Tuesday, March 02, 2010

IT Procurement - Too Big To Fail?

A judge has found in favour of BSkyB following a £700m legal battle with EDS (now part of HP) over a failed IT system (Computer Weekly 26 January 2010). One of the interesting features of this case is that it rested on the claim that the supplier had made "fraudulent misrepresentations" at the bidding stage. In other words, it wasn't about the small print of the procurement contract.

The judge ruled that if EDS had not made misrepresentations to Sky, then Sky would have engaged another company, PriceWaterhouseCoopers. I don't know whether HP/EDS would have any grounds for appeal if it turned out that PWC had also made misrepresentations at the bidding stage. @tonyrcollins tells me that EDS/HP has spent £35m on lawyers so it may have been considered but you never know.

EDS "misrepresentation" in BSkyB case - some comments by the judge - IT Projects Blog
Lessons from BSkyB case - CIO

Further examples

The London Borough of Southwark is taking legal action against IBM over a software solution it claims is not fit for purpose (Computing, 30 October 2009; Kable, 2 November 2009).

Sprint-Nextel versus IBM, Vertex Data Sciences versus Powergen (Outsourcing disputes, HG.org, 31 October 2006)

IBM versus the Philippines (The Inquirer, 8 June 2009)

See also my earlier post on the dispute between Centrica and Accenture - IT suppliers face architectural risk.

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