Council finds it's not alone in database problem

Sybase and PeopleSoft aren't talking. Not personally. But a major database problem which the Wellington city council is still sorting out has surfaced at insurance firm Prudential in the UK. City council project manager Tony Welsh, called in just two weeks ago to try to sort out the ongoing problems, confirms that Prudential has also had problems with the two software vendors. "However, it's different," he says. "They're not all using the same modules."

Sybase and PeopleSoft aren’t talking.

Not personally. But a major database problem which the Wellington city council is still sorting out has surfaced at insurance firm Prudential in the UK.

City council project manager Tony Welsh, called in just two weeks ago to try to sort out the ongoing problems, confirms that Prudential has also had problems with the two software vendors. “However, it’s different,” he says. “They’re not all using the same modules.”

That’s as may be. But it’s clear that both Sybase and PeopleSoft have much to do to ensure that the latest versions of their products do the job.

WCC bought PeopleSoft earlier this year to replace existing financials, to run on the Sybase database. The project was due to go live on July 1 to match the new fiscal year.

Problems soon emerged with a locking on the database. Just as soon as the council thought it had a handle on that, an arithmetical field problem was discovered. The latter problem has been resolved, according to Welsh, but the locking continues.

Welsh says good progress has been made over the past few weeks, and some of the problems have been resolved.

Originally the blame was sheeted at PeopleSoft but now, according to Welsh, it’s hard to pinpoint where its problems lie.

“We hope to identify and fix them within the next two weeks,” he says.

The new delivery date for the financials is now July 1, 1998.

Who is going to pay for the year-long delay?

Welsh expects the additional cost to be known within two weeks. “Commercial negotiations are under way with the parties involved,” he says.

He wasn’t prepared to give a ball-park estimate of the cost overrun. “But it’s unlikely we’re talking millions of dollars,” he says.

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