Welcome to this week's penultimate news round-up at Consult THIS. It's going to be a real barnstormer.
Perennial do-gooder Deloitte is in hot water alongside consultants from SAP after a California county moved forward with racketeering charges against each company. The charges, filed in federal court by Marin County, allege that the pair of firms "engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity designed to defraud the County of more than $20 million." Here's the story: Deloitte and SAP were contracted by the County to overhaul their IT infrastructure, which they did. Managing the project from the County's end was one Ernest Culver, who the County alleges colluded with Deloitte and SAP for his own benefit. In return for turning a blind eye to their sketchy implementation work, the County asserts that Culver was treated to cash, "lavish meals" and, ultimately, a job at SAP (which he currently holds). Both firms have returned fire, dismissing the County's concerns as "frivolous litigation tactics" and blaming it for any shortcomings the IT infrastructure might have had. Verdict: there's really no question that Deloitte and SAP did an awful job on the project, the question is whether or not they did so deliberately. It's certainly possible, especially when considering Marin County's previous lawsuit against Deloitte over the same project; in that suit, the County alleges that Deloitte used the project to train inexperienced and unqualified employees (presumably aware that Culver would OK any resultant deficiencies).
The deal is on. When Atos Origin and Siemens IT Solutions and Services announced in December their intentions to merge (or, technically, for the former to purchase the latter) it almost seemed too good to be true. Siemens CEO Peter Löscher, to refresh your memory: "We are creating a European Champion." Well folks, fear not—the Champion lives on. Earlier this week, both firms signed a "binding agreement" that effectively guarantees the deal will go through. The only potential roadblock to a deal was a recent vote by the Atos Origin board, which rubber-stamped the deal with ease. Now, the only thing left to do is look skyward with hope and awe as the Champion casts its shadow over continental Europe!
Last up is the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), which announced the conception of a business consulting practice dedicated exclusively to IBM's Lotus software. CSC has long applied Lotus software to its clients' IT platforms; this announcement, then is entirely geared towards service. Dubbing its software consulting efforts 'Collaboration as a Service' (CaaS), the firm says it "combines a rapid deployment model with per-user, per-month service plans, similar to many public cloud options." Woof. Basically, they're rolling out sophisticated IBM software and explaining in-depth how to use and maintain it. I think.
On to Friday.
For more information:
Marin County alleges SAP, Deloitte engaged in racketeering
Atos Origin sings a binding agreement to acquire Siemens IT Solutions and Services
CSC Announces Advanced Collaboration Solutions for IBM Lotus
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