back to article Brit builders merchant Travis Perkins opts for Oracle after ERP disaster with Infor

UK construction supplier Travis Perkins has picked Oracle Fusion Cloud's Financials solution for its core corporate system of record following the failed implementation of Infor ERP. Speaking during a capital markets presentation last week, Phil Tenney, chief information and technology officer, said: "I… think it's important …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    "technology has been a source of pain for investors in recent years"

    Oooh, poor little investors, have they been missing out on their yearly bonuses ? No ? Then where's their pain ?

    They're not the ones doing the job.

    And, to do the job properly, it would do good to have a bit less buzzword bingo coming down from the top. Nothing this guy has said apparently has anything to do with any technical aspect whatsoever. This guy is living in the clouds, surfing far above whatever issues his minions are battling with every day.

    I'm guessing that investors are going to continue to hurt for a while, poor things.

    1. Shrek

      Re: "technology has been a source of pain for investors in recent years"

      If you have a pension then, in reality, it's pretty likely you and I are the ultimate investors...

      That said, totally agree that the buzzword bingo told no-one anything constructive!

  2. TVU

    "Brit builders merchant Travis Perkins opts for Oracle"

    Good luck with that and let's see how happy they are after Oracle's first license compliance audit.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      It's OK, it's cloud, so they will already be no doubt automatically paying for more licenses than they need.

      1. noboard

        My money is on

        "Yes you have access to one vCore, but this is running on a 128 core/256 vCore machine, so you need to cover those, as they could be used by your system, should it need to be moved"

        "Oh and you also have to cover the cost of all the systems in the building, as you may be moved at any time, so theoretically you need to cover all those cores as well. Power of the cloud and all that"

        "I see you took the multy location plan, so you'll need to cover all those cores as well, oh and I see this covers three systems, so multiply the current total by 3"

        "So that leaves us at eleventy billion... per month"

        "Yes I do have some sellotape and string, why do you ask?"

  3. Dwarf

    former chief executive had said was "held together by Sellotape and elastic bands."

    You would imagine, that being a builders merchant that they would have had easier access to better products such as Duck Tape, Sticks Like Sh*t and that pallet banding metal strip stuff.

    Anyone else getting the feeling of "out of the frying pan and into the fire"

    1. RichardBarrell

      You made me laugh. Thank you. :)

      1. Dwarf

        You are welcome :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tape and elastic bands would be an upgrade for Toolstation.

      (annon for obvious reasons)

  4. Code For Broke

    Oh, I could hardly contain my glee to finish reading the article and not just immediately jump to comment on this one. If they were disappointed that Infor was held together by "sellotape and elastic bands", I am most interested to hear how they feel about their new choice. My org is implementing Oracle Cloud Fusion for HCM, FIN and SCM. Let me see if I, too, can make some amusing analogies... "Byzantine lead pipe fitted together with paper drinking straws?" No... that's not really fair. "Russian space station Mir after a restoration by Tata Motors." Hrm... Tata might have actually improved matters... Nope. How about, "Big ERP whose only fitness for purpose is to drive the revenue that keeps Larry's yaght stocked with Scotch." That'll do nicely.

    1. Fonant

      Actually it was what they used before Infor had a go, and what they're now still using, is the system held together with sellotape and elastic bands.

      But, yes.

  5. heyrick Silver badge

    and facing a maximum possible contractual exposure to about £65m

    Who is it that actually agrees to contacts where a company can fail to deliver within the agreed time frame (plus reasonable delay margin) and still get paid?

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: and facing a maximum possible contractual exposure to about £65m

      Depending on the nature of the work and reasons for failure, that can be completely normal.

      In my business I'm sometimes asked to attempt things which can't be assessed for feasibility without doing part of the job. There is no way I'm doing the first part of the work on spec - unless I have a contract to do the rest at a much higher than normal rate if it's possible to continue.

      I can well imagine that working for the useless shower of shite that is Travis would fall into the 'not touching it without guaranteed payments' category. I would have thought that most problems with the contract are likely to be caused by Travis buggering the contractor around. But maybe the contractors are useless too, and the two deserve each other.

    2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: and facing a maximum possible contractual exposure to about £65m

      Also, just noticed that you snipped the quote. What it actually says is that they face 'potential maximum exposure' which they 'hope to avoid'. Or in other words, they don't expect to pay in full.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: and facing a maximum possible contractual exposure to about £65m

        Actual quote from the article: which it hoped to avoid.

        Hoped, past tense, as in all being lost. That's why I didn't quote that part.

        Upvote for the other message because, yeah, bargepoles aren't long enough (but a stack of banknotes will do nicely).

    3. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: and facing a maximum possible contractual exposure to about £65m

      There are many reasons a company fails to deliver, and some lies on the customer's side.

      Without details, it's hard to say what's happened here. Changing an ERP is one of the most touchy thing, it's close to heart transplant for a company. Without a well-prepared, well-leaded project, there are many reasons it can fail. With those conditions fulfilled too.

      1. Terje
        Joke

        Re: and facing a maximum possible contractual exposure to about £65m

        Personally I would opt for a lead free project for health and environmental reasons!

  6. trevorde Silver badge

    Meanwhile at Oracle...

    [Larry Ellison] Travis Perkins, you *will* be mine! Mwahahahaha!

    [goes back to stroking white cat]

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Meanwhile at Oracle...

      Well, it'll make building that underground volcano lair much easier if there's an indentured builders' merchants to draw on. Have you seen what the big-box DIY stores charge for plywood these days??

  7. Imhotep

    Planning For Failure

    I've worked extensively with Infor systems, and think it is a pretty good product.

    Where I've seen projects fail is when they are farmed out externally. They hire contractors who have no skin in the game, don't necessarily know the system, and will jump ship before the project is complete - taking their project knowledge with them - for another gig so they have no downtime. And for God's sake don't throw more people at the project. You're going to fragment the knowledge of what is going on, increase communication problems, sow confusion for accountability and actually slow things down.

    If this is going to be your system, own it from the beginning. Have your staff get up to speed and plan for and implement it.

    They'll be better prepared to support it and address any problems. If you don't have the staff, perhaps rethink what you're doing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Planning For Failure

      for God's sake don't throw more people at the project

      I remember my shock at my new job when my manager actually quoted "Mythical Man-Month"

      1. MDMAok

        Re: Planning For Failure

        Such an important book. After 40+ years in project management, I am shocked at how few of the youngsters I meet have read it. Usually they are up to their arse in 'agile' nonsense.

        1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: Planning For Failure

          "9 women can produce a baby in 1 month!"

  8. EarthDog

    Never under estimate celllotape and elastic bands.

    Or duct tape/gaffers tape.

    And for god's sake don't lay off experienced staff part way through the process. Losing hundreds of years, or more, of knowledge will screw you over.

    1. Imhotep

      Re: Never under estimate celllotape and elastic bands.

      They figure those savings are how they'll pay for their over budget non-functional system.

  9. xyz Silver badge

    Oar in...

    Travis Perkins missed the boat about 10 years ago when everyone else started switching to construction sales online. They are now an industry joke and they still "don't get it". At least they are now trying to do something, but you get the impression that the board comprises people who think their grandkids are experts with that computery stuff etc. Forget about Oracle (sheesh), the big words that are missing are SEO, delivery times and drop ship. If you've got shares... Sell.

  10. ecofeco Silver badge

    Shooting the other foot

    Looking forward to future news of this one.

  11. MJI Silver badge

    Wickes - Just found out

    They have dumped Wickes.

    They were TP for years.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Straight into the "I'm never getting another Mercedes, I keep crashing them" school of procurement.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oracle Financials

    Once referred to in a networking weekly as "industry standard sub-standard"

    (the accountant I told took my copy once the laughter stopped)

  14. LateAgain

    Oracle Financials

    Once referred to in a networking weekly as "industry standard sub-standard"

    (the accountant I told took my copy once the laughter stopped)

  15. KBeee Silver badge
    Joke

    I thought..

    Travis Perkins was a C&W singer

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