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    DisputeSoft was engaged as a consulting and testifying expert in July 2003 by Staples, Inc. in the matter of Staples, Inc. v. MarketMax, Inc. in the Superior Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex County. Staples alleged that MarketMax failed to satisfactorily complete a web-based retail merchandise planning and management software project – per contractual agreements.

    Staples entered into a contractual agreement with MarketMax wherein MarketMax would develop a financial planning application related to the retailer’s specific financial goals, merchandise spending, and inventory investments. The implementation encountered multiple issues at both the functional level and at non-functional levels of performance, reliability, and stability. Litigation ensued when Staples refused to accept MarketMax’s custom developed application, alleging the software failed to meet Staples’ technical and design specifications.

    Nature of Dispute

    Staples alleged that the MarketMax financial planning application:

    1
    Failed to scale to Staples’ required user load of 30 concurrent financial planners, resulting in frequent application errors and system lockups.
    2
    Contained functional shortcomings, including excessive server overhead, manual batch loading, and inefficient system administration.
    3
    Lacked functionality specified in the contractual agreement, including automatic push-down and roll-up features, cross-channel planning, and inventory filtering capabilities.

    Our Services

    As consulting experts, DisputeSoft:

    1
    Reviewed documentation for performance and technical specifications, conducted meetings with relevant fact witnesses, and examined all major system components including network, database, client, and application.
    2
    Conducted thirteen performance tests to determine how the merchandise management software responded under various load conditions and whether the software conformed to contractual specifications and applicable industry standards.
    3
    Completed two weeks of functional testing to independently verify the degree to which system requirements were implemented and how well they conformed to design specifications.

    DisputeSoft Founder and Managing Partner Jeff Parmet proffered an expert report on behalf of Staples, in which he concluded that the MarketMax Financial Planning application was defective in several material respects. Jeff’s findings included that the software was not (1) scalable, in that it did not provide reasonable throughput and response time for the required number of users and expected transaction volume; (2) stable, in that the server experienced frequent application errors and system crashes as user load or plan size increased; and (3) reliable, in that the system contained critical bugs undermining certain calculations, resulting in the need for excessive human intervention. The parties entered into a settlement agreement in March 2004, under which each party bared its own costs and attorney’s fees.

    Learn more about our Software Project Failure Services

    DisputeSoft provides software project failure services to law firms engaged in complex software disputes.