Reuters, “IBM, which is being sued by chemicals manufacturer Avantor Performance Materials for fraud and breach of contract in connection with a software project, said the accusations were blown out of proportion and that it was surprised by the move. ‘We believe the allegations in the complaint are exaggerated and misguided and are surprised that Avantor chose to file suit,’ the company said late on Friday in an emailed statement. IBM said it had ‘met its contractual obligations and delivered a solution that Avantor continued to use in its operations.'”

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