Skip to comments.California fires contractor on tech project
Posted on 02/12/2013 12:05:23 AM PST by Selene
SAP Public Services' overhaul of a system for payroll and medical benefits for state employees is a failure, officials say. The state plans to try to recoup the $50 million it paid the firm.
SACRAMENTO The state has fired the contractor on one of its biggest and most troubled technology projects after deep problems with the system were revealed.
The decision to terminate the contract Friday stalls the costly effort to overhaul an outdated and unstable computer network that issues paychecks and handles medical benefits for 240,000 state employees. The $371-million upgrade, known as the 21st Century Project, has fallen years behind schedule and tripled in cost.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
$254 million down the drain.
And this is surprising, why?
There are private companies with that many employees. How come these companies don’t suffer the same problems as State government? Is the secret word: corruption?
Trouble with govt contractors ping
Massive, horribly over-priced, hopelessly inefficient government gets massive, horribly over-priced, hopelessly inefficient software system. California government and SAP - no one can say they don’t deserve each other.
After years of watching the military and it’s win-lose game with contractors on high-tech projects....I can generally say this.
If you sit down and list the precise nature of software/hardware package that you desire in the end...and never go back to fiddle with it...change the requirements...or modify things in mid-stream....then the project is usually a success. I would make a guess that California had numerous changes to their package requirements, and just kept changing things.
SAP, the single most failed software that idiots keep buying for some strange reason. I’ve seen many SAP failures and those projects are not cheap. Many are in the $100 million range.
“I would make a guess that California had numerous changes to their package requirements, and just kept changing things.”
I would guess SAP was at fault. They over promise and under deliver. Think about this: For years SAP has been writing that software and they promise off the shelf capabilities, yet, every module always requires a million plus bucks to make run.
This is just Solyndra on a smaller scale. Follow the money.
Yep, that's why I want to be an SAP consultant.
Seriously, SAP does things with large volumes of data that no one else can approach. Things like sub-second lookup on a 250 million invoice DB.
Every year, the legislature changes the benefits system. SAP has to change the code every year to conform to the new rules.
Not in my experience
I have had the misfortune of working with SAP for about 10 years now and have found the system to be iceberg slow and user unfriendly.
The system may be great for accountants and statisticians but for people working in trenches it is a pain in the a$$.
I have been involved in a couple of software projects administered by a bureaucracy. It is simply astounding what foolish, irrelevant features are demanded by the arm chair "leaders". I would blame the state of CA on this one, not the poor contractors. Nevertheless, I'm sure CA will drive them into bankruptcy, anyway, to cover their own incompetence.
While that is a possibility, private companies are just as susceptible to corruption as gov'ts.
I believe it would be more accurate to state that the issue is regulations and laws that apply to gov't agencies that don't really apply to private companies.
SAP can work very well for an organization. It’s gotten better, but you wind up having a more successful implementation if you do things the SAP way. Many times, this means changing the organization’s operations. And, after the upheaval is over, you usually wind up with a more efficient organization.
But government bureaucracies do not value efficiency. Thus, a computer project that is aimed to maximize efficiency will be sabotaged from within.
There is a word for this: Byzantine. I doubt it is possible to develop an accounting system for this monstrosity. And even if you got it to work the communists in Sacramento are constantly creating reams of new rules, regulations, and laws.
“Things like sub-second lookup on a 250 million invoice DB. “
I can do that with SQL without breaking a sweat. SAP is a tired technology that never did work very well.
No big deal: it's only money. If it were something important I'd get excited about it.
I had a long tenure with a Fortune 500 company which decided to implement SAP. At age 53 it became the “final staw” in my decision to quit and begin a second career.