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Oracle Deflects Blame For Troubled Oregon Health Care Site 163

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Oracle is gearing up for a fight with officials in Oregon over its role developing an expensive health insurance exchange website that still isn't fully operational. In a letter obtained by the Oregonian newspaper this week, Oracle co-president Safra Catz said that Oregon officials have provided the public with a 'false narrative' concerning who is to blame for Cover Oregon's woes. In the letter, Catz pointed out that Oregon's decision to act as their own systems integrator on the project, using Oracle consultants on a time-and-materials basis, was 'criticized frequently by many'. And as far as Oracle is concerned, 'Cover Oregon lacked the skills, knowledge or ability to be successful as the systems integrator on an undertaking of this scope and complexity,' she added."
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Oracle Deflects Blame For Troubled Oregon Health Care Site

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  • by Vlijmen Fileer (120268) on Friday April 18, 2014 @12:18AM (#46785353)

    It's the customers' fault. EVERYBODY in the IT business already knows that Oracle invariably gives you:
    - Bizarely high price
    - Incomplete project result
    - Project delays
    - Low quality
    - Extreme vendor lock in
    E.v.e.r.y s.i.n.g.l.e p.r.o.j.e.c.t they do.
    I'm not sure whther to cry or laugh at this. Just don't go with Oracle, every sane IT professional knows that.

  • by Cyberax (705495) on Friday April 18, 2014 @01:05AM (#46785541)
    Actually, no. KyNect worked without downtime on its frontend, however its backend was not very stable - as it had to interact with the federal exchange.
  • by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <> on Friday April 18, 2014 @06:46AM (#46786293)

    Oracle consultants were in the midst of the mess, they saw the failings, they repeatedly reported to the state that the project was going off the rails, and yet they still managed to cash their paychecks.

    Then the consultants were doing their jobs.

    Had the consultants actually threatened them with "either you hire a professional to do the systems integration or we're off the job," and had they then removed themselves from the failing project, they'd be 100% blameless. But they didn't walk away, they just wrote some CYA memos and collected their money.

    But it was not the consultants' job to do this. In fact, if they'd walked off the job as you advocate, they'd very likely be opening themselves up to a lawsuit for breach of contract.

  • by TapeCutter (624760) on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:50AM (#46787397) Journal
    What the GP is suggesting is that Oracle the company (as opposed to the individual consultants) should have walked away from a taxpayer funded money pit but chose to continue "taking candy from a baby". Other's have walked away from similar disasters in the past in very public fashion, IBM walked away from a $800M project in NZ in the late 90's and Fujitsu walked away from a $1B project in the UK a few years ago, both claimed to be happy with the profit levels but were unwilling to continue because the government were unwilling/unable to follow their project management advice, making it impossible for them to deliver. Multinationals do not want to be seen as being unable to deliver a government contract, government work is their bread and butter and in politics reputations matter. Oracle didn't take the "high road" when their own consultants were predicting disaster, now they are getting public blowback from the client, which is why their PR department has fired up on this issue.

    OTOH Oracle (as their PR points out) were not managing the project they were on a time and materials contract, which most people in the industry would understand as meaning "we will give you what you ask for, but don't blame us if it is not what you want". The client obviously wasn't listening to the "don't blame us" part when they signed the contract.
  • by Rambo Tribble (1273454) on Friday April 18, 2014 @11:44AM (#46787855)
    ... that the quality assurance contractor for the project, Maximus, had this to say, "Oracle's performance is clearly lacking. Their inability to adhere to industry standards and professional software and project management tenets warrants further review."

As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance. -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"