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Avantor sues IBM for millions over failed SAP rollout

12 Nov 2012
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Manufacturer Avantor Performance Materials has launched legal action against IBM, seeking tens of millions of dollars for a failed SAP software implementation.

Big Blue has said it is surprised by the US lawsuit, which alleges the firm deliberately misrepresented the capabilities of the SAP solution in order to win business from Avantor.

"We believe the allegations in the complaint are exaggerated and misguided and are surprised that Avantor chose to file suit," said an IBM representative in a statement.

"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."

The complaint includes claims for fraud and breach of contract.

Avantor said the failed SAP implementation has had a direct impact on its service levels. This has led to Avantor embarking on a company-wide initiative over the past seven months to try and recover from the project.

IBM had installed the SAP software platform in order to run its own Express Life Science Solution on top.

"IBM representatives assured us that its Express Life Sciences Solution, a pre-packaged software solution, was suitable to run Avantor's core business processes," said John Steitz, Avantor president and chief executive.

"In fact, the solution - and the service and support offered by IBM throughout the implementation - proved to be woefully misaligned with the unique needs of our company and our customers."

In 2010, IBM faced a multi-million fraud accusation when its partner Devon IT accused the firm of running a five-year Ponzi scheme.

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Rosalie Marshall

Rosalie Marshall is the special projects editor and chief reporter at V3. Previously she was a reporter for IT Week and channel editor for online television site Rosalie covers government IT, business applications, IT skills, open source technology and social networks.

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