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Allegedly Rigged Product Demo In SAP Suit Goes Missing

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the dig-deep-fellas dept.

The Courts 210

narramissic writes "Waste Management sued SAP in March 2008 over a failed ERP project. Now, well into the pre-trial discovery process, a presale product demonstration software package that Waste Management says was a key element of the 'false representations' SAP made to 'induce Waste Management into entering a software licensing and implementation agreement' has gone missing. Naturally, both sides say the other has it. And SAP, for its part, says it has 'searched extensively' for the system and wants it 'as much or more' as Waste Management, since it 'will help SAP disprove WM's fraud claim.'"

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210 comments

like every other sales demo (5, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28130871)

So this is pretty much like any other sales demo?

Re:like every other sales demo (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131219)

In response to Waste Management's complaint, SAP has said in part that the company failed to "timely and accurately define its business requirements" and did not supply "sufficient, knowledgeable, decision-empowered users and managers" to work on the project. So this was pretty much like every software project I've ever worked on?

Things randomly disappearing... (2)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131453)

In the "waste management" business?!? NO! Never!

Re:Things randomly disappearing... (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131763)

Can someone please tell me what an "ERP" is? I had a hard day and I'm too tired to gazoogle it. Plus, if I were to google "ERP" I'd probably get twenty different things, plus the question: "Did you mean burp? And I'm tired of hollering at google ten times a day, "No, motherfucker, I didn't mean "The Black Crowes", I meant what I typed. If'n I'd meant "The Black Crowes" I'd have fucking well typed "The Black Crowes".

Then I am forced to stab myself repeatedly in the meaty part of the leg with a penknife.

Nobody wants that, right?

Re:Things randomly disappearing... (2, Informative)

slashtivus (1162793) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131867)

Enterprise Resource Planning. It's fancy scheduling software.

Re:Things randomly disappearing... (1)

jesseck (942036) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131949)

In Manufacturing, ERP is "Enterprise Resource Planning"... such as knowing how much material you have, where it is, and if a specific order can be fulfilled. And a whole lot more.

Re:like every other sales demo (3, Insightful)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131531)

Sounds like most projects I've worked on.

The issue, however, is that SAP made claims based on little to no information, nor people who had any idea on what the outcomes should be. Now, I'm no project management expert, but this seems like a monumentally stupid thing to do.

Whether the demo was rigged or not, SAP went into an agreement without full details and without real confidence that the product they are delivering would actually do what the client wants.

Re:like every other sales demo (3, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131951)

"So I have this great Wazmo that you certainly need! It jimmies your jewels so that they hum with the harmony of a negative color! You want to buy it, we want to sell it! It is a win-win for everyone!"

That is my sales pitch... and you just bought my Wazmo. Who is the idiot?

Re:like every other sales demo (3, Insightful)

Decameron81 (628548) | more than 5 years ago | (#28132097)

Sounds like most projects I've worked on.

The issue, however, is that SAP made claims based on little to no information, nor people who had any idea on what the outcomes should be. Now, I'm no project management expert, but this seems like a monumentally stupid thing to do.

Whether the demo was rigged or not, SAP went into an agreement without full details and without real confidence that the product they are delivering would actually do what the client wants.

IMHO it's more complex than that. There's guilt in both sides.

Customers are guilty in that they often don't bother trying to check if what they are being sold is feasible at all. The end result is that most of the times they are willing to pay for more features in less time, even when that "more" is clearly an impossible goal. For instance if I asked you to develop an MSN clone with a proprietary protocol from scratch, and you told me it'd be ready in a week for $20, I would look for someone else to get it done.

Problem is when the customer doesn't know better, and is unreasonable.

Re:like every other sales demo (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131489)

Pretty much. I worked for a consulting company, and one of our clients needed a system to manage their manufacturing and distribution processes. Developing a system like that was far beyond the scope of our ability, but we developed the needs analysis (documented all of their internal processes, etc) and helped them shop for vendors. We eventually narrowed it down to Epicor and the Epicor sales staff of course promised everything under the heavens... then signed a contract committing to their promises. A year and a half later, when the product STILL wasn't working, the client sued Epicor for breach of contract. We were in the clear because we just did the needs analysis, and we didn't know that Epicor was full of crap.

It seems like there are two worlds, the ideal world, and the real world. In the ideal world, you can purchase an off the shelf software package that supports all of your business processes. In the real world, you find something that comes as close as possible, and then modify the way you do business... or, you hire programmers/farm out the programming work to customize the hell out of it.

Re:like every other sales demo (0, Troll)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131499)

I'm pretty sure that I see "incompetence" stamped all over this. On BOTH sides. WM is so impompetent, that they need software to manage their company. Software is no replacement for managerial skills. SAP would have us believe that they are so incompetent that they only ever produced ONE COPY of a presentation software, with no backups. And, they've lost it.

The judge needs to have all parties flogged and thrown in the frigging DUNGEON. Feed them watery gruel for a year, let them out, and see if they are ready to proceed with a trial.

Re:like every other sales demo (3, Insightful)

ppanon (16583) | more than 5 years ago | (#28132541)

WM is so impompetent[sic], that they need software to manage their company.

Wow, so you think that trying to use software to improve your business processes by automating as many deterministic tasks as possible is a sign of incompetence? So what do you do exactly? If you're a programmer, can we assume that you demonstrate your competence by manually translating all your high-level language programs into machine code by hand?

i had it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28130881)

but i traded it for a slice of hot, thick and hairy gay cock.

Re:i had it (3, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28130963)

You chose...poorly.

Re:i had it (3, Interesting)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131605)

A classic Indiana Jones reference highlighting the folly of choosing something based on how shiny it is get moderated as troll whilst I can get modded insightful for spouting the first nonsensical bs that comes to mind? What's the world coming to!

Re:i had it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131777)

"What's the world coming to!"

Word on the street says that the world is coming to pictures of your mom bumping uglies with a llama.

Re:i had it (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28132261)

Are you sure you want to go on record as equating "hot, thick and hairy gay cock" as shiny?

SAP reply was to waste management... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28130899)

in reference to cleaning up this mess...

"Can't someone else do it?"

Waste management was not amused.

3 points for the reference.

I for one... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28130909)

Would definitely trust SAP on this. Who wouldn't trust an ERP vendor that either managed to lose a vital file or managed to "lose" a vital file?

Getting to choose between serious incompetence and outright malice is always fun.

Re:I for one... (5, Funny)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131077)

Apparently you've never used SAP.

SAP is how Lucifer interacts with our world.

Any product demo showing SAP working in a satisfactory manner is clearly fraud.

Re:I for one... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131249)

SAP:

Shitty Ass Program
Sucks As Predicted
Suppliers Are Pissed
Still Are Problems...

Re:I for one... (2, Informative)

jeffbruce (166203) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131313)

You missed Stop All Production

Re:I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131345)

What it really means:

Suck Aryan Penises

Re:I for one... (5, Funny)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131859)

While working for a factory that was switching over to SAP, I noticed that anyone outside of the SAP world (users) pronounces it 'Sap' (like from a tree). While everyone in the SAP world (consultants, etc) is very careful to pronounce it S-A-P (sounding out each letter). And they are quick to tell people that pronounce it 'Sap' that it should be pronounced S-A-P.

The software sucked so badly, and I hated it so much, that whenever I was around our SAP consultants, I made a conscience effort to say 'Sap' instead of S-A-P every chance I got. :-)

Re:I for one... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131329)

How DARE you lower Lucifefrrs name in association with that pile of crap.

Lucifer is far more clever in his malice.

It was create by a few German Gnomes that mostly live in an underground complex with one way in or out.

Now, the people who buy SAP, they have Lucifer whispering in their ears.

Re:I for one... (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#28132523)

How DARE you lower Lucifefrrs name in association with that pile of crap.

I knew I should have taken Satan's offer [sinfest.net] ! All I got for selling my soul to SAP was a tech demo, and it disappeared the next day!

Re:I for one... (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131385)

Seriously, what is ERP and what is SAP? Like, from a tree?

NEVER USE ACRONYMS WITHOUT DEFINING THEM!

Re:I for one... (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131791)

Never is a strong word.

In some cases, an acronym is not an acronym. SAP is the company name. What does it stand for? Maybe something, but "SAP" is how people refer to the company that's called "SAP".

And in some cases, the acronym is totally unique and is accepted terminology. Think "AM", "PM", "AD", "BC". "ERP" isn't quite that ubiquitous, but it is enough so that a quick Google search--the modern equivalent of a dictionary search--would tell you exactly what you need to know. Even if they did spell it out (Enterprise Resource Planning), it might not mean anything useful to people who don't deal with that sort of software anyway, so they may as well look it up.

Re:I for one... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28132795)

You're right, never is a strong word. Maybe I should have said "always define the acronym unless you're certain everyone will know what it is." In this case, I didn't.

However

And in some cases, the acronym is totally unique and is accepted terminology. Think "AM", "PM", "AD", "BC". "ERP" isn't quite that ubiquitous, but it is enough so that a quick Google search--the modern equivalent of a dictionary search--would tell you exactly what you need to know.

No, I did a wiki search:

The abbreviation, acronym, or initialism SAP may stand for:
RamÃn Villeda Morales International Airport, located in San Pedro Sula, Honduras (IATA code is SAP)
Serum Amyloid P Component, the identical serum form of Amyloid P component (AP)
Santa Paula, California (Amtrak station code: SAP)
Second audio program, an auxiliary audio channel for television that can be broadcast or transmitted both over the air and by cable TV
Soon As Possible, used in manufacturing and shipping
Seminal acid phosphatase, an enzyme produced by the prostate.
Special Assistance Plan, an academic programme in Singapore
Special access program, Secret clandestine operations program, run by secret governmental agency
Stabilisation and Association process of the European Union for the western Balkans states
Statements of Administrative Policy, the formal mechanism through which presidential views about pending legislation are communicated to Capitol Hill
Standard Assessment Procedure, the UK government's recommended system for energy rating of dwellings
Statutory Accounting Principals
Strategic Action Programme as part of a GEF international waters project
Strike Anywhere Productions, American film company
Strong Anthropic Principle, the idea proposing that the universe must produce life
Structural Adjustment Program of the IMF
Substance Abuse Professional, a specific qualifications needed by drug/alcohol counselors in order to perform drug assessments on individuals tested under the U.S. Federal DOT (United States Department of Transportation) guidelines
Superabsorbent polymer, a polymer able to absorb tens or hundreds of times its own weight in water
South African Police, the national law enforcement organisation of South Africa between 1913 and 1994
Shrimp Alkaline Phosphatase, a common alkaline phosphatase from a species of arctic shrimp
The Seabirds Advisory Panel, a committee set up to advise the British Birds Rarities Committee on seabird records

In computing and technology:
SAP AG, a global software company headquartered in Walldorf, Germany or its various products.
Either SAP R/3 or SAP ERP, two versions of the enterprise resource planning software product of SAP AG.
Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing - origin from SAP AG
Session Announcement Protocol, a computer protocol for broadcasting multicast session information
Service Advertising Protocol, an IPX network protocol that makes the process of adding and removing services on an IPX internetwork dynamic
Service Access Point, an identifying label for network endpoints used in OSI networking
Atari SAP music format, format used for storing music from 8-bit Atari computers and consoles
System Assistance Processor, an auxiliary I/O processor on IBM mainframes
SAP2000, a structural analysis program

A lot of them are obviously not it, but the summary is so vague, that all of these could be what SAP refers to from my perspective

Strategic Action Programme
Superabsorbent polymer
Second audio program
SAP AG, a global software company
Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing - origin from SAP AG
Session Announcement Protocol
Service Advertising Protocol
Service Access Point

Re:I for one... (2, Informative)

enogeejon (1054590) | more than 5 years ago | (#28132461)

fyi, ERP = Enterprise Resource Planning SAP = Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung which roughly translates into System Analysis and Programming. Now, since I work as a SAP BASIS (sys. admin.) administrator at a managed services hosting company so I actually get to work with multiple companies SAP landscapes daily so I can easily play devils advocate for SAP here. Maybe part of the problem for Waste Management is that they have a less than stellar implementation partner. It can easily take months for the developers to tailor SAP for the customer, often so long that you might think that writing something from the ground up makes more sense and maybe sometimes it does. Really, it depends on the scope of your business and what you really want to do and seriously, the scope of SAP is very large even without any of the add on products. However, as to losing the system, neither company should have lost it though I have my doubts that there are many IT managers who could manage to get any version of SAP installed and working on their own so the Waste Management IT Manager and their staff might just have tried to install the demo but failed and then chucked it. As I really see it though, if the business can't clearly define their needs then they are going to just end up wasting lots of money no matter what software they are working with, I have seen it with .NET, Java, and php/mysql as well as SAP.

Re:I for one... (4, Funny)

Jake73 (306340) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131387)

Actually, I'm convinced SAP saves big companies millions of dollars. They do so by losing invoices or making it so difficult for other companies to invoice them that these invoices never get paid. Companies using SAP have much higher payment aging than other companies.

Re:I for one... (2, Insightful)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131425)

And how much does it cost those big companies in lost productivity when an unpaid supplier deciedes they have had enough and stops shipments?

Re:I for one... (5, Funny)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131881)

And how much does it cost those big companies in lost productivity when an unpaid supplier deciedes they have had enough and stops shipments?

That's the beauty of it. You go with a supplier that's large enough to have their own SAP implementation. That way, the supplier is pretty much in the dark as well and it takes them a while to realize they should have cut you off years ago.

Re:I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28132571)

That's a SAP SAP World.

Re:I for one... (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131513)

SAP is how Lucifer interacts with our world.

I thought that was through Lotus Notes applications. They definitely emanate a creepy feeling, and nobody who used them kept his/her sanity.

Re:I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131553)

It's called IDES.

SAP already invested a crazy amount of time and energy in making the mother of all tech demos, and it just *barely* works.

Trust me - I've supported SAP since the 90s. It is pure evil.
Still beats Oracle Apps (which are the worst use of an RDBMS ever)

Re:I for one... (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28132001)

Bash SAP all you want, provided you come to the table with an alternative.

Re:I for one... (5, Informative)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 5 years ago | (#28132477)

This is not funny. I work at a fortune 11x company and I know several things are true.

1) We use SAP because they made a pitch and hooked a sucker in a suit.
2) You buy SAP, then a plan to "customize" it.
3) Customize means "finish the code"
4) It also means you pay high-ranking aka high-earning business types piles of money to give requirements to SAP when a junior coder could just do the obvious and have something that works
5) The requirements you give to SAP are exactly the same as what the sales pitch said it already did

I'm sure I could go on. This is not a funny comment, it is how SAP works. Mod me scary or obvious if you want, but not funny.

Re:I for one... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131179)

Getting to choose between serious incompetence and outright malice is always fun.

Forget the lost demo, I have to make that choice every time I interact with SAP.

Though frankly I think it's a combination of both -- the incompetence being when SAP actually does work.

Re:I for one... (1)

ViennaSt (1138481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131197)

Give them a break, they clearly "don't recall remembering" what happened to the file. Ah, gub'ment.

Hahahaha (3, Funny)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28130925)

Hahahaha

In response to Waste Management's complaint, SAP has said in part that the company failed to "timely and accurately define its business requirements" and did not supply "sufficient, knowledgeable, decision-empowered users and managers"

Not "decision-empowered".. good way of saying brainless lusers. I like it!

Re:Hahahaha (5, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28130989)

And truly, that is probably what it was. They were being sold something and couldn't filter out the buzzwords. They thought they were getting X and they got Y. When it came time to show the cards, someone competent looks it over and says "Uh, dude, you just had no idea what you agreed to buy". It happens WAY too much.

Oh, oh, SAP (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131003)

SAP... liquid cement... the firm that sold ERP to CEOs and turned thriving firms into basket cases by forcing wholesale moves to slow, cumbersome, slow-motion systems controlled by an elite of take-it-up-the-ass-and-weep consultants and partners? The firm that pioneered the creation of Euro 1,250 "consultants" who were newbies with sociology majors that had done three months of BAP and knew less about software than a E-scoring CompSci major. The firm that pushed for software patents in Europe because they swallowed the cool aid and were too pussy to compete against FOSS? And finally someone sued them? Where do I donate to the attack fund? God, I *hate* SAP. Bastards, long overdue against the wall. Utter, utter bastards.

Re:Oh, oh, SAP (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131095)

Hi Larry. How's the yacht?

SAP has no copy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131017)

Any sofware company that cannot find a copy of something they produced for a customer is INCOMPETENT!

Re:SAP has no copy? (3, Insightful)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131409)

Any sofware company that cannot find a copy of something they produced for a customer is INCOMPETENT!

This article talks about a Pre-Sale demo, which is usually where all of the problems occur. Most proof of concept demos done by sales consultants promise the world just to get the client to buy, then scope is reduced significantly. While the majority of sales consultants have some technical background, proof-of-concepts rarely take business flow into account, and generally show what the product can do out of the box.

This is why a lot of technical guys refer to the sales side as "the dark side" - in reference to how often the tech folks get thrown under the bus when the customer goes "Well your sales guy promised xyz to us, and you're only giving us x!"

There's no excuse for that.

Re:SAP has no copy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131761)

Actually that's why there is a contract and scopes of work. If your companies purchasing dept and contract lawyers are too dense to come up with this simple c.y.a. requirement they need to be canned.

Time for a car analogy. If I go to a Car lot and the salesmen shows me the top of the line model mustang with a Nitrous system and we get into th office and find I can only afford the 4 cylender version and I sign on the dotted line with the VIN of the 4 cylendar version I can't sue the salesmen because he showed me the Nitrous 'stang. It's my fault for not ponying up or making sure I was getting what I was signing for.

Re:SAP has no copy? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131877)

This is actually a semi-optimistic occurrence. I think you're failing to mention the times when a PoC is shown which only mocks up the major functionality desired by the customer. It's not until they sign on the dotted line that Sales notifies Engineering that they need to produce what was promised.

"What's the big problem, you've got mock ups of how everything's supposed to look when you're done?!?"

Waste Management? uh, oh. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131023)

Waste Management is headquartered about an hour from SAP America's headquarters in PA.

They also are also the subject of various mob-related rumors (as are all trash disposal companies), and have had a dubious string of CEO's come and leave under weird accusations of accounting fraud.

I wouldn't want to walk to my car late at night at SAP. That's all I'm sayin'.

Re:Waste Management? uh, oh. (4, Funny)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131905)

How the hell did trash disposal get so mobbed up? Did the first conversation go something like this:

Mob Boss: Ya know, it's great being in the booze, gambling, and beating the crap out of people business, but you know what I've always wanted to get a piece of...?
Mob Lackey: What's dat, boss?
Mob Boss: ...garbage collection. There's nuthin' more glamorous than telling people you work in garbage.
Mob Lackey (fearful for his life): Uh... yeah, yeah, great idea boss!

Re:Waste Management? uh, oh. (1)

Tmack (593755) | more than 5 years ago | (#28132487)

What better way to make unfortunate evidence disappear?

Re:Waste Management? uh, oh. (4, Insightful)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#28132751)

Aside from the obvious of trusted removal of things like stained rugs and strangely heavy "empty" barrels... There is also an incredible intelligence gathering piece. You know...the same reason that the authorities like digging through your trash for evidence and criminals like digging through your trash for useful information.

two rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131029)

#1 - if the evidence supports your side of the case, make sure you're the one who holds on to the evidence

#2 - if the evidence doesn't support your side of the case, make sure you're the one who holds on to the evidence

Re:two rules (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131119)

#3 - if you can't produce it in court, it doesn't exist.

HMMMM . . . (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131049)

Do you suppose Waste Management is going to try and "trash" SAP?

Re:HMMMM . . . (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131785)

SAP said they were selling trash, but in reality they were selling CRAP, which as you know is a whole other department.

My legal opinion (1, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131059)

Waste Management are a good old American business. Whereas SAP are a German (nazi+evil) corporation (super evil), who are European (communist).

We find in favor of the plaintiff!

Re:My legal opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131823)

Ah, yes, can't trust those nazi communists. :)

Isn't Waste Management known as sleezy (1)

docbrody (1159409) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131065)

Isn't Waste Management know to be a sleazy company? Old Mafia ties, etc.

Re:Isn't Waste Management known as sleezy (2, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131097)

You gotta problem wid dat?

Re:Isn't Waste Management known as sleezy (1)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131163)

They are both known to be Sleazy and Dirty. Dirty in different ways.

Re:Isn't Waste Management known as sleezy (5, Informative)

LaRoach (968977) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131211)

Waste Management was caught cooking the books ala Enron, Worldcom, etc: http://www.sec.gov/news/headlines/wastemgmt6.htm [sec.gov]

Re:Isn't Waste Management known as sleezy (3, Insightful)

Epi-man (59145) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131337)

Interesting, the link is for events from 1992-97, against former top officers, and is itself from 2002. Do you think the same people are still in charge? The corporation itself isn't necessarily sleezy, those who were running it were sleezy. It is entirely possible the "culture of corruption" still exists at the company, but I don't think this link really provides much evidence of that.

Re:Isn't Waste Management known as sleezy (2, Informative)

LaRoach (968977) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131441)

Hence the word "was" in the post...

Re:Isn't Waste Management known as sleezy (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131983)

See my sig.

Re:Isn't Waste Management known as sleezy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28132575)

In other news, America used to be a country where slavery was okay!

How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131135)

How can you "go" missing? Missing is something you are or are not, not a place or activity. How, unless you are a bad marksman, or are on the prowl for young ladies, can you "go" missing?

Re:How? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131391)

What if it's 2 AM, the seat's down, and you didn't turn on the light? That could cause one to go missing.

Re:How? (1)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131799)

How can you "go" missing? Missing is something you are or are not, not a place or activity. How, unless you are a bad marksman, or are on the prowl for young ladies, can you "go" missing?

Go crazy, then take a left at the second stop sign. Missing's right on the left. You can't miss it.

Courtney (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131159)

SAP. SAP get my presale product demonstration software package.

I am SAP.

Get me my presale product demonstration software package.

No. Wha ha ha!

Grr. I'll just get my own presale product demonstration software package through the pre-trial discovery process.

But the presale product demonstration software package was MISSING.

*BLAM!*

Failure to understand technology (2, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131191)

In fact, Waste Management should have the demo in its possession, as it was transferred to the trash hauler's system in late 2005 and early 2006, according to SAP, which demanded in a May 14 filing that Waste Management turn it over. So, copying the software to a customer's computer automatically erases it from developer's computer? And now they want it back, 'cause that will automatically erase it from the customers computer? This dispute makes both sides look like morons, but looking like an idiot is going to have more more impact on SAP's business than on Waste Management's bottom line. No one expects a garbage man to be an IT expert. But if a software developer can't keep a copy of everything they give to a customer, how the hell can they be expected to maintain the software they distribute?

Re:Failure to understand technology (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131617)

Keeping the POC (Proof Of Concept, AKA demo),which isn't software... it's more like a database tables and data transforms and such very specifically made for Waste Management and useless to almost anyone else, for over 3 years after you haven't heard anything from the client? Do you have any idea how much data that is, and how often people do POC's that go nowhere? Hell, even if it DOES go somewhere, the initial demo is either just a base point or completely thrown out and redone once the actual infrastructure of the company's data systems is encountered. It's entirely possible for them to have lost it, or just cleaned it out. Developing an SAP app demo isn't quite like coding a new text editor.

No, it really matters more to Waste Management (4, Interesting)

bfwebster (90513) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131193)

I'm not a lawyer, but..

Most software licensing agreements contain limitations of liability and monetary damages, usually limited to the amount paid by the customer. However, if the customer can demonstrate fraud, the customer has a chance to 'break' those limitation and go after additional damages (lost profits, cost of replacement, etc.). So if the demo exists and if it shows capabilities not found in the actual SAP implementation, WM might be able to use it to prove fraud -- assuming that the judge doesn't simply rule the demo as being "sales puffery" (i.e., salespersons are allowed a certain legal leeway in extolling the virtues of the product they're trying to sell).

Should be interesting. ..bruce..

Re:No, it really matters more to Waste Management (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131399)

Can ana ctual lawyer weigh in on the legal application of "Sales puffery"?

Re:No, it really matters more to Waste Management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131655)

I could, but then I'd have to kill you. Intimate knowledge of the application of "sales puffery" is not to be bandied about lightly...

Re:No, it really matters more to Waste Management (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131885)

IANAL, but Groklaw [groklaw.net] contains all sorts of useful links to on-line legal references, which is how I found this [law.com] . HTH. HAND.

Re:No, it really matters more to Waste Management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28132011)

Five years of law school ought to be enough to comment on this. Basically, mere puffery is the giving of statements which are unqualified and should be seen as being basically, sales talk. eg "This washing powder will give you the whitest whites." or "This yacht will cut through the water like a knife through butter." If you make statements which are qualified, or which have testable claims such as "This washing powder will remove 99.9% of the germs in your clothes." or "This yacht will attain a maximum speed of 40 knots under 20 knot winds."

In the case of SAP, there are numerous things that could be said which are going to be puffery. For example, if they said "Our software will give you the best possible ERP for this price.", are you really expecting them to scour the world for competing products for you? Probably not.

Re:No, it really matters more to Waste Management (1)

ppanon (16583) | more than 5 years ago | (#28132753)

For example, if they said "Our software will give you the best possible ERP for this price.", are you really expecting them to scour the world for competing products for you? Probably not.

That statement also doesn't exclude the possibility of a free open source ERP giving all or more of the same functionality for free.

If you use SAP your staff needs time and practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131221)

with the Software. As an end user at a subsidary of a fortune 500 company we went through a multip phased process of SAP taking over paper and other cludged systems. There were definitely growing pains like if you missed a field to generate a report it could bring could be a while before you got your session back. Little did most of the users know that you could bring up multiple sessions with a file menu option before you got started. 2 months in we all wanted to can SAP one year later we were more efficient at what we did and how we did it. Things like approvals and purchase reqs never got lost like they did before. We could hold plant maintenance accountable for work orders put in.

We were lucky in that our Information systems and accounting people were sharp and knew how to disseminate information. If they were average Joe's our SAP would have failed miserably.

Summary (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131225)

WM trashed SAP's ERP.

How many things can SAP stand for? (1)

cavehobbit (652751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131257)

When I had the misfortune to get onto an SAP conversion project, after a while a few of us started thinking up things SAP stood for.

Sozialistische Arbeiter Programmierung
Shutup And Program
Stress And Pressure
Stocks And Profits
Stupid Ass Processing

I went back to mainframe after that. It's more open, less complicated, less prone to massive failures, easier to administer and code for.
After all, SAP is just a giant rip-off of CICS ported to a distributed environment.

Re:How many things can SAP stand for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131381)

Sanduhr Anzeige Programm Hourglass Display Program

Uh oh.. (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131263)

They are the zillionth company to find out that not only in Soviet Russia SAP ERP adapts YOU... and they are pissed about it. Don't tell me they actually expected software that would adapt to their own business model and integrate seamlessly with their operations?

Re:Uh oh.. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131383)

If that's what SAP claimed, then yes they should expect that. When that fails SAP should have the pants sued off them. Rinse, repeat until SAP stops lying.

SAP again? (2, Interesting)

someyob (1062238) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131307)

I would hazard the vast majority of us have first hand knowledge of an SAP based enterprise system project gone amok (as I have). Some interesting ideas here http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/sap-watch/what%E2%80%99s-the-real-trend-in-failed-sap-projects/ [techtarget.com] . I wouldn't necessarily blame the users all the time; in our case, it seems a combination of ill defined requirements, crazily feature rich software and consultants not unhappy when things drag out.

-1 Redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28131319)

over a failed ERP project

Is there any other kind?

Hello, I am S.A.P. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131351)

Today we will have a few demonstration of our new product.
Afterwords, there will be cake.

Now read it again after the cake reference.

interesting (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131355)

I find it interesting that the demo is apparently a separate program instead of what they were getting with some preloaded scripts or something. Our demos for our accounting system was someone running the program we were going to buy and mostly doing what we asked. We still missed that an important feature was missing :( Hey, the 1980 computer system did it, the 1990 computer system did it, but forgot to check the 2004 system :/ That was in addition finding out how many of the things it does do actually cost a lot extra to do :(

Enterprise Software (1)

thectrain (880905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131377)

The real problem is... All "Enterprise" software sucks because of what they say it does. They try to come off as a nearly complete solution to your problem. 5 years down the road when you actually complete it, you could have written a very similar/better product from scratch. But they give an excellent sales pitch to people who dont know better, and of course they buy it. This happens when non-technical people runtechnical parts of the business. Just like you wouldn't have a Software Engineer running HR you shouldn't have a MBA choosing the foundation for your system.

Re:Enterprise Software (3, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131639)

Yes, but technical people have consciences and morals, which means they wouldn't do very well in management.

Re:Enterprise Software (0, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131751)

Who do you think right that pile of crap known as SAP? technical people.

Proof tech people don't necessarily have a conscience or morals.

They sure are good salesepeople. (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131461)

I know of several failed SAP implementations, each spending millions. It is big and bloated and requires tons of consulting - a vendor's dream. Yet, they dominate the market.

WM Has It (1)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131561)

When SAP said that Waste Management has the evidence, they meant they throw it out in the trash so technically WM has it now.

Into the round file (4, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131591)

My guess at what happened: once SAP was done with the demo and left a copy with the customer, whoever was responsible for putting it together cleaned it up. It wasn't needed anymore, and document retention policies and the need to clean up file clutter both dictate it goes. On the WMI side, the techie who got the demo filed it away. It's not like a demo mock-up's going to help a developer. And again, between document retention policies and the general need to get rid of useless junk cluttering up the directories, it got deleted. And then months after that, the lawyers come around looking for it and it's not there.

This, BTW, is one of the reasons I don't like document retention policies that're designed to make sure things get deleted/destroyed. Sure they may get rid of evidence the other guy could use against you, but at the same time they get rid of evidence you could use to support your case if you end up in court. I normally consider all vendor communications to be "retain indefinitely", likewise all product documentation, specifications, etc.. At some point you will need to be able to look one of their salespeople in the eye and say "Yes, you did promise that and I've got the letter from you to prove it.".

Project management 101: (1)

Zapotek (1032314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131803)

http://lh4.ggpht.com/samuel.jack/SLvrV9QlOiI/AAAAAAAAAQQ/ajKR2-6Pmko/TreeSwingProjectManagement_thumb%5B3%5D.png?imgmax=800 [ggpht.com]
No seriously, this was the first thing my Project Management professor showed us...

Re:Project management 101: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28132525)

I don't know how old that strip is, but it or something very similar was pinned to the office wall in 1987 (Sheffield UK) pretty sure the roller coaster is a more recent addition, the version in the office was a photocopy

At least 22 years and some things never change.

it's me! I stole it! (1)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28131971)

it's a single line of C code printing Hello World!

Like a bad dream come true (2, Insightful)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 5 years ago | (#28132223)

These 2 companies deserve each other like few in the world do... SAP sales folks ARE the KINGS of VAPO-Ware. They will promise ANYTHING in the "next release" and then re-assign any person responsible for making any claims of any type, stating that they are unavailable at this time. WM is one of the lowest of the low and has been tied to corruption and the MOB in more states than I can count on 2 hands. I am just sitting back hoping they will do each other in :D

Half-Life 2? (1)

Samah (729132) | more than 5 years ago | (#28132471)

The trash hauler has said SAP used "rigged and manipulated" demonstrations during sales presentations.

Reminds me somewhat of the E3 demo of Half-Life 2, and Valve's claim of "these are not scripted sequences."

For people who don't remember, there's a point in the demo where the player walks into a room and shuts (and barricades) a door. The combine guy on the outside kicks the door open. I personally played that demo when it was leaked, and I stood outside of the "unscripted room" and watched the door magically explode inward with no-one there to kick it, as the combine just stood there and stared at me.

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