* Posts by neilo

39 posts • joined 25 May 2019

All that Samsung users found on UK website after weird Find my Mobile push notification was... other people's details

neilo

In the US, too

I heard from Samsung-owning friends this happened in the US, too. Exactly the same symptoms.

Tabletop battle-toys purveyor Games Workshop again warns of risks in Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP project

neilo

Re: ERP == Enterprise Reduction Programme

A couple of things you forgot to add to your list: "sacrifice a virgin at midnight on the day before switch-over" and "hope like hell".

There's always that. But nothing beats a dress rehearsal run a few days before the actual go-live.

I was involved in a client rescue a few years back. They had implemented AX2012 with a vast swath of customizations that sorta-kinda worked ok, but they never wanted to test the data migration code. They assured us that their code was perfect. So come the go-live, and their system starts spitting out JSON files the size you've never seen before. The AX code groaned under the load, but dutifully processed the data. As you might have guessed, their data was wrong, and every single journal and customer state they shipped in had issues.

Every. Single. One.

So rather than abort the go-live, they decided to press on, and thus began the cleanup work. A year later, the original team started to break up for varying reasons, and I was brought in to keep going with the cleanup. That's the we discovered that not only was there bad data screwing up current transactions, there was bad code writing vast amounts of junk to the database causing further problems.

The remediation work took another six months, until the new CFO of the company in question said to his finance team to just journal out whatever the issues were and move forwards. We got the system mostly debugged, but by then the company, which had been acquired by a much larger company, decided to break away and found a new partner to continue with.

Our PM didn't stand up to the customer PM enough to demand go-live testing. And this was the result. For want on 30 minutes of go-live testing, the entire project and customer was lost.

neilo

Re: ERP == Enterprise Reduction Programme

Don't all ERP systems cost at least three times what the initial quote was?

Yes... but there is inevitable scope creep, things take longer than expected, data migration takes longer to get right... the number of things that can go wrong on an ERP project is pretty huge.

So, how do you deliver an ERP project mostly on time and near the budget? Good project management on both sides to begin with. The smallest consulting team you can have. As much experience as you can pack into that team.

Stuffing greenhorn consultants into these projects slows them down. It's great to build skills, but there is a cost. That's why partner selection is so critical. You can go with the "big" names, like DXC - but you're not buying a lot of skill because the good people left a long time ago. The smaller partners may cost a bit - but only a bit - more, but you're more likely to get a skilled team that already knows how to work together. Don't underestimate the value in a team that already fits together.

The other thing that can help is to have a very clear project document that lays out expectations. Knowing what is in scope (and what isn't) for the implementation phase is critical.

Finally, having a client-side testing team is critical to success. Initially, the team needs to be small and consist of just the SMEs, but before the final go/no go decision you need virtually the entire client company to do a "day in the life" sort of exercise. This is an unbelievable way of wringing out all sorts of integration bugs.

That's what I've learned about successfully ERP implementations.

neilo

Depends on the partner and the PMs

The success or failure of these projects comes down to three things: choice or partner, effective partner project management and effect client project management.

If the partner is DXC, for example, they are screwed. But any other D365 partner should be more than capable.

Project management is where these projects succeed or fail. If the client PM doesn't understand the business (ie. GW just hired a PM or hasn't done a full requirements document with complete gap analysis), the chances of success plummet because of all the moving parts within a company and the PM's ability to align the company. If the partner PM is weak (ie. they can't say "no" at appropriate moments to defer a new pet requirement to post-go live), then the project will collapse. If the partner PM can't marshal the necessary development and testing consultants, and ensure those consultants understand the company, the project is doomed.

Yes, ERP transitions and big and complex, the opportunity for failure at every turn. Good project management from the client and partner can make even the sketchiest situation succeed.

Y2K quick-fix crick? 1920s come roaring back after mystery blip at UK's vehicle licensing agency

neilo

Re: Why

And even that is small potatoes compared to the deeper problem with those databases: record size. A lot of the tables in those systems are close to (or at) their maximum record size. Inserting another 2 characters is simply not possible.

And even if you could simply insert another two characters, there is an unknown amount of code that parses the records starting at the nth character... all of that code would have to be examined and tested.

Resizing database columns would be a painful couple of days. Full regression testing of some of these systems? Weeks and weeks.

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How bad is Catalina? It's almost Apple Maps bad: MacOS 10.15 pushes Cupertino's low bar for code quality lower still

neilo

Another one with no problems here

Install was smooth. I made sure my critical apps were updated ahead of time. Lightroom Classic, Office, EndNote all work fine. Dark Mode is a joy. Apart from news.com.au stopping loading images are a free page refreshes (this has been an issue since I bought my 2018 MBP), this has been smooth and seamless.

Sure, some apps are borked (TomTom: I'm looking at you!), but these are 32 bits apps and I knew ahead of time trouble was heading that way.

DXC has picked a brand new people person: Finch lands as freed Mason preps to depart

neilo

"Our employees are key to achieving our goals and aspirations"

You know, I'm sure I heard that before somewhere... Maybe when Mikey and Jo were talking about the CLEAR values during the initial induction and yearly refreshers. Nah; couldn't have been them, could it? That would mean they were saying thing they didn't actually believe in.

But to the point here, show me a CEO who doesn't, with a straight face, say exactly this.

I'm surprised he is even continuing with "digital transformation" as a phrase. Why not go back in time and talk about reengineering the company? I mean, "Reengineering the Corporation" started with (then) CSC. Why not dust off that concept and try to sell it again?

neilo

(I always thought 'cutting steak' was a rather odd euphemism, but there you are.)

You're confusing "euphemism" with "weird stuff that actually happened".

Mike drop, DXC-ya later! Lawrie immediately ejects as CEO from IT outsourcing giant

neilo

Re: his pedigree

Exactly: Accenture. From reading, it seems like he was a hatchet man there, laying off vast swathes of employees and offshoring whatever he could.

This guy is no savior for DXC.

neilo

Re: THANK YOU JESUS!

Why on earth are you celebrating? This guy was hand-picked by Lawrie. What makes you think, given his pedigree, that he will do anything remotely helpful to employees remaining at DXC?

Now, if the board had fired Lawrie and brought this guy in to sort out the mess, sure; maybe. Bu that's not the case. And Lawrie's cold, dead hand is still there...

Another 3,900 staffers gone, 3 data centres to be closed, and yet DXC revenues keep falling

neilo

CLEARly, DXC is a people-first company

"It is taking longer to eliminate the head count as we automate activities."

Yup; eliminate people first.

Not all heroes wear capes: Contractor grills DXC globo veep on pay rises, offshoring, and cuts to healthcare help

neilo

Re: Thanks from the missus

... it would be delicious if she ends up contracting for DXC ...

Do not, under any circumstances, become a DXC contractor.

Contractors get royally fucked every possible way. Note that, in the US at least, contractor invoices are paid 90 days after the invoice due date.

So consider this: She's finished up with DXC as an employee, and has lined up contracting work with the client on behalf of DXC. She does her first week of work, dutifully invoices DXC, and won't see that money for several months.

Avoid DXC. Just don't do anything for them. They are a toxic cesspool the fucks anyone and everyone over. Contract to the client directly if possible. And the client will be better off without DXC anyway.

neilo

Re: BS

... and even then the counter offer will be limited to a maximum of 10% more than your current DXC salary

That tidbit I did not know. I would love to say I'm surprised, but I'm not. The HR principle of "We employ you? Get fucked then." continues to be applied in all areas.

neilo

Re: BS

I find this, of all the toxic DXC behaviors, one of the more toxic behaviors.

So in order to get a pay rise, you need to find another company willing to hire you and go through the entire interview process (which could be four or five interviews) to get that signed letter of offer.

You take that letter of offer to your manager and DXC will match the toppling salary. They will never match the bottom line take-home salary.

What a titanic waste of time for the employee and the employees of the company that you just interviewed at. The level of disrespect here for everyone involved is immense.

neilo

Re: BS

Agreed. I discussed with my manager in January 2018 about a merit increase, and he agreed. So did his manager. In fact, all the way up to the manager of our division agreed that a merit increase was indeed merited.

By November 2018, nothing had happened.

This wasn't an isolated incident; the droves of people quitting said exactly the same things.

It should be noted, too, that whilst DXC may not believe in the outdated concept of annual raises, it sure as hell believes in sticking it to employees every possible opportunity. My take-home pay fell, rather reliably, every six months.

So glad I'm out of this rotting carcass of a company.

DXC Technology warns techies that all travel MUST now be authorised

neilo

Re: Welcome to DXC, what can't we do for you today

To be fair (and I can't believe I just said that), we had exactly the same policy in the US, and it really didn't impact the ERP side that much. The two week lead time isn't such a big deal for regular consulting, and for critical emergencies we all work remote anyway. Most customers who have their own IT infrastructure have their own staff, so if the core database server goes down there's not much point having a technical consultant on site until the server is up - and when the server is up, you can remote in anyway.

I'm sure that for a class of customer this is going to cause real issues, but DXC doesn't;t care about those customers anyway.

Driving Xtreme Cuts: DXC Technology waves bye bye to 45% of Americas Security divison

neilo

Re: How long until...

DXC are totally left without any real customers, business offering or meaningful revenue?

It could be a few years, actually.

Talking with a soon-to-be-ex-DXC buddy, in my old section hiring is frantic to replace the people leaving - but experience isn't entering the building. It's people wanting to get started in their careers that are being hired.

Remaining customers are satisfied for now as they are seeing new names replacing old names, but even that is drawing attention. Sheer inertia is keeping some of them; contracts with DXC hosting of services is keeping others. But the tide will turn, and DXC will be yet another giant shell.

neilo

...these "more specialised and more scarce" security skills are available in Low Cost Countries, are they?

Why yes; yes they are.

There is a seeming inexhaustible supply of security engineers, support staff with deep rapport with clients, highly skilled developers and more in low-cost countries. Oh wait - that rapidly becomes high cost. Oops; my bad.

neilo

Re: Training your replacement?

"Knowledge transfer" before you go....

Bwahahahahahahahahaha... "knowledge transfer"... I gave two weeks notice. They tried to squeeze the knowledge transfer into about three hours on the final day to a guy who quit three weeks later.

D☠️C doesn't care enough about customers to ensure a proper knowledge transfer. All D☠️C cares about is having people seeming to have the knowledge so that customers don't immediately leave.

We asked readers what DXC should be known for... and of course you came up with the goods

neilo

Re: Did someone at The Register used to work at DXC, I think perhap so

"With the amount of articles about DXC and the negative slant, I think someone at El Reg used to work for DXC and did not leave on happy terms."

I'm confused. You have something positive to say about that festering shithole of a company? I would love to hear it!

Disclaimer: I use to work for D☠️C!

neilo

A pity

A pity that "at DXC, we're not satisfied until you're not satisfied" wasn't an option, because that has a beautiful consistency for DXC's attitude to both customers and employees.

It's also somewhat politer than "I'm Mike Lawrie. Fuck you."

DXC Technology exec: What should our brand be known for?

neilo

Re: Greed

When you are CEO, chairman of the board AND get your steak cut up for you, who is there to hold you accountable?

neilo

Re: Management decision

You have it so right.

If it weren't for those outrageous customer expectations that DXC actually supply services, then DXC wouldn't have to employ those wasteful cost-centers known as employees.

If only customers got with the program and simply paid vast amounts of cash to DXC without any expectations of anything in return then DXC's would would be a much better place.

neilo

Re: Lost - Season3

Contractor terms ar in arrears 5 weeks? You got of lightly; here in the US our contractors were paid 90 days in arrears from the invoice due date. So when a contractor / external partner was developing a minor piece of code - say, the entire credit card processing part - and their invoices were not paid at 30 days, then they, to the great delight of our customers, simply stopped working.

In once case, this caused the sudden postponement of a go-live.

Now, we all welcomed the extra time to complete the project to the customer's satisfaction, so there was a silver lining there. But it was poorly handled; DXC didn't tell our section that this was the policy; it certainly didn't tell the external partners. The contractors may have known; not sure.

neilo

Re: Don't eXpect Competence

Don't eXpect Compensation

Black Wednesday: DXC hosting services wonky for almost 8 hours after core switches go rogue

neilo

Fun fact: Us experienced ones who have got the hell out of this rotting carcass have noticed something interesting: the hand-off / knowledge transfer is not happening, or if it is happening it's rushed an incomplete.

When I gave notice, I was left alone to finish up what work I could, with a rough customer hand-off dome for one client on the last day.

When a co-worker (a solution architect) gave notice, she was left alone. Then in the last few days it was realized she had 35 current client projects and then all hell broke loose. The hand-offs were rushed and incomplete again.

There is a real "head in the sand" approach going on here... and it's accelerating the clients that are leaving because they are not being looked after!

DXC Technology seeks volunteers to take redundancy. No grads, apprentices, and 'quota carrying' sales folk

neilo

Re: What this really means

Yeah; except clients DO notice. When I left for greener pastures, two clients followed me. Other clients are looking closely at the situation as the practice bleeds talent faster than can be recruited.

DXC: We axed 10k staff, shut nine data centres, closed 4.6m sq ft of office space... and sales tumbled, funnily enough

neilo

This is why I'm following those people on LinkedIn. If I see, say, Mike Gillis heading to a company I know to never go there because of the devastation he will bring. Same for all his "leadership" team; the collective incompetence they can amass is mind blowing. On the other hand, I followed (eventually) an ex-leader of an acquired company to his new company, simply because he is damn good.

neilo

Re: Bets, anyone?

"How long before HP cry foul on the merger with CSC and sue the directors of CSC for misrepresentation?"

Not going to happen. As bad as DXC is right now (and CSC was), HPE Services was in much worse shape. I use to work for DXC, and worked alongside some HPE folks on a few projects. So how bad was HPE Services? According to multiple people who told me this, Firings were a weekly occurrence as HPE needed to reduce costs. Is your project billable this week? You're safe. If the project wasn't billable this week, you're name was in the had for dismissal. Then two or three lucky souls would be fired, and the grim process starts again the following Monday.

The HPE people were grateful for the merger, as at least they could keep their jobs.

neilo

Re: Hiring for SUCCESS

This. Entire. Thread.

neilo

Re: Another corporate sacking them off...

As an ex-employee of a company gobbled up by DXC, the good ones leave as soon as they can because DXC is probably the worst, most toxic employer on the planet.

Forget about annual pay reviews; they are gone. My experience was that DXC cut my pay every six months. Although my entire management chain felt I deserved a merit increase to my pay, HR nixed it. I needed to extend my work visa: DXC messed that up. Management wanted to eliminate the department I worked in, and replace it with something that looked the same but couldn’t really be described.

And then cane the off-shore push. All technical work was to be done in India; we were supposed to co-ordinate that work with the client.

Don’t feel sorry for the good staff; they can find better work elsewhere. Feel sorry for the clients who have long term contract with this toxic puddle called DXC.

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