Financial Fiasco: Birmingham City Council Takes Center Stage Once Againin Blog Article by Jeff Hare
Birmingham City Council are once again in the news, and given the severity of the financial situation, it will once again highlight the significant overspend for the failed ERP Cloud implementation. This news is hard to see since ERP implementations typically do not end with massive cost overruns and are not necessarily considered a “failure”. We have seen many governments and commercial entities be successful in their journey to SaaS applications such as ERP/HCM Cloud. We know the result is not the fault of the software, but the failure of the entity to manage the implementation and their chosen partner(s). Some System Integrator (SI) partners are great, and some are not, and the choice of the “RIGHT” SI is even more important than what software solution an organization will purchase.
One significant issue we are seeing with projects is that the award is given to the lowest bidder. SIs often try to be the lowest bidder by scoping out activities that need to be included. One area that we routinely see scoped out of budget is the customization of roles. A few years ago, we were about the only voice shouting, “organizations should not go live with ERP/HCM Cloud with ANY seeded (not customized) roles!” At the recent Ascend conference in Orlando, we were vindicated by our peers as EVERY presentation said to make sure you scope into the project all roles must be customized to align with business objectives, reduce risk, and minimize licensing costs. While the article doesn’t specifically point out that this was an issue at Birmingham City Council, it was likely part of the issue. Regardless, it is clear from this article that the SI was NOT held responsible for the project overruns. This is because SIs are best at putting caveats in their contracts, passing the blame onto the customer for the overruns.
If you are currently considering or actively planning to move to ERP/HCM Cloud, you will need to press all SIs to be transparent about what scope they leave out and why. If your SI is stating you should be using all seeded roles or mostly seeded roles, you need to continue to search for another SI. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com if want to discuss this topic further.