- Brightwork Research & Analysis delivers information on SAP and Oracle that can’t be found elsewhere else.
- Our research breaks the mold by not being sponsored by vendors.
We produce unique research and offer fact-checking services in the SAP and Oracle and other technology topics.
If you have a concern about whether you are getting accurate information from vendors, consulting firms or analysts, we can help. And we offer one of the only fact-checking services that exist for enterprise software. (contact us for examples)
We ask a fundamental question that everyone that works in enterprise software should ask themselves.
Should decisions be made based on sales information provided by financially biased parties (consulting firms, IT analysts), to companies that do not have internal fact-checking capabilities?
We ask because if you carefully check the financial incentives for nearly every information provided in the enterprise software space, they are designed around promoting a particular vendor or product.
We have zero financial connections to any entity we cover. This allows us to provide education rather than advocacy.
How Our Funding, Focus, and Output is So Different
We have several important principles we follow that separate us from other information providers in the IT space.
- We don’t take money from software vendors or consulting firms.
- We publish what is true, regardless of whether it is popular.
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 at the article The S/4HANA Implementation Sales Intelligence Highlights. Other entities, like Forrester for instance, simply 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 large 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 prior to the project beginning.
Selling Software Implementations That are Destined to Fail
Actually, our research shows that many of these implementations are guaranteed to fail before they begin. See our article on the following case study The Hidden S/4HANA Home24 and KPS Failure, to see exactly this type of project. This was a project that was stuffed with unnecessary applications, and which overpromised and then low bid. This happened because of the unethical behavior of both SAP and their consulting partners KPS.
Tracking the Quality of Information Provided
We are the only entity in the IT space that both rates vendors on the basis of the accuracy of the information they provide as we cover at our Honest Vendor Ratings, but incorporates the quality — and often lack of quality information that is provided to customers into the analysis of the success or failure of projects. To the rest of the entities that cover these topics, the quality of the information provided is considered entirely immaterial to the success of failure of projects.
And why is it considered immaterial? Because IT analysts and IT media entities depend upon vendors and consulting companies for their income. Therefore, false information is immaterial to outcomes when you are paid by the entities that are providing false information.
This factor alone illustrates how biased and dishonest most of the providers of inf0rmation in the IT space are on the topic of information quality.
When you get terrible quality information, the risks of projects naturally increases. Brightwork is one of the only entities and we mean globally, that calls into question the quality of advice that vendors and consulting companies provide to customers.
Making Accurate Predictions
While other information providers have danced around the issue of the SAP ECC support 2025 deadline, we have already predicted the deadline will be moved as we cover in the article What is the Reality of SAP’s 2025 ECC Support Deadline?
We were the only entity to predict SAP HANA correctly as we compared to other entities in the article Who Was Right and Who Was Wrong on HANA, and we have led the industry in accurate HANA coverage since 2016.
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.
Being accurate means contradicting the biggest entities in the space. Those vendors, consulting firms and IT analysts that we catch providing particularly inaccurate information receive our Golden Pinocchio Award.
Covering SAP and Oracle and Other Vendors
We recently completed our Oracle research review which you can read about at 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.
Getting Non-Status Quo Information on Enterprise Software
Brightwork is small, but we have the readership of much larger entities in the space as we cover in the article How Does Brightwork’s Web Influence Compare with Other Sites?
And we have demonstrated that there is a desire for non-vendor and consulting company controlled information on enterprise software.
We have proven that there is a demand for non-status quo and non-vendor and consulting controlled information. All of the other entities that we benchmarked against — except one which happens to have very low website volume — simply provide status quo information to readers that also contains financial bias.
The Terrible State of the Market for SAP & Oracle Information
|1||Vendor Ties||Virtually all entities that provide information on SAP are either SAP funded or financially tied to SAP, such as being an SAP partner. Vendors pay every research entity we have profiled. See our analysis of Forrester's SAP study as examples of this common problem.|
|2||Rigged Information for Consulting Quota Attainment||Every SAP and Oracle consulting partner we have profiled is dependent on SAP or Oracle. The only reason any SAP or Oracle consulting partner write anything or make any recommendation can be traced back to the aggressive quotas they must meet. Every utterance goes directly back to billing hours. Saying true things is considered naive, and will get you in trouble with the senior members of the consulting organization. The question is -- "How does this increase our income." Projects are even recommended where failure is a certainty, but the profitability of the project is just as certain.|
|3||IT Media||Just about every IT media source (such as IDG publications (now owned by a Chinese conglomerate) receives advertising or directly paid placements from software vendors or consulting companies. Google and the Internet wiped out subscription revenue, pushing IT media to industry sources for income.|
|4||IT Analysts||Gartner and Forrester and just about all other IT analysts directly solicit SAP and Oracle for funding.|
|5||Conclusion||The market for information on SAP and Oracle is corrupt. Nearly all of the information entities hide their conflicts from readers and their customers.|
|6||The Outcome||Decision making entities base their decision on inaccurate information.|
The following scene from Lord of the Rings has been adjusted to show how vendors and consulting firms have taken over the decision making within IT departments.
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-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
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“[Shaun] has a deep and mature knowledge of this space shared by only a few other professionals.”
-Jeff Bodenstab, Marketing at ToolsGroup
We ask a fundamental question that everyone that works in enterprise software should ask themselves.
Should decisions be made based on sales information provided by 100% financially biased parties (consulting firms, IT analysts), to companies that do not have internal fact-checking capabilities?
If the answer is “No,” (contact us if you think the answer “Yes“) then perhaps the present system of decision making should be improved.
If you are worried about getting the real story, we can help. We have a history of proving accurate fact-checking analysis. We also have no financial connections to any entity we fact check.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.