What Detailed Functional Testing of SAP Fiori Shows

Executive Summary

  • Most claims about how Fiori will improve user experience of S/4 HANA is based on marketing material from SAP. Testing shows that SAPGUI is still better than switching to Fiori.
  • Under Brightwork’s testing, Fiori runs slowly. SAPGUI is faster and easier to use.
  • New tab functionality is disabled in Fiori, meaning the user can’t simply open a new tab or window to work in a different area of S/4HANA.
  • Fiori gives customers the power to view data and reports in a way that SAPGUI does not. Outside of displaying data and reports, Fiori is significantly behind SAPGUI.

Introduction: The Reality of Fiori

SAP has made great claims around Fiori, which have gone unchallenged in the marketplace. You will learn the about our testing of Fiori and what the results mean for both SAP customers and for vendors that compete with SAP.

How the Normal Population Comes to Learn About the Fiori Client

SAP has spent so much time talking about how web-enabled Fiori client is for S/4HANA it is worth mentioning how little in the way of research usability exists on Fiori.

If you look closely at what is primarily published about Fiori, it nearly always can be traced back to very positive statements by SAP. That is the statement is either from SAP itself or from an SAP partner that is really just repeating the information provided by SAP. That is there is little to no actual analysis of Fiori’s capabilities outside of a promotional context. In fact, if you analyze some articles, the assumptions about Fiori’s usability are made, without ever being investigated.

A Typical Unexamined Assumption Laden Quotation

The following quotation from TechTarget is a prime example of this.

“SAP exemplifies why and how ERP vendors are changing their attitude about usability. Over the years, many SAP customers have struggled with the ERP user experience and have either tried to work with or around the complex and monolithic applications as is, or poured resources into usability work performed in-house or by implementation partners.

And this is where Fiori — SAP’s new role-centered way of thinking about application design — comes in. Powered by a combination of SAPUI5 (its HTML5 user interface control library) and NetWeaver Gateway, Fiori applications aim to present an individual with the on-premises ERP information they need to execute routine tasks across a variety of devices.” – TechTarget

Research Based Conclusions or Repetition of SAP Marketing Messaging?

Notice how no research was required to write this paragraph. It merely holds out the assumption that Fiori will provide a better user experience. And where did the author get this information?

From testing Fiori?

From observing Fiori at companies?

No (this article was written in March 2014 before Fiori was live much of anywhere). The assumption was given to TechTarget by SAP (which also pays TechTarget to capture sales leads).

Coverage after coverage on Fiori is the same type of unexamined assumptions.

The Real State of the Fiori Client

There are several things that we never see written about with Fiori, but that comes across very clearly in our Fiori testing.

This is not an exhaustive list, but a sampling of issues with Fiori that we don’t see given coverage.

  1. Speed/Latency: Fiori is slow. Particularly from the first entry from the Tile to the first screen of the transaction. It every time we test Fiori we notice this. We have measured its speed on all different types of Internet connections and have validated that it has nothing to do with the speed of the connection.
  2. Restricted Browser Functions: The new tab functionality in browsers is disabled in Fiori. This is another issue that goes unmentioned in the coverage of Fiori. This means you cannot simply open a new tab or window to work on a different area of S/4HANA. Yet, this is a fundamental aspect of browsers. And it is for a reason, it is important to be able to switch between views to get one’s work done. One can open up S/4HANA Cloud in a new session in a new tab, but it requires a new login, which is time-consuming. It means that one cannot branch to a new view, but must re-navigate to the location in the new tab or tabs.
  3. A Reporting UI Primarily? Fiori is far ahead of SAPGUI when it comes to reports and charts (as SAPGUI can’t really do them at all), but significantly behind SAPGUI when it comes to anything but displaying data and reports. That means for doing the core things that ECC or S/4HANA does, Fiori is notably more limited than far less expensive SaaS ERP applications like ERPNext. In fact, when we test Fiori is is considerably behind some other web-based ERP UIs in a way that we can’t see how it can catch up.

For S/4HANA on premises, these issues are less of a problem, this is not such a problem because most of the transactions are using SAPGUI. And very few clients use Fiori for S/4HANA on premises. However, in S/4HANA Cloud, Fiori is the standard UI and there is no SAPGUI.

This fact alone is a serious point of disadvantage for S/4HANA Cloud. There is no way we could see using only Fiori to do work. The S/4HANA Cloud functionality scope is small (so it can’t do the work for a company of any size in any case) and while S/4HANA On Premises has much more functionality, it has limited Fiori coverage. The bottom line is that companies presently are not using Fiori to do all or even most of their work in Fiori.

What the of the Fiori Client Testing Means

All of this plays out differently depending upon who you are, and we have broken this down to SAP customers and to vendors that compete with SAP.

What the Fiori Client’s Present and Future Reality Means For SAP Customers

Customers have more to lose by moving to Fiori than staying with SAPGUI. This is, of course, the exact opposite of what SAP and their partners tell customers.

Comparatively, SAPGUI is not only far more broad in scope, it is faster and easier to use. This means that even you a customer moves to Fiori for some transactions, it will be worse off than staying with SAPGUI for most transactions. Nowhere is that observation, or any observation regarding the realities of Fiori explained for companies.

Now there is one exception to this, which is reports.


Fiori is really about reporting views. SAP has made a curious decision in S/4HANA by making so many transactions really just reports. This is particularly prevalent in the Accounts Receivable transactions or tiles in S/4HANA. With virtually all of them opening into a reporting screen. 


This type of report is not possible in SAPGUI. If one only relied upon Fiori for reports, one would be far ahead of the game versus trying to use Fiori to replace SAPGUI for non-reporting transactions.

Fiori’s Reviews

Unless you read SAP’s marketing literature and attend SAP conferences (as we do) its difficult to comprehend how SAP exaggerates Fiori. We know how our own testing differs from the flowery treatment that Fiori normally receives, but a reader was good enough to send us a review listing. Here are how Fiori fares in reviews.

Hmmm..not so great. These reviews are placed on the Google App Store, meaning that SAP does not control them. If these reviews were left by Accenture or PwC the reviews with be 5 stars! Every review would talk about how it might be the best UI ever developed. However, once SAP’s products leave the confines of the censored echo chamber, the world looks a bit different. 

Notice also that these reviews are very recent. However, Fiori has introduced over 3 years ago. When does Fiori become a usable UI? Why are there so many performance issues noted?

What the Fiori Client’s Present and Future Reality Means For Competing Vendors

Competing vendors can use the very different way Fiori should be used and how much SAPGUI will be a long-term part of ECC against SAP, but in order to do so, it must demonstrate the ability to show Fiori to customers to cut through the marketing hype about Fiori and get down to the reality. Fiori is really about appearance. That is appearance over functionality. It makes a nice impression until you start to move past “looking at things” and start using the system.

Fiori is central to the future projection in the minds of customers and is being used to moderate against the desires of the business within many SAP customers to access non-SAP applications. Therefore all vendors that seek to compete with SAP need to understand and present the real story around Fiori. If the fantasyland version of Fiori is allowed to continue to be presented, then competing vendors lose. For example, at SAPPHIRE not a single SAPGUI screen was visible. However, what do you see on SAP projects? SAPGUI.

Gaps In Understanding Around Fiori

There is a major gap in the understanding of Fiori in the market because so few actually use Fiori. (This gets into the massive overestimation of the implementation numbers of S/4HANA — both On Premises and Cloud which we covered in the articles How SAP Controls Perceptions with Customer Numbers, and A Study into S/4HANA Implementations). And those that do know the reality of Fiori are not going to share this information because they want to make money off of consulting.

We offer a Fiori analysis service for both SAP customers and for vendors that seek to compete with SAP and this has lead to test Fiori. We have been testing Fiori in S/4HANA Cloud, to determine which parts of Fiori can be used for which activities. This testing gets into timing Fiori in different tasks and checking for functionality access versus the same functionality in ECC.

Because of our research, we can say with confidence that the way that SAP says that Fiori should and will be used is not how it will be used. Our confidence comes from the time we have put into testing Fiori and our background in testing a lot of applications. The differences become more apparent through this comparative analysis (see other application analyses at the Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, and Implementability (MUFI) ratings). It is important to remember that none of the information that is provided about Fiori in the press is based upon evidence, and nearly every party that reports on Fiori has an undeclared financial connection to SAP.

Listening to entities with biased financial is no way to find out what is true.

Conclusion

The outcome is that what SAP says Fiori is destined to have does not match with Fiori’s actual future. And we have always found it far more predictive to test SAP’s products rather than to trust what SAP says about their products.

Brightwork Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

This article and no other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle and SAP. Brightwork does offer competitive intelligence work to vendors as part of its business, but no published research or articles are written with any financial consideration. As part of Brightwork’s commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research, the company’s business model is driven by consulting services; no paid media placements are accepted.

Fiori Question Box

  • Have Questions About SAP's Fiori?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in Fiori without outside advice. And it is close to impossible to get honest Fiori advice from large consulting companies. We offer remote unbiased multi-dimension Fiori support.

    This article is free, we do not answer questions for free. Filling out this form is for those that have a budget. If that describes you, just fill out the form below and we'll be in touch asap.

References

https://searchsap.techtarget.com/opinion/SAP-Fiori-Putting-a-price-tag-on-usability

*https://eyeonquality.com/sap-fiori-s4-hanas-amazing-user-experience-and-how-to-get-it-right/

*https://experience.sap.com/designservices/

What is the Value and Future of SAP Embedded Analytics?

Executive Summary

  • SAP’s embedded analytics are analytics within the application.
  • S/4HANA is a very analytics focused applications.
  • Fiori has an important connection with embedded analytics and makes it distinct from SAPGUI.

Introduction of Embedded Analytics

In this article, we will cover what is the real impact of embedded analytics.

What Are Embedded Analytics?

Embedded Analytics is just a fancy name for reports in Fiori for S/4HANA.

How Many Embedded Analytics?

Fiori is counted by SAP regarding the number of apps that can be found on the Fiori Library. We performed two searches, one for Analytics, and another for Reports.

The Fiori Library shows 252 apps for “Analytics.” 

The Fiori Library shows 1492 apps for “Report.” 

It should be mentioned that the apps exaggerated in number. Furthermore, these apps do not work immediately after S/4HANA is implemented. There is quite a bit of work to stand up these apps.

Embedded Analytics and HANA

The following graphic is from SAP and seeks to explain embedded analytics. 

Conclusion

As we cover in the article Understanding Why Fiori Won’t be Able to Survive, Fiori is most likely to be an intermediate UI before SAP moves on to a new UI. Therefore anything based in Fiori, including Embedded Analytics also has a suspect future.

Brightwork Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

This article and no other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle and SAP. Brightwork does offer competitive intelligence work to vendors as part of its business, but no published research or articles are written with any financial consideration. As part of Brightwork’s commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research, the company’s business model is driven by consulting services; no paid media placements are accepted.

HANA & S/4HANA Question Box

  • Have Questions About S/4HANA & HANA?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in S/4HANA and HANA without outside advice. And it is close to impossible to get honest S/4HANA and HANA advice from large consulting companies. We offer remote unbiased multi-dimension S/4HANA and HANA support.

    This article is free, we do not answer questions for free. Filling out this form is for those that have a budget. If that describes you, just fill out the form below and we'll be in touch asap.

References

Software Selection Book

 

SELECTION

Enterprise Software Selection: How to Pinpoint the Perfect Software Solution Using Multiple Information Sources

Mastering Software Selection

Software selection is a form of forecasting, just as any another purchase decision is a forecast of how successfully the purchased item will meet expectations. Forecasting is necessary because it is not feasible to implement each application under consideration before it is purchased to see how it works in the business.

The Importance of Software Selection

Software selection is the most important part of any software implementation because it is the best opportunity to match the software with the business requirements, which is the most important factor in determining the success of the project. This book explains how to get the right information from the right sources to perform software selection correctly.

What You Can Expect from the Book

Essential reading for success in your next software selection and implementation. Software selection is the most important tasks in a software implementation project, as it is your best (if not only) opportunity to make sure that the right software the software that matches the business requirements is being implemented. Choosing the software that is the best fit clears the way for a successful implementation, yet software selection is often fraught with issues, and many companies do not end up with the best software for their needs. However, the process can be greatly simplified by addressing the information sources that influence software selection.

This book is a how-to guide for improving the software selection process and is formulated around the idea that much like purchasing decisions for consumer products the end user and those with the domain expertise must be included. In addition to providing hints for refining the software selection process, this book delves into the often-overlooked topic of how consulting and IT analyst firms influence the purchasing decision and gives the reader an insider’s understanding of the enterprise software market. By reading this book you will:

  • Learn how to apply a scientific approach to the software selection process.
  • Interpret vendor-supplied information to your best advantage.
  • Understand what motivates a software vendor.
  • Learn how the institutional structure and biases of consulting firms affect the advice they give you, and understand how to interpret information from consulting companies correctly.
  • Make vendor demos work to your benefit.
  • Know the right questions to ask on topics such as integration with existing software, cloud versus on-premise vendors, and client references.
  • Differentiate what is important to know about software for improved “implement-ability” versus what the vendor thinks is important for improved “sell-ability.”
  • Better manage your software selection projects to ensure smoother implementations.

Chapters

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Software Selection
  • Chapter 2: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
  • Chapter 3: Software Sell-ability versus Implement-ability
  • Chapter 4: How to Use Consulting Advice on Software Selection
  • Chapter 5: How to Use the Reports of Analyst Firms Like Gartner
  • Chapter 6: How to Use Information Provided by Vendors
  • Chapter 7: How to Manage the Software Selection Process
  • Chapter 8: Conclusion
  • Appendix a: How to Use Independent Consultants for Software Selection

https://blogs.sap.com/2016/03/10/sap-s4hana-embedded-analytics-a-detailed-walkthrough-part-13/

How to Understand Why There are So Many SAP Fiori Books?

Executive Summary

  • SAP Press functions less as a publisher than a marketing or propaganda outfit for SAP.
  • They publish highly censored books that are intended to improve the careers of the authors and make money for SAP Press.
  • When SAP wants to push a new offering, SAP Press is told to begin publishing titles on the subject. This brings us to Fiori, that has so little usage but so many books!

Introduction

SAP Press has published 16 books at the time of this article’s publication on the topic of S/4HANA. However, there is an interesting backstory to these books and how SAP Press operates. In this article, we will cover both of these topics.

What is the Real Story About SAP Press?

SAP has a relationship with a publishing company called SAP Press. SAP does not outright own SAP Press, but they remotely control them. When SAP is trying to push a new application or concept, they rely upon SAP Press to publish a book in the area. Some of these books are written by outside consultants. For example, I wrote a book for SAP Press. Others are written by SAP employees.

Now the SAP consultant or SAP employee will ordinarily not care if anything in an SAP Press book is true. Many of these books are simply designed to get excitement around an area that SAP is introducing. A book like this one will be basically material that SAP would like customers to think is true. People reading an SAP Press book may think they are getting real information, but they aren’t. They are getting information that SAP approves of being published. Much of it is straight from SAP marketing.

Curiously, with SAP Press books buyers actually pay what is normally around $70 for the right to be propagandized.

  • How to Read an SAP Press Book: I have read many SAP Press books in my life. I read them more as media criticism.
  • How Much is True?: Some of the things in them are true, but any unflattering information or information that contradicts the official SAP position would never be published in a book by SAP Press. They are a combination of true information with marketing or promotional information.

Let us review the books written about Fiori. Four of the eight were published by SAP Press, and four were published by another publishing company.

How Many Fiori Books Exist Versus Fiori Implementation and Usage?

Fiori can be used with other applications aside from S/4HANA. However, most Fiori apps are for S/4HANA. Therefore, the uptake of Fiori is to a great degree dependent upon S/4HANA. In fact, except for a very few Fiori apps developed in the earliest stages of Fiori, almost none of the Fiori apps can be used with ECC unless ECC is running on HANA. And it is quite rare for ECC accounts to use Fiori.

Yet our Brightwork research into the number of go-lives of S/4HANA, A Study into S/4HANA Implementations, there are actually few S/4HANA go-lives. Given the number of S/4HANA go-lives and therefore Fiori usage, this means that there are actually many Fiori books given the number of go-lives. Furthermore, given the issues with Fiori as well as the long-term problems SAP has had introducing a new UI, we have predicted that Fiori will not survive. Our forecast is that it will be replaced with another “new” user interface.

Why so many books?

Well, S/4HANA is eventually planned to replaced ECC. The idea is that at some point this will be a major amount of consulting work and as well as internal work within ECC accounts. However, because S/4HANA is such an immature product, the books of S/4HANA, as well as associative items like Fiori, have greatly preceded the publication of the implementations on S/4HANA.

Conclusion

SAP, through SAP Press, has flooded the market with Fiori books. The existence of these books gives the impression that S/4HANA, as well as Fiori, is more ready than it is. SAP, as well as SAP consulting companies, greatly misrepresent the state of Fiori as well as S/4HANA to prospects. What many SAP customers don’t realize is that S/4HANA is currently one of the riskiest implementations that any company can perform.

SAP Press is part of SAP’s media system that makes customers think that things SAP introduces are more popular or more mature than they actually are.

Fiori Question Box

  • Have Questions About SAP's Fiori?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in Fiori without outside advice. And it is close to impossible to get honest Fiori advice from large consulting companies. We offer remote unbiased multi-dimension Fiori support.

    This article is free, we do not answer questions for free. Filling out this form is for those that have a budget. If that describes you, just fill out the form below and we'll be in touch asap.

References

The Risk Estimation Book

 

Software RiskRethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Better Managing Software Risk

The software implementation is risky business and success is not a certainty. But you can reduce risk with the strategies in this book. Undertaking software selection and implementation without approximating the project’s risk is a poor way to make decisions about either projects or software. But that’s the way many companies do business, even though 50 percent of IT implementations are deemed failures.

Finding What Works and What Doesn’t

In this book, you will review the strategies commonly used by most companies for mitigating software project risk–and learn why these plans don’t work–and then acquire practical and realistic strategies that will help you to maximize success on your software implementation.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 3: The Basics of Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 4: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
Chapter 5: Software Sell-ability versus Implementability
Chapter 6: Selecting the Right IT Consultant
Chapter 7: How to Use the Reports of Analysts Like Gartner
Chapter 8: How to Interpret Vendor-Provided Information to Reduce Project Risk
Chapter 9: Evaluating Implementation Preparedness
Chapter 10: Using TCO for Decision Making
Chapter 11: The Software Decisions’ Risk Component Model

Risk Estimation and Calculation

Risk Estimation and Calculation

See our free project risk estimators that are available per application. The provide a method of risk analysis that is not available from other sources.

project_software_risk

The Strange Changes with the Count of Fiori Apps

Executive Summary

  • Fiori has seen a bizarre growth in the number of Fiori apps, which in part relates to the “Fiorized” apps.
  • The number of Fiori apps related to just S/4HANA.
  • We provide the real story on Fiori apps and an estimate of how much Fiori apps are currently being used.

Introduction

There have been some strange occurrences with the Fiori apps. You will learn about the background of how SAP is exaggerating the scope of Fiori.

Background on Fiori

Fiori has had a lot of marketing hype but has had minimal uptake as the article, How to Understand Why Fiori Won’t be Able to Survive. SAP needed to make it seem as if Fiori is growing faster than it is.

The Unusual “Growth” in Fiori Apps

SAP has been quite deceptive on Fiori and has been exaggerating the number of Fiori apps for some time. Interestingly, SAP for quite some time had fewer than 1000 Fiori apps. Then around eight months ago, the number of Fiori apps significantly increased. Doing some investigation explains why.

Here at the Fiori Library. It shows 8565 apps in total.

Now we will filter the Fiori apps by which are SAP GUI apps. Notice the different Application Type options.

Here we filter by those Fiori apps that are SAP GUI.

This shows that there are 6660 out of 8565 Fiori apps that are SAPGUI and not based upon Fiori. That is more than 77% of the apps that are SAPGUI. That leaves 23% of the total apps being non-SAPGUI in their origin.

SAP’s Statement on the “Fiorized” SAPGUI Apps

SAP states the following about these SAPGUI Fiori apps.

“S/4HANA comes with a large set of new SAPUI5 applications. But there is still significant functionality that requires the use of classical SAP GUI and Web Dynpro ABAP applications.”

Right. But the original plan was all these apps were going to be developed as Fiori apps. What happened to that plan?

It appears that SAP needed to exaggerate the number of apps that count as “Fiori” and that it simply rebranded SAPGUI apps a Fiori. Then they placed them on the Fiori App Library to mislead customers as to the true number of Fiori apps.

When Fiori was introduced, it was presented as wholly apart from SAPGUI. It was to be so much better than SAPGUI and so much better than any other UI that it would be something the world had never seen. Notice the quote from Jim Hagemann.

“We’ve come a long way from the old SAP GUI,” he said. “The challenge is clear. We are no longer benchmarking against some other business software, because most of them are not very beautiful. We are benchmarking against consumer software. We’re committed to providing the most exciting user experience in the industry.” – SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann

But did that happen? Well for 77% of the Fiori apps on the Fiori Library they are SAPGUI!

Jim, you can’t come a long way from old SAPGUI if you, in fact, are offering SAPGUI.

Fiori’s Technical Underpinnings

Now let us go back to more quotations about Fiori’s technical underpinning.

“In the past SAP GUI and Web Dynpro ABAP have already undergone several iterations of design improvements.

But still, the look and feel of SAP GUI and Web Dynpro ABAP applications was very different to SAPUI5 based Fiori applications. Therefore things users have learned from using the new SAPUI5 based applications, such as the placement of buttons or usage of icons, couldn’t be applied to the classical applications.

Our goal for the “Belize” implementation was to minimize the disruption between the different UI technologies by bringing SAP GUI and Web Dynpro closer to Fiori. We applied as much as possible of the Fiori visual design, e.g. colors, sizes, button placement, icons,… , to the two classical technologies.””

Well, this does not make SAPGUI and Web Dynpro Fiori. Let us now review how many of the apps listed and counted under the Fiori library are Web Dynpro.

So that puts us as 417 apps for Web Dynpro.

417 + 6,666 (SAPGUI apps) comes to 7,077 non-Fiori “Fiori” apps.

That means that 82% of the apps that are listed as Fiori are not Fiori apps.

The Real Story on the SAPGUI “Fiori Apps”

So this is to Fiorize SAPGUI screens. This is how SAP was able to add so many “Fiori” apps to the apps library. By pretending that SAPGUI apps that have been repurposed are Fiori.

This is covered in the article Fiori Lie Detector when the author says the following:

“Please SAP, call GUI transactions with a blue background which are opened inside a new browser tab within an iFrame anyhow you want … but not Fiori.

Fiori principles were totally forgotten on such move and even if someone might like the result and want it, you are denying yourself.” Can Fiorized SAPGUI Apps be Used with AnyDB?

All of this brings up another interesting question.

The original logic of limiting Fiori to HANA was that they were new. At some point, SAP attempted to promote the idea that you needed the performance of HANA to leverage Fiori. But that never made any sense.

However, now that is clear that 82% of the Fiori apps aren’t Fiori at all, is are only SAPGUI with some additional coloration or Web Dynpro.

Are SAPGUI “Fiori” Apps Available for AnyDB?

SAP makes the issue more confusing by stating that these SAPGUI apps are not available for AnyDB.

When we ran a filter on the SAP Fiori Library for SAPGUI apps that also could run on AnyDB, we came up with the following results.

We then performed a different filter. Looking just for Business Suite or ECC apps.

So 701 apps.

However, ECC can be run AnyDB combined with Oracle.

So what happens when we filter for the AnyDB apps of this group?

Back to the 209 apps from the earlier search.

Why doesn’t SAP show all of the SAPGUI apps working for AnyDB? I would be interested in hearing comments as to why SAP does not include SAPGUI “Fiori” apps as not working with AnyDB. Does going through the process of “Fiori-washing” remove their previous ability to work with AnyDB?

How to Get the Real Story on S/4 HANA

For the foreseeable future, the only way to know what parts of the rest of the S/4 suite work, is to test them or learn second hand from someone else (who you trust) who has tested it. You can’t ask SAP or ask their consulting partners. In most cases, the answer is that S/4 is ready to be implemented as soon as you can get around to signing a statement of work with them! Beyond this, S/4 is being made to appear far more implemented than it is.

One of the exaggerations that SAP proposes is that S/4 has 3700 customers.

I don’t doubt that 3700 companies somehow ended up with a S/4 license (most of them for free). This is the only definition of a customer — do you own (somehow) a S/4 license. But the actual number of S/4 implementations is probably less than 100, with most of these not live. And none of them live in the whole suite — for reasons that should be obvious at this point in the article. SAP recently reported that they have 170 customers live. SAP has stated that 30% of their clients are referenceable.

  • 30% of 170 is 51 companies, well below my estimate of even less than 100 companies.
  • And live can also mean different things. If S/4 HANA is live, it is live only with Finance, so that means it has to be integrated to ECC to function.

The Ridiculous Concept of the S/4HANA Customer Number

The idea that SAP likes to give that 3700 S/4 customers are in some state of using this software is so ridiculous that the industry needs to come up with a more strict measurement of what a customer is. A customer should not be someone who is only sitting on shelfware. If you are a plumber and you give a gift certification for a particular plumbing service, and 80% of the people that have this certificate never use your services, this 80 % are not “customers” of that plumbing service. SAP has given away so many copies of S/4 that they will not release the actual revenues for the application. I suspect they have not only given away copies to existing users (who should get it for free) but for net new deals as well.

By the way, I am not the first to question the 3700 customer number for S/4. Most people who study this topic think this number is highly overstated.

Previous Proposals on SAP Application Readiness

Exaggerating the readiness of applications is nothing new for SAP. So please, if some people are going to comment to the contrary, let’s not pretend to be so shocked. SAP APO was released back in the early 2000s was a barely functional product that only made it through those early days because it was pushed by the major consulting companies.

Another “application” that comes to mind as one that was significantly pre-announced was Netweaver. I take the following quotation from Vinnie Mirchandani’s book SAP Nation 2.0:

“With so many unanswered questions, an emerging viewpoint is that S/4, as initially defined, is just a placeholder. If anything, it will probably evolve in the same manner as another of SAP’s initiatives, NetWeaver, did a decade ago. In their 2004 book on NetWeaver, Dan Woods and Jeff Word said with confidence: 

“All this talk about successive versions and incremental progress and fulfilling visions could easily give you the wrong impression that SAP NetWeaver is still on the drawing board. That’s not at all true. SAP NetWeaver is here now. All the SAP NetWeaver components that we have mentioned are working products and can be purchased and used to make your business run better today.” 

That turned out to be completely untrue. In fact, NetWeaver was never actually released as it never actually existed. NetWeaver was a name appended to other applications. I pointed this out repeatedly and wrote on this, and now all the people who were so high on NetWeaver never emailed me to apologize. On project after project, NetWeaver is nowhere to be found. Where is the World is Carmen San Diego? Where in the World is NetWeaver is a much better game to play.

Quickly Disappearing When Being Held Accountable

I seem to debate a lot of people who have incredible confidence in their positions, but then appear to disappear when it turns out they were wrong. One excuse they will use is that they could not have known differently because they were told something was true by SAP. Anything to avoid the responsibility of being held accountable for previous statements. By the way, all these items which were so easy to see at the time, just happen to be in line with their financial interests. I can guarantee that those people that may respond to this post and talk about how S/4 is the “next stage,” and how it has an entirely simplified data model, will all have a financial bias for why they want S/4 to be accepted. However, they won’t discuss this financial bias. They will instead carry forward the conversation as if they are some impartial observer. However, I am in fact impartial, financially at least.

Debating the Financially Biased

I do not financially benefit if customers buy S/4 or do not buy S/4. That is an important consideration. Also, unlike anyone who works for Bluefin, IBM, etc… as an independent, I can write what I believe to be true. I covered the topic of forecast bias in the book Supply Chain Forecasting Software and included it again in this LinkedIn postAnd it is amazing to me, knowing what is known about forecast bias that we don’t seem to discuss bias when considering what people and companies propose.

Now, NetWeaver was something at the beginning related to rewriting parts of SAP in J2EE but later devolved into a marketing construct. S/4, unlike Netweaver, is something. It will not only turn into a marketing construct, but its development has been and will look like it will be fraught with greater confusion and problems than most other SAP applications. But whatever one’s opinions of S/4, and it should be acceptable to be unimpressed with S/4, without being admonished about how S/4 has a new data model that “simplifies everything.”

At least we should be able to agree whether S/4 as a suite, that is what is known as S/4 Enterprise Management is released. And it isn’t yet released. What is currently being re-written was written by thousands of people over decades, so no surprise it is taking longer than projected by SAP.

The Math for the Estimate

To estimate the amount of Fiori apps usage and how drastically it differs from the statements made by SAP, we have to isolate where Fiori apps are used.

  • Fiori apps have been designed to be used mostly with the S4 ERP system.
  • S4 only works with HANA, and Fiori only works with HANA for roughly 87% of its apps.

Therefore determining likely Fiori usage means estimating S4 usage.

According to SAP, they have 50,000 ERP customers across 25 industries. I have been on projects where it is claimed that SAP has upwards of 250,000 customers. However, this would mean any company that was in possession of a SAP license for any application. It would not necessarily include active customers. SAP may count customers that used their software ten years ago and moved off of their software.

So for this estimate, I have gone with the 50,000 ERP customers to compare against the total number of S4 customers.

Estimating the Number of Customers

I have spent time estimating the number of customers using S4 with inputs from multiple sources and come to around 150. This is 150 global customers either in the current state of implementing S4 or having already implemented it (almost all only having implemented S4 Finance). The largest concentration of these implementations is in Germany, and they were not undertaken because of S4’s value (as it is a currently being developed application – set of applications) but because of the control that SAP has over these companies.

That would mean that of the 50,000 customers, 150/50,000 or .003 of SAP ERP customers use S4. But this is not 150 live customers with S4.

However, this is not sufficient for estimating how small the usage of Fiori is.

Fiori Not a Replacement for SAPGUI

Unlike what has been proposed by Hasso Plattner, Fiori is not a replacement for SAPGUI. Fiori is only a series of a little over 1000 apps that are concentrated in small data intensive transaction. No company can use S4 without spending most of its time in SAPGUI. Companies would use S4 some percentage of the 1000 apps, but these apps replicate screens in the SAPGUI, and there would be a transitionary time and training required to use these Fiori apps.

  • Therefore of the 150 implementations of S4, some small subset of the overall transactions accessed by SAP customers that use S4 use some Fiori apps.
  • Of these 150 implementations, only some portion of which are live may be using some of the Fiori apps.

Conclusion

SAP is deceiving customers by re-badging SAPGUI as Fiori.

When SAPGUI “apps” are removed, the actual number of Fiori apps is 1488. And even this number is greatly exaggerated because of how SAP counts what an “app is.” In SAP’s world, a Fiori app is 82% of the time not really “Fiori,” and it is 100% of the time not an actual “app” but just a segment of a workflow.

Understanding these limitations of the possible usage of Fiori apps indicates that Fiori’s overall usage must be incredibly small. This likely fact, combined with the fact that Fiori apps have been around for several years now, argues very poorly for Fiori’s likely survival.

Curious about the reality of S/4HANA implementations? See our The S/4HANA Implementation Study, for real story and details on actual S/4HANA implementations.

Brightwork Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

This article and no other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle and SAP. Brightwork does offer competitive intelligence work to vendors as part of its business, but no published research or articles are written with any financial consideration. As part of Brightwork’s commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research, the company’s business model is driven by consulting services; no paid media placements are accepted.

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References

https://blogs.sap.com/2017/01/13/sap-fiori-ux-for-sap-gui-and-wd-abap-in-sap-s4hana-sap-teched-lecture-of-the-week/

*https://www.mindsetconsulting.com/sap-just-dropped-7000-new-fiori-apps-check-them-out-theres-a-catch/

How to Understand Why Fiori Won’t be Able to Survive

Executive Summary

  • Lost in the SAP marketing of Fiori is how slow the uptake and usage of Fiori has been.
  • Fiori has technology problems related to architectural issues limiting Fiori’s usefulness.
  • How IDG was paid by SAP to provide false information about Fiori.
  • We cover the math of probably Fiori usage.

Introduction: The Surprising Truth About Fiori

In this article, we will cover something that no SAP consulting company or IT media entity can say publicly on Fiori. You will learn the limitations that few are exposing around Fiori.

Background On Fiori Uptake

I recently wrote an article that used DB-Engines, that tracks database popularity showing the HANA is declining in popularity. I have accumulated some stories now from contacts where HANA was pushed into accounts where it was not intended to be used. For example, account executives have been giving the other SAP products clients for free, but they charged for HANA. They did this even though the account was not in the market for HANA.

These types of shenanigans and others have to lead me to conclude that HANA was stuffed in at customers and that many of the HANA sales have not been real, as is covered in the article How Enlarged are the HANA Implementation Numbers?

Fiori is connected to HANA (not for any technical reason, but because SAP has attempted to use Fiori to lure customers into buying S/4HANA). Due to this unnecessary connection to HANA, Fiori’s uptake has been even more limited that it most likely would have been.

HANA now looks less popular than it was ever advertised. And this has held back Fiori usage, as only Fiori can’t work with AnyDB.

This has very large implications for SAP. However, before we get to that let us segue into the technical challenges that customers face when implementing Fiori.

Fiori’s Technology Issues

SAP has bet big on Fiori, putting large development resources into it. SAP has pushed the number of Fiori apps up quite significantly in the past year. With the fanfare published about Fiori, what is lost on the typical person keeping up with Fiori, but without the direct knowledge of Fiori, is the following items:

  1. A Weak Technical Base: Fiori has an unimpressive technological underpinning.
  2. Mobile First: SAP has repeatedly misrepresented Fiori as a universal UI that works equally well on the desktop and a tablet and a phone — however, Fiori is a mobile UI. It does not translate to the desktop as SAP has stated. SAP is still primarily consumed on the desktop. Choosing to put all of one’s eggs in a mobile UI basket makes little sense.
  3. How Many Attempts at Mobile?: Fiori is SAP’s 5th attempt @ mobile, I.e., Before SAP acquired Sybase, in part to obtain its mobile technologies, SAP put significant resources into SAP Mobility. But neither of these initiatives went anywhere. SAP started with ITS mobile, NetWeaver mobile, Sybase SUP, then Syclo / SMP and now Fiori. At this point, one seems to even remember as recent as SMP, which was supposedly the best thing since sliced bread to solve all mobility issues and it’s only Fiori all the way now.
  4. Implementation and Maintenance Overhead: Fiori requires a great deal of overhead to manage. For example, Fiori ships with around 80 standard apps. Once you move past this basic package, it requires more technical expertise to bring each of the additional apps up to be ready to use. SAP seems to be investing its effort into developing new apps, but not in actually making the apps usable to customers without a significant amount of energy. This is quite strange because it is unprecedented for the usage of a user interface for an application to require so much effort to make work. At this point, Fiori appears to be more of a shared development project with customers than a finished user interface.

Comments on Fiori Implementation Issues

These words are from a person with experience implementing Fiori.

“Even at this late date, it is still very painful to install and maintain Fiori.”

And from another…

“40% of SAP customers does not like FIORI UI look and feel, performance. FIORI is a copy of some of existing open source UI frameworks.

SAP just started touching the technology. They have to think beyond (what they are currently doing with Fiori).

If you will consider SAP CoPilot which SAP has decided to provide with S4 HANA 17* series with license cost. If any customer will start developing there own coPilot with extra features compared to SAP provided coPilot , it will take maximum 15 working days.”

This is not encouraging, but something else comes out when listening to those with deep expertise in UIs.  Fiori is not leading technology and has been hugely oversold by SAP as a user interface. When you hear SAP tell it, they shocked the world with a technology that no one had ever seen and that no other vendor had yet matched. However, in speaking with people that don’t work for SAP at least, no one agrees with that view.

SAP’s Perplexing Fiori Strategy

SAP’s Fiori has been a problem from the beginning. As previously stated, it seems SAP is pushing development to come up with as many Fiori apps as possible — for the perception of the largest possible coverage. But as most of these apps aren’t used, the apps aren’t being tested and burned in.

This brings up the question of overhead concerning customizing Fiori. This is another quote from someone quite close to Fiori implementations…

“Yes, 80-90% of SAP customer is not using SAP delivered standard FIORI app, for every app client is customizing, because standard one is not enough to fulfill the requirement.”

And the problem with this is that Fiori is well known to be extremely difficult to customize. Therefore with Fiori one has the worst of both worlds.

  • A UI that lacks the inherent ability to satisfy users as standard, and therefore needs to be customized.
  • Very low developer productivity when customized.

SAP’s Statements on Fiori

SAP’s statements on Fiori by executives shows how out of touch they are, and how unconcerned they are that reality.

The following is a typical comment on Fiori…

“We want every SAP customer to run simple with a world-class user experience,” said Bill McDermott CEO and member of the Executive Board of SAP. “Judging by the commercial success of SAP Fiori, it’s clear that our customers agree. Some customers and our user groups believe we shouldn’t charge for SAP Fiori. We listened to our customers, I agree with them and now SAP Fiori is included with SAP software.” – SAP News

This has turned out to be obviously false. Furthermore, SAP did not merely listen to customers that are paying 22%

And without any real accomplishment, SAP stated the following about Fiori.

“We’ve come a long way from the old SAP GUI,” he said. “The challenge is clear. We are no longer benchmarking against some other business software, because most of them are not very beautiful. We are benchmarking against consumer software. We’re committed to providing the most exciting user experience in the industry.” – SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann

Can Jim Hagemann be Serious?

Jim Hagemann may have come a long way from SAPGUI, but at the time he made this statement SAP’s customers hadn’t. Currently, over four years after his statement to PC World, almost every single user of SAP in the world still uses the SAPGUI, and not Fiori.

Therefore this seems to be an example of SAP declaring victory before the battle has occurred. Jim Hagemann made this statement at the around Fiori’s announcement. He would have to have known that no one was using Fiori at this time and how far away anyone was from using Fiori. But his statement makes it sound like the old SAP GUI is a thing of the past, and customers have moved on to Fiori.

IDG Offers Some Suitably Compliant SAP Fiori Coverage

As usual, SAP has compliant media entities that tow the company line. In this case, IDC/IDG stepped up to the plate.

“By including a user experience based on SAP Fiori and SAP Screen Personas within SAP licensed software, SAP is making widely available a personalized, responsive, simple UX for its customers,” said Henry Morris, senior VP, Worldwide Software and Services Research, IDC.

First of all, SAP did not make Fiori widely available (Personas is irrelevant to this discussion as it was for all purposes discontinued). SAP could, of course, have done this. It could have offered Fiori for “free” that is to customers already paying 22%+ in support to SAP, but they decided to restrict Fiori to HANA. How is that making something “widely available?”

Therefore, Henry Morris’ statement is false.

Now let us parse the next statement by Henry Morris.

“Users can focus on core business processes and immediate decision making for improved productivity and business success. Having access to the most critical business information via an intuitive, modern design is essential for customers to maintain an edge in today’s competitive business environment.”

The second sentence would be true if the first sentence were true. But the first sentence is false, so therefore the second sentence does not matter.

Henry Morris Assumptions

Henry Morris seems to assume that Fiori is mature and being used when it wasn’t when this article was published three years ago.

In fact, it still isn’t today. IDG could have figured this out if they had checked, but they didn’t.

Thirdly, how much money does IDC receive from SAP per year? IDC is owned by the Chinese media conglomerate IDG. Brightwork covered IDC and IDG in the article How IDG Provides Inaccurate Information on IT. It is clear that IDC and IDG repeat whatever SAP says and then call that an article. Oh, and by the way, IDG also owns PC World, the media outlet that published Jim Hagemann’s inaccurate quotation on how much progress SAP had made from the bad old days when people used to use SAPGUI for SAP.

How is IDG Paid by SAP to be Their Parrot?

So does IDG get paid on a single invoice from SAP to distribute inaccurate information or are there separate invoices per month? There are invoices; the only question is whether SAP is invoiced separately per IDG publication.

Thoroughly evaluating the inaccurate statements made by SAP would be a separate article so that I will leave it there for now.

It was not only SAP and IT media entities that provided inaccurate information on Fiori, but quite a few SAP consulting companies. As we show in A Study into S/4HANA Implementations, some of these consulting firms exaggerated their S/4HANA experiences, to promote their ability to obtain Fiori implementations services.

What Fiori’s Coming Irrelevance Means for S/4HANA

SAP has used Fiori as a major motivator for customers to move to S/4HANA. However, if Fiori does not survive, then investing anything in Fiori from the perspective of bringing it up, to having users spend time acclimating to it is an utterly wasted effort.

For instance, the push for S/4HANA, which is not ready anyway, can be delayed. As one of the motivators for S/4HANA was to get Fiori. Now that is gone. Here are some important facts that relate to S/4HANA.

  • HANA is not a logical motivator for S/4HANA.
  • Fiori is not a logical motivator for S/4HANA.

This means that S/4HANA gets pushed as an implementation initiative. It also says that companies that currently are paying support on S/4HANA, where it sits unimplemented (which is the vast majority of S/4HANA sales) need to begin asking why. A frank discussion is necessary that starts something like this…

“I get that you needed to move S/4HANA to meet your internal incentives, but we are not paying support on something that looks far further out than when you sold it to us.”

Fiori is but one piece that is a problematic puzzle in the argument for S/4HANA.

  • I now receive frequent reports that HANA has poor performance under S/4 that I never hear when the topic is BW on HANA. (HANA is nowhere near as good at transaction processing has SAP had proposed).
  • Fiori is something that will have to be transitioned away from if any time or effort is invested into it.
  • The functionality or the application layer of S/4HANA is still not ready.

Time to Jump off the SAP Fiori Bandwagon

In the previous articles on Fiori SAP, I brought up some of the issues that have prevented Fiori from being used by SAP customers. And how Fiori SAP was leveraged as a cynical marketing ploy to keep companies from exploring real options in the market for user interfaces.

These limiting factors on Fiori SAP include the following:

  • Tying Fiori SAP Unnecessarily to HANA
  • SAP and its Partner Network misrepresented Fiori as a Complete Replacement for the SAPGUI
  • SAP and its Partner Network Misrepresented Fiori as a User Interface That Works Equally Well on Computers, Tables, and Phones
  • SAP and its Partner Network Misrepresented of the Effort Involved with Fiori

Tying Fiori SAP Unnecessarily to HANA

SAP first attempted to charge for Fiori. When unsuccessful decide to use its investment in Fiori to tempt customers to buy Fiori. There has never been any reason to restrict Fiori to HANA. One reason I heard was that because Fiori SAP as so report oriented that it would have to have HANA. This is untrue, in fact, most Fiori screens are quite low in data density. Nevertheless, SAP thought it was quite clever by restricting Fiori SAP to HANA. The major problem is that there are so few S4 instances live in the world. Thus it has been an important part of limiting Fiori’s use to a tiny segment of the market.

SAP and its Partner Network misrepresented Fiori as a Complete Replacement for the SAPGUI

In actual reality, it is a series of apps. The development of Fiori apps seems to be slowing. As I check the Fiori app library, the library is now up to 1015 apps. At one point they were adding 15 apps per month.

SAP and its Partner Network Misrepresented Fiori as a User Interface That Works Equally Well on Computers, Tables, and Phones

Yet, Fiori’s heritage is actually as a mobile app. It is not designed to show the data density of computer screen for complex transactions. It is a “lightweight” user interface. Fiori can be displayed on a computer, but this is not the same as saying that Fiori is a user interface designed for computers.

SAP and its Partner Network Misrepresented of the Effort Involved with Fiori

Even for companies that purchased S4 because they were tricked by SAP’s marketing. Or because they were somehow connected to Hasso Plattner. (Hasso Plattner remotely controls purchases of many companies in Germany and other businesses that have some interest, this is why most S4 implementations have been in Germany.) It’s difficult to justify going to effort even to bring up Fiori. Fiori requires a parallel technology and training pathway. It requires a lot of resources. All to migrate some transactions to a user interface that has little chance of survival. Honestly, at this point why would, a company invest the effort to do this knowing that Fiori is not the future of SAP’s user interface?

SAP not only misrepresents Fiori and its applicability but uses it to “UI wash” its SAPGUI. This is pointed out by Max Favillon at his blog.

“Browse SAP websites and try to figure out what its user interface looks like, you will have a hard time, no screenshot whatsoever, a lot of beautiful picture of smiling business people using laptops, smartphones and tablets, but not even a glimpse of what SAP applications UI looks like.

SAP Marketing

In SAP marketing’s eyes, the UI that SAP customers use is not the real user interface or SAPGUI, but some combination of Fiori, along with the stock photography pictures of people smiling at laptops. Why use an alternative like AppsFreedom or LiquidUI or when clearly everyone is laughing looking at their laptops?

I also brought up in the article on SAP uses indirect access to block companies from purchasing alternative user interfaces. This is where SAP requires customers to buy copies of Fiori that they will not use to connect another user interface to SAP applications.

Fiori has the following problems that have prevented its uptake.

  1.    Who Recommended Fiori?
  2.    Why Did They Recommend It? (hint — it’s related to money)
  3.    Why is SAP now so Silent on Fiori?
  4.    Why did certain people look at Fiori and think it was going to work?

Offering Advice on SAP from a Position of Bias

There is an enormous number of people offering advice in SAP that is not looking critically at what SAP is offering. They should not be listened to.

If you have an advisor like a Deloitte or IBM that only parrot what SAP’s marketing literature says, these entities should not be relied upon. One should remember the limitations placed on partners.

  1. SAP monitors all messages that are presented at SAP conferences or that is produced by the partner marketing department.
  2. SAP can edit or block any material that a partner provides on SAP. Not that SAP partners tend to care about disseminating false information.*
  3. *(I do not mean to give the impression that SAP partners struggle against SAP’s influence. If anyone working for a large consulting company is for a split second thought that I proposed that they may at times attempt to communicate information, not in line with SAP marketing and that they have even the sliver of independence, I apologized for my clumsily worded sentence.)

Debate on SOA with Deloitte

This reminds me of a debate I had with a Deloitte consultant years ago about SOA or service-oriented architecture. I made the point that SAP would never support SOA in actual practice. While SAP may put SOA on their PowerPoint sales presentations. This was because SOA was about open systems. SAP had at that point used the difficulty of integration as a strategy for blocking out vendors that have better functionality that they have.

They have done this for decades. So why would SAP embrace SOA? SOA would give customers greater freedom and restrict SAPs ability to use its monopoly power.

At this time (around 2006) SAP was promoting SOA in its marketing literature.

The Deloitte consultant I was speaking with became visibly frustrated with me. At one point had enough and said

“What I am saying is that SAP is saying that they will support SOA!”

I seemed to make him angry for whatever reason.

Deloitte Consultants Designed to Repeat SAP

For this and many other consultants, there is no interpretation of what SAP says. SAP makes a statement, and an army of consultants line up to repeat this statement. As SAP marketing lives in a permanent fantasyland. This means that these consultants spend a lot of their time repeating false statements.

And by the way, guess that happened with SAP and SOA?

  • SAP never did anything to support it.
  • SOA finally flamed out as a concept as it was always a bit of a pipe dream.
  • SAP moved on to promoting something else.
  • No one, not SAP nor SAP’s partner network ever admitted they were wrong about SOA.
  • SAP did not issue an apology for talking up something they never supported.

That is how the trends and information dissemination works in IT. And so it will be with Fiori.

Fiori SAP “Part Two.”

As soon as SAP switches to a new illusory user interface, Hasso Plattner will come out and announce how revolutionary it is. The slavish consulting companies will begin repeating whatever Hasso says as the future direction. Beautiful PowerPoints will be created which will herald the new luxurious SAP user interface.

Hasso Plattner is one of the least reliable people to listen to on technology matters. His projections around Fiori have all now been proven not to come to pass. He will wind up his smoke and mirror machine when the new SAP UI is announced.

The entire process will repeat itself.

use-fiori-1

More deep analysis from SAP partners like Deloitte, IBM, and Infosys on the topic of Fiori. 

For the math on my estimate of Fiori’s usage, see this article.

I will take credit for calling out Fiori’s limitations early, but really, it was not that difficult. I spoke to several people with far more experience than me in user interface development that predicted Fiori was going to fail. They could not say anything publicly. Unlike me, they are not unaffiliated, independent consultants. The only complex factor is if you have a mental bias or financial bias towards SAP. I don’t. Therefore it is an easy conclusion to reach.

So What is Next for SAP and Fiori SAP?

Fiori is not a sustainable user interface for SAP or SAPGUI replacement. It is a mobile application with limited applicability to most of SAP’s transactions. SAP already invested mightily in SAP Mobile. After SAP Mobile had failed, they purchased Sybase, partially for its mobile offering called Sybase Unwired Platform. After the Sybase acquisition, SAP purchased Syclo. Years later SAP has done nothing with any of these purchases, and no one uses SAP Mobile.

One SAP account manager told me that it was simply impossible for SAP to compete with mobile application development. This type of development is at an entirely different price level than SAP is accustomed to. The mobile development environments are produced Android and the iOS. And developers for these OSs can be found relatively easily, and their development productivity is quite high. Higher than the productivity of anything that SAP offers. They have nothing to do with SAP, and it is not an area where SAP can compete. Mobile is doing great without SAP.

SAP does have its app marketplace.

And no one cares. These are primarily brochure-ware apps that were developed and that I have never seen on a single project. Here is one example. It follows the Tableau school of making analytics seem around twenty times easier than it is in real life.

The Reality of SAP Apps

I have never seen anything approaching this on any SAP project. Most SAP projects are just trying to get through a long queue of uninspiring reports from the SAP BW.

I have seen companies set up their internal development using iOS as a platform that has nothing to do with SAP. The data is integrated to SAP. It works great, and mobile is not an area that SAP has a chance of being involved in, so SAP should probably stop wasting its resources to “make it happen.” There are segments that you don’t necessarily have to provide an offering.

While SAP has been wasting time with Fiori, SAPGUI keeps getting older. With Fiori losing credibility, it may be time for SAP to pivot to a new user interface offering!

SAP has been bringing out some new sexy user interface for decades now. Those with a good memory may recall Duet. A partnership with Microsoft that failed. I don’t have the list I once saw that showed all of SAP’s new user interface introductions over the past 15 years, but it was quite lengthy. SAP has had. SAP did this already when the pivoted from the highly touted Personas to the highly touted Fiori. Both of which never existed for the vast majority of customers on anything other than PowerPoint presentations.

Conclusion

Fiori has had its chance to catch on, and it just hasn’t. And it hasn’t because:

  • It is Uncompelling: Fiori is not compelling as a user interface.
  • It is Not What it Says it Is: Fiori is not a universal UI that works equally well on all devices (i.e., as well on phones and tablets as PCs). Instead, it is primarily a mobile UI. And this point is not debatable, those that are skeptical can merely check the Fiori technology underpinnings.
  • Fiori as Starter Kit: Perhaps for an even larger reason that Fiori is not a user interface as much as it is a “starter kit” that puts a large burden on customers to both stand-up Fiori as well as address various shortcomings. Fiori has extremely high overhead.

Fiori, the “new SAP user interface.” For which Hasso Plattner declared that.

“SAP now had best user interface in enterprise software.”

All before anyone had used it. A user interface which has been slathered over SAP marketing materials, SAP conferences, etc.. is failing. It is failing for some important reasons that are presented in this article. These reasons are unlikely to change. The people that uncritically supported Fiori look foolish as Fiori is nowhere to be found on SAP projects.

Have we Seen this Story Before?

SAP has a history of promising new UIs, and then those UIs going by the wayside. Fiori is just the next on the list.

This is what happens when the executives and marketing get so far out in front of the product’s capabilities that it becomes ludicrous. Hasso, McDermott, Hageman, Sven Denecken (another frequent SAP commenter on Fiori) and others don’t appear to have a feel for the reality of what is happening with Fiori and are stuck in permanent convention/press release/promotion mode.

 

There is now more reason than ever to believe that Fiori is merely another transitory and overhyped UI that SAP attempted to replace SAPGUI with. This also means that after all the pomp, all the promises, all the press releases and SAPPHIRE presentations…..customers are still left with SAPGUI, and will be left with SAPGUI for the foreseeable future. The next UI will need to be developed, internal battles at SAP fought over between those who bet big on Fiori, and the realists who recognize that it is time to move on.

How SAP Will Manage Expectations From The Blowback

When customers realize this, there will be blowback on SAP.

I am at this point unclear how SAP will manage this expectation, but no doubt SAP marketing is hard at work thinking through how to minimize the damage. Customers that went through a lot of money implementing Fiori because they were pressured by SAP are going to look for a way to hide this fact.

Bad Intel

The information coming out about Fiori from SAP has been quite weak. Fundamental inaccuracies have been provided to customers, such as overestimating Fiori’s uptake, as well as how much functionality Fiori covers in S/4HANA.

After 4+ years after Fiori has been introduced, and there are almost no customers that use Fiori.

Article Questions & Comments

I had the following questions asked of me directly, so here are the answers.

Question 1: This Article Says Fiori can Also Run in AnyDB, Your Article Says Runs Only on HANA. 

When Fiori was first introduced, it did run on AnyDB. The apps designed at that time were AnyDB compatible. However, after they could not charge for Fiori, due to user pressure, SAP made Fiori free but put in a catch. You could only run Fiori on HANA. At that point, SAP stopped developing AnyDB apps. Because this happened early in the process of Fiori’s development, almost all the Fiori apps only run on HANA.

This is observable from SAP’s Fiori Library, and I will show you with screenshots.

Here is the total number of Fiori apps listed at the library. It currently stands at 8565. This number is misleading for some reasons that I will get into in a future article. But I will keep to the subject of the total number of apps that that SAP reports in the library.

But you can filter the apps library, in this case, to look just for AnyDB apps. I will do so.

Now the filtered view will show just the AnyDB apps.

This comes to 210. 210/8565 = 2.4% 

So saying that Fiori runs on AnyDB is simply misleading. SAP stopped developing Fiori for AnyDB, so the apps that do exist are an artifact from a time when SAP intended to charge customers for Fiori.

Synopsis

This is difficult for SAP to hide, yet it is frequently asserted to me that Fiori runs on AnyDB.

Another question is where the credibility of a person who would say that Fiori works for AnyDB when this is true for only 2.4% of the apps is?

There are only two options.

  • a) The person did not know and is repeating something without checking.
  • b) The person knows and is lying to make a point and to deflect criticism from the fact that Fiori is designed to manipulate customers into purchasing HANA.

I have had multiple conversations with people working for SAP consulting companies that try to pretend that Fiori runs on AnyDB, and invariably they are an unreliable source for information on SAP overall (so not only with Fiori). They exist to permanently misinform SAP customers to extract the most money from them.

Question 2: Why do you Say Fiori is Mobile Only and Does not Support Laptop, Desktops?

I did not say that it could not be used for laptops and desktops. However, its underlying technology is designed for mobile. SAP is using a mobile user interface and pretending that it works equally well on all devices.

Question 3: What is the Source for Screen Personas Discontinued? SAP says the Contrary:

The source of Personas being gone is the tiny number of customers that use it, combined with understanding its history. There are a small number of clients playing with it, but SAP has pulled the development resources from it. Customers end up doing a POC with it, and then it peters out. Some consultants in the market still promote it, but it is a dead end. It is just for giving customers false hope and getting some consulting dollars at this point.

Personas were supposed to be the new UI for SAP. Then SAP found picked up Fiori and they just kept Personas around. But Fiori has received almost all the marketing from SAP. Personas are still there, but it is known to be dead regarding usage. That is why I wrote “for all purposes…” rather than discontinued. I previously covered Personas in the article, Whatever Happened to Personas?

I remember presenting Personas to prospects (I received a bird’s eye view by working as a contract SAP pre-sales resource for an SAP consulting company. And Personas was always a bit of a joke. What the consulting company would do is say — “Look, don’t worry about this bad ECC UI, because it is going to be entirely Personas!”

Article Comments

Comment 1: The Debate as to Whether Fiori is a Huge Step Forward?

  • So does Fiori look better than SAPGUI? The answer, of course, is yes.
  • Is it more pleasant to use than SAPGUI? Again, yes.

But if almost no one uses the UI, and if most of the Fiori database of UIs don’t work, what is the impact of a UI that is better only in a theoretical sense? A huge step forward has to be taken; it can’t be dreamt.

Synopsis

Right now, Fiori has zero impact on the vast majority of SAP customers. Fiori is a massive failure and a sinkhole for resources. It is a sinkhole not only for customers but also for SAP. And furthermore, a lot of inaccurate information about Fiori has been disseminated by SAP, and SAP should be held accountable for doing this.

Comment 2: The Debate as to Whether Fiori Has a Long Way to Go, and Fiori’s Lack of Uptake is Due to Users not Wanting to Change

Fiori is over four years old.

In that time it has demonstrated that it is barely usable and is mostly SAP hype. How long should SAP customers have to wait until Fiori is ready?

  • Is ten years a reasonable amount of time after the release date?
  • How about seven years?

My question is at what point can we judge Fiori as an adult rather than as a child. Also, did SAP present Fiori as a child, a beta product, or as a full grown adult?

This is a typical strategy used when SAP fails in an area. The comment is made that these are still “early days.” This exact technique was used by McDermott on the Q2 2017 analyst call to explain why S/4HANA has had such poor uptake as I covered in the article Inaccuracies on the Q2 2017 Analyst Call.

This seems dishonest, because when SAP introduced Fiori, they did not say that it would be four years down the stretch, and the UI would still not be ready for prime time. They said they had the best UI in all of the enterprise software, so good that they weren’t even benchmarking against competitors because no one was making, how was it?

“…most of them are not very beautiful. We are benchmarking against consumer software.” – Jim Hageman

Oh, that is right, they are not beautiful. SAP had, as of four years ago surpassed all other software vendors with a user interface that no one was using, and that still (almost) no one uses.

Synopsis

Is that just a total line of BS or what? Jim Hageman was full of it when he made the statement, and it has not aged well. Do you take this statement by Jim Hagemen seriously at this point?

Comment 3: Debate on the Reasons for Fiori’s Lack of Uptake

You can develop reasons for why Fiori has not seen uptake, but it is a fact that Fiori has not seen the expected or promised uptake. And it has had enormous marketing push and has still not seen the uptake that was predicted. SAP predicted uptake; it did not happen. In the scientific community — that is not in the carnival atmosphere of SAP conferences, that is called being wrong.

The specific reason you give for lack of uptake is excusing SAP for a major problem with Fiori. This is because Fiori is not used because it is not implementable outside of a small number of apps.

  • Fiori is not used because it is not implementable outside of a small number of apps.
  • Fiori has a bunch of technical problems in implementation.

So you can’t just leave that out and put it entirely on the user, which is what you have done by blaming people’s unwillingness to change. That is the standard approach that IT at SAP shops do to explain away SAP failings. But with Fiori’s technical problems, that can’t be the excuse given or the excuse accepted.

Reality of SAPGUI

In reality, most users I work with don’t like the SAPGUI. I don’t like the SAPGUI. I mean who do you know who likes SAPGUI? Hasso himself stated “our UI sucks.” Customers and I would be happy to move on from it, but we can’t because there is no viable alternative to SAPGUI.

Secondly, if Fiori was so immature, then SAP should not have pretended that Fiori was mature and should have postponed its release — but that was not consistent with SAP’s revenue goals and the push for S/4HANA — which was also rushed to market.

Customers have now wasted a lot of money on Fiori, and there was never any reason to use it. I could have told companies that, but most listened to SAP or Deloitte. They did not check on SAP’s statements, and they got duped. I am right now questioning the ability of IT departments that implemented Fiori to fact check things that SAP says. Because of its impossible to get things that wrong by knowing what you are doing. IT managers are running out of excuses for why they keep getting ripped off by SAP.

As an implementing company, you can’t listen to SAP or Deloitte. You have to find independent analysis or perform your research.

Synopsis

From your commentary on this point, I think it’s clear that you don’t hold SAP to any standard. If SAP introduces a bad product, then it can simply be blamed on users who don’t want to change. You have created a permanently untestable hypothesis.

Comment 4: SAP is Going Through a Huge Amount of Change Internally, and Change Takes Time

That may be true about SAP going through change. It’s not pertinent to the lack of Fiori uptake, and why do I hear about SAP’s personal problems? They pull over $20 billion per year out of companies in revenue, so they need to suck it up. What is next, do I have to hear about how rough Exxon has it? Yes, poor SAP and poor Exxon. They just can’t catch a break!

It’s difficult to push back on change taking time, but change will happen a lot faster if you release products that work. Fiori does not work, has been poorly managed and was released far too early.

What you are doing it putting Fiori is a permanently infantile state, and this allows you to absolve SAP from all of its statements about Fiori that ended up being inaccurate. You could make the same argument for Fiori 10 years from now. However, if a new item can’t obtain almost any uptake after four years, it is difficult to argue that that bodes well for its future.

Comment 5: The Debate on Whether SAP Sales Uses Shady Tactics.

Well, I can’t speak for your experiences. Maybe you have been lucky. However, where are all of these stories coming from? SAP customers reach out to me to communicate these stories.

Furthermore, I have witnessed a great deal of lying and trickery as part of the SAP sales process supporting pre-sales initiatives on a contract basis. I have been there with sales reps while they formulated the strategy and explained it to me. I can explain each of the shady tactics in detail as well as the prospects where were used.

Also, are you in a position to point out shady tactics on the part of SAP or are you compromised by your employment? That is are you pretending to have actual freedom of speech when you don’t. I ask because I know many SAP resources that know all manner of tricks SAP engages in, but they can’t say anything for career reasons.

Synopsis

I recently published the article To Whom Does Your IT Department Owe its Allegiance. In this article, I propose that many that work in IT shops sell out the interests of their employer, and allow SAP to rip off their employer for personal career benefit. These types of IT shops have many interesting characteristics:

  1. They unquestioningly accept SAP marketing information.
  2. They fail at SAP implementations, but blame the users for being “stupid.”
  3. The leaders receive off the book benefits from SAP, including attention, means, free conferences, etc..
  4. They accept false paradigms, or what I call simplistic platitudes such as (you must use SAP applications because integration is horribly tricky, SAP offers a lower TCO (calculators we have developed show that SAP has actually the highest TCO in every category in which it competes. We have published the only book on Enterprise Software TCO)

I don’t know you, but you may have been co-opted by SAP through various means. This translates into your efficiently becoming a mouthpiece for SAP.

Comment 6: Facts

As for the comment about facts, I see you have a different view than the article. That is fine. But because you have a different opinion does not mean you have demonstrated that the facts I have presented are not right. The facts I have provide overwhelm the facts you provided. You have provided conjecture for why Fiori has not been successful. Many of your statements fall into the category of platitudes (change takes time, Fiori lacks uptake because users don’t like change, SAP has many changes internally, etc…)

Also, I included some quotations from SAP sources that have been proven over time to be false. So I will have to ask you when Bill McDermott or Hasso Plattner repeatedly release inaccurate information, do you question them for factual accuracy? Or, because they are high in status and they have an orientation that is pro-SAP do you accept factual inaccuracies? That is, do you have two different standards that you apply? One for sources you agree with, and another for sources you disagree with? Just about every time Bill McDermott opens his mouth something inaccurate falls out of it.

Concern with Accuracy of SPA Among SAP Consultants?

But strangely I don’t see people that work in SAP complaining about this rather obvious issue. Pro-SAP people allow executives to repeatedly wrong, and they hold their criticism. This criticism is then directed towards people that make accurate predictions about SAP…..but that happen to be not complimentary towards SAP. Where is the criticism of SAP executives? In any published form among people who make money from SAP, it does not exist. This is because they fear SAP, and they know that telling the truth will negatively impact their paycheck. And for most SAP resources I have worked with over 20 years of being in SAP, the truth is a distant second to that paycheck.

Synopsis

So because the pro-SAP set doesn’t hold any spokesman at SAP to any standard for accuracy, it’s hard to take your comment, about a true standard seriously. Your statement that my facts are off is not itself supported, so you do not appear to possess of any information that would allow you to question the facts I have presented in the article.

Brightwork Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

This article and no other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle and SAP. Brightwork does offer competitive intelligence work to vendors as part of its business, but no published research or articles are written with any financial consideration. As part of Brightwork’s commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research, the company’s business model is driven by consulting services; no paid media placements are accepted.

HANA & S/4HANA Question Box

  • Have Questions About S/4HANA & HANA?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in S/4HANA and HANA without outside advice. And it is close to impossible to get honest S/4HANA and HANA advice from large consulting companies. We offer remote unbiased multi-dimension S/4HANA and HANA support.

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References

[SAP Fiori – Wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAP_Fiori)

[SAP Fiori User Experience Now Included with SAP Software | SAP News Center](http://news.sap.com/sapphire-now-sap-fiori-user-experience/)

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2038785/sap-unveils-consumerfriendly-fiori-app-suite.html

Did Fiori Actually Run on a SmartWatch?

Executive Summary

  • SAP proposes that Fiori ran on a smartwatch. This information was released through ComputerWorldUK as a “paid placement” that S/4HANA was a game changer and reduces system latency.

Introduction

On Feb 3, 2015, ComputerWorldUK wrote the article SAP Announces Brand New ERP that Works on your Smartwatch.

In this article, we will review the accuracy of ComputerWorldUK.

Fiori on a Smartwatch?

Here is one of the beginning quotes of the article. Notice that there are a lot of contentions being made, and ComputerWorldUK does not seem to distinguish whether it is SAP or ComputerWorldUK offering this view of what S/4HANA is capable of.

“SAP has announced ‘S/4Hana’, the successor to R/3 or SAP Business Suite with easier-to-use interface, disruption free migration and super-fast data analysis with Hana.”

As anyone who has studied S/4HANA knows, S/4HANA is probably the most disruptive ERP system ever brought out by SAP. For one thing, all the customizations must be rewritten to match with S/4HANA entirely new data model. DidComputerWorldUK verify the level of disruption inherent in S/4HANA? If they did, the author of this article is not qualified to write on this topic. If they didn’t and just took SAP’s word for it, then that is also a problem.

“(A) Suite, with an easier-to-use interface, disruption free migration and super-fast data analysis with Hana.”

Same thing, this is the official SAP position on these things. What isComputerWorldUK’s take on these contentions? If one wanted to, one could merely read these contentions on the SAP website. Why are we reading a ComputerWorldUK article that is a carbon copy of whatever SAP says?

“The new ERP announced this afternoon boasts “re-written code (no materialised aggregates)” that make the most of Hana’s speedy data crunching. It uses SAP Fiori’s interface and is available as SaaS and on-premise.

It even has the added bonus, Bernd Leukert demonstrated, of accessibility for certain applications on a smartwatch thanks to the Fiori interface. (emphasis added)

During the launch in New York, a demonstration revealed how the speedier Hana-enabled replacement to SAP R/3 – which has been around since 1992 – can crunch data “on the fly”.”

  • Bernd Leukert Said So? : We have a long list of Bernd Leukert quotes on various topics, and do not find him to be a reliable source on SAP. We won’t go into a “greatest hits of Bernd Leukert,” but most Bernd Leukert quotes are cringe-worthy, and he will apparently say anything for money.
  • Fiori Being Used on Smartwatches? Even now, no one currently uses Fiori on a smartwatch; this is a silly contention. A smartwatch can be used for taking a phone call or calendar, very basic types of information. This is obvious to anyone using a smartwatch that it is not a good screen size for performing ERP tasks.

So it can be said that both SAP and ComputerWorldUK were wrong about this. If anyone reading this article has examples of ERP functions being performed through Fiori on a smartwatch, please leave a comment.

S/4HANA as a Game Changer?

“Commenting on the launch, principal at Deloitte Consulting’s Jan Waals said: “Deloitte has been delivering SAP HANA since some of the first clients adopted the platform, and working closely with clients on the adoption of SAP Simple Finance. As an in-memory technology, SAP HANA removes the latency of decision-making and is foundational to the future of real-time business. SAP S/4HANA is a game-changer for ERP and provides an entirely new way for our clients to simplify their business and provide a better customer experience in a digital, networked and complex world.”

Over two and a half years after this article was written, this has not turned out to be true. ERP systems generally have few problems with latency. There are issues with reporting in SAP, but a far bigger question than latency is the long queues of reports sitting at the door of SAP BW departments in companies. This issue of latency has been a fixation of Hasso Plattner, but it never made any sense. It does not reflect the reality of SAP projects and is emphasized by Hasso and others at SAP because that of what SAP wants to sell.

Reducing System Latency = Reducing Decision Making Latency?

Secondly, what Hasso is saying regarding latency of decision-making is incorrect. It still takes humans time to make decisions. Talk about being over computati0nally focused. We have so much more computational power than we did 20 years ago — but are the choices that much faster? Are they better? Do faster decisions lead to better decisions? Do we want faster decisions or better decisions?

The Internet provides so much information at our fingertips, but does this directly drive better decision making? What do we make of the declining average attention span as the Internet has become our primary information source? Although perhaps it is unsurprising that a software company with software to sell would like to propose such an oversimplified model of decision-making.

Simply increase the RAM on the server by 2x, and decisions immediately improve by 2x!

Hasso frequently proposes that humans can make instant decisions if the information is available from the computer. He has also stated when introducing a healthcare product (that never was actually was released), that physicians needed to make instant decisions, displaying a misunderstanding of how medical decision-making work. That may be true in an emergency room scenario, but even here, the orientation is to stabilize the potential so that analysis can be performed if surgery is required. Physicians do not now and do not need to make instant decisions. 

Conclusion

This is a paid placement by SAP into ComputerWorldUK and a ham-fisted one at that. People are not running Fiori from smartwatches (or using jetpacks to commute to work). S/4HANA is not only not a game changer; it is barely implemented. In fact, nothing in the article is correct, and ComputerWorldUK serves merely as a marketing outlet for SAP. This article is designed to make readers think these positive accolades about SAP were written by ComputerWorldUK, when in fact they were self-bestowed by SAP. What would we say about a media entity that mindlessly repeated all of Trump’s tweets regarding what a good job he was doing? Not much right?

This article receives a 1 out of 10 on the Brightwork Accuracy Scale.

Brightwork Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

This article and no other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle and SAP. Brightwork does offer competitive intelligence work to vendors as part of its business, but no published research or articles are written with any financial consideration. As part of Brightwork’s commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research, the company’s business model is driven by consulting services; no paid media placements are accepted.

Fiori Question Box

  • Have Questions About SAP's Fiori?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in Fiori without outside advice. And it is close to impossible to get honest Fiori advice from large consulting companies. We offer remote unbiased multi-dimension Fiori support.

    This article is free, we do not answer questions for free. Filling out this form is for those that have a budget. If that describes you, just fill out the form below and we'll be in touch asap.

References

Risk Estimation and Calculation

Risk Estimation and Calculation

See our free project risk estimators that are available per application. The provide a method of risk analysis that is not available from other sources.

project_software_risk

http://www.computerworlduk.com/it-vendors/new-sap-erp-will-work-on-your-smartwatch-3596650/

Considering What is Required to Setup Fiori

Executive Summary

  • SAP makes it seems as if Fiori is very easy to set up or even works “out of the box,” however, Fiori must be set up for it to be used.
  • What is critical to understand about Fiori and moving past the fantasy of Fiori.

Introduction to Setting Up Fiori

How easy is Fiori to setup and to use? In this article, we will review some informed quotes from a reliable source on this topic and how much work it is to setup Fiori.

The History of Fiori

When SAP’s Fiori was first released it was actually a charged for product. After customers pushed back on SAP, SAP switched Fiori to being free. However, the catch was that SAP stopped producing Fiori apps that would work with AnyDB. Therefore, Fiori was used as an enticement to purchase HANA….even though there was no technical reason for Fiori to be restricted in this way.

What Fiori Is

  • Fiori is a critical component of SAP’s overall S/4HANA strategy.
  • Fiori is often explained as a replacement for SAPGUI, the user interface that is used throughout the SAP suite.
  • Fiori is one of the linchpins to understanding the value proposition of SAP applications like S/4HANA, and it is an integral part of SAP’s overall messaging on S/4HANA.
  • Hasso Plattner has repeatedly said that Fiori is the future of the SAP user interface.

However, many issues are unknown, or at least unknown about Fiori.

This article will cover many of these areas including the following:

  • What is Fiori?
  • The SAP GUI
  • The Fiori Marketing Message
  • The Critical Things to Understand About Fiori
  • Moving Past the Fantasy of Fiori
  • Is Fiori an Out of the Box Replacement for SAP GUI?

 What are the SAP Fiori Apps?

The first question to answer is what is Fiori. However, this issue cannot be solved by the information provided by SAP. A very high percentage of people that work in SAP and SAP sales don’t understand what Fiori is themselves, at least not in detail. It is unclear how much SAP has shared with account executives on the topic of Fiori, but upon performing this research, it became apparent that the real story on Fiori is not what is expressed in the market. When it comes to getting consultants with knowledge of the SAP Fiori Apps, very few have ever used Fiori, so that is a shallow well of information also.

In this article will frequently refer to something called the SAP GUI. For those that are new to the topic, or who are not familiar with the term, the SAP GUI, or SAP Graphical User Interface, is the standard user interface that SAP uses with almost all of its applications.

Here is an example of the SAP GUI, something which will be instantly recognizable to those that have used or at least seen SAP.

Unappealing right? Well, it is worse than it looks. The SAP GUI has a well-deserved reputation for being difficult to use and taking a lot of time to accomplish things within. I use both SAP and other applications. When I compare the amount of time required to do any task, it always takes me longer in SAP. That has been true since I started using SAP in 1997.

The SAP GUI goes back decades, and while it has been significantly enhanced during this time, it is based on a design that goes back to 1992 and predates the web interfaces that are becoming so popular with SaaS vendors.

SAP takes a lot of criticism for SAPGUI. Hasso Plattner was blunt interviews on the topic of Fiori in saying that customers had told SAP that the SAP UI “sucks.”

SAP often presents what appears to be excellent Fiori screens that look like the following:

The SAP Fiori Apps Marking Message

Fiori is indeed a nice looking set of apps, and the app quality is considered high by those that specialize in app development. However, SAP’s marketing message is that the bad old days are gone and that SAP GUI is no longer a problem because Fiori is necessarily going to replace SAP GUI completely. That is not true, as I will cover in detail in this article. But it is also certainly not true currently because 99.9% of the planet is still using the SAP GUI when they use SAP. Therefore, SAP GUI is still very much a problem for user productivity and system uptake. 

SAP also states that Fiori is a universal new user interface that works equally well on a computer, or on a mobile device (hence the picture above). I can’t find the exact quote, but I do recall Hasso saying that essentially now SAP had the best user interface in enterprise software. Implying that it “is” rather than “will be” or “might be.” So Fiori has been and is being used to motivate or sell customers on to moving to S/4HANA. But there is some deliberate confusion being generated by Hasso as to how broadly Fiori can be expected to be used.

The Catch

Now, for those of you that have read my previous articles on HANA and new SAP products based upon HANA, you might be thinking that there is a catch to what I just wrote above. And you would be right. However, before we get to that, let us move on to discussing what makes up Fiori technically.

Fiori is a nice looking set of apps, and the app quality is considered high by those that specialize in app development, and those that we interviewed for this story. SAP’s marketing message is that the bad old days are gone, and that SAP GUI is no longer a problem because Fiori is essentially going to replace SAP GUI completely

SAP also states that Fiori is a universal new user interface that works equally well on a computer, or on a mobile device (hence the picture above). I can’t find the exact quote, but I recall Hasso saying that essentially now SAP had the best user interface in enterprise software. I looked for this quote online and could not find it. But I am certain that I recall reading Hasso say this.

So Fiori has been and is being used to motivate or sell customers to moving to S/4HANA.

Fiori Components

Fiori is based on the following components.

  • HTML5
  • HTTPS (OData)
  • SAP Gateway
  • ABAP Backend Server
  • Database Layer

Of course for people that don’t focus on user interface technologies, this obviously will not mean a great deal. This list above just describes the components that lay between the user interface, which is HTML5 and the database layer.

The Critical Things to Understand About SAP Fiori Apps

The crucial aspects of knowing about Fiori are entirely left out of the sales presentation of Fiori. When I supported several sales pursuits, our prospects were not told any of the following information. This can’t be an isolated example — that is I assume that this information is left out of most sales presentations to this day, as I had to dig to find this information. And none of the SAP’s sales and marketing literature explains any of the following bullet points. Nor does almost any of the literature written by analysts on this topic.

Items to Understand

  • Fiori is not a full user interface the way that says, SAP GUI is. Fiori is instead a series of apps. You can see the apps library for yourself here.
  • When one buys Fiori, say along with S/4 HANA only a very small number of screens, that are encompassed in ECC are included – that being all of the app screens in the SAP Fiori apps. At the time that I published this article, there were 811 Fiori apps. In the space of one month, Fiori grew by 15 apps.
  • Fiori is not inherently designed to replace the multiple areas of SAP GUI. The most accurate way to think of Fiori is that it is a mobile user interface.
  • Fiori is not a platform for new app development. That is Fiori is not providing an environment to create new apps, so one must use the apps provided by SAP.
  • If you look at each of the apps on the Fiori app library they each state whether they work with AnyDB (or any database). And alternatively, if they only work on HANA. However, the vast majority of Fiori apps only work on HANA. In a future article, I will cover why SAP has done this, and what it has meant for Fiori adoption.
  • Fiori’s future is not assured. SAP has a history of bringing out new UIs only to see them fall by the wayside. Personas, SAP Mobility UI, Duet, etc…
  • Gartner wrote an article titled “SAP Fiori UX: It Is Not a Matter of If, but When and How,” However, the logic presented in this article is extraordinarily weak, which I will cover in a future article in detail. Furthermore, I believe SAP ghostwrote at least some of this article. This article is nonetheless routinely referenced in other internet articles without the slightest effort expended to determine if what Gartner is saying makes any sense. If Fiori is primarily written for HANA and HANA continues at its low level of adoption, it is hard to see the inevitability of Fiori as presented by Gartner in this article. I cover Gartner’s history of technology prediction in my book on Gartner.

So these are some disappointing aspects to Fiori, which are not known.

Comparing Fiori Apps

Let us compare what I have written on SAP Fiori Apps above to a statement made by Hasso Plattner on the topic of Fiori.

“Despite S/4HANA offers a new UI (FIORI based), the customer can choose to have the old UI still available to assist the users in the transition.”

  • This is inaccurate, and the reason it is incorrect is it gives the impression that the overall UI for S/4 HANA is Fiori.
  • Fiori cannot now and cannot in the future be a replacement for the SAP GUI. The reason is that Fiori is primarily for mobile applications. SAP ECC, for example, has so many transactions that are complex, it’s not reasonable to create them in Fiori.

The scope of SAP GUI is explained in the following quotation from the book SAP Nation 2.0.

Ending Fiori?

“SAP users are using, by SAP’s estimation, some 300,000 different input  screens that were designed for different product lines, numerous product versions, different vertical industry requirements, etc..These screens were developed using approximately 30 different software tools (emphasis added)”

Those people that declare SAP GUI as a goner do not understand the extent of what has gone into the SAPGUI. Those that are presenting Fiori as an SAP GUI replacement — that know better are actively producing false information.

Therefore to say that S/4HANA offers a new UI and that the old UI (SAP GUI) will still be available, misstates or obscures the issue. And it seems to do so quite deliberately. This allows implementation teams to explain away why Fiori is not the day one user interface used by the project which is implementing say….S/4HANA. It is not because the client is not ready, or because of comfort issues. Instead, it is because Fiori is not a substitute for the SAP GUI.

Fiori Dreaming

Moving Past the Fantasy of SAP Fiori Apps

The reality is that Fiori is a user interface development environment combined with a series of apps that can be used with S/4 HANA or with ECC for that matter for doing relatively simple things for mobile devices or for doing things like building dashboards. However, mostly it is just a series (and a large number of) apps.

The primary use for Fiori would be for simple applications, for mobile applications — applications with high display content and limited user interaction.

That is, it is impossible to use S/4HANA exclusively with Fiori, and there is no way around SAP GUI is the primary user interface for S/4 HANA, Fiori would merely be used alongside SAP GUI.

  • Why SAP Fiori Apps only Work with HANA
  • Should SAP Fiori Apps only Work with HANA from a technical perspective?

Razor

SAP Fiori Apps

There are a few SAP Fiori apps that will work with AnyDB or any database. However, it is an interesting question why SAP has made Fiori primarily compatible with HANA. We will get into this topic in this article.

Below I have a screenshot of one SAP Fiori app on the Fiori App Library.

SAP Fiori Apps Library

If you look at each of the apps on the Fiori app library they each state whether they work with AnyDB (or any database) or only on HANA. However, the vast majority of Fiori apps only work on HANA. 

Why is it So Rare to See SAP Fiori Apps in the Field?

The problem is that because HANA is not selling well, and because many of the Fiori apps connect to S/4 HANA, this means that there are just not many customers who are even in a position to use Fiori apps, even if they loved the apps.

SAP Fiori Apps as the Razor?

Fiori is the “razor” in the well known “razor and razor blade strategy.” This is where one item is sold very inexpensively, and the company makes money on the other thing that you can’t use the first point without.

SAP’s Evolving Strategy with SAP Fiori Apps

SAP used to charge for Fiori, but they were not successful in selling Fiori apps when they charged. However, now Fiori apps are free, but you have to buy HANA. If you want to use the ERP oriented apps you have to buy S/4  HANA (that is ERP on HANA), which almost no one has done this. Therefore Fiori apps are being used much even though SAP no longer charges for them (that is charged for them directly).

Is There a Reason SAP Fiori Apps Should be Limited to HANA DB?

The answer is no. This is 100% a marketing strategy on the part of SAP. User interfaces are not dependent upon the database.

Digging Into the SAP Fiori Apps

Fiori has been very narrowly adopted up to this point. Still, most buyers do not know the information just presented, and only a few analysts have dug down in what Fiori is.

Customising the SAP Fiori Apps?

The proposal that is made is that customer can write their applications with Fiori. That sounds great, but not when one realizes that its a lot of work and a minuscule proportion of all of the screens for S/4HANA have been written. And this gets into a topic of development effort and timelines.

SAP and their partners routinely estimate very long and expensive development for anything in Fiori. This brings up a question which is absent from every Fiori article that I could get my hands on — and that question is “What is the development productivity within Fiori’s development environment?”

The biggest problem is that SAP is presenting Fiori as a UI when in fact, it is not providing that much total UI coverage to customers and is mostly giving them a prescribed development environment. 

Open Competition for Custom User Interface Application?

Since most of the work of developing the custom screens is going to be put onto the customer, then the customer has some options to select from to connect to SAP. That is, if Fiori were ready to go “out of the box” then SAP would be providing a complete user interface (much like they do with SAPGUI), then customers should only purchase Fiori. However, Fiori is not some out of the box replacement for the SAPGUI. That is not what SAP is doing with Fiori.

SAP has no particular advantage or known capability in creating customized user interface development environments over other vendors in the market.  However, there is a vibrant market in customized user interface development tools. Customers should compare Fiori against competitors like AppsFreedom, Mendix, Caprica or Koni by cost, functionality, development easy, development productivity, etc.. That is Fiori would be put through a software selection as an independent component from SAP. If it is compared in this way, Fiori will not fare well in this open competition. Therefore, Fiori has to be sold under a lot of heavy smoke.

Not an Out of the Box UI Solution

Fiori is not some out of the box replacement for the SAP GUI. Instead, SAP is primarily selling apps with a UI development environment — although not saying it — and in that case, Fiori is in open competition with some UI software vendors. SAP has no particular advantage or known capability in creating customized user interface development environments over other suppliers in the market. SAP is now competing in space it has no experience competing in. That is a bad thing because SAP’s real value is when it stays at its core. Its core is applications with complex business logic. That is what built SAP. Not databases, not application integration, not custom user interface environments. Let us look at history to see why this is the case. Every time SAP has deviated from its core, after the fanfare as passed SAP has ended up with a lagging product. CRM, PLM, PI/XI, Duet, Portals, and I could go on. But these are just a sampling of what happens when SAP gets out of its sweet spot.

Recommendation

Therefore, customers should compare Fiori against competitors like AppsFreedom, Mendix, Capriza or Kony by cost, functionality, development easy, development productivity, etc.. That is Fiori would be put through a software selection as an independent component from SAP.

About Fiori as a Free Product?

“When I discussed the free or not free for Fiori argument with a colleague, he intelligently commented that ‘no change is free’. I thought about it, and in particular for on-premise, that rings true. Even if you do want Fiori apps, you will need to add NetWeaver Gateway to your landscape, add some server side add-ins, open up access via internet (reverse proxys, firewall changes etc.), instantiate a (hopefully small) project or initiative to get it all done. To leverage some Fiori apps, you may need to even upgrade your system or even put HANA underneath it! Check here for the list of apps and their dependencies. So, irrespective of the SAP list price, implementing Fiori is not free.”

This is an excellent point. Fiori costs to implement, which is different from other user interfaces that are baked into the application. Therefore, with SAP core products (the acquired products don’t use Fiori) one has two user interfaces.

  1. SAPGUI: “Which is the baked in” interface.
  2. Fiori: Which must be “implemented.”

Fiori’s Related Layers

SAP and their surrogates will tend to present implementing Fiori as only the cost of Fiori’s license (which is free). However, they leave out associated costs.

“And it is not just about licensing of Fiori, there are licensing layers above (to the user) and below (to the application and persistence layer) you may need to add. As John Appleby mentioned, you still need end-user licenses to leverage Fiori in addition to the Fiori app price (to my understanding it is not built into the Fiori price), you need licenses for underlying applications (of course)”

Customers find out about these costs later in the process, and they are of course surprised.

“For Fiori analytics apps you need HANA as the persistence, which means to take advantage of these you need the appropriate HANA license …. and be careful, I have seen a customer which paid for HANA on BW which doesn’t qualify for these apps … they were informed they would need to purchase HANA on ERP (of course, everyone needs to check with their account executive). And finally, to improve the load performance of Fiori apps, SAP is recommending the use of Kapsel which comes with a SAP Mobile Platform license. So customers need to have deep pockets when you add all this up, not to mention the actual implementation costs from my previous point.”

Conclusion

The most important things to know about Fiori is that the SAP Fiori Apps will not be a replacement for SAP GUI, and Fiori only has a minuscule amount of coverage over the collection of screens that make up SAP GUI. Therefore, any S/4 HANA implementation will not be assisted here and there by SAP GUI; it will be the primary user interface of S/4. The customer may use some Fiori apps, the client may develop more apps using Fiori, but that is the extent of Fiori.

Fiori has been talked about and written about for years, and there has been a tremendous amount promised on the SAP Fiori Apps. Many of the articles written on Fiori now look silly…….or should I say hopelessly optimistic, because the SAP Fiori Apps is still barely used on accounts and has no momentum in the marketplace. And most of the authors did very minimal research into what Fiori. They seemed to have gone to an SAP press conference and then merely typed what SAP said. This is the problem with so many analysts or reporters that write on topics — only using the SAP as a source, or use an analyst — who has not investigated the SAP Fiori Apps in any detail, as a source.

SAP’s Changed Strategy on Fiori

SAP has changed its strategy on Fiori, from one of charging for the SAP Fiori Apps to making Fiori as part of a packaged deal — that is packaged with HANA.

This is what is known as a Faustian bargain. It does not allow the SAP Fiori Apps to succeed on its own merits, but instead unnecessarily ties Fiori to HANA. However, there is no technical reason for this to be the case. SAP has put a significant amount of effort into Fiori, but Fiori has a very poor future if SAP continues to limit the use of Fiori apps to customers that are running HANA.

Overall, SAP is presenting customers with a risky product in Fiori. I cover the topic of enterprise software risk in great detail in the book Rethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects, and the fact that Fiori is offered by a large software vendor like SAP does not change these risks.

Fiori is much more involved than is commonly presented. SAP and their surrogates want to make the use of Fiori sound as painless as possible, but because Fiori is not technically baked and because it is used to drive customers to HANA, it is often presented under pretenses.

Brightwork Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

This article and no other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle and SAP. Brightwork does offer competitive intelligence work to vendors as part of its business, but no published research or articles are written with any financial consideration. As part of Brightwork’s commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research, the company’s business model is driven by consulting services; no paid media placements are accepted.

Fiori Question Box

  • Have Questions About SAP's Fiori?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in Fiori without outside advice. And it is close to impossible to get honest Fiori advice from large consulting companies. We offer remote unbiased multi-dimension Fiori support.

    This article is free, we do not answer questions for free. Filling out this form is for those that have a budget. If that describes you, just fill out the form below and we'll be in touch asap.

References

The Risk Estimation Book

 

Software RiskRethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Better Managing Software Risk

The software implementation is risky business and success is not a certainty. But you can reduce risk with the strategies in this book. Undertaking software selection and implementation without approximating the project’s risk is a poor way to make decisions about either projects or software. But that’s the way many companies do business, even though 50 percent of IT implementations are deemed failures.

Finding What Works and What Doesn’t

In this book, you will review the strategies commonly used by most companies for mitigating software project risk–and learn why these plans don’t work–and then acquire practical and realistic strategies that will help you to maximize success on your software implementation.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 3: The Basics of Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 4: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
Chapter 5: Software Sell-ability versus Implementability
Chapter 6: Selecting the Right IT Consultant
Chapter 7: How to Use the Reports of Analysts Like Gartner
Chapter 8: How to Interpret Vendor-Provided Information to Reduce Project Risk
Chapter 9: Evaluating Implementation Preparedness
Chapter 10: Using TCO for Decision Making
Chapter 11: The Software Decisions’ Risk Component Model

An Analysis of the SAP S/4 1610 Information

Executive Summary

  • How accurate is the information communicated on S/4 ranging from real-time consolidation to Fiori to EWN and S/4, to PLM and EWM, data governance?

1610 S4

Introduction

I spent time analyzing the SAP document SAP S/4HANA 1610 Release Highlights. 1610 is the most recent release of S/4HANA.

Here are some of the quotes I found noteworthy and I have provided analysis of these statements.

On Real Time Consolidation

“Take advantage of instant access to transactional and master data in SAP S/4HANA for real-time consolidation. You can easily trace back to source data in SAP S/4HANA and other legacy source systems for the finest granularity and confidence.” – SAP

I have performed research on this topic of consolidation. This has been a primary marketing point for SAP. They have repeatedly stated that companies that use S/4 will save hundreds of hours in their end of period closing. SAP ties this to HANA’s superior speed as allowing this real-time consolidation to occur.

The inaccuracy in SAP’s statement is that consolidation is not entirely a systematic processing issue. Many judgments must be made, and they are human, and therefore real-time consolidation does not make a lot of sense.

SAP Applications to Connect to S/4

“Connect to business networks like never before. Finance can now take advantage of additional integrations with the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll solution and learning map, buyer-side Ariba® Invoice Management and Ariba Discount Management solutions, Concur® solutions, and SAP Fieldglass solutions.”

The SAP S/4HANA 1610 release simplifies human resources for both IT and business users. You can now simplify your IT environment with streamlined integration between SAP S/4HANA and SAP SuccessFactors solutions to support end-to-end business processes. Business users can now utilize object pages to present worker-related data for both employees and contingent labor forces.

Reduce procurement hassle with catalog buying for self-service requisitioning processes and increased integration with business networks, such as the creation of sourcing requests in SAP Ariba solutions directly from SAP S/4HANA. Sourcing managers can enjoy increased visibility into supplier performance, purchasing spend, and business events with the new procurement overview page.” – SAP

All of this is marketing to get companies to buy other SAP solutions, namely Concur, Fieldglass, SuccessFactors, and Ariba. All of these are acquisitions. None of them have anything to do with S/4 except they have integration (with adapters in various stages of development). On the other hand, you can use other applications that are competitors to these SAP applications. In most to many cases, companies may want to because the SAP product may be a poor fit or may not be cost effective.

S/4HANA Fiori

“New SAP Fiori apps enable increased productivity for all users across collaborative sourcing, contract management, and supplier management functions. Daily activities such as managing purchasing info cards, contracts, sources of supply, and requests for quotes take full advantage of the award-winning SAP Fiori user experience (UX) – SAP

Increase sales productivity with new SAP Fiori apps that make it easier than ever to create, modify, and display sales orders on any device. Contextual information helps ensure your sales and sales-support teams have a comprehensive view of the customer to maximize satisfaction, including resolution of issues, at every step of the buying process.”

SAP continues the charade of presenting S/4HANA Fiori as if it is a complete user interface for S/4 when in fact it is just there to provide an assist. S/4HANA Fiori will have to be used alongside the SAPGUI to work correctly. S/4HANA Fiori how has 7671 “apps” (which aren’t apps in fact, but is another topic). This is a big change for S/4HANA Fiori. Up until very recently S/4HANA Fiori had less than 1200 apps and was growing at around 15 apps per month. How these new apps were added is something I need to analyze and will write about in a future article. There is something bizarre going on with the counting of the S/4HANA Fiori app number.

Any S/4 implementation will primarily use SAPGUI. I explain why in the following post.

The characterization of Fiori presented by SAP in its marketing literature is once again wholly inaccurate.

Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling

“Production planning and detailed scheduling have been integrated with SAP S/4HANA, allowing you to create production plans without relying on a separate planning instance. You can now optimize and plan resource schedules directly in the digital core, taking into account bottlenecks and other production challenges.”

“Material requirement planning (MRP) includes embedded production planning and detailed scheduling (PPDS) natively deployed without the need for complex integration and data maintenance to help drive accelerated MRP processing times from hours to potentially minutes and enable intelligent constraint-based planning and scheduling.”SAP Press Release

I have implemented PP/DS myself and can vouch for the fact that PP/DS is a lagging application in the space that is sold exclusively to SAP customers and it has a very poor implementation history. So the fact that PP/DS is now part of S/4HANA is not a good thing, and PP/DS will not meet the needs of the vast majority of customers. For this, a bold on will be required.

EWM

“Experience the power of the SAP Extended Warehouse Management application built into SAP S/4HANA, and unlock greater productivity throughout your warehouse. This means your warehouse clerks and operations personnel can enjoy increased access to real-time data, while IT can embrace a simplified technical landscape. Your entire organization benefits from reduced data duplication and replication to increase accuracy and decrease cost.”

As with PP/DS SAP is leveraging APO to jazz up S/4. EWM is a warehouse management module in APO. It was built at CAT logistics and is unsuitable for most shippers. But SAP tries to sell it into shippers anyway. EWM is a weak application with enormous complexity that is entirely uncompetitive with warehouse management applications. So again, the fact that EWM can be made to connect to S/4 is not much of an advantage as EWM is such a poor application.

PLM

“Manage embedded software versions with the SAP Product Lifecycle Management application in SAP S/4HANA. Maintain compatibility information and check product compatibility for easy deployment of embedded software across projects and products.

Take an integrated approach to accelerated product design with a tool that integrates SAP software for product lifecycle management with multiple CAD authoring tools. Provide a 360-degree product view, with total transparency across engineering disciplines, through a harmonized and intuitive user experience. Synchronize product metadata, structures, access, and file handling to bridge design data with business data for a comprehensive product description.” – SAP

This is recycled marketing puff from SAP’s many other attempts to penetrate the PLM market. I have read very close to the same thing at least eight times over the past nine years from SAP as SAP continually tried to gain a foothold in the PLM market.

Data Governance

“Help ensure a single source of truth with enterprise-wide governance using the SAP Master Data Governance application embedded within SAP S/4HANA. A new approach unifies industry materials and retail articles while using simplified master data to provide an easily managed corporate taxonomy. You can deploy user-friendly master-data-quality worklists for consistent, accurate data across the enterprise.”

There is no single source of truth. A single source of truth is fool’s gold. There are systems of record, but no single system of record. This is merely meaningless marketing speak.

For instance, S/4 cannot be the source of truth for all the other systems that a company uses unless S/4 is the only software that a company uses. I have read through several far more detailed documents on 1610, and I can’t find any evidence of this capability. I am quite suspicious of this proposal because SAP claimed something very similar for MDM and then MDG, and those applications never had many implementations.

There is no single source of truth. A single source of truth is fool’s gold. There are systems of record, but no single system of record. This is merely meaningless marketing speak. “Single source of truth” is the kind of information that once it is stated, the listener knows less than before they listened to it.

For instance, S/4 cannot be the source of truth for all the other systems that a company uses unless S/4 is the only software that a company uses. I have read through several far more detailed documents on 1610, and I can’t find any evidence of this capability. I am quite suspicious of this proposal because SAP claimed something very similar for MDM and then MDG, and those applications never had many implementations.

Conclusion

SAP’s literature in 1610 is filled with inaccuracies. Many of these claims on S/4 are not new for SAP. Most of these same arguments have been used in the past by SAP to describe either ECC or the other products mentioned above. However, they never came true previously.

SAP does the following:

  • Lying Through Omission: Leaves out important details (such as the fact that SAPGUI is critical to S/4HANA Fiori will only be incidental in use)
  • Non-Stop “SAP Universe” Selling: SAP talks up other SAP applications that don’t have anything to do with S/4 but can be connected to S/4. If the topic of the paper is S/4, then why does SAP spend so much coverage on items that are not part of S/4? Some of the audience that does not know may think that the products mentioned such as Concur, and SuccessFactors are part of S/4. It also does not follow that just because SAP has an offering that the offering is right for the SAP customer. Of each product mentioned, there are many competitors. If we look at SuccessFactors, sort of SAP’s showcase acquired product, it is known that there are some things it does well and others it doesn’t. SAP does not have the overall space of HR covered simply because they acquired SuccessFactors.
  • Understating Integration Efforts: SAP will have an advantage over other firms for integration because the data model from S/4 has changed. This will break the adapters that have been written for ECC. On the other hand, many of SAP’s new acquisitions face the same problem as third party applications are not entirely integrated to S/4. Therefore, just because SAP mentions that “S/4 can be connected to XYZ SAP product” does not mean that the integration to the product is ready, or is not in some half-finished state. I hear of lots of integration problems on projects where the acquired products have been implemented. More than any previous SAP ERP version, (and since so many of the products mentioned in the SAP information are acquisitions), SAP customers must very thoroughly check how much integration they are obtaining from a purchase of these non-S/4 products. SAP and consulting partners will do everything in their power to provide the inaccuracy that every SAP application has a completed integration adapter to S/4.
  • Wishful Thinking: SAP proposes, and would like the user to assume, a lot of competence in application areas like production planning and scheduling and PLM. However, SAP has never had useful products in these areas. Production scheduling and PLM are a problem on every single SAP account currently. And it’s unlikely much will have changed merely because SAP is now introducing it under S/4. I could do the same thing. Say that I will win a Nobel Prize, compete in the Olympics or become a fashion model. But if I don’t have any history of being good in any of these things why anyone would believe me?
  • Hiding The Readiness of S/4: SAP does not let on for a second that the S/4 suite is not a finished product. SAP has continued to present this falsehood for several years. S/4 1610, as with the S/4 versions before it comes with a “simplification list.” This is the list of the changes made to S/4. The list is 408 pages long and takes a serious commitment of time to read. And in the next few months, there will be a new simplification list, of similar length that will also have to be digested. Since it is an expensive resource who could make sense of this document, this means researching the simplifications list is expensive (relatively speaking) to fund. Companies will fund a database administrator position or someone who they can trace some concrete output, but they dislike financing background research like this. I can see many companies skipping this detailed analysis in the beginning and finding out the details during the implementation.

SAP could publish a much easier to understand the document that shows the percentage of functionality in each area that is complete, the percentage that has changed, the portion that has been disappeared. However, they do not do that. There is no documentation for the marketing information I have quoted above and the detailed simplification list which is only readable by far smaller audience and which requires its detailed analysis.

Overall this SAP literature is unreliable and is not useful for much more than criticism or humor. It is amazing to me that the information in this SAP document will be read or used by anyone to decide on S/4.

HANA & S/4HANA Question Box

  • Have Questions About S/4HANA & HANA?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in S/4HANA and HANA without outside advice. And it is close to impossible to get honest S/4HANA and HANA advice from large consulting companies. We offer remote unbiased multi-dimension S/4HANA and HANA support.

    This article is free, we do not answer questions for free. Filling out this form is for those that have a budget. If that describes you, just fill out the form below and we'll be in touch asap.

References

Risk Estimation and Calculation

Risk Estimation and Calculation

See our free project risk estimators that are available per application. The provide a method of risk analysis that is not available from other sources.

project_software_risk

http://www.sap.com/documents/2016/10/9e49aa81-927c-0010-82c7-eda71af511fa.html#

http://news.sap.com/sap-s4hana-enhancements-accelerate-digital-transformation/

What Ever Happened to SAP Personas?

Executive Summary

  • SAP make a large number of forward-looking statements around Personas. But after Fiori arrived, Personas essentially disappeared as time passed. Now the question remains, whatever happened to Personas?

Introduction

In a previous article What is Actually in the Fiori Box? I went through Fiori in detail and explained some features of Fiori which are not understood. In this previous article I stated that in my analysis, Fiori’s future is much more tenuous that one would think.

The Gartner Paper on Fiori

In performing this analysis, I repeatedly came across references for Gartner’s article, titled SAP Fiori UX: It is Not a Matter of if, but When.

This proposal of inevitability has been a common theme used by SAP recently when selling anything from HANA to S/4, etc.. It does not at all appear coincidental the SAP’s selling messaging is just about the same as Gartner’s title of an article on Fiori. In fact, in several areas, Gartner’s article did not read so much as an independent article, but more of an article that SAP partially wrote. This is reminiscent of an article I critiqued years ago where Aberdeen Research published an article that was apparently paid for by IBM.

Now it is well known that Gartner takes money from vendors, and it makes the most money from the largest providers. Gartner says this does not affect their output.

However, on some occasions is evident through the analysis they release that these payments do affect them. And this article I will critique on Fiori is a perfect example of this financial bias. Gartner did a poor job of covering up their bias in this article, which is why I have decided to analyze the article in depth.

Gartner Introducing The Topic of SAP Personas

Later in the article, Gartner waxes philosophically about how Fiori should be looked at differently than SAP’s previous (and failed) UI attempt — called SAP Personas.

Well, wait for a second — what happened to SAP Personas??

Just last year I was proposing SAP Personas as part of a sales team as a new way to use SAP that was much better than the SAPGUI. (SAP Personas is now dead by the way) The article goes on to praise Hasso Plattner for his philanthropic donations to the Hasso Plattner School of Design. Furthermore, how Fiori should be seen as a culmination of his commitment to this high-minded principle or that high-minded principle.

The Wind Beneath One’s Wings

I teared up at one point. I then found my old copy of the soundtrack to Beaches and played the Wind Beneath my Wings.

First, I don’t see what any of this has to do with Fiori’s real prospects. Secondly, once again, these paragraphs (which I do not include so as not to provide too much of Gartner’s content) seem like they were coordinated with SAP’s PR department. Did Gartner get paid extra for Hasso Plattner’s image? What about Hasso’s work with the homeless? This does not at all seem like independent analysis.

Gartner then falls a logical utility hole when providing an utterly spurious example from history — which will confuse anyone unfamiliar with what happened.

“A good analogy is to see this in the context of SAP’s move from client/server to service-oriented architectures. Modern service-oriented architectures were not simply a matter of upgrading infrastructure and then installing the new version. SOA has had direct impacts on the way application design and management occurred. For example, application development teams needed to understand the principles of good service design and associated information architecture implications while manifesting a culture of reuse…. Just like the transition to SOAs, SAP Fiori UX will necessitate that application teams understand the principles of good UX design and put these into regular practice.”

This entire paragraph is incorrect. SOA was one of the high lead balloons in the past ten years in technology. SOA never came to fruition, and SAP never did much to enable SOA.

The Lack of Embarrassment Regarding Referencing SOA

In fact, one could say that a vendor like SAP would have all the financial incentives to push against SOA — not to promote it, as it moves towards more open systems. But more open systems leads to less lock-in, and less lock-in leads to less profit. This is reminiscent of Vinnie Mirchandani’s book SAP Nation, where SAP talks cloud to Wall Street, but then sells on-premises, because of that locks in customers are better.

Therefore if we review Gartner’s logic here, Gartner is saying that something that never took off — SOA, is a reason why Fiori should be considered inevitable? Does Gartner even know that SOA never was successful? It is an interesting approach. I never thought of working fake history into any of my articles.

This entire paragraph brings up a lot of questions to me. This might be one of the only paragraphs that would argue against SAP writing this, as SAP must know that this is incorrect and that people familiar with technology would see this as a significant red flag.

Conclusion

This article is ahistorical. It does not bring up SAP’s previous attempts at user interfaces that were supposed to transform the front end.

HANA & S/4HANA Question Box

  • Have Questions About S/4HANA & HANA?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in S/4HANA and HANA without outside advice. And it is close to impossible to get honest S/4HANA and HANA advice from large consulting companies. We offer remote unbiased multi-dimension S/4HANA and HANA support.

    This article is free, we do not answer questions for free. Filling out this form is for those that have a budget. If that describes you, just fill out the form below and we'll be in touch asap.

Fiori Question Box

  • Have Questions About SAP's Fiori?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in Fiori without outside advice. And it is close to impossible to get honest Fiori advice from large consulting companies. We offer remote unbiased multi-dimension Fiori support.

    This article is free, we do not answer questions for free. Filling out this form is for those that have a budget. If that describes you, just fill out the form below and we'll be in touch asap.

References

The Gartner Book

 

GARTNER-1Gartner and the Magic Quadrant: A Guide for Buyers, Vendors, and Investors

How to Figure Out How to Effectively User Gartner

Whether you are a software buyer, a large or small vendor, or are wondering how Gartner can help you make better investment decisions, this book will give you new insights to Gartner’s research. By studying the methodology behind such popular analytical tools like the Magic Quadrant, you will understand how a vendor earned its rating and whether or not the ratings are justified!

Understanding Gartner, It’s History, and It’s Incentives

Starting with the history of Gartner and how it compares to other IT analyst firms, this book gives a realistic assessment of the value of Gartner research to a company and provides ideas about other resources that could complement Gartner’s analysis. You will also have the tools to level the playing field between large, medium and small vendors when using Gartner’s analysis in selecting software.

Chapters

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: An Overview of Gartner
  • Chapter 3: How Gartner Makes Money
  • Chapter 4: Comparing Gartner to Consumer Reports, the RAND Corporation, and Academic Research
  • Chapter 5: The Magic Quadrant
  • Chapter 6: Other Analytical Products Offered by Gartner
  • Chapter 7: Gartner’s Future and Cloud Computing
  • Chapter 8: Adjusting the Magic Quadrant
  • Chapter 9: Is Gartner Worth the Investment?
  • Chapter 10: Conclusion
  • Appendix a: How to Use Independent Consultants for Software Selection
  • Appendix b: What Does the History of Media Tell Us About This Topic
  • Appendix c: Disclosure Statements and Code of Ethics

Risk Estimation and Calculation

Risk Estimation and Calculation

See our free project risk estimators that are available per application. The provide a method of risk analysis that is not available from other sources.

project_software_risk

How Gartner Got SAP Fiori So Wrong

Executive Summary

  • Gartner has provided information on SAP Fiori to the market that has proven to be highly inaccurate.
  • Gartner laid down and without performing research that Fiori would be SAPGUI’s replacement and that Fiori would be a “game changer.”
  • In this article, we analyze Gartner’s statements.

Introduction

In a previous article What is Actually in the Fiori Box? I went through Fiori in detail and explained some features of Fiori which are not understood. In this previous article I stated that in my analysis, Fiori’s future is much more tenuous that one would think.

In performing this analysis, I repeatedly came across references for Gartner’s article, titled SAP Fiori UX: It is Not a Matter of if, but When.

This proposal of inevitability has been a common theme used by SAP recently when selling anything from HANA to S/4, etc.. It does not at all appear coincidental the SAP’s selling messaging is just about the same as Gartner’s title of an article on Fiori. In fact, in several areas, Gartner’s article did not read so much as an independent article, but more of an article that SAP partially wrote. This is reminiscent of an article I critiqued years ago where Aberdeen Research published an article that was paid for by IBM.

Now it is well known that Gartner takes money from vendors, and it makes the most money from the largest providers. Gartner says this does not affect their output. 

However, Gartner fails again and again to predict SAP. They have been wrong about Fiori, HANA and S/4HANA. And every time their failure is being too optimistic. Hmmmmm…. this plus being paid by SAP what is we estimate $100 million per year looks like bias.

This Magic Quadrant is devastating for Gartner’s credibility. Oracle Cloud ERP is so lacking in functionality that it is mostly implemented alongside on-premises Oracle ERP, as explained by Rimini Street. 

“If there is functionality coverage in Cloud ERP, some new features may be available. This is a big if, as there are huge gaps still present in Cloud ERP applications. Precisely the reason Oracle promotes the Cloud ERP co-existence strategy.”

Yet, somehow this widely lampooned system is the best cloud ERP on the planet. Right. Oracle has been desperate to get attention for their lagging ERP and clearly shoveled so much money at Gartner that they bought the top spot. But it should be pointed out, Gartner shows more preferential treatment to SAP versus Oracle. I have never estimated how much Oracle pays to Gartner.

Gartner on SAP’s Effort on SAP Fiori

Gartner did a poor job of covering up their bias in this article, which is why I have decided to analyze the article in depth. Lets begin with the first quote.

“SAP Fiori UX is an output of a conscious and well-funded effort to establish an internal design team inside SAP. This, in turn, is the result of a commitment to design-led software development at the most senior levels of the organization.”

That is certainly true.

However, Gartner should recognize that this in itself is not a predictor of success. If Gartner does not realize this, then Gartner has not studied SAP over the years on its multiple product introductions. Any analyst who stops at this level that Gartner finished at here….well they are not qualified to cover the topic.

If Gartner were interested in bringing this background into its analysis, it would know that SAP has had many well-funded efforts with senior level support. And that only sometimes leads to success.

  • CRM had senior level support – and CRM is nowhere now as a product for SAP. (to be replaced by C/4HANA — someday)
  • PLM has had senior-level support – and is essentially no longer discussed
  • SPP had lots of support, (in addition to having very few competitors in the marketplace for service parts planning) is now a dead product

In fact, most new initiatives do have senior level support as some senior person leads the group, etc.. But many applications with high-level support have also failed to become important drivers of SAP’s success.

Gartner on Fiori’s Scope

“Over 18 months, SAP Fiori UX has dramatically expanded in scope, in purpose and as a strategic component of SAP new S/4 Hana release.

Based on these factors, Gartner believes that SAP Fiori UX is unavoidable. While SAP customer are not being forced to implement SAP Fiori UX on SAP’s timeline, SAP customers must start planning for an SAP Fiori UX future.”

This is a very definitive conclusion proposed here by Gartner, but it is based on little evidence.

Let’s recap this evidence.

Gartner has concluded that Fiori is unavoidable because:

  • Fiori is well funded
  • Fiori has senior support from SAP
  • Fiori has grown in scope

That is it?

That is all it takes to convince Gartner that Fiori is unavoidable?

Furthermore:

  • Does Gartner believe that Fiori is inevitable as used along with SAPGUI, which will be still be managing the vast majority of screens?
  • Does Gartner believe that Fiori is unavoidable under the construct proposed by SAP that Fiori will replace SAPGUI?

We don’t know because Gartner provides little in the way of detail.

  1. If Fiori is not a SAPGUI replacement, as I covered in detail in my previous article, and if a customer wants to use another mobile and custom UI application provider (like a FreedomApps, or Kony, etc.) Then how is it that Fiori is unavoidable?
  2. If customers don’t want to use HANA, and as the vast majority of Fiori apps only work with HANA, then is Fiori still inevitable?
  3. I have been testing Fiori’s performance and have been communicating these problems to clients (as covered in the article Why is Fiori So Slow?). If Fiori is never able to meet minimum performance requirements, is Fiori still inevitable?

If Gartner had actually tested Fiori, rather than just cashing SAP’s check they would know some of these things, but Gartner has (apparently) a specific policy to never touch any software.

Gartner on Using SAP Fiori

“Avoid modifying existing SAP Fiori UX apps if possible, and instead focus future SAP-related UX development on creating new apps.”

This is a confusing sentence. I had to go back to the original article to make sure I had not miscopied this somehow.

However, if I interpret it to mean that the customer should not customize Fiori apps — then it is true. However, it is true because Fiori’s development environment is inefficient for performing customization. SAP has proposed that Fiori can be customized. But in researching this issue, Gartner is correct; one should think of using each app as is from SAP.

Why is Gartner leaving the “why” out of the explanation, I thought Gartner was providing analysis. Is Gartner providing analysis or providing a covering for SAP here?

“Use SAP Fiori UX as a way to drive great process standardization in systems of record.”

This sentence means absolutely nothing.

Fiori does not allow for important process standardization. The term “system of record” seems just thrown into this sentence and it has no meaning.  What if it did allow for process standardization — should it be applied also to SAP applications that are not the system of record?

At this point, it is becoming more than apparent that the authors don’t know what they are talking about. 

Gartner on SAP Fiori as SAPGUI Replacement?

“SAP Fiori UX is the new user experience for SAP Software. This seems like an innocuous statement — a statement that can be read as “Oh, that’s nice; SAP is making things look better.” If seen in that context, SAP Fiori UX would end up being something SAP customers might eventually consider when they have time.”

I think this paragraph requires one critical caveat. Fiori is partially a new user experience for SAP software.

Gartner is making the same proposal that SAP routinely makes — which is proposing in, at least an indirect manner, that Fiori is set to replace the SAPGUI. My previous article illustrates why this is untrue. Gartner gives no hint of this and is very much right on message with SAP.

As I point out in this analysis, Gartner is mimicking SAP’s messaging. That might be normal and not all that much of concern under other circumstances (i.e., repeating things that are true). However, SAP’s messaging on Fiori not accurate (as my previous article described). Therefore, Gartner is not performing much if any independent analysis versus what it is being provided by SAP.

Not to beat the dead horse, but let us say that a company has all the time in the world and that they like Fiori. But, as with most businesses, they do not have plans to use HANA. Or if they plan to it is in some very limited way. Port the BW to HANA for instance. So now what?

Gartner on SAP Fiori as A “Game Changer”?

“SAP Fiori UX is anything but innocuous. It is such a radical rethink of the way people should interact with an ERP system that it will impact the way application leaders need to manage their SAP implementation, including team responsibilities, structures and success metrics. If successful, SAP Fiori UX will have profound implications on the enterprise software market.”

Fiori is much nicer looking than the SAPGUI, but it is less functional than SAPGUI because it is primarily a mobile reporting app.

Its almost as if Fiori is designed more to look good, in brochures rather than being a functional UI. In testing Fiori takes longer than diong the same actions in SAPGUI. Fiori only has the advantage of graphics display over SAPGUI. Outside of a few small SAP consulting partners that are using the Professional Services functionality, globally, we estimate that companies using exclusively Fiori to “work in” S/4HANA is close to nil. 

SAP’s Overhyped Mediocre UI

I don’t see it as in the same category as the top UI’s among the 53 vendors I have covered. Plus, one can’t analyze a series of mobile applications — that are designed to do more simple things as a user interface that drives the entire application. Fiori is not the primary user interface of SAP. Again, this distinction seems lost on Gartner.

“SAP Fiori UX delivers a fundamentally different user experience by being centered on the tasks and activities that matter to the end user. In contrast to previous approaches by SAP, the Fiori experience is not limited to a functional area, but rather cuts across functional areas and end-to-end processes. This is delivered through a collection of purposeful apps (see “The App and Its Impact on Software Design” ). The Fiori concept also entails end users’ ability to choose, invoke and manage their own set of apps via the Fiori launchpad. Fiori apps work equally on desktops, tablets or smartphones (see “Turning Supertankers: Getting SAP UX Right”).”

Having extensively tested Fiori, (rather than taking notes from SAP relationship managers as Gartner did) I don’t think this is true, and a lot of details are being glossed over here.

  • First, many Fiori apps are solely within one functional area.
  • Second, I am also not convinced that Fiori works equally well on desktops, tablets or smartphones. In fact, it would be highly unlikely if it did. SAP made an error basing Fiori on mobile UI technologies. People do not need to use SAP applications on tablets or phones. If they do, they can use apps created by mobile teams that write in either Android or iOS that send data to SAP. (SAP seems to be refighting the battles of SAP Mobile. SAP already lost the mobile space to Andriod and iOS development.)

Fiori’s Core Strength in Display

Fiori’s core strength is on mobile devices, so tablets and smartphones. How can a user interface that is designed to show a screen work as well on a phone as it does on a computer? Even web pages — which are considerably less complicated than an enterprise application screen and are geared for display — lose functionality when transitioning from a computer to a phone. Try using LinkedIn on the phone, and then compare the experience/functionality to using LinkedIn on a computer. LinkedIn is actually optimized for phones, not computers.

Screen real estate, as well as input devices (keyboards, mice, etc.), mean substantial differences in usage. I am happy to be updated on a phone or tablet, but if I have serious work to do. If I am going to plan a supply network or analyze a series of forecasts, I don’t see how any application on the planet is going to work “equally” well on a phone, tablet or a computer. And this had nothing to do with SAP or Fiori — it is a statement that applies to application interfaces overall. A user interface also works differently also depending upon the size and resolution of a monitor, or when used across two computer screens versus one.

Where is Gartner coming from here? Don’t they user, user, interfaces on different devices? Why don’t they just intuitively know this?

Once again, this sound suspiciously like SAP’s messaging on Fiori. Who are the actual authors of this article — the people listed by Gartner on the article or SAP?

Gartner Wraps Up with Some Lightweight Fare

Later in the article, Gartner waxes philosophically about how Fiori should be looked at differently than SAP’s previous (and failed) UI attempt — called Personas.

Well, wait for a second — what happened to Personas??

In 2015  I was proposing Personas as pre-sales support for part of a sales team as a new way to use SAP that was much better than the SAPGUI. (Personas is now dead by the way). Why does Gartner not discuss the failure of Personas? Personas has almost the same marketing as Fiori.

Gartner Praises Hasso Plattner’s Philanthropy

The article goes on to praise Hasso Plattner for his philanthropic donations to the Hasso Plattner School of Design. (Interestingly, they don’t point out Hasso Plattner’s “philanthropic donations” to Gartner itself) Then Gartner discusses how Fiori should be seen as a culmination of his commitment to this high-minded principle or that high-minded principle. I teared up at one point! It’s all very captivating until you realize that Gartner is being paid per word.

First, I don’t see what any of this has to do with Fiori’s real prospects. Secondly, once again, these paragraphs (which I do not include so as not to provide too much of Gartner’s content) seem like they were coordinated with SAP’s PR department.

Gartner then falls a logical utility hole when providing an utterly spurious example from history — which will confuse anyone unfamiliar with what happened.

“A good analogy is to see this in the context of SAP’s move from client/server to service-oriented architectures. Modern service-oriented architectures were not simply a matter of upgrading infrastructure and then installing the new version. SOA has had direct impacts on the way application design and management occurred. For example, application development teams needed to understand the principles of good service design and associated information architecture implications while manifesting a culture of reuse…. Just like the transition to SOAs, SAP Fiori UX will necessitate that application teams understand the principles of good UX design and put these into regular practice.”

This entire paragraph is incorrect. SOA was one of the high lead balloons in the past ten years in technology. SOA never came to fruition, and SAP never did much to enable SOA.

SAP’s Financial Incentives Against SOA

In fact, one could say that a vendor like SAP would have all the financial incentives to push against SOA — not to promote it, as it moves towards more open systems. But more open systems leads to less lock-in, and less lock-in leads to less profit. This is reminiscent of Vinnie Mirchandani’s book SAP Nation, where SAP talks cloud to Wall Street, but then sells on-premises, because of that locks in customers are better.

Therefore if we review Gartner’s logic here, Gartner is saying that something that never took off — SOA, is a reason why Fiori should be considered inevitable? Does Gartner even know that SOA never was successful? It is an interesting approach. I never thought of working fake history into any of my articles.

This entire paragraph brings up a lot of questions to me. This might be one of the only paragraphs that would argue against SAP writing this, as SAP must know that this is incorrect and that people familiar with technology would see this as a major red flag.

Conclusion

  • This article by Gartner is almost entirely inaccurate regarding Fiori but is also filled with falsehoods that are unrelated to Fiori.
  • It also fails to bring up any of the most interesting points about Fiori.
  • Based on the article, I have no confidence that the authors know anything about Fiori beyond what they were told by SAP.

Someone did not mind the store when this article was released. Gartner is supposed to take money from vendors, but it is intended to do a better job of covering up their bias — and not release documents like this that show such blatant bias.

Something I find interesting is that I have rated many applications, and rated their user interface. Some of the best user interfaces I have come across are from Arena Solutions, DemandWorks, BaseCRM, and PlanetTogether. These are not add-on apps that are a sideshow to the main event; they are the actual user interface used by these applications. They have been around for years and are live on many accounts. However, instead of writing about exemplary user interfaces that are already live at customers from smaller vendors that have much smaller checkbooks, Gartner spends time writing about the “inevitability” of adjusting apps that cannot replace the core user interface of the supplier in question.

Why?

That is something the reader can most likely answer for themselves.

And so far, Fiori has very little uptake by customers (and this article was updated in July 2018). So Gartner has so far not done a good job predicting the future of Fiori.

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References

The Gartner Book

 

GARTNER-1Gartner and the Magic Quadrant: A Guide for Buyers, Vendors, and Investors

How to Figure Out How to Effectively User Gartner

Whether you are a software buyer, a large or small vendor, or are wondering how Gartner can help you make better investment decisions, this book will give you new insights to Gartner’s research. By studying the methodology behind such popular analytical tools like the Magic Quadrant, you will understand how a vendor earned its rating and whether or not the ratings are justified!

Understanding Gartner, It’s History, and It’s Incentives

Starting with the history of Gartner and how it compares to other IT analyst firms, this book gives a realistic assessment of the value of Gartner research to a company and provides ideas about other resources that could complement Gartner’s analysis. You will also have the tools to level the playing field between large, medium and small vendors when using Gartner’s analysis in selecting software.

Chapters

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: An Overview of Gartner
  • Chapter 3: How Gartner Makes Money
  • Chapter 4: Comparing Gartner to Consumer Reports, the RAND Corporation, and Academic Research
  • Chapter 5: The Magic Quadrant
  • Chapter 6: Other Analytical Products Offered by Gartner
  • Chapter 7: Gartner’s Future and Cloud Computing
  • Chapter 8: Adjusting the Magic Quadrant
  • Chapter 9: Is Gartner Worth the Investment?
  • Chapter 10: Conclusion
  • Appendix a: How to Use Independent Consultants for Software Selection
  • Appendix b: What Does the History of Media Tell Us About This Topic
  • Appendix c: Disclosure Statements and Code of Ethics

Risk Estimation and Calculation

Risk Estimation and Calculation

See our free project risk estimators that are available per application. The provide a method of risk analysis that is not available from other sources.

project_software_risk

Five Upgrade Strategies for Oracle E-Business Suite Customers to Consider, Rimini Street