How Accurate Was SAP on its PLM Application?

Executive Summary

  • For years SAP has said that PLM was a highly effective product live cycle application.
  • In this article, we review the accuracy of this claim. 

Video Introduction: What SAP Said About SAP PLM

Text Introduction (Skip if You Watched the Video)

This is not an analysis of any particular statement or prediction but the overall predictions of SAP PLM. SAP PLM has gone through multiple changes and acquisitions since its introduction. However, it is scarce to see SAP PLM on SAP projects. It is well known among experienced sales and pre-sales resources in SAP not to push PLM. We analyzed SAP’s PLM solution back in 2006 and questioned what was there because, at that time, it was vaporware. It leveraged SAP’s Material Master but was more of a “template” on ECC than a real application. Brightwork wrote an article questioning this publicly in 2009 titled Is SAP PLM for Real? You will learn about SAP’s accuracy on its claims around it PLM application.

What Actually Happened with SAP PLM?

We have assigned a low fraction to account for how much of SAP’s proposals about how their PLM product would be used came true.

Since this time, SAP PLM has gone through multiple reboots, relaunches, and acquisitions of things like a CAD/CAM vendor and a 3D visualization vendor that will “perfectly integrate” into SAP PLM. But it has never become a solution that you see implemented on SAP projects. We compared trying to manage the BOM in SAP ECC versus using a specific PLM solution in the book The Bill of Materials in Excel, Planning, ERP, and PLM/BMMS Software.

Conclusion and Calculation

SAP receives a 10% accuracy rating on SAP PLM. While virtually nothing that SAP said about PLM came true, and the initial product was vaporware, they have made some investments in the area.

Link to the Parent Article

This is one of many research articles on a specific topic that supports a larger research calculation. For the overview of the research calculation for all of the SAP topics that were part of the study, see the following primary research A Study into SAP’s Accuracy.