Independent Research in Enterprise Software

Executive Summary

  • Brightwork Research & Analysis delivers information that can’t be found elsewhere else.
  • Our research breaks the mold both in what we cover and how it is covered.

Using the Diagram

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Introduction

We produce unique research. In many areas, we are the only entity performing any research. One example is S/4HANA, where we maintain a database as a research project into S/4HANA implementations, which you can read about in the article The S/4HANA Implementation Sales Intelligence Highlights. Other entities, like Forrester, for instance, took money from SAP and published anything SAP wanted them to publish, as we cover in the article Forrester’s Fake S/4HANA TCO Study.

Industry commentators are often confused as to why there are such colossal software implementation failures. The idea presented is that implementation (excuse us “Digital Transformation” is difficult). 

It is still not agreed in the IT industry that project success depends upon the quality of information and the number of true or false assumptions before the project beginning.

Focused on Measurement and Accuracy

We are focused on measuring accuracy, as you can see in the article A Study of SAP Accuracy. And in the article A Study into John Appleby’s HANA Accuracy. And what we find is that the typical accuracy of SAP and Oracle, Gartner and Forrester, and all the SAP and Oracle consulting firms, as well as the IT media, is extremely low.

This focus on measurement caused us to create the Brightwork Explorer application, which measures forecast accuracy.

We also offer the only online TCO (total cost of ownership) calculators on the internet. This allows anyone to estimate the TCO of 53 different applications.

To see our online TCO calculators for popular applications for each of the vendors below, see the Brightwork TCO Calculators

Furthermore, we score and rank databases, which you can see at The Brightwork Comparison and Scoring of Databases.

Covering SAP and Oracle and Other Vendors

We recently completed our Oracle research review, which you can read about in the article The Oracle Investor Intelligence Highlights. We broke the story around Oracle’s co-location issue with its cloud offering in the article The Problem with Oracle Cloud and Colocation.

Advice on Enjoying the Multimedia Presentations

To see the full screen just select the lower right-hand corner and expand. Trust us, expanding makes the experience a whole lot more fun.

 

 

Testimonials

“It was clear to me throughout that his first priority was to serve his clients’ best interests. I highly recommend Shaun’s company and value his opinions.”
-William Tonetti, President at Demand Works Co.

 

“[Brightwork] provided solid analysis of solutions for some of our key processes as we transitioned onto a new platform.”
-Laurie Stivers, Data Governance Manager at Cardinal Health

 

“Working with [Brightwork] is always productive and easy — I highly recommend [Shaun] for your next project or research.”
-Cees Molenaar, National Account Manager – Database Performance Monitoring Consultant

 

“[Shaun] has a deep and mature knowledge of this space shared by only a few other professionals.”
-Jeff Bodenstab, Marketing at ToolsGroup

Brightwork Research & Analysis

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FAQ

SAP has required that companies sign an NDA as part of implementing S/4HANA. We learned of this from several SAP customers. This is a highly unusual step taken by SAP. And it brings up interesting questions as to why. We cannot confirm that all S/4HANA projects operate under an NDA, only that some do.

This means that a company could open themselves up to legal implications by disclosing this information for the study. We do have a number of the customer names as part of the private case studies. However, they are not published as part of this study. We have also removed the countries where these companies are based. This was done on the same principle, which is to increase the anonymity of the SAP customers. This allowed us to release the most information and to prevent the blowback on the SAP customers. The purpose of this study is to determine the true state of S/4HANA implementations, not to identify “who” has implemented S/4HANA, what countries they are from, etc.

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If we look at the IT media entities, they accept SAP’s proposal that all applications work. There is no questioning as to any IT media entity going back and reviewing which SAP applications that were introduced with some fanfare worked out and which didn’t.

This leads to a sort of shocking conclusion that the media entities simply get all of their information from SAP. An analyst like Gartner does, on the contrary, speak with a huge number of SAP customers. However, they do not publish much of these observations regarding the overall view of a vendor. They may tell clients in private sessions.

But this means that fundamental analysis — like the analysis in this article just not being done. We have economists giving virtually no coverage to enterprise software. IT media being paid to repeat messages from software vendors and focusing very strongly on new introductions (rather than what happens after). Then we have IT analysts who don’t appear to get into areas outside of ratings (at least much outside of). However, ratings are only one type of analysis that needs to be performed. If a company is going to choose to use a vendor, they need to know the overall picture and not in such a limited dimension. 

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The Standard Answer to the Question

The common answer to this question is the following:

  • Pay the standard IT analysts
  • Hire an SAP consulting company.
  • Attend ASUG conferences.

The Real Story

Unfortunately, none of these are good ways to find out the real story.

  • From IT Analysts: As most of the IT analysts receive large sums of money from SAP, they have to be careful how much truth they tell.
  • From SAP Consulting Company: SAP consulting companies exist to bill hours for SAP resources. As such, they are normally pro any implementation they can get. This means they paper over the real experiences that they have exposure to. We have extensive research on this, but the messaging of SAP consulting companies is very close to a duplicate of that offered by SAP itself.
  • From ASUG Conferences: ASUG started its life as a user group, but is now a pawn of SAP. They serve as an outlet for SAP marketing. This is covered in a number of articles at Brightwork, but one example of this is ASUG’s Inability to Challenge SAP’s Predictions.

We have a history of challenging SAP, and of being right. This is something you can put to use within your company immediately to begin improving how you manage your IT budget to get more out of it.

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We have been the most vocal and consistent critic of the information generally available in the IT media space. We cover this topic in depth in articles like Understanding the Enterprise Software Market, How to Best Understand SAP’s Control of IT Media.

A major difference between Brightwork and any SAP consulting company or a Gartner or Forrester is that we don’t take money from SAP. This one major reason why our analysis of SAP is so much more accurate than Gartner or Forrester. And we have the articles to prove that claim.

Our view is that you cannot make good decisions if you listen to biased sources. In fact, this is the central premise of our book Rethinking Enterprise Software Risk. Gartner, Forrester, and others refuse to choose whose interests they represent. We represent the interests of decision makers.

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Our focus in on providing more accurate information to clients on SAP.

We offer anything from remote advice and walkthroughs of our research to on in site consulting projects where we perform detailed analysis of customer’s environments.

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