The Fine Print of Enterprise Software
Updated · Mar 11, 2011
Author Kenneth J. Richard, in his article on Information Week, says customers can avoid big deployments gone awry, if they just pay attention to the contracts they sign. Disclaimers, warranty and remedies limitations, venue provisions, and integration clauses operate to the advantage of the vendor, not to the licensee. Richard says customers will try to superimpose their business onto the software during the sales process, rather than vet the software in such a way that will allow them to understand how the software actually works.
“No question, SAP, Oracle, Epicor, Sage, and scores of other enterprise software vendors have produced innovative products to improve almost any business process: manufacturing, supply chains, sales force management, financial accounting, hospitality, human resources–you name it. However, having litigated hundreds of failed enterprise software engagements for many vendors and some customers over the past 15 years, I have witnessed a common theme that reveals itself faster than a pop-up ad on a gossip-news site: Customers don’t pay enough attention to the contracts they’re signing, and in many cases they ignore the very language that defines the scope of the software offering or implementation.”