The simple answer is avoid lawsuits at all costs, but sue if the damage warrants such dramatic steps and there is no other recourse..
ERP implementations can be large and expensive, easily running into millions of dollars or more. Unfortunately, the complexity of these implementations sometimes makes failure a real possibility. Given the financial and organizational impacts of failure, it's no surprise that ERP lawsuits happen.
Before filing a lawsuit, keep a few things in mind:
-- Most ERP failures involve customer problems in addition to issues with the ERP vendor or services provider. See my many posts about the IT Devil's Triangle for more information: http://bit.ly/kDUMvf
. Given this, it is essential to examine your own role and see whether you can do anything to change your part of the negative equation.
-- If you do sue, be prepared to justify your own organization's role in the failure. Smart opposition attorney's will try to put you in the hot seat.
-- Lawsuits don't fix the failure; they can only help compensate you for damage. Therefore, do everything you can to resolve problems with vendors and only use lawsuits as an absolute last resort.
-- Be sure to distinguish between problems caused by the vendor and those caused by the system integrator or consultant.
-- Use the court of public opinion to sway sentiment in your direction. ERP failures are big news, but be prepared for the vendor to strike back. The days of ERP vendors quietly sitting back and accepting blame are coming to a close, as a New Jersey college recently learned after filing a lawsuit against Oracle.