MASC. management tried lots of information systems (hardware and software both) and finally in a long tenure of 20 years ended up with the situation of Chaos and Frustration. Final result Is no good Information system fulfilling organization’s acquirement. Background: De Wilson Vice President of Public Affairs was the first person who introduced some workstations and software to MASC. staff. Initially MASC. had business consultant Jon Philips and with the help of a programmer wrote custom programs for each functional area.
As the time passed later in 2005, Leister realized that their current information system is not Integrated at all, later on after attending national association meeting he decided to Introduce UNITARY system to MASC., There were mixed feelings whether to bring in this system or not, on one hand Wilson supported t and on the other side Kopecks was not 100% convinced to bring in UNITARY because he has his point of view to not provide so much data access to staff.
Finally Leister convinced MASC. board of members and purchased UNITARY with IBM server, but Implementation took more than anticipated time and lots of extra dollars. UNITARY went live in Gag 2006, but there were serious data migration problem and systems were Inoperable for a while due to which staff was very much concerned and had to perform lots of stuff manually. UNITARY was bit stable by end of year. In Feb. 2008 another problem came into existence, due to UNITARY financial problems they lied bankruptcy and this resulted dismissal of their support staff from MASC..
In Seep 2008 Kopecks also resigned from the company as he was not feeling his career secure in MASC.. Cot 2008, MASC. hired Dick Germen as replacement of Kopecks, who has more experience In Hewlett-Packard environment; this is also one more the reason for MASC. Information system failure because he was not able to evaluate current system as it was running on IBM platform. Having experience in HP environment, he was more inclined towards HP and struggling a lot to understand/learn MASC. environment where he has to put more efforts to understand basic things about underlying infrastructure.
Germen consulted one of his old friends, who was local HP value added reseller (VARY) and he also convinced Germen that HP Is the best hardware system that will definitely support UNITARY better. So to avoid his learning curve with old hardware system, he started convincing MASC. management about intense capabilities of HP hardware system which finally led to introduce software vendor DAM (Data Management Associates) because as per HP value added reseller, DAM software is supported well on HP Platform. The DAM selection process went through lots of meetings within MASC. and between MASC. and DAM.
After a while DAM convinced MASC. that they can make Information system based on their DAM demonstrated sample reports matching reports being used in MASC. to give them a comfortable feel about the outcome of DAM software. Finally after having lots of conversations, MASC. board given a green signal to load DAM software into HP based infrastructure. In late Seep 2009, DAM sent contract to be reviewed and signed by MASC.. MASC. signed the contract without giving it a thorough look and didn’t even consul their attorney to have a closer look at it.
In Novo 2009 project with DAM kicked off and as per plan they scheduled to go live in July 2010. DAM first started with implementing telemarketing module which didn’t impressed MASC. staff and Leister demanded rewrite of the almost complete module. MASC. end up paying lots of extra money to DAM and due to delay in the implementation date MASC. staff was not able to perform their routine task in time, which led to work extra hours and working on weekends etc, finally frustration among the employees.
MASC. was nowhere because of this implementation, they were not able to use UNITARY because of data migration, also weren’t able to use DAM completely because of multiple issues in DAM software and its integration within MASC. environment. Relationship between MASC. and DAM were in worst situation where MASC. warned DAM, if things don’t get right shortly, they will drag DAM to court (there were lots of heated discussions like this). MASC. attorney reviewed the contract, but contract was in favor of DAM only, there is nothing much they can do legally.
Later MASC. talked to other clients of DAM and it was revealed that there is very high level of dissatisfaction for Dam’s products and services for them also. December 2010, De Wilson retired and Sage Nile introduced in MASC. as Vice President of Operations and Chief Financial Officer. Now MASC. wanted her to assess their existing Information System and designated her as main point of contact between MASC. and DAM. Now Sage starting to look for software that could run on HP hardware, but she also realized at the same point that other alternatives would not be acceptable to executive committee at this point of time.
Analysis: After going through complete case study of MASC., following items seems like the key issues for its Information systems failure and instability: 1) Lack of IT expertise within the organization: The decision makers like Leister, Wilson and members of executive staff, who had authority to choose software package to be used in MASC., were not specialized in any of the Information Science/ Computer Science/Consulting background. ) While evaluating a new software for MASC., they should have looked at the reputation of company like companies finances, market capitalization etc: Whenever decision has to be made among various software vendors there are several points to be taken into consideration like: Companies Finances (includes cash flow, market capitalization and other financial matters too, MASC. could have consulted a financial advisor in the many or any independent consultant outside the company) Employee Retention working for them would stay at least till the tenure of project.
Consulting company’s expertise in the business of the customer they are going to develop software. MASC. should have evaluated consulting company’s relationship with existing clients. 3) Should have paid good attention while reviewing the contract: Due diligence was not given while reviewing the contract, no one from the senior management reviewed the contract thoroughly and didn’t even thought it worthwhile to have a look by their attorney. Contract is a legal document which should have given thorough look before signing it and accepting the terms. ) MASC. should have consulted a company who had expertise in writing a software for Chambers Of Commerce Industry 5) MASC. didn’t had detailed plan for execution If we look at entire tenure of MASC. Information system from 1989 till 2010, they never laid out any roadman for their Information system. They keep on trying different software vendors without having a plan in place. 6) Put more emphasis on cheap software MASC. was always concerned about their budget and relying on cheap software endorses where they end up paying lots of extra money and unstable Information system at last.
Well, it’s a known fact that in any business we have a budget and deadlines to complete a project, but one should also give a fair look to the company reputation that’s writing software for them. Conclusion: Conclusion drawn after reading the MASC. case study is as follows: 1) Always have an IT roadman for your company, which should clearly demonstrate what will be your business need for at least coming 3 years, which will envision you to Jot down IT requirements clearly meeting your business needs. 2) Once you have IT Roadman in lace, go for the best vendor who has expertise in that business area.
Do lots of research for selecting the vendor like its overall reputation, finances and value among existing clients. Sometimes best software vendors are very expensive, but it’s seen in past experiences that overall cost doesn’t have much variation when it comes to implementation. Once you have best people on board, they will definitely add value to your organization with their expertise in the industry they are serving. 3) Once you selected the vendor, read the contract agreement in detail and consult an attorney who has good knowledge about agreements related to IT.
These days’ big companies take these contract agreements very seriously and devote enormous time to completely understand that. Some of the fortune 500 companies put a penalty clause in the agreement where they fine software vendors, if they are not able to deliver certain amount of work by said date with specs as mentioned in the requirements and design documents. Also contract should say something about production support after the software goes live, now a day good consulting companies are giving 2-4 weeks of free production support for bugs and defects in the software system after go live.