Billion dollar Oracle ERP project shot down by US Air Force

By Graeme Burton
16 Nov 2012 View Comments

The United States Air Force (USAF) has scrapped a troubled Oracle enterprise resource planning (ERP) software implementation after spending $1bn (£630m) over the past seven years – and concluding that it would still cost too much to finish.

The project, called Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS), had not "yielded any significant military capability", the USAF admitted. It added that it would take a further expenditure of $1.1bn (£692m) to provide just one-quarter of the originally anticipated functionality, and would not be ready until 2020 at the earliest.

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It will instead modify existing systems to meet a 2017 deadline for compliance with new central government standards. The organisation's decision follows three project restructurings since 2009. The 2017 compliance standards include the ability to audit the USAF's books via its computer systems

Oracle won the deal to supply and implement its ERP software in 2005 in a $88.5m (£56m) deal after beating off competition from German rival SAP. The plan was that the centralised system would replace some 200 siloed legacy systems. CSC, which has also been involved in the disastrous IT modernisation project in the UK's National Health Service, was the systems integrator until it was dumped in March

However, CSC has defended its role, claiming that it had completed its work on the ECSS project.

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