Category Archives: IT Dispute

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6 Steps to Realign Vendor Performance, Quickly

Posted on by Allan Watton vendor performance

When complex strategic relationships between public bodies and private sector vendor organisations start to veer off track it can often seem too daunting a task to refocus on the original business outcomes expected and agreed. With productivity levels slipping, trust in question and your strategic partner’s aspirations evidently very different from those agreed at the outset, what should your next step be? We believe the answer to this lies in

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New Court Ruling: You Can Now Rely on Agreements to Agree – 3 Lessons

Posted on by Allan Watton agreement

When entering into a new strategic relationship for outsourcing or a major technology solution project, the agreement at some point in its formation will be subjected to time pressures from internal or external sources. It could be that the client is up against a time restriction where a budget must be spent by a particular date. Or it could be that a vendor is under pressure to meet its year-end

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Problematic Big IT Projects: Can your contract force ‘good faith’ from your vendor? New court rulings suggest it can

Posted on by Allan Watton Problematic Big IT Projects 216 x 160

If you are to believe the statistics published on problematic big IT projects – whether a commercial sector Enterprise Software implementation (ERP), a Local Authority Client Relationship System (CRM) or an NHS Trust dealing with a problematic Electronic Patient Records (EPR) implementation - one thing is common throughout: the likelihood of you achieving your business outcomes from these systems, in the time-scales and costs originally agreed, is less than 50%. In

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Posted in Contract Management, IT Contract, IT Dispute, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Procurement, Project Management, Project Recovery, Risk Management | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

6 Steps to Take if Your IT Goes Wrong – Lessons Learned from the Post Office

Posted on by Richard Kerr Post Box

The Post Office recently hit the headlines again after admitting that IT training and support failings may have resulted in some users of its Horizon system being wrongly accused of false accounting. After undergoing a forensic accounting investigation, it now seems doubtful that human error on the part of the system’s users can account for all of the discrepancies mentioned. The story serves to highlight the fact that the majority

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How Vendors Can Use the Entire Agreement Clause to Stop You Cutting Costs – and what to do about it

Posted on by Richard Kerr

Most organisations, whether in the public or private sector, are under extreme pressure to cut service costs – and quickly. But they also remain under pressure to keep service levels as high as they possibly can. And minimise complaints from their customers and citizens. There are many parts to successful strategic provider relationships and the written contract terms that govern them that can impact upon whether you can achieve these

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Large Scale Innovative Project Failures: Are the Consultants to Blame?

Posted on by Allan Watton MI5 Headquarters

Outsourcing has once again been in the public eye due to two recent high profile project failures. Last month, MI5 abandoned its reported £90m digital records management system over concerns that implementation of the system would lead to an “intelligence vacuum.” Just a few days later, the BBC finally scrapped its Digital Media Initiative (DMI) at a final estimated cost to the licence payers of nearly £100m. Although the DMI

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The Failure of Southwest One: What Can We Learn?

Posted on by Allan Watton SouthWest One

In 2007, Somerset County Council struck a deal to outsource various services to a joint venture company. That company — Southwest One (SW1) — was intended to serve as a trailblazer that demonstrated how public and private organisations could work together to benefit the communities of the South West and further afield. However, at the end of March the death knell of the relationship was marked by news that Somerset

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Posted in Contract Management, IT Contract, IT Dispute, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Project Recovery, Public Sector, Risk Management | Tagged , | Comments Off

How to Renegotiate a Contract with Your Strategic Partner (in 5 Steps)

Posted on by Allan Watton ABP Logo

You no doubt are aware of the recent horse meat scandal in which it was discovered that beef burgers sold in supermarkets across the UK and Ireland were in fact less beefy than one would hope. Well believe it or not, there is actually an outsourcing angle to consider amongst the public and media furore. It was recently reported in Supply Management that Tesco has terminated its contract with Silvercrest

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Strategic Vendor Responsibilities: Your Vendor is An Expert

Posted on by Allan Watton Handshake

You may have experienced the sinking feeling that a strategic partnership is not going the way you had hoped (and indeed planned for). In fact, you may well be experiencing that feeling at present. That being the case, it is of vital importance that you equip yourself with a solid understanding of both your rights and your strategic partner’s obligations (contractual, statutory and implied). Our first step at BPG is always

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Key Steps to Bringing a Failed Provider Relationship to a Satisfactory End

Posted on by Richard Kerr Dead end sign

In last week’s post on using an expert to fix a failing provider relationship we touched upon the fact that repairing a relationship is almost always better than terminating one. Termination is a rocky road to travel down. The potential liabilities are huge, reputations on both sides are at stake, and unless there is a truly glaring instance of contractual wrongdoing, neither party is likely to back down. In short,

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How to Use an Expert to Fix a Failing Provider Relationship

Posted on by Richard Kerr Superglue and a broken ornament

It’s a common situation. An organisation is very disappointed with what they perceive to be unsatisfactory service delivery from a strategic provider and they want out of the contract. They appreciate that exiting a service provider, complex IT or strategic commissioning contract can open up a proverbial hornet’s nest, so they bring in an expert to assist in facilitating a relatively smooth process. If at that stage Best Practice Group

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Managed Service Provider Up For Sale? 3 Risks to Consider and 3 Steps to Take

Posted on by Allan Watton Northgate Managed Services

The news last Thursday that Northgate Managed Services has put itself up for sale comes as little surprise to those of us with extensive experience in the managed services sector. The company has been struggling to provide any significant return for its group and in turn, its investors. Despite a turnover in excess of £128m in the last financial year, Northgate MS made an operating profit of just £200,000 — and that

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Posted in Contract Management, IT Contract, IT Dispute, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Procurement, Project Recovery, Public Sector, Risk Management | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Outsourcing Provider Going Bust? 10 Steps to Protecting Your Interests

Posted on by Allan Watton Outsourcing Provider Going Bust? 10 Steps to Protecting Your Interests

Mainstream media hasn’t been shy in publicising the shortcomings of outsourcing and commissioning providers in recent times. Whether it has been the G4S debacle, or the more recent news that outsourcing specialist Mouchel has been taken over by its bankers, the failure and demise of outsourcing providers is very much in the public eye. The fact is this — there are a number of outsourcing and commissioned providers going bust

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Service Recovery: The 9 Key Steps to Preparing for a Meeting with Your Vendor

Posted on by Allan Watton Service Recovery: The 9 Key Steps to Preparing for a Meeting with Your Vendor

Despite good intentions on both sides of the fence, a service provider partnership can falter. There are many reasons as to why this can happen (such as the contract clauses discussed last week), but the key point at such a stage is to consider how to resolve the issue. Whilst looking back on what has gone wrong can be a useful exercise, looking forwards to a positive resolution will give you

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10 Things You Should Know About IT and Service Provider Relationships

Posted on by Peter Carter 10 Things You Should Know About IT and Service Provider Relationships

Although I only joined Best Practice Group recently, I have already been well-exposed to the grim reality of faltering and failing supplier/vendor relationships. As a Sales Director and Managing Director of IT vendors during my career, I used to think that I knew a great deal about the topic. But in spite of that, I have learnt an enormous amount in my relatively short tenure here. The simple fact is

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Vendor Responsibilities in ICT / Outsourcing Projects

Posted on by Peter Carter B

Companies have produced surveys, some more scientific than others that lead us to the sure knowledge that Outsourcing projects and complex ICT procurements have a more than even chance of running either over budget, or beyond their expected delivery date, or both.  Even without this hard evidence we only have to look at our own experiences to know this is true. Many surveys put the number of projects this happens

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ICT Dispute Resolution: the sound of success

Posted on by Peter Carter ICT Dispute Resolution

The back office ICT system was bought a few years ago. It was hailed as a fantastic piece of procurement by the team that was chosen to select a vendor and a package, the benefits that your company were to realise would transform the efficiency, profitability and performance of the organisation and the working lives of all staff would be transformed, ensuring retention of quality people and  motivation rising. The fanfare

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Unreasonable warranty time periods in ICT or outsourcing contracts

Posted on by Allan Watton Unreasonable time periods contracts

A recent court case highlights that warranties for work performed in ICT or outsourcing contracts must be reasonable in terms of the time they apply. In the J Murphy & Sons Limited v Johnson Precast Limited case, Clause 14(i) was a warranty of good workmanship, materials and compliance with standards. Clause 14(ii) was different and was described by the judge as being ‘draconian in its effect’. It read as follows:

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Your Service Provider’s Duty to Warn

Posted on by Allan Watton duty to warn

Have you ever been hit by unforeseen cost increases to your contracts? Did you feel your service provider really should have known about these costs and warned you about them in advance? Have you gone on to pay these costs? A recent court case judgment has re-enforced the ‘duty to warn’ that professional service providers (such as strategic/outsourcing/technology partners) have to their clients. The case, J Murphy & Sons Limited

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Posted in Contract Management, IT Contract, IT Dispute, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Project Recovery | Tagged | 6 Comments

Can you contractually rely on the professional advice from your service provider?

Posted on by Allan Watton Contract Management

A judgment from a recent court case suggests you can now contractually rely on the advice from your service provider – even if the contract terms try to exclude it. Standard contracts provided by the vendor will often try to exclude its responsibilities as a specialist. You might be familiar with the following examples: ‘The seller hereby excludes any warranty that this service is fit for its intended purpose’ ‘The seller

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