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back to article EDS ruling won't mean overhaul for IT procurement

IT companies will not have to conduct a total overhaul of their sales processes in the aftermath of a long-awaited court ruling this week, a technology law expert has said. The ruling focused on the dishonesty of one employee, not a whole company. BSkyB hired IT company EDS to build it a £48m customer relationship management …

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Silver badge

Must be more to this ...

Although the "employee" wasn't _just_ an employee, he was a director, you'd still expect a bit of due-diligence somewhere in the process.

In a contract this big, even if the MD him/her-self said "yes, we'll have it running in 9 months" you'd want that in writing as part of their proposal. Further, the client would want top see the timetable that would lead up to this (first of many) delivery. Not just the say-so of a senior person who's bidding for the work.

The days of "trust me, I'm a computer salesman" are long gone ..... you'd hope.

I think there must have been at least some sort of naivety on a massive scale for Sky to fall for this line. Either that or they believed what they wanted to, despite what common-sense, or industry experience was telling them. Therefore I doubt if the fault can be completely dropped in the lap of EDS (which is maybe why some of the other claims were refused). I just hope this £700m penalty teaches a few senior people a long-remembered lesson: on both sides.

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Coffee/keyboard

lols

Salesmen and outsourcing companies should be "honest"?

Yeah, good luck with that.

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Anonymous Coward

scape goat

so as long as you can find a scape goat you get off scott free? if you can blame 'an employee' then no harm no foul? <shakes head>

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You left out the best bit ...

Galloway lied about his MBA and BSkyB's lawyer got a degree from the same college - for his dog.

Even better bit - the dog got better grades!

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Pint

You'd have thought that....

It seems that the original promises were pretty aspirational at best and shouldn't have stood up to any reasonable level of close scrutiny.

You'd have thought Sky would look relatively closely at a project before putting £48m on the table.

Has anyone got their phone number as I've got a fantastic widget that'll solve all their problems and its only £3m.

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more honest sale staff

.. good luck with that one then!

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Anonymous Coward

Corporate Culture

I know that I've worked in companies where the sales people make arbitrary promises like this one on a regular basis.

I thought this was an established IT management/sales technique.

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Anonymous Coward

After 30 years in the business...

...I thought urealistic costs and deadlines was just SOP...

How many times have I been asked - how do we trim these estimates. My usual answer - take stuff out...I wont. And I always have a copy for the post mortem.

Doesn't make me popular with the sales people. And between me and the proposal stuff often gets lost, like testing and deployment. It seems they are optional extras to be picked up as 'change control'

AC - obviously

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all too common

The plan all to often is to over promise and under deliver, often very late and over budget.

Whats sad is that you often have good programmers capable of high quality work who are creating garbage because they are told to cut every possible corner.

It would be nice if the business culture were to change to the point where there is real accountability.

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Gold badge
Joke

As all con-sultants know

The answer is yes.

Yes to the timescale

Yes to the features

Yes to the budget (but it might have to grow a *little* bit).

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Grenade

Joe Galloway

Joe Galloway will take a bit of gardening leave and be back in a director level job in no time. His dishonesty actually an advantage. Hopefully any future customers of his will remember his name and kick him back down again.

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WTF?

Whats amazing

Is the price.

£48m to build a CRM solution ? ~ ok.....

Why is it every time, these systems are way way overpriced?

Then comes the icing on the cake:

£265m BSkyB supposedly had to pay to write their own. What is it? gold plated? I would want it Rhodium plated for that price or were their programmers just as insanely incompetent as well?

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Silver badge

Damages are billed at FULL price

While the original bid may have been costed (at least in-house) using the cheapest possible labour, tools, hardware and skimping on every possible deliverable, that doesn't happen when you're claiming damages. Then every hour is billed at the *maximum* possible rate: no discounts, no buying in bulk, every possible man-hour allocated to the work. (Just like garages have "special" rates for "well guv, it's an insurance job - innit?"). So instead of a third-world programmer on £5 / hour, expect the compo bill to specify senior consultants on £250 / hour - and lots of them!

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Title Schmitle

This opens up an interesting sales strategy: make any number of undeliverable commitments to win the contract in the knowledge that you can get away with corporate damage as long you have set up an individual to act as a blast wall to take the blame when it turns sour.

Ethics? We've heard of them.

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Happy

The old standby of police forces everywhere

It was 1 bad apple.

He did it *all*.

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