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If ERP software system integrators were as smooth at integrating new or upgraded projects as they are at selling, it is likely they would be involved in fewer court disputes with users. Often, disputes happen because senior management hands off responsibility for the effort to the integrator rather than owning it as an integral part of management’s job. In reality, people in charge of an organization cannot delegate authority for an ERP project to either the vendor or an integrator. Interests are usually different. Ensuring this does not happen should start when the project is in its inception phase, before…
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a broad term that generally refers to technology that uses algorithms to process data and simulate human intelligence. Examples of AI technology include machine learning, image recognition and sensors-on-site, building information modeling (BIM), and “smart contracts” stored on a blockchain-based platform. This technology can be used in the construction industry by way of design, operations and asset management, and construction itself. Construction leaders interested in staying ahead of the curve should consider its advantages, and the legal implications. To read the full law bulletin authored by Cincinnati partner Joseph Cleves, Jr., click here.…
When the integration and implementation of an ERP software system starts going off the rails and all sides begin pointing fingers at each other, often many of the user’s fingers point at the vendor’s project manager. In a way, this is understandable, even before the root causes behind the looming failure are known. The project manager is supposedly in charge, ensuring that all of the pieces fit together, and it is his or her job to make the system work smoothly. Often, it turns out the project manager is at least partially responsible. Yet, if the user’s senior executives are…
Many organizations are looking at ways to restart ERP projects that were deferred when the pandemic forced widespread lockdowns. Whether a company was in the midst of upgrading a legacy system or had been on the verge of moving forward on their first ERP software system, we suggested five ways senior executives can fast-track an ERP transformation safely and cost-effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic while warding off a potential “train wreck” as they recalculate and recalibrate their overall technology strategy. At the same time, it is important for users to recognize that both vendors and integrators of ERP…
As we wrote recently, a global survey of senior technology executives conducted by KPMG and Oracle revealed that worrying about data security is the thing that most keeps them awake at night. The concern is especially acute for data stored in the cloud, but it also exists for on-premises servers. For users of ERP software systems, this can be especially troubling. Every ERP system may hold a wealth of information about everything from production techniques to the supply chain and customers, from financial data to employee information, and other highly sensitive, often proprietary secrets. ERP data security continues to loom…
A debate is raging between some politicians and public health officials over the timing of reopening the economy. Noisy arguments in the news media, on Facebook or Twitter aside, the fact is that corporate executives need to be thinking seriously about the status of planned ERP software system upgrades or proceeding with projects that were slowed or put on hold during the COVID-19 emergency. A recent report from McKinsey & Co. suggests that a corporate reopening strategy needs to include shifting IT and technology to what amounts to a restart mode. Prime among them is accelerating digital transformations to ensure…
In July, the European Court of Justice ruled that the Privacy Shield, which allows for the transfer of data on European Union (EU) residents to the United States, is invalid. Privacy Shield certification was granted to companies if they met certain requirements regarding data security and information use.   The agreement between Washington and Brussels ensured that U.S. companies adhered to EU standards on data protection and privacy. In exchange, businesses were able to shift personal data on EU residents. But the high court ruled that American laws do not provide adequate protection for personal data.   While the…
State Farm got the Internet’s attention this year with a deepfake advertisement of ESPN SportsCenter anchor Kenny Mayne. To many, this was an introduction to a new and accessible technology that creates convincingly realistic fake videos. Nearly anyone with Internet access can create a realistic video clip of events that never happened. Deepfakes are videos that use artificial intelligence to “face-swap” one person’s face (often a celebrity or politician) onto another person’s body. Deepfakes are created by a pair of neural networks called Generative Adversarial Networks. One of the networks uses a set of real images to create new,…
As SAP and some other vendors are forcing users of ERP software systems into vendors’ proprietary clouds, a significant percentage of the world’s Chief Information Officers are concerned about the security of the data being stored there. This is one of the main takeaways from a KPMG and Oracle survey released during the midst of COVID-19. Due to the timing, many executives may have missed this news as they focused on the security and safety of their families. ERP security is not the only concern for technology heads – this applies to all information stored in the cloud. However, for…
As is happening with almost everything in business, COVID-19 is having an impact on ERP software systems and digital transformation projects – particularly with respect to interruptions or delays in software implementation projects. Some companies are postponing their implementation or drastically reducing the scope of their implementations. While halting or postponing an implementation project in the face of COVID-19 may make sense, there is a risk of losing the institutional knowledge accumulated by the integration team working on the project. Consultants that understood your business requirements may not be available at a future date. There will also be additional costs…
Enacted in 2008, the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) continues to be the most consumer-friendly biometric privacy law in the country. In the wake of the Illinois Supreme Court’s seminal 2019 decision in Rosenbach v. Six Flags, plaintiffs have filed hundreds of class action lawsuits against businesses and employers in a broad range of industries, including manufacturing, logistics, retail, hospitality, food and beverage, health and technology. These lawsuits have been filed because of a perception that BIPA, as interpreted by the Illinois Supreme Court in Rosenbach, creates significant liability where biometric information has been collected from an employee or consumer without first…
In an interview with TechTarget, Chicago Taft partners Marcus Harris and Daniel Saeedi explored the impacts that the pandemic will have on ERP implementations and what customers can do to alleviate risk and protect their ERP investments. In a separate interview, Marcus Harris also provided advice on renegotiating ERP contracts when the scope of ERP implementation projects change due to the COVID-19 crisis. The full interviews are available by clicking on the following links: ERP implementation challenges grow in COVID-19 crisis How to renegotiate your ERP contract during a pandemic
Taft Chicago partners Marcus Harris and Daniel Saeedi presented several sessions during the Digital Stratosphere Online Edition, April 20-24, 2020. Each day featured different presenters discussing the new realities of ERP, HCM and digital transformation projects in a post-COVID-19 world. Harris and Saeedi spoke jointly on “How to Negotiate (and Renegotiate) ERP Contracts During Crisis;” Saeedi spoke on “Cleanse and Protect: Why Data and Cybersecurity are More Important than Ever” and Harris spoke on “Mitigating Digital Transformation Risk Amidst Disruption and Uncertainty.” If you are interested in learning more about these topics, please contact Marcus Harris or Daniel Saeedi
The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade has currently issued at least 4,811 force majeure certificates due to the COVID-19 pandemic (link). These certificates qualify the coronavirus outbreak as a force majeure event and certify that a party’s partial performance or failure to perform under an agreement be excused if there is a force majeure clause in the agreement.  According to a Xinhua state media report, the total contract value for the agreements associated with the certificates is an alarming 373.7 billion Chinese yuan (equivalent to US$53.79 billion). Unfortunately, for many U.S. businesses impacted by the…
These are thoroughly disturbing statistics that should make every ERP user shudder: A survey of more than 400 IT professionals conducted by Onapsis Research Labs found that 64-percent of ERP software systems suffered a data breach in the past two years. Onapsis reported that 90-percent of SAP’s ERP software systems remain vulnerable to a nasty virus called 10KBLAZE discovered one year ago.  Onapsis also reported that there are serious security weaknesses in Oracle’s ERP payment modules. It seems that every week news of another data breach involving businesses, hospitals, and other organizations in the healthcare field and even government agencies…
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) was barely a month old when the first private lawsuit was filed under the law. The action against a children’s clothing company and Salesforce Inc., the giant developer of CRM software that hosted the retailer’s customer data, was filed in federal court in early February 2020. The details of the lawsuit are not as important as the reality that it highlights the need for companies of all sizes and types to do two things. They must ensure they are taking proactive steps to prevent data hacks and leaks and know what will be required…