Thursday, 29 January 2009

All your base are belong to us

I've spoken to a number of people about SAP installations - it seems that ours is par for the course, although in a couple of areas, we seem to be doing worse than average.

One of these seems to be because they really don't seem to think that we should be running our own hadware. Their head salesman tried to get us to sign to outsource the systems to their datacenter - not quite sure where it is as he was a bit vague, but I think that it is probably India. He quoted a price and then when the FD stopped laughing, he suggested that the company could get rid of me and the savings would cover the cost of that. In fact to cover the cost, they would have to get rid of half our IT team - and the company are not going to do that.

Since then, they have gone out of their way to avoid giving us information or provide adequate training - generally, we get given these enormous .pdf files with the high lever overview and damn all information on how to do anything. We've also had a couple of PowerPoint presentation files with some more info - but often they are incomplete.

We had a problem after the initial installation - they set-up the server, but failed to configure the SQL server properly. As a result, within a week the system ground to a halt and no-one could use it. Now it wasn't too serious at that stage as we were still not actually doing any work on the product, just watching endless presentations about how wonderful SAP is. However, I did keep on at them about getting the system up and running. In fact it was almost 2 months before the problem was resolved, and that was down to myself and one of my staff as we got hacked off waiting for them to do anything - fortunately, we have some experience with MS-SQL and were able to identify the problem and get it fixed.

A month or so later, their head honcho came to site and tried to blame the original problems on us - when it was pointed out that it was their staff that set it up, he tried to say that they left it fully operational, but that we had messed about with it causing the problem. We aked for them to prove this, but of course they couldn't - but that didn't stop them from trying to pin the responsibility on me and my guys.

In fact, that seems to be a regularly theme - if anything goes wrong they immediately try to say that it's our fault. When we downed the servers over a weekend to increase the memory, they tried to say that caused an issue with the configuration. One of their "basis" consultants had made changes to the development system, but hadn't copied these to the others - of course that was yet another excuse for them to insist we were at fault.

In fact, my guys and I are starting to get pretty good at fixing problems even though we haven't had all of the training that we were promised.

Ah well, tomorrow is another day.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like these guys are trying the lease to own package - rather than renting their skills!