Lawyer Bait

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Everything is Bigger in Texas...

Including outsourcing deals... IBM and the State of Texas are trying to re-negotiate their contract in the press instead of with each other. This is like divorcing in public folks - you think it's ugly now? Just wait.

There is $863M on the line and so some big rocks are being thrown between the two. The finger pointing is expected, the lack of leadership is not. Why someone on either side isn't saying (like a parent) 'I don't care who did what to who, figure it out and don't come out of your rooms until you figure it out!'.

here are my thoughts on the matter as an outsider who has been involved in pitching and delivering large deals:

1. Both sides need to get two people - preferably 'Juice Guys' (people who have authority to make and keep agreements) at the table and look forward as to where the State wants to go and what they need to do. I suspect a lot has changed given the fact that there have been so many issues and things the State thought it wanted may not be on the list anymore.

2. IBM needs to automate as much as humanly possible with the project. They are a HUGE company with a lot of PEOPLE. Folks, people, humans - that is the problem. The fewer people they use on the project, the higher the degree of success will be. Technology is used to execute business process. If the team focuses on the process that needs to be in place when all is said and done, they will be infinitely more successful. Software is then deployed to support the right process. It's a tool, not the solution.

3. If there are additional questions, call me. Not the people who got you into this mess in the first place Texas. I love this comment:

While citing its disagreement with DIR”s management and characterization of the contract, McLean said that ”should DIR decide to move forward with re-procurement of all or a portion of the services, IBM remains willing to assist DIR in that process.”

Why wouldn't the fox be ready to go back, invited, into the hen house?

IBM, you f'ed up. Own it, fix it (or not) and make the customer happy. You positioned yourself as the expert, and the State has said you fell short.

Texas - sit down with the stakeholders again and plot a new plan for someone new to execute. Remember to eat the elephant in bites, as migration and consolidation is a process, not a scheduled event.

Any questions? Call me or send me an email - and I will do what I can to help. Even if it's only keeping the fox out of the hen house...

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