Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Corporate Gears

In late spring, a customer informed me that a shipping management system I developed in 2000, would be replaced with an in-house system that was being developed by the parent corporation, a very large multinational. At the time, no specific roll out date was given, but having been involved in numerous projects, it wasn't difficult to estimate some time frame, assuming I was working it.

This week, the customer contacts me because they they are upgrading the server and they wanted my help to get it setup. Naturally, I was a little confused as I thought the system is being replaced. Well, it is, but only in August of next year. As a small Canadian subsidiary of a multinational, my customer will be the last to get the replacement system. The corporate gears, they do turn slowly.

August 2011 sounds like it's a long time away, but as we know so well, the chances of that deadline being met, are slim to none. So my customer is being prudent and simply going through their normal 5 year upgrade cycle, to ensure the existing system works reliably until the replacement is delivered.

The last time I had one of my systems replaced by the in-house corporate developers, the system took over five years to be delivered. The corporate gears, they do turn inefficiently.

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