BSkyB case 'yesterday's chip paper', says HP-EDS UK boss

The UK boss of the former EDS has described details of the BSkyB outsourcing case as "yesterday’s chip paper" and cast doubt on suggestions that the verdict will lead to significant changes to the way companies and services partners run IT services contracts.

Based on a customer relationship management deployment agreed 10 years ago, the presiding judge in the case has issued EDS’s new owner HP with a total of £270m in penalties in a case that HP is seeking to appeal.

"It’s a bit like yesterday’s chip paper at EDS," said Craig Wilson, managing director and vice president of HP Enterprise Services in an exclusive interview with CIO UK.

"The whole IT industry was in the middle of Year 2000 [date-change work]. It was go-go, it was crackers... the end of the dot-com period. The people involved [in the BSkyB case] were exited even before EDS was a glint in HP’s eye."

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Although law firms are depicting the verdict as a landmark and have predicted more caution in negotiating and signing off outsourcing arrangements, Wilson was dubious.

"We have far more controls in place," he said. "There is very close scrutiny of anything that is going to the client.

"The IT industry of 2000 is not the IT industry of 2010. It has been transformed by all comparison. Clients are much more sophisticated at ordering in standard ways. That wasn’t the case in 2000 [and] the maturity is irreversible."

Read Part 1 of the interview with Craig Wilson on BSkyB, the merger and building an alternative to IBM