SAP: Just When the News Can't Get Any Worse

Dennis Byron
"The National Federation of the Blind of Arkansas and two blind state employees have agreed to a settlement among themselves, the state of Arkansas, and software provider SAP Public Services, Inc. The agreement resolves a lawsuit brought by blind state employees in 2001 because the blind could not access the Arkansas Administrative Statewide Information System (AASIS). The state, in turn, brought suit against SAP, which had substantially designed AASIS. Under the agreement, SAP will upgrade AASIS to include accessibility features that will allow blind state employees using text-to-speech screen access technology to perform employment functions using AASIS. The upgrade is to be in place by August 1, 2009."

And it took 7 years to reach this agreement?


I have been a big supporter of SAP over the years, through the Hershey pumpkin patch, the startup period with NetWeaver, the Waste Management dumpster-diving incident and similar user vs. supplier disagreements. But I would sure like to hear SAP's side of this case.


The bigger lesson -- pending finding out more about the specifics -- is make sure you know what you sign up for when inking the deal. The days of side deals between you and the local office, "sure it does that, but I can't get the demo to work" or "it's on the product calendar for the next revision; would you like to talk to product marketing?" are long gone.

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