back to article Asda IT staff shuffled off to TCS amid messy tech divorce from Walmart

Asda is transferring more than 100 internal IT workers to Indian outsourcing company TCS as it labors to meet deadlines to move away from IT systems supported by previous owner Walmart by the end of the year. According to documents seen by The Register, a collective consultation for a staff transfer under TUPE – an arrangement …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Run away!

    Take redundo now if you can, boys and girls. TCS will throw you under the bus - they've got form for it.

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Run away!

      ...they've got form for it.

      Or is it "they've got a form for it."?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Run away!

        Which reminds me that TCS sponsor the London marathon....

    2. Sparsely the Lion

      Re: Run away!

      > It will be up to affected staff whether they accept the offer of employment with TCS or opt for a redundancy package from Asda.

      A redundancy package is very generous*. Normally declining a TUPE is treated like a resignation.

      [*] generous in HR terms

      1. cyberdemon Silver badge
        Devil

        [*] generous in HR terms

        You get to keep your company-branded mug?

        But not the red Swingline stapler ofc.

      2. Dropper

        Re: Run away!

        It'll be similar to your Asda Christmas Bonus. A 5% discount coupon on all Asda-made products in the soup isle.

        1. StewartWhite
          Headmaster

          Re: Run away!

          The legendary "soup isle" that adventurers have long sought but I can now reveal its location:

          https://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/2017/07/the_strange_story_of_soupy_island_njs_former_sanit.html

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Run away!

        If redundancy isn't offered, declining TUPE gets you out of your notice period, which can be a blessing if you're thinking of jumping ship and can get something else lined up in time. And you can decline at any point up to the transfer day.

    3. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Run away!

      Typical, outsource to the cheapest (always offshore) lose skills but all that matters is there is a contract in place.

      That they people who eventually end up delivering (ha ha) that service ore usually beyond useless is irrelevant.

      In the job I do I often end up having to interact with third party techies provided by the outsourcing giants. The level of skills and competence is just mind-blowing.

      Having to explain to people the most basic of PowerShell commands.

      Incapable or connecting to an RDP session or logging into Linux using Putty or similar.

      DNS (the solution is always to edit the local hosts file).

      There was one call I was on and someone from management at then end said to us "what a bunch of f*****g halfwits, but that is what we pay for". People know this, expect it yet keep doing it.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Run away!

        Couldn’t agree more. In a previous project I had to manage a team of software developers from the Indian subcontinent (and no, this isn’t going to turn into a racist rant, or at least that’s not my intention).

        They were keen and enthusiastic, but deflected absolutely everything they could back onto me, to the extent that at one point I had to figure out - and patiently explain to them several times, with examples - the mathematics necessary to calculate & display 3-or-more benchmark results normalized to the lowest score. (e.g. if you have scores of 500, 750 and 600, and you want bar graphs showing 1.0, 1.5 and 1.2).

        Lovely people, and they got the job done, but only with a lot of heavy lifting on our side.

      2. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: Run away!

        Been there, done that... I remember colleague asking a distant 'engineer' if that engineer did know what a computer was.

      3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Run away!

        In the noughties, I had the misfortune of be asked to help out a remote team (from India) on an outsourced application development effort, who were writing a suite of programs to run on the client's AIX systems.

        When I talked to them, I started asking about the problems they were having, and they said that they had written and tested to software, but could not get it to deploy onto our systems. So I asked for more information about the OS and compiler versions they were using.

        What I found out was that 'deploy' in this context actually meant compile on the client's AIX systems. So I asked what was different about the systems they were writing and testing the software on.

        The astonishing answer they came back with is that they were developing and testing using GCC on Solaris, whereas the client had AIX and IBM's XLC compiler installed.

        Turns out someone (from their side) had assumed that UNIX was UNIX, and that any software written on Solaris should compile and function on AIX with no difficulty. Except that they were using OS features from Solaris beyond what Posix specified, so the code would not compile! At least they didn't try to run the Solaris binaies on AIX (at least, not as far as I know!)

        I passed back to management that the developer should obtain an AIX system and get the software working on that before claiming to have completed the development.

      4. Necrohamster Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Run away!

        Typical, outsource to the cheapest (always offshore) lose skills but all that matters is there is a contract in place.

        That they people who eventually end up delivering (ha ha) that service ore usually beyond useless is irrelevant.

        In the job I do I often end up having to interact with third party techies provided by the outsourcing giants. The level of skills and competence is just mind-blowing.

        I deal with TCS on a daily basis and believe me when I say that you'll hear the phrase "Please do the needful" a LOT.

        Total

        Clusterfuck

        Support

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Run away!

      Seen it happen, a household name UK organisation outsourced and had the cheek to get the UK staff to train a number of new "employees", then gave the old staff a choice of redundancy or TUPE.

      They almost all took redundancy and moved on to new roles with other companies.

      Lesd than a year later their CIO was ringing round begging them to come back and offering significant pay rises.

      Almost to a person, they told him to go f himself.

      1. 0laf Silver badge

        Re: Run away!

        They won't be asked back. This is private equity they will have a plan for extracting as much value as they can from Asda before the dumping the dried out husk onto the UK Taxpayer to sort out.

        Much like Morrisons who are ahead of them in this.

    5. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: Run away!

      TBH employer loyalty is an utter fallacy. If someone comes out with a reasonable offer, and you have the abilities to get something else my advice now is take it and run.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How press quotes are carefully fashioned

    AC. Hey, ChatGPT, the company press office has been shut down to save money. Can you give me some meaningless buzzword bingo quote on what we're doing? Nice and upbeat, so less focus on the world's largest retailer deciding we're beyond salvation and have sold us on to private equity chancers, nothing that we're doing this only as an evil necessity, or that we're happy to see the back of 100 tech oiks whose jobs we don't understand or value.

    Hi there, Anonymous coward. How's this? "Blah blah blah world-class blah blah once in a generation blah blah blah transformation blah blah Project Future blah blah blah step-change blah blah data capabilities blah blah customer experience blah blah blah competitive edge blah blah long-term success" blah blah skills and capabilities blah blah new systems blah blah will do all we can to support them during this process that they may find unsettling. Err hold on, AC, this is bullshit right? You knew it was going to be bullshit all along. I hope you're not going to soil my ChatGPT brand with this claptrap?"

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: How press quotes are carefully fashioned

      Orca 2 (Full) gave me

      "We are streamlining our operations to enhance efficiency and focus on our core values, while continuously striving for innovation and excellence in everything we do."

      I have to say, as a BS generator, it is pretty impressive.

      1. ICL1900-G3

        Re: How press quotes are carefully fashioned

        You forgot 'world class'. Absolutely essential these days. It's why we 'took back control' ™️

  3. abend0c4 Silver badge

    Just bookmarking this for possible future reference.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I mis-read that as "bookmaking", but that's right too.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I laughed out loud

      Needed that, thanks

  4. Valeyard
    Facepalm

    outsourcing to India, because shareholders don't care that the core IT is done for pennies and crashing every 5 seconds.. and nor do TCS!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      TAX the companies that outsourcing abroad

      Can we TAX Outsourcing abroad, as it takes a job away from UK?

      1. Like a badger

        Re: TAX the companies that outsourcing abroad

        "Can we TAX Outsourcing abroad, as it takes a job away from UK?"

        Fairly easy to implement duties on imported services, but we have governments that are of the view that anything that reduces company costs is better for the economy, and we have world leading services sectors such as finance, law, advisory specialisms that all rely on freedom to offer services internationally. It won't work well to try and levy duties on imported services, whilst arguing for duty free access to overseas market. I'm not sure what the balance of cost/value is between offshored jobs and the international value to the UK economy of the City (in its broadest sense), government should know and act accordingly, but given the reckless incompetence of the past thirty plus years I doubt politicians even consider the question.

        Just as we threw our industrial workers under the bus of international market forces, we're now about halfway through doing the same for white collar jobs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: TAX the companies that outsourcing abroad

          Someone I know works for a UK Bank, whose purpose is emblaned everywhere as "Helping Britain Prosper". At what cost to the prosperity of their own local staff, when they are moving those jobs to India

          1. 0laf Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: TAX the companies that outsourcing abroad

            That's easy, they've just redefined "Britain" to mean their own senior managment and shareholders.

        2. jospanner

          Re: TAX the companies that outsourcing abroad

          It is nice to see someone acknowledge the injustice that was done to working class industrial labour, I’m too used to seeing Americanised muh-free-market ideologues blaming poor people for not all magically getting white collar jobs overnight, or calling industrial labour “unskilled”.

        3. Lonpfrb

          Re: TAX the companies that outsourcing abroad

          Strategically illiterate decision making looks only at the apparent short term cost advantage of lower unit cost and never at sovereign capabilities nor dependence on transactional entities who do not share our values.

          Thus insightful government is forced to play the security card to stop the morons who only chase the quick buck with no concern for the national interest.

          Alternatively a government populated by non STEM graduates doesn't care but wonders why productivity is low and the balance of payments is shot.

          Still could be worse: TUPE to HCLT..

      2. Necrohamster Silver badge

        Re: TAX the companies that outsourcing abroad

        Rishi Sunak's father-in-law founded Infosys (second largest Indian IT company after TCS), and his wife is a current shareholder.

        For some reason, I don't see HMRC going after Indian outsourcing companies

      3. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: TAX the companies that outsourcing abroad

        While the Prime Minister's wife owns half a billion dollars' worth of outsourcing company?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They'll outsource those TUPEd staff after a year or so to somewhere cheaper.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The disposal of Asda was announced in September 2020. Three and a half years later they're still reliant upon Walmart for critical IT. My guess is that Walmart have notified Asda of an end date (or an intention to hike the price dramatically), and there's been a reckless panic to find a way of replacing the core systems. As is usual in these situations, there's been lots of faffing, plenty of farting, but precious little progress, and apparently got through multiple very short lived CIOs and CTOs. The board having decided they can't do the job in house, they've cast around for somebody to do the impossible in a few months. Along come the usual outsource vendors, all promising the unbelievable, and Asda management have gone "wow look, these guys can do everything we want in a few weeks, and they'll do for less than it costs us now. We're lucky to find a technology partner with so much experience of building retail IT systems from the ground up!"

      At some point in the future the bitter reality will become apparent.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Yes.... But will heads roll? Of course not!

      2. Excused Boots Bronze badge

        “At some point in the future the bitter reality will become apparent.”

        Generally, in these cases, the future isn’t too long in coming. At first, it’s written off as ‘teething troubles’ etc. Eventually, when it’s screamingly obvious that the underlaying explanation is that, the really cost-effective, third party solution we contracted with has about as much understanding of the how to do stuff than my cat has (and my cat is not particularly bright, as cats go), but there were dirt-cheap and hence the board members were able to claim a massive bonus, and oddly all leave before the inevitable happens.

        Remind me again, what did happen to the board of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation?

    5. David 132 Silver badge

      Thumbs up if you think Asda will be the “star” of a BA-style IT meltdown in the next 12 months. And in possibly a brave move by me, thumbs down if you have full confidence in their ability to seamlessly transition infrastructure, business support solution, IT provider and personnel without major issue…

  5. Paul Crawford Silver badge
    Trollface

    Sadly I doubt that Asda will be able to sell us the popcorn for us to sit and watch it unfold.

  6. Fred Daggy Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Cake, and eat it too.

    Never understood this.

    (1) Massive "bet the company" business project (of which IT is a major part) AND (2) show IT the door?

    Low morale is just the start. IGDAF will already be there. We ALL know, the affected IT knows, what happens once the contracted/statutory transfer period is over. The best people are about to walk, the middle people are preparing to walk and the rest ... will ride out the time. Information and business knowledge is already lost. Just because you build a new process does NOT mean you don't need old knowledge? "How do we file that P493910/4 form with 'this authority' ... sorry, John/Joan from IT already left, they knew how to do it".

    Also, the rest of the company will see what they are doing and will see "You're next".

    Bring in new IT, even outsourced. This can work. And then pick the best at the end of the project. Then you have a fighting chance of getting this project off the ground.

    Boom -- >

    Because that's what it will do. And, also, what should happen to the knuckle-dragging mouth-breather that suggested or approved both of these to happen at the same time. Probably MBA in HR.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cake, and eat it too.

      "And, also, what should happen to the knuckle-dragging mouth-breather that suggested or approved both of these to happen at the same time. Probably MBA in HR."

      I think you'll find that all the decisions sat very closely with the Issa brothers and TDR Capital, not with functional heads (who incidentally claims to have an MSc In Human Resource Management, not an MBA). All TDR want is to turn the business round and get out with a fat payoff, so they don't need to consider the long term, but they do need a functioning business to sell or re-list.

      The IT chaos won't have been helped by the Issa brothers appearing to have fallen out big time (lots of reports, all denied) and TDR have now bought the stake of one of the brothers. The other brother is now a minority shareholder in a business 66% owned by TDR. Walmart retain a 10% stake in the business, for reasons known only to themselves.

      So what TDR want, they get.

      1. UnknownUnknown

        Re: Cake, and eat it too.

        I don’t think Human Resource Management a recognised/accredited scientific discipline.

        1. TimMaher Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Scientific discipline.

          Well, it’s definitely not an art.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Cake, and eat it too.

      Because the IT infrastructure largely works, management types don't consider it important.

      Time and time again, IT resources get squeezed and too many companies don't appreciate their knowledgeable IT staff until it's too late.

      Still as long as the management get their bigger bonuses for cost cutting, that's all that matters.... They'll be off in a few years anyway to screw up another company.

      They are nothing more than slimey asset strippers.

      1. Excused Boots Bronze badge

        Re: Cake, and eat it too.

        One of the things I’ve always claimed is that ‘if’, ok big if, you have set up the IT infrastructure properly, then even if the entire IT team simultaneously fall under a bus and aren’t replaced, the system will carry on working, by sheer inertia.

        For a while!

        But that’s the problem, I think in both the UK and the US, it’s short-termism. By all means, reward people by results, but maybe those results should be based on medium to long term performance. For example, the CEO is offered a massive payout based on how the company is doing in, say ten years, or even five years, it next year, because that can easily be fiddled.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Cake, and eat it too.

      I suspect part of the reason for the “bet the company” was that they had to get off the Walmart system (within a contractually agreed timeframe) and could only take their data with them. Hence having to reimplement all the customisations etc.

      As others (with more experience of ERP migration) would observe: choose a platform that best matches the business and adapt the business to fit it, ie. Minimise customisations. Hence the migration turns into a two step approach: get off legacy parent’s systems, innovate on new platform in those areas the way the business does stuff is better and more appropriate than the vanilla process.

  7. Azamino

    Query

    How confident is the author that the Asda staff are being offered a choice of TUPE or redundancy? TUPE always used to mean that the job is not disappearing, just a switch of employer so there is no requirement to offer redundancy.

    1. Empire of the Pussycat

      Re: Query

      my experience is it's common in outsourcing/contract takeover for the tupe'd to be riffed by the new supplier

      helps maintain continuity until the transition is complete, and the new supplier is on the hook for the cost

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Query

        In this case Asda are on the hook, there's no way off it. They tried to do the IT themselves, failed and ran out of time, they have to cross their fingers and hope TCS deliver what Asda think they agreed (!) and pay whatever TCS choose to bill. If they gets into a contractual dispute then Asda are sunk, TCS will not be harmed one bit.

        Of course, if Asda didn't want to be in this position, maybe they should have hired the right CIO, listened to them, and not undertaken distractions like multiple acquisition totalling £2.5bn for hundreds of filling stations and convenience stores from Coop and EG Group.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Query

          The whole point of the transaction was to bring EG Group and Asda together in some way. It was the owners of EG Group that took over Asda, and obviously they aren't going to want to have 3rd party supermarket chains running the petrol station shops long-term.

          Morrisons and MFG will do something similar at some point. They aren't going to want Londis (owned by Tesco) running their petrol station shops long-term when they can have Morrisons Local or McColls doing it. Likewise, given that Morrisons owns about 1/3 of Greenergy, they are going to want to use them to supply the fuel rather than the likes of BP and Shell.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Query

            "Morrisons and MFG will do something similar at some point. They aren't going to want Londis (owned by Tesco) running their petrol station shops long-term when they can have Morrisons Local or McColls doing it."

            Didn't McColls go bust, or nearly so, and Morrisons bought up the husk? And FWIW, our local Morrison filling station is currently closed for 3 days for "re-branding". According to staff a 3rd party will be operating it. A sign of things to come?

            1. katrinab Silver badge

              Re: Query

              McCall’s went bust and there was a bidding war between Asda and Morrisons for it which Morrisons won.

          2. Like a badger

            Re: Query

            "The whole point of the transaction was to bring EG Group and Asda together in some way. It was the owners of EG Group that took over Asda, and obviously they aren't going to want to have 3rd party supermarket chains running the petrol station shops long-term."

            Wow. So somebody thought "let's buy this underperforming and under-invested lump that even Walmart can't turnaround, and by bolting on a few hundred petrol stations and associated convenience stores it'll suddenly be an overnight success story!" Mmmmmm...is that the smell of porcine ordure, or am I mistaking the smell of retail genius?

            And as if the overall strategy was dubious, then integrating the EG Group and Coop outlets onto Asda's "transforming" IT would seem to a be a further car crash in the making. I can understand why the seem to be getting through CIO and CTOs. Imagine: You land the dream job, you spend the weekend celebrating with friends and family. You go in on the first day and ask "where's the plan, and how are we doing against it?", to be told, "there is no plan, and we fired the members of the PMO team who hadn't already left, so we don't know what progress has been made against the non-plan". "So what do the board have to say?" "We don't know,, they spend most of their time fighting and when they aren't fighting they just keep buying petrol stations".

            1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

              Re: Query

              "and by bolting on a few hundred petrol stations and associated convenience stores[billion in financing], to be clawed back by cost cutting, price rises and job cuts.

            2. UnknownUnknown

              Re: Query

              That’s the same Walmart that spaffed USD$16bn on never made a profit in 17 years Flipkart whilst flogging slightly dull UK business it had owned for 20+years bringing in £1bn a year profits …and adding to global supply chain volume and brought the George Home and Clothing brand to Walmart … …

        2. UnknownUnknown

          Re: Query

          With collapsing IT already in their stores …

      2. Azamino

        Re: Query

        I was TUPE'd twice in the very early 2000's and while core benefits were respected our conditions diverged sharply from those who remained directly employed, ie no pay rises until our salaries matched those of our new colleagues. I did not hang about at the first firm but the new job went the same way with the same bloody outsourcer!

  8. navarac Silver badge

    At least they didn't go for the same scummy lot that did the POs Horizon system.

    1. Gordon 10

      They are all the same. Only the consequences and fallout differs.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You may find it hard to believe, but TCS are scummier.

      I know of at least one "product" they sell that isn't actually a product at all, but developed on the customer's dollar. Using decade+ old tech. And when you ask them how the infra they "specified" for it should be configured, they point to a single powerpoint slide.

      I josh you not.

    4. UnknownUnknown

      Unlike Primark who did…..on the Fujitsu Marketplace Express runaway train. TCS also involved there too.

  9. neilg
    Headmaster

    Thought this was a UK rag, albeit online

    company TCS as it "labors" to meet deadlines to move away from IT systems

    There's a "U in Labours"!

    This is not the first time....

    1. .thalamus
      FAIL

      Re: Thought this was a UK rag, albeit online

      Yeah, it annoys me too. But they made a decision a bit ago that everything was going to be written using the odd, bastardised American English as opposed to real English.

      Stupid decision in my opinion. So that’s why we have to suffer it.

      https://www.theregister.com/2022/10/22/chrome_extension_howto/

    2. Mint Sauce

      Re: Thought this was a UK rag, albeit online

      Sadly dear old El Reg is a USA focused site these days. Since the loss of .co.uk, we've had to live with English (simplified) as the default language. There are a few of the old writers still about but they are few and far between it seems.

      I guess the almighty dollar always wins in the end.

    3. Plest Silver badge

      Re: Thought this was a UK rag, albeit online

      Well it's technically correct as US English is basically a "fork" of ye olde English from around 1600 when everyone buggered off across the Atlantic.

      I totally agree with you though, I dislike American spelling and pronounciation when it's used by non-Americans. The one that gets me most is schedule, everyone now says "sked-you-all" but it's pronounced "shed-you-all", and yes I am aware that the word "school" throws it out but that's proper English for you.

      1. mantavani

        Re: Thought this was a UK rag, albeit online

        The differences are mostly down to Noah Webster (he of the US dictionary) working in the early 1800s.

  10. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    Way beyond corporate BS

    "An Asda spokesperson (and current bollocks-bingo champion) told The Reg: "We are building world-class systems in a once in a generation IT transformation – Project Future"

    This is so beyond ridiculous, it's an insult to every journalist you say it to, and every customer who you need to have a job in the first place.

    The fact that you're actually outsourcing to an external company who won't know or care about your business is the frozen urine icing on the shit cake.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: once in a generation IT transformation – Project Future

      it's puzzling to the core, I expected Project Past* or something equally progressive?

      *Perfect

  11. Don Bannister

    What could possibly go wrong ?!

    ".... changing the application software, infrastructure, and business processes at the same time".

    1. Mike Pellatt

      Re: What could possibly go wrong ?!

      See "TSB"

    2. UnknownUnknown

      Re: What could possibly go wrong ?!

      … and fucking your staff off ….

    3. BigAndos

      Re: What could possibly go wrong ?!

      I thought that, how can they be so naive as to think this is a good idea?

  12. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    Correction

    We are building world-class systems in a once in a generation IT transformation – Project Future[Failure]."

    1. TimMaher Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Correction

      Beat me to it.

      Have a beer!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Correction

    “ Asda is transferring more than 100 internal IT workers to Indian outsourcing company TCS”

    Should be,

    “ Asda is HOPING to transfer more than 100 internal IT workers to Indian outsourcing company TCS”

    If it was me I’d be out the door pronto, redundancy payment or otherwise.

    1. mhoulden

      Re: Correction

      Assuming they're based at the head office on Great Wilson Street in Leeds, there are plenty of IT companies in walking distance where they could go.

  14. MrReynolds2U

    This was always going to be the way.

    The brothers owning Asda was hailed as a success of British entrepreneurship but never likely to benefit the consumer. I suspect it was a way to force leveraged debt into a recognisable brand, but I may be wrong.

    The UK retail sector for supermarkets and "express" shops is continuing to combine like sports shops did (and that left us with Sports Direct).

    Sadly the origins of Tesco and Morrisons are very much gone and the brands are shadows of their founder's aims.

    I spoke with employees at a local Morrisons petrol station the other day about MFG taking over and they are all transferring back to Morrisons rather than taking the TUPE option.

    The enshittification continues.

  15. Kane
    Alert

    Hah!

    Can't wait for the new batch of On Call and Who, Me? stories to arrive out of this!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Digitally dependent

    I wonder if the management team have ANY idea how digitally dependant they are as a retailer?

    Their ERP is critical, as (if not integrated) is their stock control/management. Then there is their home delivery system, their online retailing, their shop lighting, shop refrigeration, core networking, telecoms and all those commercial back office systems. What a nice fat target for a bad guy when you haven’t even got an in house security team?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the private equity company has taken control then Asda switching to cheaper suppliers is part of the standard playbook ( along with selling off assets and transferring earnings back to the pe 'holding company' to cover 'internal charges' ). See also the hollowing out of the US health system and other examples.

  18. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Shame. Bye-bye Asda.

    Get anything you want from them soon, the shelves will empty and the stores will close.

    1. short

      Re: Shame. Bye-bye Asda.

      So, stores to be flattened or converted for housing (my local one would be a valuable site, I suspect), or will Amazon get to drop their IT infrastructure into a ready built smoking shell of a supermarket chain?

      I just can't see this playing out with a resurgent Asda with a well functioning back office.

      1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

        Re: Shame. Bye-bye Asda.

        I guess the idea is to fail as cheaply as possible, then sell the land.

  19. Electronics'R'Us
    Mushroom

    They have already had a meltdown

    A few months ago, Asda rolled out its 'new' payroll system (this was another move away from Walmart systems) and it was an utter train wreck.

    Many of their staff (who are on the low end of the pay scale) paid hundreds less than they should have been and told, in typical tone deaf management style, that the missing money would be paid at the end of the month. That got rolled back pretty quick after the rather large outcry that ensued.

    So they have already had one (ongoing, apparently) software rollout that was not just bad but terrible, particularly as this can really cause major screw ups to people's tax status.

    Now they are doing a full blown ERP implementation? On the cheap and rushed at that.

    This is likely to be worthy of the corporate equivalent of a Darwin Award.

  20. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    "...particularly as this can really cause major screw ups to people's tax status."

    And it will likely fuck up your Universal Credit as well.

  21. steviebuk Silver badge

    When

    Will companies learn that IT is an ASSET not an expense. Keep IT in house, always, never outsource and never to an MSP, always keep IT in house.

    1. Necrohamster Silver badge

      Re: When

      Apparently, dependence on external entities and loss of in-house knowledge is a small price to pay on the journey to reduce CapEx and provide added value to shareholders.

      /s obviously...

      1. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: When

        Yep, with MSPs they end up always being more expensive, you never have the same, regular engineer as they support loads of different companies, their 1st line always ends up with a high turn over as they appear to run that line like a sweat shop. And you'll be hit with extra charges when a site visit is required because the user doesn't know how to turn a monitor on.

    2. Caver_Dave Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: When

      When will most people realise that any store other than a corner shop, is an an IT company that happens to sell groceries?

  22. TimMaher Silver badge
    Windows

    Associated Dairies

    That was their high point.

  23. Necrohamster Silver badge
    Trollface

    Tata for now

    ""They have a thousand stores to migrate and they're going to be doing that with an infrastructure team who have their eyes on the door. They'll be very professional, but they're not going above and beyond and doing on-call they don't have to do,"

    I don't know about anybody else, but my priority in the coming months would be to secure a new gig rather than being very professional.

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