While the Texas-IBM IT outsourcing saga has been slow-marching towards what seems an eventual court fight since 2008, another high-profile on-going IT project contract dispute has been playing out in the UK courts over that same period.
According to ComputerWeekly, the UK Court of Appeal has rejected an appeal by Accenture to dismiss the claims of British Gas against it in relation to the ill-fated Project Jupiter customer-billing system.
British Gas claims the billing project "was the cause of the appalling customer service that lost British Gas hundreds of thousands of customers," a High Court writ from Centrica [the parent company of British Gas] says.
In addition, British Gas claims that it had to employ 2,500 extra staff to help resolve the billing problems Accenture created.
British Gas believes that it is now on very firm legal ground in its case against Accenture. Accenture, of course believes otherwise.
The trial is scheduled to begin on 3 October 2011.
I am still betting on a confidential, out-of-court settlement.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.