Oracle, Montclair State University settle lawsuit over PeopleSoft software project

Expert: ERP project lawsuits are often the result of poor communication between customers and vendors

A nearly two-year-long, ugly legal battle between Oracle and Montclair State University over a troubled PeopleSoft ERP (enterprise resource planning) project has ended in a settlement both sides are calling amicable.

"Montclair State University and Oracle America, Inc. are pleased to announce that they have amicably resolved their dispute," the parties said in a statement released late Friday. "Both entities are now looking toward the future of their relationship." Terms of the settlement weren't disclosed.

The New Jersey school sued Oracle in May 2011, claiming that due to serious mistakes and delays on the part of Oracle, the project would cost up to US$20 million more than the original budget to complete. Among other things, Oracle staffed the project with unprepared staffers, missed deadlines and didn't adequately test the software, Montclair had alleged. Before it won the bid for the job, Oracle even used a "rigged" software demonstration that falsely made it seem like some functionality was part of Oracle's base system, according to Montclair. But Oracle countersued Montclair, claiming that the school's legal action was part of a "scorched earth" campaign meant to cover up its own shortcomings on the project. Oracle alleged that school officials were hard to work with, and that "MSU's project leadership, motivated by their own agenda and fearful of being blamed for delays, escalated manageable differences into major disputes," according to its countersuit. In September, Oracle managed to get some of Montclair's claims tossed from the case.

ERP projects are typically complex affairs that require software vendors, systems integration staffers and customers to each play important roles for the effort to be successful.

Cases like the Oracle-Montclair lawsuit have arisen with regularity over the years.

The disputes "usually arise from faults on both the customer and vendor sides, so settling just makes sense," said analyst Michael Krigsman, CEO of consulting firm Asuret. Faulty communication and mismatched expectations are usually to blame, Krigsman added.

But customers must take final responsibility for the success of their projects, according to Krigsman. If a customer "does not have sufficient experience to manage and absorb the business process changes created by an ERP project, then perhaps they should reconsider the software purchase," he said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesapplicationsenterprise resource planningCivil lawsuitslegalsoftwareOracle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?