Tech Industry

SAP denies report of stalled project

The software maker says a project with the German military is on schedule, refuting a report in the German press.

Software maker SAP denied Friday that the German government has hit serious snags installing its accounting applications, as was reported earlier by the German press.

Delays in a major SAP project at the German Federal Armed Forces have raised the ire of German bureaucrats, according to an article published Thursday in the German business magazine Handelsblatt. The German government continues to pay 350,000 euros ($350,664) a day in outside consulting fees, even though the project has ground to a halt, the article said.

The SAP applications are the centerpiece of a 10-year, 6.5 billion euro ($6.5 billion) computer modernization effort under way at the military agency, the magazine said.

Disputing the Handelsblatt report, SAP spokesman Markus Berner said his company's component of the larger project is moving forward on schedule and that the consulting charges singled out by the report were not unexpected.

The German government, Berner said, began the SAP implementation about a year ago and is still in the initial planning phase--not unusual considering the size of the project. Walldorf, Germany-based SAP is scheduled to meet with government officials next month to discuss the next steps, he said.

Berner attributed conflicts within the German government to the fact that the government has been late in selecting an information technology services contractor for the larger 10-year project.

SAP is one of the world's largest suppliers of business applications designed to automate bookkeeping, order processing, and inventory tracking.

Software companies have been eagerly courting government contracts as private businesses around the world have cut back on investment in computer systems. On Wednesday, SAP competitor Siebel Systems said it had formed an alliance with U.S. government contracting giant Lockheed Martin to sell computer systems.