Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-02-22

  • Fixing a fiscal fiasco: County software system still not working right
    Today, following a debacle involving a top-shelf SAP system installed by Deloitte Consulting that has cost $18.6 million – or $2.8 million more than expected, while requiring work from a $600,000-a-year team of consultants – Smith wishes the county had taken more time on the decision. … The SAP software package of 15 programs or “modules” cost about $1 million. Deloitte Consulting got an initial $9 million for customization, configuration and installation work, then $2.4 million more in overruns when the county couldn’t cope with what it bought. Other consultants cost at least $800,000. Salaries and benefits for employees dedicated to the project cost $4 million. Equipment and supplies cost $900,000. About $300,000 was spent on training. Although officials signed off on work by SAP and Deloitte as completed satisfactorily, Deloitte’s performance remains at issue. … Hymel agreed: “We’re in much better shape than we were a year ago.”
  • Microsoft overpaid severance
    Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos confirmed the authenticity of the letter Saturday evening but would not comment further, stating that it was a “private matter between the company and the affected people.” He would not say how many people were affected but said, “There was certainly more than one.” Gellos also said that an unspecified number of other laid-off employees received smaller severance packages than they were owed. He said Microsoft was “taking care of underpayments.” Microsoft paid the 1,400 employees it laid off Jan. 22 a minimum of 60 days of salary, plus what it described as a “generous” severance package that varied depending how long employees had worked at the company.
  • Oops: Microsoft Asks Some Laid Off Workers To Send Back Part Of Their Severance
    While the payroll error must be irritating in and of itself to these laid off workers (severance is a sensitive subject), it appears that Microsoft HR isn’t even bothering to explain how it happened (employees are instructed to call the office, which is closed for the weekend, if they want to know the details). Given that it was Microsoft HR that screwed this up in the first place, you’d think they’d at least include the calculations they made and point out where the error took place.
  • Microsoft aims to ‘Elevate America’
    Microsoft is announcing on Sunday a job training effort aimed at giving technical skills to as many as 2 million Americans over the next three years. The most significant part of the program, in which Microsoft is offering free certification and other technical training, is being done in a phased approach, starting with Washington state. The second component of “Elevate America,” available online immediately, is a Web site designed to help people with the basics such as creating a resume and send e-mail.
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