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IBM Baffled As It Is Sued Over SAP Software Implementation

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe’s Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

IBM says Avantor claims are “misguided”

A manufacturer of performance materials and chemicals is suing IBM, alleging the tech giant botched an SAP software rollout.

But Big Blue has expressed dismay at the decision of Avantor Performance Materials to take it to court over the SAP software implementation.

Avantor, which filed the complaint on 8 November with the US District Court for the District of New Jersey, said it was seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages from IBM.

SAP software issues?

It claimed IBM breached a contract to upgrade Avantor’s systems to an SAP software platform, on which it would run its own Express Life Sciences Solution.

The materials firm said IBM had “fraudulently misrepresented the capabilities of its proprietary software solution and engaged in other misconduct leading to a failed implementation in Avantor’s US locations”.

President and CEO of Avantor, John Steitz, said the Express Life Sciences Solution, as well as the service and support from IBM, “proved to be woefully misaligned with the unique needs of our company and our customers”.

Avantor claimed it had been recovering from the alleged “failed SAP implementation” for the last seven months.

But IBM has labelled the claims of Avantor “exaggerated”. “We believe the allegations in the complaint are exaggerated and misguided and are surprised that Avantor chose to file suit,” an IBM spokesperson said.

“IBM met its contractual obligations and delivered a solution that Avantor continues to use in its operations. IBM will defend itself vigorously against these claims.”

Here in the UK, IBM is involved in a separate spat with a customer. In September, it emerged Southwest One, a joint venture partly owned by IBM, was to sue Somerset County Council, which had complained the group had not lived up to its cost-reduction promises. The two parties disagreed over how much Southwest One should have been paid.

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