Avantor Performance Materials, a manufacturer of raw materials for pharmaceutical products and chemicals used in the electronics industry, claims that IBM breached a contract to upgrade its systems to an SAP software platform, on which it would run its own Express Lite Sciences Solution.
In its complaint, the materials firm alleges that "IBM, retained by Avantor to upgrade the company’s global computer systems to an SAP platform, fraudulently misrepresented the capabilities of its proprietary software solution and engaged in other misconduct leading to a failed implementation in Avantor’s US locations. The complaint includes claims for fraud and breach of contract."
In a statement sent to news agency Reuters, IBM said that it was surprised at Avantor’s claims, which it labelled "exaggerated".
"We believe the allegations in the complaint are exaggerated and misguided and are surprised that Avantor chose to file suit," said IBM, adding that it had "met its contractual obligations and delivered a solution that Avantor continued to use in its operations".
Avantor, which filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey on Thursday, said it is seeking “tens of millions” of dollars in damages from IBM.
“IBM representatives assured us that its Express Life Sciences Solution, a pre-packaged software solution, was suitable to run Avantor’s core business processes,” says John Steitz, president and CEO of Avantor.
“In fact, the solution – and the service and support offered by IBM throughout the implementation – proved to be woefully misaligned with the unique needs of our company and our customers," he said.
The Pennsylvania-based company claims that it has "undergone an aggressive, company-wide initiative to recover from the failed SAP implementation, and Avantor is now largely operating at pre-SAP implementation levels".