Friday Rant: Don't Blame SAP for Your Other Woes

We all know that SAP projects can go terribly over budget (as can any enterprise software implementation). But I have a difficult time believing that Shane Co., a jewelry retailer, was driven to insolvency thanks to SAP overruns alone. According to the above-linked Bloomberg dispatch, Shane sought bankruptcy protection this week telling a "judge [that] the company's decline was triggered partly by delays and cost overruns for a $36 million SAP AG inventory-management system...[SAP] took almost three years to install and implement the system instead of one year, while costs "ballooned" to $36 million from a projected maximum of $10 million, Shane said in papers filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver." Clearly, this news will not help SAP in the current environment, but I suspect that once we get to the bottom of it, we'll find a retailer that was caught up in the market downturn as well as an SI implemenation-palooza that the company failed to manage effectively. After all, it's easy to find a diamond in the rough. Taming them -- and keeping them on budget -- can prove far more challenging.

Hat-tip: Jeff Nolan and The Enterprise Irregulars.

- Jason Busch

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