Straight into that special class of lawsuits - where you hope both sides lose.
Lawyers for outsourcing omnicorp EDS branded BSkyB's claim for £709m damages over a customer management system contract "absurd and extravagant" in the High Court yesterday. The deal, inked in 2000, was meant to cost the broadcaster £48m. The installation eventually took six years to complete and cost £265m. When the trial …
EDS should suck it down and pay the fiddler.
If their original quote was £48m but they left the door open by not having a clear specification, then tough shit on them.
I'm an independent consultant. If I quote someone £2000 to get a job done and it takes me longer, then I either negotiate with them or I finish the job for the original price. It depends on the quality of the original agreement/specification.
I *very* rarely overrun my timescales and costs and certainly never by the obscene amounts regularly claimed by these large consultancies like EDS.
Still, it's always handy to have lawyers to justify your failings.
It seems that when it comes to large contracts, the only criteria for being given the contract (or shortlisted) is whether you've ever done anything like it before. Quadrupling the original budget and failing to produce systems that are fit for purpose (repeatedly) seems to be irrelevant.
Good luck to BSkyB (for a change).
Don't worry, the only winners will be the Lawyers. Normally, this is poor show but with these two companies it seems like justice.
BSkyB should have paid EDS a fixed amount of money to produce a detailed spec and then rigorously reviewed this spec. Then, EDS should have quoted on this spec. to build the "Super Duper" system. As always, because of urgency and macho management, no one bothers with detailed specs any more - even for fixed price contracts.
Perhaps BSkyB will act as referee when EDS bid as one of the preferred suppliers for the Identity and Passport Service contact ?
Yes I know EDS (and other outsourcers... such as Cap Gemini.. whom I used to work for) are quite happy to keep ramping up the price for contarcts they have under bid in an effort to make money... however if the case is true that BSkyB kept changing specs or asking for as Barnes says "new requirements kept on emerging like handkerchiefs from a magician's sleeve" and that then never had a complete idea of what they wanted (Which I have been at the recieving end of many a time, either from customers or my own manager) then they are both at fault and should shake hands and split the difference
I hope they both lose to be honest!!
Regardless which way the verdict goes we can look forward to several smear articles in all of the Murdoch controlled press, most likely lifted straight from the pages of the various Private Eye exposés of EDS's incompetence on various public sector contracts. With Murdoch now in control of at least 1 major news source in most countries we can look forward to some significant reputation damage for EDS.
Entirely well deserved for a company that has been fleecing the UK taxpayer for at least the last 10 years.
Just another example of the problems with outsourcing.
The majority of outsourcing contracts never meet their budget goals and often perform lower than in house and/or outright failure to deliver.
As the man said you get what you pay for.
The big fat bonus that the executives and board give themselves for all that "labor savings" might make up for it from their point of view though.
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