Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Someone has to be accountable for this

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    So who does like SAP, then?

    Near as I can tell SAP is really good if you are doing things like building 777s,

    Ok we need 3 planes on December 5th 2014 so we will need to by 480 Y connectors (17 mm) on 12th April 2012 etc etc

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    No, because a fat bloke in wellies

    I thought you were going on about a politician, but I'm not supposed to think like that.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Sine of the Times?

    No, because a fat bloke in wellies (NZ’s concept of a plant controller) is immune to worms and viruses of that kind.

    - WELLYWORM?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    The figure initially estimated by people who ought to know was around $80m for a fully greenfield deployment of SAP that would've replaced all the legacy deployments in the old councils.

    so building from scratch wasn't necessarily overly expensive. Have there been justifications - I mean any genuine even if not ultimately convincing - for why it's going to cost so much more?

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Personally, I think it's a pile of crap - only fit for running German car factories

    Near as I can tell SAP is really good if you are doing things like building 777s

    This squares with my brief brush with SAP, when one of our customers (a large US paper/packaging corp.) wanted us to integrate with their new SAP Demand Planning system. AFAIK the project fell through because SAP was completely unable to adapt from the "many components in -> few products out" model of machinery manufacture to the "few raw materials in -> many products out" model of paper and packaging. I hate to think how they deal with running a government department.

    Not that I'm complaining, my present job security hinges on my company doing things that SAP couldn't do - I'm guessing this is a growth industry.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to James Butler,

    AFAIK the project fell through because SAP was completely unable to adapt from the “many components in -> few products out” model of machinery manufacture to the “few raw materials in -> many products out” model of paper and packaging.

    I've used SAP in two different companies now. In the first, it was brilliant, useful and straightforward, in the second it was a massive pain in the butt that felt like it was ten years behind the times. Scrolling through materials and supplier categories alone was nightmarish because virtually every entry was outdated and everybody was using one of the 7 miscellaneous entries (which one you used was apparently related to the zodiac house Jupiter was passing through at the time.)

    It's very much down to how well it's set up, and how well it's supported once it's set up, but neither of these things should cost that much.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Neil Morrison,

    I'm a programmer, but I don't have any feel at all for what one could achieve with that much money. It represents about 8 million of my hours, which would come to me beavering away at the code for 4,000 years. Considering the number of open source libraries available these days, I can't even imagine what could be achieved. Sad to think that much effort has been expended just counting beans in this little city.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Wilson,

    Property revaluations this year. Rates increases for lots of properties outside the old Auckland City area will make peoples noses bleed. Revaluation objections will close prior to new rate levels being announced. What a coincidence.

    New Zealand • Since May 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    It may be as simple as this...
    SAP "I'm afraid Auckland Council does not appear to have a licence to use this software, Dave"
    "But we amalgamated the separate councils, including their assets. We have a right. We did it with NZ transport Authority"
    "I'm afraid you are not allowed to do that, Dave...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    ...maybe even a Deloitte Award.

    I can't find Deloitte Entertainment category...
    {: - )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Sad to think that much effort has been expended just counting beans in this little city.

    A whole hill of beans

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I can't find Deloitte Entertainment category...{: - )

    Funny that...
    Does an expensively produced rendition of "We're in the money" count as entertainment?

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    In 2011, the Auckland Supercity became self-aware. Our fate was decided in a microsecond.....

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Withers,

    Much worse in my view was the way First Past the Post and the ward system resulted in 62.5% of all votes cast for the Council electing no one at all.

    The brief select committee report (68KB PDF) into the 2010 local elections has recommendations for future ones (h/t DPF). Naturally, the choice of voting system was not within its terms of reference..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to BenWilson,

    O dear- let me guess?
    The Volcanoes Rule OK-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Terry Baucher, in reply to BenWilson,

    LOL!

    Devonport • Since Nov 2008 • 91 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    ....and averted by a microswitch
    shorting in a pay-toilet unit
    near Aotea Square –
    taking out the network !
    Waddya think of
    those apples, HAL?.
    ....
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    In 2011, the Auckland Supercity became self-aware. Our fate was decided in a microsecond…..

    Hang on. I’m getting this.

    You’re saying that Rodney Hide was sent back from the future to engineer an IT spend of sufficient scale as to trigger a singularity and eventually bring into being an aware and self-interested computer entity which would become humanity’s master?

    Evil. But so clever.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But so clever

    which pretty much rules out that provenance

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Cassandra,

    Long time reader, love Public Address, never posted before, probably never will again, but can't help myself. I thought I'd overcome the frustration and despair I feel when reading things like this, but sadly no. So here's my rant.
    I worked at Waitakere City Council and was made redundant. I loved my job and was very good at it and it was a core local govt. job, had to be done, part of statutory local govt. requirements. Word is it's being done very badly now - spread across departments and poorly coordinated. I've got another job now outside of the council and based on my frequent conversations with ex colleagues who are in the belly of the beast I've had a lucky escape.
    Right from the very beginning it was clear to me and every single one of my colleagues, regardless of their political leanings, that a shit storm of ballooning costs, incompetence and an unworkable structure was inevitable. We laughed about the November 1 deadline when it was first announced, surely they're joking? Then we cried. There has never been anything but utter contempt for local government behind the amalgamation - wasn't that crystal crystal crystal clear from day one?
    I know this post is about the IT costs but it may as well be about every f*ing thing that has happened since the amalgamation.
    Where were the articles uncovering all the lies and bullshit when the ATA was making us dance before shooting Auckland local government and kicking it into the grave?
    You can add Mark Ford to your roll call of accountability; that repulsive sociopathic clammy handmaiden gleefully implementing Rodney's every vain imperious command.
    Auckland we were all robbed in our sleep, we all chose to snooze rather than do anything and I include myself and my colleagues. I could have tried being a whistleblower and taken one for the team by getting fired early for blabbing. I was going down anyway.
    End of rant.
    Not quite
    Penny Hulse is to be commended for her honesty with Aucklanders by publicly pointing out the size and scope of various problems. Hearing Debra Hill Cone quack on (a while back on Jim Mora I think) about how it's a bad look cos she's been elected to the council so she should only ever be a cheerleader for the new Ankh-Morepork (or something like that, coherence and Debra are not exactly lovers) was something I didn't need. Fuck you Hill Cone you are palpably the stupidest person who has ever had airtime on Radio NZ.
    I feel a bit better now, thank you for your time.

    Since May 2011 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • John Holley, in reply to ,

    ARTA's SAP was the ARC instance (which provided shared services for both the ARC and ARTA). This included all the core modules (including Asset Management put in at the ARC for under 2 million but listed at a future cost of 7.5 million for the new council - go figure!)

    Transport, paid staff and suppliers from day 1 out of the new system. Something Council, with a greenfield approach couldn't do.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • John Holley, in reply to TracyMac,

    We had a really smooth running SAP instance at the ARC (which Transport copied and had up and running in 6 months).

    We had full workflow for payments, including approvals. (no paper needed to be stamped or signed). If you were a supplier and submitted and invoice that matched the PO# you were given and had the right amount on it, you got paid in 7 days. Oh yeah, no PO, no invoice. Worked a treat.

    Auckland City Council staff said you couldn't do that...and the consultants...so Auckland Council was paying suppliers out of legacy systems on Nov 1.

    Transport? Didn't listen to Auckland City folk or the consultants and had a working system on Nov 1. They were paying suppliers out of the new system from Day 1. (and don't forget the size and volume of payments Transport makes)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • John Holley, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    SAP, when done well, is a really good solution. I stand by the decision to use it, just not the greenfield approach that was taken by the ATA.

    The ARC and ARTA pushed to leverage existing investment. That happened for Transport. Don't blame SAP.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • John Holley,

    I may have to write a more fully detailed tome for you Russell!

    What most don’t realise, but mentioned by Cassandra, is how secretive and authoritarian the ATA was. Worse, the DIA knew of many of the serious issues e.g., the ATA arbitrarily selecting a vendor for a solution after the RFP selection process had clearly selected another vendor (I know of at least 3 instances where this occurred).

    You had the ATA and Auckland City obfuscating on OIA and LGOIMA requests – the latter being clearly in conflict of the intent of the act and the guidance from the ombudsmen. Much of the info was there but the ATA and complicit council staff blocked the release of information that would have brought this all to light much sooner. The ATA told staff that all documents needed to be tagged as “draft” and therefore were not subject to OIA or LGOIMA requests, for example. This is absolutely incorrect, but when you are use to working in an organisation cloaked in secrecy, Watercare, why would you want to be open to the people who will end up paying for your stuff ups?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to John Holley,

    You're right, it's never the tool you use, it's only the tools at the top that are to blame ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

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