Software deadlock delays council financials project

Wellington City Council's new Peoplesoft financials project missed its deadline go live last week because the software has deadlocked the database. It's a major issue. Project manager Rich Way says the council is in daily contact with the Peoplesoft support team in California.

Wellington City Council’s new Peoplesoft financials project missed its deadline go live last week because the software has deadlocked the database.

It’s a major issue. Project manager Rich Way says the council is in daily contact with the Peoplesoft support team in California.

“They’re working on identifying the potential causes —there may be more than one,” he says.

The council bought version 6.0 of Peoplesoft. Way says earlier versions had no difficulty interacting with Sybase.

“It appears to be strictly a Peoplesoft problem,” he says.

The first stage of the two-stage project was due to go live on July 1 — but the technical problems were uncovered during acceptance testing. Way says one or two other minor problems were also discovered but patches have been delivered for them.

Phase one involves the general ledger, fixed assets and accounts payable. Phase two, scheduled for rollout in November, involves job costing and accounts receivable. That could now be delayed.

Way says the council’s day-to-day business is not being affected because it is still running its Logan financials, developed in-house around eight years ago and running on Vaxes.

Price Waterhouse (PW) is the Peoplesoft partner implementing the project, whose team is made up of six contractors from PW and around 24 from the council.

Sources suggest PW’s implementation bonus will be withheld. Way says he is not prepared to discuss contractual issues but “obviously the July 1 date is out the window”.

Last year the council called in Audit New Zealand to independently evaluate its tender process for the new financials after some vendors withdrew from the bid, claiming it was a done deal for Peoplesoft. However, the audit office found no evidence of this.

The project is said to be worth more than $1 million.

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