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The price of failure

21st Feb 2008
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We've all heard the stories about costly CRM implementation failures – hell, I've written hundreds of them myself! But the price of problematic deployments is made splendidly clear in the ongoing battle between BskyB and EDS.

You'll recall perhaps that Sky is alleging in court that EDS misrepresented its abilities and resources when bidding in 1999 for a £48 million deal to build a CRM system. It is claiming £709 million for lost benefits after late delivery. EDS has rejected the claim, arguing it could not promise exact resources as Sky “did not know what it wanted” from the project.

It's all still pending any form of resolution, so other than saying that once this is all over there are some VERY interesting lessons to be learned from the whole mess, we'll have to pass over any further discussion of the ins and outs of the matter for now. What we can say is that lesson one to be learned is: if it all goes wrong, it's going to be mighty expensive.

BSkyB spent £12 million on its lawsuit against EDS in the second half of last year – and expects the bill to rise to £18 million by end-June, two million more than it had initially expected. In preparing for the case, which is currently in court, Sky spent a further £6m in 2006/7, meaning the total legal bill is currently pegged at £24 million.

For which the only word is....ouch!

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