When ERP migrations go bad: Games Workshop says project issues are delaying refresh of 'dated' online store

Commissar Yarrick's bale eye focuses on company's web retail presence as 'long and complex' saga continues

Games Workshop, the UK's fantasy model maker and table-top wargames retailer, has been forced to stall the development of a new online shopping system because of delays to its ERP project.

In its annual report [PDF], the company said that while online sales were up 70 per cent compared to the same period last year, more than making up for the sales volume shortfall during lockdown store closures, its website is "looking a little dated and the back-end systems at times cannot cope with current volumes."

The current online system was "clearly not a long-term solution or as customer focussed as we would like it to be," the company said.

While Games Workshop was ready to press on with a new online system, an old foe has returned from sagas past. Readers with reasonably long memories will recall the Nottingham-based business was in the middle of making the move from Sage to a Microsoft Dynamics ERP system and the project had hit trouble.

In January, news came that the project had parted ways with its main implementation partner – later revealed to be DXC Technology – as it struggled with the "long and complex project."

According to the company's annual report for 2018-19 [PDF], a move to a "more agile methodology" would help the remaining project go live in 2020.

At the time, the company said certain elements of the project were live and it had a "robust plan for the implementation of the remaining phases" sufficient to downgrade the project's status to "no longer severe."

But fast-forward to 2021, and that ERP project has hit the timeline of the online store refresh.

"The complexity of our ERP upgrade has pushed back the start of a project to upgrade our digital offer, which includes personalising content and improving navigation, by about a year. We are currently in the scoping phase. The early concepts look amazing. It will be another major IT-supported project so we will be resourcing it appropriately with third party expertise," the 2020/21 annual report said.

In terms of investment in assets, the ERP project required £1.1m in the year, on top of £2.3m on a new warehousing facility.

The delay also gained board-level attention. The board is "briefed on a monthly basis regarding major investments and ongoing relationships with key suppliers as required, most notably in the past 12 months in respect of the ongoing ERP implementation project," the report said.

Not that any of this seems to have impaired the group's success. It reported pre-tax profit totalling nearly £151m – up from £90m a year earlier – on the back of £353m in revenue. Games Workshop has also enjoyed a lot of positive media attention as the Dungeons & Dragons revival and COVID-lockdown-inspired interest in board gaming attracted attention to its products. ®

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GIMP 2.99.8, a development version with many new features, has been released, but 3.0 is taking its time due to system changes that break things.

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It wasn't immediately clear what went wrong, although Moon, speaking from the Naro spaceport, said the payload did not stabilise in orbit after separation.

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Developers offered browser-based fun in and Java action in Visual Studio Code

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The UK's central government procurement agency is chumming the waters around the market's swimmers, hoping to tempt suppliers into providing a range of computer network services and kit with a £5bn tender.

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Underling took customer on bucket list trip - and VP signed it off without checking

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Thompson lost his appeal against a judge's earlier ruling [PDF] that his October 2017 sacking was reasonable, with the Employment Appeal Tribunal publishing its judgment [PDF] last week.

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Boeing's Starliner capsule corroded due to high humidity levels, NASA explains, and the spaceship won't fly this year

Meanwhile Elon's running orbital tourist trips and ISS crew missions

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Research finds consumer-grade IoT devices showing up... on corporate networks

Considering the slack security of such kit, it's a perfect storm

Increasing numbers of "non-business" Internet of Things devices are showing up inside corporate networks, Palo Alto Networks has warned, saying that smart lightbulbs and internet-connected pet feeders may not feature in organisations' threat models.

According to Greg Day, VP and CSO EMEA of the US-based enterprise networking firm: "When you consider that the security controls in consumer IoT devices are minimal, so as not to increase the price, the lack of visibility coupled with increased remote working could lead to serious cybersecurity incidents."

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Huawei appears to have quenched its thirst for power in favour of more efficient 5G

Never mind the performance, man, think of the planet

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Despite the dream five years ago, that the tech would link up everything, "we have not connected all things," Hu said.

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Darktrace: Why you need defence that operates at machine speed

Sponsored There used to be two certainties in life - death and taxes - but thanks to online crooks around the world, there's a third: ransomware. This attack mechanism continues to gain traction because of its phenomenal success. Despite admonishments from governments, victims continue to pay up using low-friction cryptocurrency channels, emboldening criminal groups even further.

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According to Darktrace's 2021 Ransomware Threat Report [PDF], ransomware attacks are on the rise. It warns that businesses will experience these attacks every 11 seconds in 2021, up from 40 seconds in 2016.

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IBM Systems sales sag as revenue growth slows to a crawl – but at least tape did OK

Big Blue promises mid-single-digit growth is coming, but CEO struggles to explain how.

IBM has blamed another quarter of tepid performance on its servers.

Big Blue's last quarter before it spins out services limb Kyndryl saw it land revenue of $17.6 billion – just 0.3 per cent above revenue for the same quarter in 2020. For the year to date, which now covers three quarters, the corporation has posted anaemic 1.6 per cent growth.

Investors were told that the quarterly growth figure is 2.5 per cent if you consider Kyndryl's imminent ejection, or 1.9 per cent after adjusting for divested businesses and currency.

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