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IBM-GSIS row heats up over faulty database

By Alexander Villafania
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 18:23:00 07/07/2009

Filed Under: Technology (general), Government

MANILA, Philippines ? The dispute over the problematic database system of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) continues to worsen as the government agency?s legal counsel accused IBM of providing a defective product.

IBM is guilty of false advertising for denying customers with proper after-sales services, GSIS chief legal counsel Estrella Elamparo said in a statement, saying the technology company sold the agency a ?lemon?, a derogatory term for a defective product.

She also said that the ?special build? to fix the constant crashes of the GSIS?s Integrated Loans, Membership, Acquired Assets and Accounts Management System (ILMAAAMS) did not work, describing it as a ?clunker.?

She also claimed that IBM?s Canada Laboratories admitted to having supplied GSIS with a defective product.

?IBM cannot smokescreen the fact that its database management software caused a crash in the GSIS system at just two terabytes of data when that software was purportedly able to handle 512 million terabytes,? Elamparo said.

IBM Philippines countered Elamparo?s accusations with an official statement, stating that IBM provided free support to the agency even if it was not involved in the implementation of the ILMAAAMS.

The company also said that it sent two special builds developed in IBM?s Toronto Lab to the GSIS in May, a few weeks after the series of crashes suffered by ILMAAAMS. IBM claimed that the second special build is already working successfully.

IBM also belied Elamparo?s claims that IBM Laboratories in Canada admitted to problems with their product and that it was not them who directly supplied the product to GSIS.

At the center of the controversy is IBM?s DB2 database software, which was the main application for ILMAAAMS. The GSIS first suffered crashes in April this year, which became more frequent in the following weeks.

IBM and the ILMAAAMS system integrator Questronix argued that GSIS failed to implement critical disaster recovery measures to prevent problems. They also stated that GSIS?s corrupted back ups worsened their situation.

GSIS filed a P100 million suit against IBM, its Philippine subsidiary, and Questronix for breach of contract. GSIS added a libel case against Questronix for allegedly making false claims that were published.

IBM countersued with a P200 million libel suit.



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