Brightwork Notice: No New Published SAP or Oracle Research as of August 2020

Executive Summary

  • Due to a lack of financial support, Brightwork is changing its publishing approach.
  • We explain the changes that will happen as of August 2020.

Introduction

We are changing our publishing approach. This is due to the revenue issues we have been experiencing, which is due to the following:

  • The shortage of software purchasing companies interested in fact-checking services or objective analysis of SAP or Oracle
  • The shortage of vendors interested in paying for our Brightwork Licensed Research.

What we have is a large reader base that pays nothing for the research, using it for competitive intelligence in many cases, and which have been increasingly reaching out to us — to obtain even more free information. This lack of financial support, combined with constant requests for free assistance, is going to come to an end.

Our Publishing Change

We will not be publishing (that is for public view) any new research or articles into SAP or Oracle from August 2020 going forward.

In the future, the only research we will perform will be Brightwork Licensed Research (that is research that can be sold, or that is specially commissioned), and it will not be for public consumption.

These new content pieces will be access protected, and access will be attained through payment for a bulk number of user licenses.

When Hedge Funds Want Free Information — and Lack a Budget

This has been a long term issue, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was when a hedge fund that contacted us with $13 billion under management wanted to “chat.” After offered them a price on the S/4HANA Implementation Study, they declared that they only had a limited budget to purchase any research.

When hedge funds are using our material with the expectation for cut-rate explanations, when lawsuits are being partially based on our work without compensation, something has to be done. And so we have made the change.

Who Wins From the Publishing Change?

SAP and Oracle. As if they needed to win further.

As we have covered in multiple articles, SAP and, to a lesser degree Oracle have nearly total control over the information providers in IT. When SAP or Oracle announce something or make a claim, millions of SAP and Oracle bobbleheads line up to agree.

SAP and Oracle have all of the IT media outlets on their payroll, and the IT analysts. There are a handful of websites like UpperEdge and House of Brick that write contradictory content at the level of detail. Still, these entities primarily cover licensing, and their readership is small (although the content is very good).

Much of what Brightwork R&A covers is not covered by anyone else. So now neither SAP nor Oracle will have to worry about new articles contradictory to their marketing being in the public domain. In the future, SAP or Oracle can say the moon is made of green cheese, and we will not publish anything that contradicts it.

Who Loses from the Publishing Change?

Well, vendors that have been freeriding lose. Most vendors can’t stand their own internal competitive intelligence departments as they:

  • a.) Routinely overstate their knowledge of SAP and Oracle, and
  • b.) Normally have never worked in any of the areas where they provide competitive intelligence.
  • c.) Usually report up through marketing, which means the information they provide to sales is unreliable. Lacking objectivity, they like to tell salespeople that their product is superior to everyone else’s.

(Shhh…. if you work for a vendor don’t share this article with your competitive intelligence department. They prefer to live in their own space where they are adding tremendous value to sales proposals.)

For Software Buyers

The situation at buyers or users of software is nuanced.

  • At the Worker Level: At the worker level, the people trying to work with SAP or Oracle lose. Now there will be nowhere for them to get the real story versus SAP and Oracle’s marketing on new topics. (we know as we scan the Internet for material that challenges the marketing).
  • At the Executive Level: At the upper level, however, this is preferable. Most IT directors and other senior members don’t read the articles in any case and prefer to get their information from their SAP, Deloitte, or Infosys sales rep. This makes them feel very good, as both the information provided comes with ample compliments, but it also cuts down on cognitive dissonance. As one IT director said to me “Look at my inbox, I don’t have time to read research.” Many of the most senior people in buyers consider sales reps the absolute best resource for information on vendor topics.

Conclusion

So this change has been a long time coming. It is clear that without making a change, the same pattern observed in the past will just persist in the future.

What We Do and Research Access

Using the Diagram

Hover over each bullet or plus sign to see more explanation. To move to a different bullet point, just “hover off” and then hover over the new bullet.

 

Research Access

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How Common is Research & IP Theft in IT?

Executive Summary

  • The vast majority of consulting, analyst, and hedge funds/Private Equity entities that present information do not show references.
  • This, along with our experience, shows that they are stealing much of their IP.

Introduction

I began to notice that companies that present information to their clients have been approaching my research entity, Brightwork Research & Analysis, do not use references. I also found that we receive requests to answer questions for say four or five thousand dollars.

“Research Skimming”

Small research projects are also often an attempt to simply skim off of our pre-existing research by extracting just the research conclusions. Most companies will not fund research. They want someone else to do the hard work, and then they come by and just skim the conclusions. This is why there is only a very small amount of actual research produced in the IT space. Companies will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on IT implementations, often without good information for what they should implement, but they have only a very tiny budget for research, most of which is allocated to three firms — Gartner, Forrester or IDG. None of which produce independent research.

The vast majority of what is called research is simply externally produced marketing collateral. That is vendors or consulting firms can take the material and use it to convince prospects to buy their applications or consulting services.

Not Supporting Consulting, Analyst Firms or Hedge Funds

We don’t do research for IT analyst firms or consulting firms, hedge funds, or Private Equity.

The reason is that the temptation is too strong for them to resist, taking the research, and then remove our logo and present the study as their own. Having seen this several times, we stopped working with any of these firms. A consulting firm can bill a customer 6x what we are paid and relay our research to not just one customer but multiple customers.

When consulting firms or analyst firms contact us, we have learned they are typically interested in stealing our IP.

In the research field, the vast majority of those entities that do research, do not show references. For instance, this is why you don’t see references at the end of a Gartner report.

The idea promoted by Gartner and virtually all IT analysts, hedge funds/Private Equity, and consulting firms (notice the lack of reference in consulting presentations) are that all knowledge is created internally to that firm. That is, the consulting, analyst, and financial analyst space is about presenting the work of others as your own.

Pretending You Invented Everything

While working as a subcontractor for a consulting firm, I was told to remove references to the author of a forecasting book I used in the presentation. I was told that the client was

“Paying to hear what the consulting company thought, not what the forecast book author thought.”

This was stated even though the only person who knew anything about forecasting that worked on that project was me. The consulting firm had sold their expertise in forecasting, without having any employees that knew the subject of forecasting. It is considered entirely normal in the consulting market to sell your skills or knowledge as a company — and then go and hire a contractor to perform the work. A director at this consulting firm would interview me as for what we would do, and then go around the corner and explain what I had explained to him, to the client. This may be acceptable if I were working in a non-English speaking country, and translation was required, but both I and the client spoke English.

Therefore, the distaste that the director had for using references, also extended to my IP as well.

The Normalization of IP Theft

This shows the degree to which consulting firms are so comfortable presenting the ideas and IP of others as their own. It is accepted in the consulting field, that you present the ideas and IP of others as you own. If you place a consultant in a subcontract position, you then can try to extract his or her IP that it may have taken ten years or more to create.

Consulting firms exist in a world where all IP is created within the firm, where references are actively discouraged. So, for example, the university system’s research (which they laud in the education of their consultants) basically does not exist. Each consulting firm places itself as to where the real source of truth lies — which is curious because IT consulting firms are run by salespeople who not only don’t understand research, or the scientific method or how to create IP.

Conclusion

In academics and in research, the situations of sources are critical. However, in the private sector, source listing is counterproductive to IP theft and to pretending you did work you did not do.

  • I have had to contact a software vendor to get them to remove material that was plagiarized from the Brightwork website. (Even though it was paragraphs copied word for word, I was told it was an “honest mistake”).
  • I just recently found a person who is well known for covering the ERP space, who presented the Brightwork media/consulting financial bias model, without reference to Brightwork of any kind.

The fact that there are so few references to sources in the vast majority of analyst reports, consulting reports, etc., should tell us that there are a large number of people plagiarizing material and pretending they invented or came up with ideas they did not.

The Inevitability of Relying on Sources

When I produce research, I have a large number of references at the end of articles. Even shorter pieces will tend to have one or two references. How are these reports being written with no references at the end of them? White papers that on so many vendor websites are the same thing. They are bereft of references. However, these companies feel under no obligation to reference anything.

How to React to a Report Without References

This lack of references should cause one to pause.

If a firm produces a long report but has very few references, it means that either the report author or the company they work for are dishonest. (Recall, I was required by my subcontract role to remove the reference to the author. Therefore the offending entity was the consulting firm. I was able to make my point without using a reference, but I would have preferred to have kept the reference).

Dishonest reports, aside from being wrong, are unreliable sources of information. This is because a dishonest author will rig the report to whatever is in their financial interests. And the majority of private-sector research is rigged — like the Gartner Magic Quadrant. What is generally little discussed is that private companies have a history of producing very rigged research. Academic research developed its reputation for reliability — because authors were protected from the financial implications of their research conclusions. However, this has fallen apart in medical research and increased political correctness, as well as the reduction of the percentage of university’s budgets that are paid for by tax dollars, indicates that academic research is very likely to further decline in independence in the coming years.

Extreme Research Rigging

This occurred with KPMG, which supposed to deliver a report on corruption to the South African government, and they falsely implicated individuals who were fighting corruption, but who were following up with corruption perpetrated by KPMG as we cover in the article The Falsified KPMG Report on Corruption in South Africa.

KPMG, for example, has such a history of producing fake reports, of signing off on deceptive accounting books, that it is curious why anyone would either pay KPMG or bother reading KPMG’s reports — except as a form of research for how to identify false information. (This was exactly how KPMG functioned internally when I worked for them several decades ago.)

A Lack of References as Part of IP Theft

It is completely foreign to me to not use and show references, but to companies that don’t produce IP, but like to pretend they do, they view every reference as a possibility that the audience will think they know less than they do.

This also gets into the topic of ghostwriting. Some of the content these company’s websites are not written by their employees. Ghostwriting is extremely common in the are of celebrity books. This is where a person has an established brand and interest, but is not a writer and could never write a book. When a person becomes well known, they have a built-in audience for a book. Ghostwriters interact with the celebrity, but normally the celebrity will just give the ghostwriter notes. Some of the best selling books are not written by the celebrity, but instead by a ghostwriter.

In the past, I have taken ghostwriting contracts for a few vendors. This is where an author is hired to write material that is then presented as if it was created internally by the company. While this is an accepted practice, I have stopped doing it. I have concluded that this also a dishonest presentation. There is also something very odd about reading one’s own material on another site, where that entity pretend they wrote it.

No one has ever paid Brightwork to publish any material on the site, but some of our material is published on the sites of vendors that those companies could not have written themselves, and that looks like they did write it. That means they are pretending to have knowledge that they do not have.

Conclusion

If you can’t trust the entity to include where they got ideas, then that source itself is a problem. That is you are being lied to — and this means the research conclusions are also most likely not reliable.

In the case where I was pressured to remove a source reference, the consulting firm I worked for was untrustworthy, and they should not have been listed on other topics.

Of all the companies I worked for as a permanent employee, there was not a single one that could be trusted to deliver a non-rigged report.

What We Do and Research Access

Using the Diagram

Hover over each bullet or plus sign to see more explanation. To move to a different bullet point, just “hover off” and then hover over the new bullet.

 

Research Access

  • Do You Need to Access Research in this Area?

    Put our independent analysis to work for you to improve your spend.

 

References

Here is a related type of theft. Idea and business model theft. The following video explains.

List of SAP Implementation Failures

Executive Summary

  • SAP failures are highly censored by the control that SAP has over IT media entities.
  • We evaluate the coverage of previous SAP implementation failures.

Introduction

This article looks at the top Google results that reported SAP implementation failures.

What is curious is that few SAP implementation problems could be found through Google. We differentiated from SAP implementations that lead to lawsuits. Therefore we created a second article that covers SAP lawsuits at A List of SAP Lawsuits.

Problematic Implementation #1: City of San Diego

We cover the City of San Deigo SAP implementation failure in detail in the article The Art of Blaming the Client When an SAP Project Goes South; we found not only mass problems in the implementation but a cover-up the firm that The City of San Diego hired to “investigate” the implementation.

One of the few articles on this is by ZDNet (owned by CBS) and Michael Krigsman — who naturally will not assign any blame to SAP, as can be seen from the following quotation.

My take. Given tightly interwoven accountability on both sides, it’s difficult to accurately dissect the strands of responsibility. I suspect both San Diego and Axon bear responsibility for this failure. Regardless of what happened in the past, the new contract puts SAP squarely on the hot seat to get this project back on track.

Problematic Implementation #2: County of Dorset (UK)

At a time when the authority is facing a financial crisis and has to save almost £50million, concerns remain about the new £16 million IT system that was introduced to save the council time and money.

A staff survey reveals satisfaction rates have improved only slightly a few months down the line.

Chief executive David Jenkins admitted there was ‘much to be done.’ The Dorset Enterprise System (DES), the local name for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), was heralded as a major new investment when it came online last year.

Introduced as part of the Fit for the Future restructuring programme, it changes the way the council organises things like payroll, procurement, HR and finance.

But there have been regular problems with the system, with some staff getting so stressed they have been forced to take time off sick.

Some workers claimed a job which previously only took a minute was now taking an hour. (emphasis added)

The system still has to shut down a few days each month to allow data to be processed.

A staff survey conducted in March revealed 65 per cent of employees felt ‘negative or very negative’ about DES and many agreed it was a ‘waste of time’.

A similar survey was conducted in the summer to see if things had got any better, and these results were presented to the audit and scrutiny committee. Surveys were sent to 1,000 DES users but only 53 per cent responded. Of these, almost half said they thought DES had not improved and nine per cent thought it had got worse.

There has been an improvement in the support provided but there is more to do to make finding information easier.

The survey also shows an improvement in the views of those using DES for procurement but 55 per cent still feel negative. A separate survey was compiled for those using DES in schools. A total of 200 were sent out but only 68 were returned. The overall feedback is that 58 per cent feel negative with concerns about training, usability and support.

Vice-chairman of the audit and scrutiny committee David Harris said: “We have suggested the next report to the committee articulates the benefits the system has produced.

“Clearly the system isn’t liked yet but if you look at how it’s been received in other counties that’s a common element to its introduction.”

Secretary of the Dorset branch of Unison Pam Jeffries said: “The feedback I’m getting is that people are no longer reporting faults because they’ve given up due to the length of time it takes for people to get back to them.

“We’ve heard it’s going to get an upgrade and that may be good and well but the other places where it’s operating, I’ve heard they’re still having huge problems.” – Dorset Echo

Notice the different view presented between management and the reaction from users of the system. In nearly all cases, management sugar coats problems on SAP projects.

Problematic Implementation #3: Levis Strauss

The following covers the Levis Strauss ERP system problems.

Problems with a massive global enterprise resource planning (ERP) rollout have helped send Levi Strauss’ second-quarter results through the floor.

The jeans giant reported a 98 per cent drop in net income to $1m and squarely blamed “substantial costs” associated with its new ERP system among other factors for the shocker.

Levi’s is standardizing on a single global instance of SAP ERP, and told The Reg it was forced to take shipping systems at its three massive US distribution centers off line for a full week in April to fix problems receiving and fulfilling orders.

The company not only lost business during the shut down, but also saw customers who’d placed orders cancel them once the systems were back up.

A Levi’s company spokesman blamed the problem on integration of “legacy systems”. He told The Reg Levi’s is continuing the software rollout but notes it’s currently in a “stabilization phase”.

An SAP company spokeswoman said the company has a “great relationship” with Levi’s. “As part of this close partnership we work closely together to resolve any challenges that arise,” she said.

It’s rare for software to get called out in an SEC filing for materially hurting the business or increasing costs, along with the standard business complexities of currency fluctuations or retail expansion. ERP was fingered with other factors, though, as Levi’s explained its poor performance this week. – The Register

The Register is one of the very few IT media entities that does not report implementations problems with a slant towards exonerating the vendor and the consulting firm. See this comment on this article.

Who’d have thought it?
1) An IT disaster in the private sector? Everybody knows it’s only the public sector that’s incompetent…

2) Another disastrous “bet your business on a single package” rollout, sometimes it’s SAP, sometimes it’s Oracle Apps, either way, there’ll be more kept quiet than reach the public… – Comment #1

Yes, that is precisely our thoughts.

And this comment.

When we tried SAP Business one, they integrator was desperate for us to stop using the old system which we refused to do and ran them all in parallel. Two years latter when they just couldn’t get anything to work, words were mentioned about our lack of payment and a law suit was mentioned. The result was a fraud counter suit was mentioned and they took their buggy software and went home.

SAP is still showing a video of how they helped us improve our productivity by using their software and we occasionally get contacted by people saying they bought SBO because of the video. So far they have all received full refunds. – Comment #2

Problematic Implementation #4: The City of Portland

An SAP implementation conducted by the city government of Portland, Ore., went badly awry due to planning and project leadership problems, resulting in skyrocketing costs and a protracted time line, according to a report released Tuesday by the city’s auditor.

The project to replace Portland’s software with SAP started with a planning phase in 2004 and was originally budgeted at US$14 million, the report states. But while the project has now achieved its primary goal, the implementation ended up costing more than $47 million and took longer than 30 months, instead of an expected 14 months.

“The issues that have appeared pre-dated SAP’s involvement in this project,” said SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie. “To my knowledge, the project is under control and moving forward. They are a very valued customer.”

For example, city officials had based the original budget on an independent estimate that did not factor in costs such as new hardware needed to run the system. In addition, city officials later added more functionality to the project plan.

Meanwhile, the project’s contractor, Ariston Consulting and Technologies, “was not always able to identify standardized ways of incorporating these additional items,” resulting in higher costs, according to the report.

Ariston also failed to finish project documents on time and had staffing difficulties, it adds.

Portland ultimately terminated its contract with Ariston in 2008 and signed a new deal with SAP’s Public Services arm to finish the project, the report adds.

It is curious that the initial timelines, that were undoubtedly presented to The City of Portland by both SAP and by the SAP consulting firm — the idea that The City of Portland would come up with its timelines would bring up the question of where they would get this information. At Brightwork, we have a project planning estimator for ECC, Project Planning Package – SAP ERP/ECC/R/3. However, it is unlikely that they would find it — and if they did find it — SAP and the consulting company would say that our estimate is far too long.

As we cover in a later implementation, this is written by Chris Kanaracus, who provides inaccurate information about SAP. Overall, a large percentage of the article on SAP lawsuits and problems are coming from just a few authors — all of which work for media entities that have an undeclared financial connection to SAP.

Problematic Implementation #5: Lumber Liquidators

Lumber Liquidators is attributing a weak third quarter to a complex SAP implementation, saying the project imposed a significant drain on worker productivity. But the problems appear to be largely related to employees having trouble acclimating to the new system, versus malfunctions in the software itself.

But Lumber Liquidators expects the SAP system to have significant benefits for the company over time, CEO Jeffrey Griffiths said during a conference call Thursday. It will help the company grow internationally, as well as take advantage of a broad ecosystem of complementary applications, he added.

“Lumber Liquidators is a valued SAP customer and we remain strong and positive partners,” SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said in a statement. “SAP is actively engaged with the company in completing their implementation and we believe this is solidly on track. When complete, we are confident Lumber Liquidators will reap significant benefits from the system and it will continue to be a critical element in the company’s growth strategy.” – PCWorld

The software did not do what SAP said it would do. However, SAP is not blamed in this article. The author of the article, Chris Kanaracus, covers SAP for IDG publications and can be relied upon to provide pro-SAP and inaccurate information.

Observe this quote.

Overall, ERP projects can go badly for multiple reasons, such as “changing internal requirements by the company that slow down system integrator implementation, lack of resources for training and system design, and complexity in the software,” said Altimeter Group analyst Ray Wang.

This is typical of analysts that cover SAP to generalize the issues of the implementation such that the blame is never assigned to SAP.

Advice on Enjoying the SAP Implementation Quiz

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.

 

How SAP Controls Accounts

SAP has a tried and tested way of taking control of its accounts. This is explained by the following graphic.

 

Conclusion

The articles that covered SAP implementation failures, much like the articles on SAP lawsuits, appeared highly censored. Some of the most in-depth coverage was published in media outlets like ComputerWorld, PCWorld and CIO — which are not, in fact, different or independent entities — but are all owned by IDG — which is in turn owned by a Chinese construction firm — which we cover in the article Can You Trust IDC and Their Now China Based Owners?.

The number of problematic implementations stretches over several decades. However, the problems are few. This is a ridiculously small number for how many SAP customers SAP has had — and the problems that have come from purchasing SAP. We observed a database of problematic implementations recorded by a person who works in competitive intelligence at a major ERP vendor — and it was a far more extensive list. To find these problematic implementations is effort.

These IT media entities all take money from SAP. This is why they produce articles that help SAP understate the reality of SAP implementation problems. And they are written by a very small number of authors — all of who produce unreliable information on SAP when they write other articles about SAP. These authors are clearly protecting SAP and are not reporting in an honest fashion.

Using the Diagram

Hover over each bullet or plus sign to see more explanation. To move to a different bullet point, just “hover off” and then hover over the new bullet.

 

References

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252464278/SAP-disruption-leads-to-Revlon-class-action-lawsuit

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/lawsuit-against-an-erp-consulting-firm-could-signal-more-litigation-for-the-industry/

https://medium.com/@henricodolfing/case-study-how-revlon-got-sued-by-its-own-shareholders-because-of-a-failed-sap-implementation-58b66f1267fa

https://www.cio.com/article/2429865/enterprise-resource-planning-10-famous-erp-disasters-dustups-and-disappointments.html

https://www.computerworld.com/article/2514125/oregon-sap-project-wracked-by-leadership-woes.html

https://www.zdnet.com/article/marin-county-sues-deloitte-alleges-fraud-on-sap-project/

https://www.computerworld.com/article/2517917/sap–waste-management-settle-lawsuit.html

https://www.pemeco.com/sap-v-waste-management-a-500m-erp-implementation-fiasco/

https://medium.com/@henricodolfing/case-study-how-revlon-got-sued-by-its-own-shareholders-because-of-a-failed-sap-implementation-58b66f1267fa

https://www.zdnet.com/article/san-diego-fires-axon-over-erp-implementation-problems/

*http://www.eaconsult.com/2019/05/01/a-reality-check-on-sap-hanas-future-spoiler-alert-its-not-going-anywhere-but-up/

https://www.theregister.com/2008/07/10/levis_erp_costs/

https://www.computerworld.com/article/2517917/sap–waste-management-settle-lawsuit.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB942213713211987213

https://www.pcworld.com/article/209886/article.html

https://www.itworld.com/article/3264435/sap-settles-licensing-dispute-with-ab-inbev.html

https://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/8625142.dorset-county-council-computer-problems-continue/

A List of SAP Lawsuits

Executive Summary

  • Lawsuits are typically listed on a one by one basis.
  • This article aggregates well-known lawsuits against SAP.

Introduction

This article looks at the top Google results that reported on SAP lawsuits.

What is curious is that there were actually few lawsuits that could be found through Google. We created a second article, A Listing of Problematic SAP Implementations, which covers failed implementation.

Lawsuit #1: Revlon

This is not a lawsuit against SAP by Revlon, but rather a lawsuit by Revlon shareholders against Revlon for lying about the state of the SAP implementation. We cover this case in detail in the article What Was the Real Story with the Revlon S/4HANA Failure?

Revlon attributed to the changeover a reduction of $20M in net earnings in one quarter alone, accompanied by $10M in unplanned expenses including non-recurring labor to improve customer support. At the time (2018), Revlon had implemented SAP in 22 countries on the Revlon heritage side of the company. Apparently, the Arden switch-out of JD Edwards had not even begun at that stage.

A year later, in March 2019, CFO Victoria Dolan said Revlon had spent $32M in 2018 on operating activities in comparison to 2017, taking the costs of the migration to $54M; understandably, profits and stock prices dipped. Revlon reported increased losses. The fiscal year 2018 (ended on December 31) closed with $294.2 million dollars in the red, compared to $183.2 million-dollar losses registered in 2017.

Ironically the results were due to a drop in sales of all its business categories, except Elizabeth Arden, partly caused by the breaks in service levels directly attributed to the SAP implementation. Revlon also qualified the losses by saying that the rise in losses was also related to the re-acquisition of some rights connected to the brand Elizabeth Arden.

In March 2019, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made public Revlon’s first-quarter 10-K filing, thus illustrating to the wider world the dire SAP ERP issues in the Oxford plant and their wide-reaching effects on the business. Around the time of the SEC’s release, the company’s chief financial officer made clear to the public that the SAP ERP issues had been resolved and that the Oxford plant was up and running as normal.

After the March 2019 financial statement stock prices improved.

Yet, in May of 2019, Revlon faced a stream of painful class action lawsuits from firms Bragar, Eagel, & Squire; Rosen Law Firm; Wolf, Haldenstein, Adler, Freeman, & Herz; and Zhang Investor Law. Ouch.

In the class action suit, specific reference was made to the Oxford center in North Carolina where the business was supposedly unable to fulfil product imports of about $64M worth of revenue.

While the circumstances surrounding the newest ERP lawsuit are unique, as are the plaintiffs, the events that led to the failure of Revlon’s SAP system are all too familiar.

It may be tempting to blame the SAP software or whoever the system integrator was, but Revlon and others should recognize that they ultimately have to own the results of these sorts of transformations.

For starters, it does not seem as if Revlon understood either the size of the projects nor any of the risks inherent in rolling out a new ERP software system. It doesn’t appear as if the cosmetics giant developed any strategies to offset the possible risks.

What is curious is that while the statement above is that “it may be tempting to blame the SAP software” or the system integrator they should not be blamed.

Something curious about this is that SAP has a long history of lying to its customers — the same history that the SAP consulting firms have. Secondly, we have documented the many problems with S/4HANA — which is the system that was implemented. SAP aggressively exaggerated the number of S/4HANA systems that were live at this time as we cover in the article How SAP Controls Perceptions with Customer Numbers, as well as the maturity of the application as we cover in the article Why Did SAP Fake S/4HANA Maturity So Aggressively?

It is curious that in each case, the author of coverage of the problems with SAP does not point out problems with SAP or the information provided to customers about the software by SAP consulting firms. If it is so “tempting” to point to SAP — then why is it not done? Also, many of these authors do not appear to have any knowledge of the SAP applications that are implemented and seem to assume that the application must be mature and must not be at fault. There is a further condition where the application may be mature — but it is not appropriate for the customer’s processes, but SAP and the consulting firm tell the prospect that it is appropriate.

Lawsuit #2: Waste Management

Did SAP deceive and defraud Waste Management (WM) during ERP selection and implementation? That’s the question at stake in a $500 million lawsuit against SAP relating to a Waste Management ERP failure.

According to documents filed in court by WM, SAP pitched WM on a well-tested, sector-specific, ready-to-install ERP package. WM learned after the implementation had started that no such software existed.(emphasis added) Rather, the ERP system in question was still in development and had “never been tested in a productive environment.”

The jury should have its hands full trying to untangle this mess. Assuming that all of the allegations are proven, SAP should end up on the losing side. WM, however, will probably share part of the blame.

WM’s fraud allegations go much deeper than simple misrepresentation. Before contracts were signed, SAP purportedly demonstrated the fully functioning software to WM. WM claims it relied on SAP’s demonstrations when it chose the SAP software. WM says that SAP demonstrated a “mock-up” version and that the demonstrations “were rigged and manipulated to depict false functionality.”

SAP denies the allegations. However, if WM wins on its fraud and misrepresentation claims, this case could drive a stake through the heart of the world’s leading ERP vendor. No customer will want to build its business operations on a foundation of lies and deception. In addition, SAP will likely face criminal investigations.

Members of SAP’s C-Suite were directly involved in landing the WM account. Some of those executives are no longer with the company. There’s plenty of speculation about whether their departures are related to the WM fiasco.

ERP selection guide template ; ERP selection checklist; ERP selection Scorecard

Just on the PR battle, SAP is getting pretty banged up. WM is also taking its share of hits. A close reading of its own court filings shows that it’s partially responsible for its own losses.

Here are two of the most glaring examples taken from WM’s court pleadings:

#1: “Waste Management relied on [SAP’s] Business Case estimates in agreeing to license the SAP software.”

As part of its sales pitch, SAP prepared a “business case.” SAP stated that its software would enable WM to achieve between $106 million and $220 million of annual benefits.

WM showed questionable judgment in relying on SAP’s projections.(emphasis adde) Clearly, SAP was partial. It was trying to make a big sale. In my analysis, WM was imprudent and arguably negligent when it decided to rely on an obviously conflicted business case projection.

WM should have done its due diligence. If it needed help, it should have turned to an impartial third-party advisor. An independent analysis might have shown that the SAP software wasn’t the best choice.

#2: “Waste Management believed that developing a new software posed unacceptable risk… and instead decided to look for an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution that was already fully developed and fully tested.” – Pemco Consulting

The types of things laid out in this description are not something that SAP and SAP consulting firms occasionally do. They are typically how SAP presents their solution to customers – with the SAP consulting firms agreeing to everything stated by SAP. This brings up the question of why there are not more lawsuits against SAP.

Lawsuit #3: FoxMeyer

FoxMeyer, once the fourth-largest pharmaceuticals distributor in the United States, sued both SAP and Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), claiming that a botched SAP R/3 implementation in the mid-1990s ruined the company.

Some suggest that a judgment for the plaintiff in the case—brought by the FoxMeyer bankruptcy trustee against Andersen Consulting and now pending in a Texas state court—could galvanize dissatisfied customers and bring on a flood of similar suits against ERP vendors and consultants.

Inexperienced consultants
FoxMeyer’s lawyer, Mark Ressler, contends that Andersen lured FoxMeyer into a services contract by giving the false impression that it had extensive SAP implementation expertise.

While inexperienced implementation consultants aren’t uncommon, the practice “became something of a joke,” says ERP implementation consultant Mike Donovan. “The school bus pulls up in front of the building and out jump a bunch of Big Five consultants.”

But highly experienced SAP technologists have always been hard to find.

“It’s not like the old days, when you could ask for and get a COBOL programmer with ten or more years of experience,” said Dan Steinberg, an Ottawa-based consultant. “No one has ten years of experience with SAP.”

The real issue might boil down to how much you pay for the services. Many companies continue to overpay for ERP implementations, said Bruce Blitch, CIO of Tessenderlo Kerley Inc.

But Andersen Consulting did not match that company’s upfront attitude, according to the FoxMeyer lawsuit. Even so, some say, the consultant should not necessarily shoulder the entire blame. “No one buys these systems without evaluating them, conducting demos and pilots, and visiting other users,” said AMR Research analyst Jim Shepherd.

Who is really to blame?
“Every project suffers from overenthusiastic claims and expectations,” Shepherd said, “and most companies don’t achieve all the results they hope to.”

Transforming a company’s business processes, Shepherd claims, requires extensive testing and planning on the customer’s part, not just a technology switch.

“Oftentimes, companies look to technology to provide a quick fix to flawed operational models,” Donovan said. “Adopting new and better business processes involves changing how the entire organization thinks about how it does business.”

The FoxMeyer lawsuit alleges that SAP and Andersen Consulting lied to the customer about the volume of transactions that R/3 could handle.(emphasis added)

“The highest total transaction volume it could handle was 10,000 invoice lines a day,” Ressler said. “FoxMeyer’s old Unisys system, the outmoded war-horse the company intended to replace, handled 425,000 invoice lines a day.”

Shepherd, however, is skeptical of that claim, saying that McKesson Corp., the company that eventually acquired FoxMeyer’s assets, uses SAP R/3 to process 1.5 million transactions per day. But Ressler contends FoxMeyer’s pre-3.0 version of the software lacked that capacity.

What’s next?
The insurance industry is already nervous about its potential level of exposure surrounding the lawsuit.

While insurers were never hit with the expected flurry of Y2K-related lawsuits, there’s significant litigation related to the buildout of technology infrastructures, said Tim Ehrhart, assistant vice president for worldwide errors and omissions underwriting at The Chubb Group, the largest insurer in the IT sector.

The reasons? The size and scope of contracts for integration and consulting have mushroomed. Contracts that lasted for three to six months and cost $50,000 to $100,000 now take 24 to 36 months and run from $5 million to $10 million, Ehrhart said. As a result, insurance companies are lowering policy limits, charging higher premiums, and demanding heftier deductibles, if they take the business at all. – TechRepublic

Like ZDNet, TechRepublic is owned by CBS. Notice that in nearly every case, the media entity is part of a larger media entity and is highly dependent on advertising and paid placement from vendors like SAP and from SAP consulting firms. Notice this quote at the end of the article.

Are businesses unfairly blaming implementation consultants?
Are enterprises all too ready to lay blame for poor business practices at the feet of technology consultants when things go awry? – TechTarget

Why is this statement here? Isn’t it curious how TechTarget is attempting to state that enterprises should not blame for project failures?

Lawsuit #4: Marin County

We covered the Marin Country v SAP lawsuit in detail in the article Why Deloitte Has Problems Implementing SAP. Marin Country presented stunning claims against SAP. However, when covered by Michael Krigsman for ZDNet, which is owned by CBS — he stated the following:

Many IT customers complain their system integrators do not follow through on such commitments and use inexperienced labor in attempts to reduce their own costs and increase profits.

Disconnects between service provider promises and actual delivery plays a significant role in many failed projects. For example, EDS recently lost a £200 million ($300 million dollars) court case to UK-based company BSkyB.

Notice Krigsman does not use the term “fraud” but instead “disconnects.” Michael Krigsman has a long history of explaining away SAP failures such that SAP is never blamed as we cover in the article The Art of Blaming the Client When an SAP Project Goes South.

Lawsuit #5: InBev

This is a case of an SAP customer being sued by SAP. This was over an indirect access claim.

SAP has quietly settled its US$600 million software licensing dispute with Anheuser-Busch, the U.S. subsidiary of beverage conglomerate AB InBev.

“The parties settled the dispute on 30 June 2017 and the matter is now closed,” AB InBev said in its 2017 Annual Report, published Tuesday.

The company said SAP had accused it of breaching a September 2010 software license agreement by directly and indirectly accessing SAP systems and data without appropriate licenses, and of underpaying license fees due. SAP wanted damages potentially exceeding US$600 million, and had sought reformation of the contract.” – PCWorld

Lawsuit #6: Diageo

SAP sued Diageo for indirect access violations. We covered this case in the article The Problem with the Judge’s Ruling on the SAP Diageo Case.

The coverage of the case by IT media, again gave SAP the benefit of the doubt, with none of them observing what we covered, and which was reinforced by a Duke University law professor that SAP’s version of indirect access is obviously in violation of US anti-trust law as we cover in the article SAP Indirect Access as a Tying Arrangement Violation. Yes, we are aware that the UK is not the US, but we wonder if IT media entities are aware of this. Because after Diageo lost its case to SAP, IT media entities proposed that the judgment would naturally apply to US companies — again, assuming that the US and the UK have identical legal systems.

Advice on Enjoying the SAP Implementation Quiz

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.

 

How SAP Controls Accounts

SAP has a tried and tested way of taking control of its accounts. This is explained by the following graphic.

 

Conclusion

The articles that covered SAP lawsuits appeared highly censored. Some of the most in-depth coverage was published in media outlets like ComputerWorld, PCWorld, and CIO — which are not, in fact, different or independent entities — but are all owned by IDG. IDG is now in turn owned by a Chinese construction firm — which we cover in the article Can You Trust IDC and Their Now China Based Owners?

We went through ten pages of Google results but only came back with less than ten lawsuits that relate to SAP versus a client (that is not SAP versus Oracle, or versus Teradata). This is a ridiculously small number for how many SAP customers SAP has had — and the problems that have come from purchasing SAP.

We added a lawsuit that we had previously covered, like Diageo, that were not shown in the top ten pages of the results. This is amazing considering SAP’s along with SAP consulting firm’s long history of misleading customers.

The Obvious Influence of Financially Biased Reporting on SAP Lawsuits

These IT media entities all take money from SAP. This is why they produce articles that help SAP understate the reality of SAP implementation problems. And they are written by a very small number of authors — all of who produce unreliable information on SAP when they write other articles about SAP. These authors are clearly protecting SAP and are not reporting in an honest fashion.

The Teradata and the lawsuit with Oracle over TomorrowNow lawsuits have dominated the search results for SAP lawsuits. There are many lawsuits against SAP by customers — however, they are minimized by the Teradata and Oracle lawsuits. However, as we covered in the article SAP is Accused of Witness Tampering in Teradata Lawsuit, media entities are not covering these topics in a complete fashion. Media entities are choosing not to cover topics — even after we cover them, and even if they are part of the public record.

Using the Diagram

Hover over each bullet or plus sign to see more explanation. To move to a different bullet point, just “hover off” and then hover over the new bullet.

 

References

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252464278/SAP-disruption-leads-to-Revlon-class-action-lawsuit

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/lawsuit-against-an-erp-consulting-firm-could-signal-more-litigation-for-the-industry/

https://medium.com/@henricodolfing/case-study-how-revlon-got-sued-by-its-own-shareholders-because-of-a-failed-sap-implementation-58b66f1267fa

https://www.cio.com/article/2429865/enterprise-resource-planning-10-famous-erp-disasters-dustups-and-disappointments.html

https://www.computerworld.com/article/2514125/oregon-sap-project-wracked-by-leadership-woes.html

https://www.zdnet.com/article/marin-county-sues-deloitte-alleges-fraud-on-sap-project/

https://www.computerworld.com/article/2517917/sap–waste-management-settle-lawsuit.html

https://www.pemeco.com/sap-v-waste-management-a-500m-erp-implementation-fiasco/

https://medium.com/@henricodolfing/case-study-how-revlon-got-sued-by-its-own-shareholders-because-of-a-failed-sap-implementation-58b66f1267fa

https://www.zdnet.com/article/san-diego-fires-axon-over-erp-implementation-problems/

*http://www.eaconsult.com/2019/05/01/a-reality-check-on-sap-hanas-future-spoiler-alert-its-not-going-anywhere-but-up/

https://www.theregister.com/2008/07/10/levis_erp_costs/

https://www.computerworld.com/article/2517917/sap–waste-management-settle-lawsuit.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB942213713211987213

https://www.pcworld.com/article/209886/article.html

https://www.itworld.com/article/3264435/sap-settles-licensing-dispute-with-ab-inbev.html

https://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/8625142.dorset-county-council-computer-problems-continue/

Lessons in Licensing and Finding Software Mechanisms for Monetizing IP

Executive Summary

  • We put significant thought into developing our Brightwork licensing for our research.
  • We cover the supporting logic for our license and the importance of licensing for content creators.

Introduction

I have companies that want contact us seeking to license research — but they are trying to get a one time fee for an unlimited license.

In creating a license contract, we figured out some important things I want to account for. We eventually codified this in the Brightwork License Research page. However, in selling licensed content, there are a variety of factors to cover.

  1. The stipulations of the content license agreement to be signed.
  2. The software to be used to distribute and restrict access to research content.
  3. The type of content that will be licensed (in this case it is articles with embedded artifacts like databases, tables, and other multimedia)
  4. Communicating how the content restriction will be managed to customers.

That is, developing the overall “apparatus” for enabling the selling of licensed content is complicated — and made further complicated by the issues around the restricted service offerings in the space.

In this article, we will cover some of the underpinning logic for that page, which should be helpful to content creators. And from there, we will also discuss the broader social issues around the limited ability of individual content creators to charge directly for their content rather than going through some type of predatory intermediary.

What we have learned is listed under each observation below.

Observation #1: Keeping Away from Unlimited Use Licenses

Potential customers will often propose a license without a time limit or without a cap on users who can access the research would be a real problem. This is generally called an unlimited use license. The entities I am negotiating with are presenting a single one time fee as a matter of “convenience,” but it is a bad deal.

Unlimited use licenses are pitched under the logic of being “convenient” however, they are deeply problematic for content creators.

Note that in copyright law, an exclusive license essentially works as a transfer of ownership rights. The exclusive licensee has the right to use the copyright, assign it to a third party, or sue a third party for infringement. A non-exclusive licensee also has the right to use the copyright, but neither of the other two rights. – LegalZoom

There are ways of making the licensing arrangement convenient, without separating the content creator from their creation without any considering for its future support or without essentially handing over control of the IP.

  1. One is a term or duration limit on the license.
  2. A second is a cap on the number of logins, rather than just having an unlimited license.

Observation #2: Problematic Restricted Access Software and Plug-ins

Licensing is one side of the equation of charging for IP or content. The other side is the software enforcement or content restriction and login software, and one is not more important than the other. If you can’t technically restrict access to content, you can’t enforce the rules laid out in a content license agreement.

Results of Testing Content Restriction Software

Content restriction software goes by the following names and is placed into multiple categories.

  • Site Subscription Software: (Recurly is a good example of an offering in this category. Something worth noting is that many of the solutions in this area are quite expensive and targeted towards large or medium-sized media outlets. As I am not selling subscriptions – which are generally media entities with a large audience, but a low dollar amount per subscriber — I did not spend much time analyzing this category. )

One subscription management offering that is more directed toward smaller entities is Zoho Subscriptions. Notice the settings around billing and recurrent billing. This is great for small individual charges but does not fit with how Brightwork sells access to research. 

  • Site Membership Software: (WooCommerce Memberships is one example of an offering within this category) This is similar to site subscription software.
  • Teaching or Course Software: (also called online training software) (Teachable and Lessonly are two prominent examples of offerings within this category)
  • Content Restriction Software: (RestrictContentPro is one example of an offering within this category)

The Special and Large Category of Teaching or Course Software

Of the four categories, the teaching or courseware software has by far received the most development funding and is far out in front in terms of maturity as a software category.

However, there are several issues I found with this software category.

  1. Given a large number of applications in the space, most have large gaps in their functionality, and the average functionality they do have is mediocre.
  2. Not all content falls into the category of a teachable course.
  3. This means there is a gap (both in course software) and for content outside of courses.

Here is the content editor within the cloud course software EasyGenerator. The content editor is a bit more basic than I am used to — as content editors in blogging platforms, along with their associated plug-ins are generally quite extensive. However, I was able to insert an HTML block which allowed me to insert a database that displays entries in the web page. Although, the course, when published, actually has advantages over a standard blog post. This application was very good at creating content but did not have sufficient content protection functionality. 

In my view, blogging software is the most efficient and multifaceted way to create and distribute content I have ever experienced. Therefore, it is difficult for the courseware to compete.

I tested a number of this courseware software, including Thinkific, Teachable, Ruzuki, Kajabi, Zippy Courses, LearnDash, and several more. It took me several days to do this. I kept testing different solutions thinking that the next solution I tested would have to have the things for which I was looking. I think generally, the less you know about a software category, the more you tend to assume that there must be a solution that does exactly what you want. I reminded myself of my own clients who would project what they wanted onto the categories of software like demand planning and supply planning rather than realizing the limitations of the software category.

Two Different Designs of Courseware

Most of the courseware has the content placed in their system. This is a problem in that, as you will see in a moment, the functionality for content creation in courseware normally lags that of blogging platforms. There is yet to be a dominant courseware application that has anywhere near the number of users of the major blogging applications. And none with anywhere near the plug-ins or extensions either.

The second type of courseware is a plug-in to blogging software rather than its own distinct application. This leverages the capabilities of the blogging software, which I consider to be a positive. However, this second type of courseware is far less common than the first type.

Of the courseware I tested, I found the usability to be a significant step back from my experience using blogging software. The content creation functionality is one example, but there are many more examples as well. The content creation functionality was, in many cases, very truncated as if they did not want any complexity of technical functions exposed to the user. This was a bit similar to my review of CRM software, which is designed for salespeople and, therefore, highly simplified in its design.

My Conclusion on Courseware

My general conclusion was the following:

  1. Few of these applications fit a workflow outside of training and courses.
  2. I noticed they were consistently weak in the content restriction functionality. And most did not have a code that could be given out — much less a numerical cap that could be applied to limit or meter the number of people who access the content under the code.
  3. Repeatedly, the trial versions of the applications appeared to be missing functionality that was listed in the features area of the website.

Podia is another popular cloud service that allows people to control access to content. However, it does not even have an HTML block capability, making the pages that can be created extremely limited. 

Using such courseware for normal content would mean not using the quiz and test functionality within these applications.

Content Restriction and Membership Applications

In testing various content restrictions or membership plug-ins (for blogs), I found the vast majority are of inferior quality or are directed towards other things like selling courses online or focusing on charging for individual purchases. We needed a content restriction/membership plug-in that does not charge each individual but instead works off of a code or customer-specific unique identifier but then records the user and email so I can meter the redemptions. I found one, but it requires I set an individual price — which is not actually what I wanted. I wanted no price listed, as we are not interested in selling individual access, but group access that is invoiced, not charged in the system.

How the Software Manages Multiple Sign Ins

Another issue is how either the membership or content restriction software deals with people viewing the content multiple times. I thought I could get by with using a plug-in for the Gravity Form software I use –however, that software records a new entry every time a person signs in. That is a problem because I want to place a cap on the redemptions, and duplicate entries (for the same person) would make that cap meaningless.

Therefore, I had to abandon using simple forms of software. Gravity Forms does not have a plug-in that stops duplicates, and considering its design, form software is designed like a transaction processing system and is supposed to record every single entry. Therefore, there might be an issue with finding a plug-in that removes duplicates.

This is unfortunate as form software creates a much nicer login page with many more options than using specific membership or content restriction software. However, the form software that I tested just does not have the functionality match for my requirements.

The Specific Issue With Blogging-Software and Content Restriction

Some of the plug-ins for blogging software invoke the user functionality within the blogging software itself.

This is a problem because if you have a semi-popular website, hackers from around the world are constantly trying to break into it. They apparently want to take control of servers to send spam and other nefarious activities. To thwart them, I have disabled the ability to login to the Brightwork website. That is, I don’t make public the login functionality of this site.

This disables the site from being able to have its user functionality leveraged. Therefore, for my needs, it is important that access control be outside of the blog, and within the server of the membership or restricted content software.

The Surprisingly Limited Options for Restricting Content

Given how important it is to restrict and meter content — to allow for it to be monetized, I am surprised how weak the options were.

I was almost left without a suitable alternative, and the option I chose is not 100% what I want.

For example, I would like more the following:

  1. More control over the login form in terms of formatting and adding other elements as I do in blog posts. The login form I have with the membership software is generic and unchangeable.
  2. I do not want to have to place a price on the content restriction form. That price is worked out for a number of licenses, and it is not relevant for the person who has been given a code to access the research. I am required to list a price — which the user will never actually pay, and then to apply a coupon in order to net out the total to zero dollars then. I am not interested in having the research distributed as a single sale, and this causes me to make the price listed high to dissuade people who might want to access the content for the cost of a single license.

These examples demonstrate how restricted the functionality is in the available solutions.

What These Limited Options Mean For Smaller Content Creators

These limited options are going to naturally stop a lot of content creators from setting up their sites and offering their content directly.

I really hope the number of options and the quality of the options improve — because as I cover in the next section, the options for monetizing content are shrinking in the traditional avenues (journalism, books, etc..) 

Observation #3: The Lack of Emphasis on Licensing and Monetization

The whole topic of licensing and monetization of IP is enormous — because without advertizing (which Google has sucked up), the only real ways left for monetization are either selling out to industry or getting consulting gigs. Media entities, for instance, are either successful in their paywalls (such as the Wall Street Journal, NYT, etc..) or they are getting bought up by billionaire (such as The Washington Post, Time, etc..) and becoming PR outlets for these billionaires, their companies and their friends. Or they are going out of business, or they are being purchased by murky foreign entities in dictatorial countries like China (Forbes, IDC, IDG, etc..) that offer paid placements. They will let anyone publish anything without any concern for what is true — as we cover in the article Can You Trust IDC and Their Now China Based Owners?

(Furthermore, selling a media asset to a China-based entity is a little different from selling it to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party. China’s army of government censors review content for whether it fits within their guidelines.)

Observation #4: Limited Methods of IP Monetization

Book sales, due to Amazon, make authors less and less money, and the publishing industry, along with the newspapers, has been hollowed out.

Another approach is to obtain consulting contracts lead by IP.

However, the consulting industry is highly monopolized by disgusting firms that not only contribute zero to collective IP, but because many are marketing arms of vendors, one can argue persuasively that they produce negative IP, Accenture, IBM, Deloitte, Infosys, TATA, Wipro and others all get by repeating false marketing bullet points for whatever is trendy in business circles or whatever their vendor partners scripts were sent over to them. IP is normally only presented as positive. Whoever heard of negative IP? However, if the information is false, it is certainly not positive, and it is not neutral — therefore, it must be considered negative.

All of this means that content creators don’t have very many suitable methods of receiving income for their IP.

Education Focused…But With Decreasing Avenues for IP Monetization?

Here we are talking about education as the solution to all problems — and are cutting off the avenues to monetize IP.

That does not make any sense.

The monetization side is just as important as the education side. If there is no way to monetize content outside of offering it up at a pittance to some monopoly, education just becomes a way to get people hired into monopolistic firms — that generally specialize in extracting or separating IP from employees.

Secondly, there are many areas of education that don’t contribute IP to society. What are the contributions of people who study marketing, law, or have MBAs? Are those subjects centered around creating IP or creating endless streams of rhetoric or, more specifically, developing “chiseling skills?”

Education sometimes is a major contributor to IP, but it many cases, it isn’t a prime driver. That is, “more education” will not necessarily develop more “IP.”

  • MRP was developed by a person working with few educational qualifications.
  • Issac Newton’s education was disrupted by the bubonic plague.
  • Einstein had only obtained an undergraduate degree in physics when we came up with his most famous ideas.
  • At a personal level, much of my IP does not have much to do with my education — which now seems like eons ago. My education only provided foundational elements. Overall, many people have created their IP from their work experience as much or more than from their education experience.

Secondly, most US workers with STEM educations leave the field within ten years as I cover in the article How The H1-Bs Are Pushing Out Domestic US Workers of IT and STEM. Therefore, it is a similar way, if individuals are restricted from earning income in the area in which they were educated, “more education” is not the answer to the problem.

Conclusion

Licensing is critical to monetizing content.

  1. The Brightwork website has demonstrated that people will take as much IP as they can without seeking to compensate the IP creator. Even with a disclaimer about not answering free questions in the chatbox on this website, I receive requests from all over to help out or provide various expertise for free. That is to help employees of multi-million or multi-billion dollar firms without compensation. The employees of billionaires are in desperate need of training! And companies can’t be expected to provide this training — as that leads directly to socialism! Hedge funds and private equity employees also could use some free “help” as well to make a good impression on their bosses.
  2. Huge monopolies like Microsoft or Oracle are enormously overcompensated for the IP they generate, while smaller IP creators are vastly under-compensated.

A significant reason for this is first a lack of licensing education for small content creators, and a second is the shortcoming of the technology of content restriction.

Currently, the primary areas where there are good alternatives in content restriction are the following:

  • Courseware, and where the classes are stored with the course management website (that is not stored on the content creator’s blog).
  • Subscription software — which is more for media entities for individual content creators.
  • The workflow where individuals purchase items from an IP creator or, more specifically, the IP controlling website.

There needs to be a greater focus on providing the tools for monetization of IP of small content creators. The popular media is filled with the use of the word “innovation.” Companies can’t stop talking about their importance of innovation. Firms that engage in no innovation or steal their innovation will still expend a great deal of effort talking about innovation. In many cases, the mere talking about innovation seems to replace actual innovation. As with a spell, if the language of innovation is invoked, for many executives, it is as good as if real innovation had just occurred.

However, we have few ways of content creators getting compensated for their creation outside of transferring their IP at rock bottom rates to employers.

Presently the ability to charge for content is highly tilted in favor of large monopolistic entities. These entities crow about their IP, which is primarily separated from their employees with one-sided employment contracts. Or, in the case of pharmaceutical companies, is separated from the actual researchers — which are funded in the US by the National Institutes of Health — or, more specifically, US taxpayers.

What We Do and Research Access

Using the Diagram

Hover over each bullet or plus sign to see more explanation. To move to a different bullet point, just “hover off” and then hover over the new bullet.

 

Research Access

  • Do You Need to Access Research in this Area?

    Put our independent analysis to work for you to improve your spend.

References

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/copyright-license-agreement-written-work-how-to-guide

https://www.getapp.com/education-childcare-software/courseware/page-3/

The Brightwork Lessons from Dealing With Enterprise Software Entities

Executive Summary

  • We have been dealing with many entities in the enterprise software space for over a decade.
  • This article covers what we have learned.

Introduction

What we have learned is listed under each observation below.

Observation #1: Vendors are Useless

As a research entity, at many points, we thought we could develop some type of functional relationship with software vendors. After over ten years of interaction, we have concluded that vendors are useless for us.

Here are some reasons why.

  1. Corrupting Influence: Vendors frequently seek to coopt or corrupt Brightwork Research & Analysis. Most vendors that reach out want free coverage or want to pay for flowery coverage. They will often attempt to leverage off of the reputation we have developed for providing accurate information to promote us to provide false information.
  2. Self Overestimation: Vendors typically massively overestimate their applications and their knowledge on many topics. For example, we have been subjected to many people posing in vendors as being experts in SAP, and who try to interact with us as equals. They develop atrocious integration adapters to SAP. This same “Dunning Kruger Effect” applies marketing. Many vendors are weak at marketing and seek to present their shoddily written articles with our research. The intent of many employees in various vendors is to fake their knowledge to their bosses and other people in the vendor.
  3. Misrepresentation of the Interest in the Truth: We have only exceedingly rarely found vendors that are interested in what is true. What is clocked as an interest in truth, such as getting the word out about false information provided by SAP or Oracle, is really just an attempt for them to sell their own item? This is not an interest in what is true, and it is an interest in meeting a quota. And the only “truth” they are interested in exposing is that of their competitors. One of the most egregious examples is employees of Oracle, who have the unmitigated gall to complain about falsehoods and deceptions on the part of SAP! As soon as one works for Oracle, there is now no level of unethical behavior that the Oracle employee can complain about. In fact, Oracle employees should be barred from even explaining ethics to their children. This is why we created the following article just for Oracle employees Teaching Oracle About Hypocrisy on Lock In.
  4. Bureaucracy: Even smaller vendors often have stultifying levels of bureaucracy. This is particularly true at the more senior levels — where we tend to have discussions.
  5. Free Psychoanalysis Services?: Many vendors seem to think that we are a free psychoanalysis service –why they are not going to meet the upcoming quarter or other issues they are dealing with at the time. We have thought of providing this service, but unfortunately, we are not certified, mental health practitioners.

From the initial conversation to later conversations, vendors seek to extract as much as possible from Brightwork Research & Analysis, which is why we developed the following policy regarding vendors, which is described in the article Why Brightwork Research & Analysis Has No Relationships With Vendors. 

Observation #2: 3rd Party Support Providers Must be Vetted

This may be considered an extension of Observation #1, as 3rd party support providers are a type of “vendor.” However, 3rd party support vendors will often like our articles because it calls into question the support value provided by SAP and Oracle. However, all 3rd party support vendors are not in alignment with our research conclusions.

For example, we tracked one 3rd party support vendor that states that it provides both SAP and Oracle support, however, when we checked the background of their employees on LinkedIn, we could not find a single person with any SAP experience.

No doubt 3rd party support providers provide better support than SAP or Oracle, as both SAP and Oracle barely try, as we cover in the article How do SAP and Oracle’s Support Profit Margins Compare to Pablo Escobar.

Observation #3: IT Research Entities Are Useless to Us

As we cover in the article How to Understand Why IT Lacks Functioning Research Entities Covering SAP, the major research entities like Gartner, Forrester, and IDC don’t really do research. They are paid by vendors to provide sales collateral for companies.

There is actually no validity to any of the Gartner MQs. I cover here The Problem with How Gartner Makes its Money that Gartner nor the entities rated disclose their payments to Gartner now the amounts. PwC and Oracle could apprise us of their yearly “donations” to Gartner, but they won’t and will change the subject when asked.

Something readers might find interesting is this article showing Gartner distributing press releases for SAP. How Gartner Distributes Press Releases On HANA. Here is IDC doing the same thing IDC Takes Money to Publish SAP Provided Sample on S/4HANA

One reason we know this is that not only have we extensively analyzed Gartner, but we have had vendors reach out to us to create fake research for them. They used different terminology such as “getting the word out,” etc.. But it was an offer of money for fake research.

We read the output of research entities, but only for the following reasons.

  1. To understand what is being read in the space.
  2. To laugh at the attempts by the analyst firm to hide their income and or otherwise state that the money they were paid had no impact on their coverage.
  3. To see how out of it IT decision-makers are for thinking they are reading research.

Observation #4: Hedge Funds and Private Equity Expect Research for Free

We have run into hedge funds with $13B under management that has pushed back on research estimates in the $20,000 range as being..

“Too large for their budget.”

The approach that hedge funds and private equity follow is they state they are a private equity or a hedge fund, and then then they expect anyone with information to hand over their information to them, and furthermore to explain it to them — for free.

Hedge funds and private equity have zero respect for the work of others, and as they are chiselers by nature, they think that the entire world should be free to them. Employees at hedge funds and private equity generally know close to nothing about technology, and the incompetence level is high, as many people that work in the industry are children of other rich people. In fact, many companies that raise money from hedge funds or private equity often find that the hedge fund or PE firm “recommends” that they hire individuals who work for the hedge fund or PE entity. These “strong recommendations” are for individuals who are the children of the owners of the hedge fund or PE entity.

This naturally creates a sense of entitlement and entitlement to the work of others. The idea, roughly, is that you will provide them with actionable intelligence, and they will make an enormous sum of money from it. Then the people that provided them with the insight will receive nothing. A major motivation is for the employee of the hedge fund to make it seem as if they came up with the idea all by themselves.

The Importance of Faking Knowledge for Hedge Fund and Private Equity Bosses

We are convinced this is a primary reason the employees do not want to make the argument for a budget for research because if they did, it would become apparent that they were not the source of the insight. In this way, hedge funds and private equity can be viewed as research harvesters and thieves. After the hedge fund or private equity screws information providers, they then use the information to use their financial muscle to screw companies. 

Due to our interactions with hedge funds and private equity, our approach is to make them go away by asking for their budget right off the bat.

The idea of parting with a tiny fraction of their wealth is enough to short circuit the individual, as they try to process why you are not bending over backward immediately at the mention of the fact that they represent a hedge fund.

Conclusion

No doubt, we will add to this list in the future. But it was good or therapeutic to list what we have learned from operating as a research entity in the enterprise software space.

What We Do and Research Access

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References

The Brightwork SAP Research Based Assessments

Executive Summary

  • This page describes the Brightwork SAP assessments and why you (as a vendor) would want to send them to your customers or prospects.
  • Our analytics assessment is without SAP or their consulting firm’s influence or financial bias.

Introduction

This page is for vendors. If you find the appropriate assessment helpful, the following article links in the search box below are to be sent to your customer.

Question #1: What is the Brightwork SAP Assessment Program at a High Level?

This program gets some of the only independent information and analysis into SAP customers. It is supported by the largest database of SAP research that has no fingerprints of SAP or any other vendor influence. SAP has never accepted any income of any kind from any vendor.

Question #2: What is Brightwork Research & Analysis?

A full explanation is available on our home page. But the short version is we provide some of the only SAP independent information and research in the enterprise software market that does not come from competing vendors.

Brightwork has the most SAP research and the most accurate research on both SAP, which you can verify at the article A Study into SAP’s Accuracy.

We have a series of firsts, including the only entity to break the story on HANA (which is now matriculating through the courts in the Teradata v SAP court case), the reality of S/4HANA implementations, the reality of APO, SAP Analytics, and a host of other areas. These are areas that are never published in the SAP captured media or with Gartner, Forrester, or IDC.

Question #3: What are SAP Consulting Firm Assessment Like?

SAP consulting firms offer SAP “assessments” that as we critique in the article Don’t Get Tricked by SAP Consulting Firm S/4HANA Assessment Project, the only thing they “assess” is how to pitch their consulting services through proposing a project. Whatever the question is, the answer is to buy SAP and then implement SAP using their consulting services. SAP consulting firms aggressively underbid these “assessments” as they are nothing more than content free sales pitches.

What non-mega vendors deal with is a forcefully rigged market in favor of mega-vendors. And vendors often think they have no alternative information providers in the market.

However, we provide an alternative.

These assessments you see on this page allow non mega vendors to get far more accurate information to the customer on the topic of SAP and Oracle in a way that costs nothing to you as the customer pays the costs of the analysis. Brightwork never received income from vendors to produce content and does not work as a subcontractor. Our relationships are direct to our clients.

Question #4:: What is the Detail of the SAP Assessments, and How Does This Benefit You?

The SAP customer you are working with is subjected to large amounts of inaccurate information about SAP from the SAP ecosystem. This erroneous information is designed to maximize SAP’s account control and block out other vendors, even vendors that are “partners” with SAP. (See the Teradata lawsuit for details on how vendors are treated as “partners.”)

In each assessment, non-mega vendors will benefit from the information provided to the customer because we provide accurate information on SAP. This is the opposite of what customers typically receive from the combination of SAP, their consulting partners, Gartner, Forrester, and IDC. Our history of predicting SAP far outstrips any other entity in the marketplace, including SAP itself (not challenging to do as SAP is enormously inaccurate – however the fact is, no consulting company, IT media outlet or IT analyst firm has been able to do it).

Question #5: What Do I Do With This?

Simply find the SAP assessment that applies to your category of software.

See if this is the type of information you think your customer or prospect would like to see and forward the link to them. Explain that we are an independent source of heavily researched information on SAP.

All that is required is to provide these assessment links to customers to allow them to decide if the service interests them. If you lead a sales team, it means making your sales teams aware that this service exists and for them to understand that they benefit by their customers and or prospects receiving independent information on SAP.

Question #6: Reach Out

Contact us with any questions you may have. The program is very straightforward.

  • We are paid and have a direct contract with SAP customers.
  • There is no cost to and no contract with the vendors.

The SAP Assessment List

See the tiles below to select the assessment that would apply to your customers or prospects. When you select a tile, it will open a box that allows you to open the article.

What We Do and Research Access

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References

The Brightwork SAP Cloud (HEC) Research Based Assessment

Executive Summary

  • SAP and SAP consulting firms dominate the presentation of how to leverage the cloud with SAP.
  • Our analytics assessment is without SAP or their consulting firm’s influence or financial bias.

Introduction

SAP and SAP consulting companies propose that their customers must use SAP Cloud. SAP Cloud lives off of co-opting public cloud hyperscale providers. However, its HEC networks are a series of “private cloud,” which is generally known as hosting. This fits with the comfort level of many SAP customers that tend to be conservative as SAP has always been an on-premises environment.

The best description of SAP’s Cloud messaging is “muddled.”

What is the Assessment Based Upon?

Our SAP Cloud Assessment is based upon years of research into SAP that combines decades of SAP implementation experience with technical research and case studies to provide what is real and what is not with SAP Cloud without concern for what SAP thinks of our research conclusions. 

Our Cloud assessment covers the following areas. 

Question #1: Reviewing The Current Environment

Every customer has particularities to their environments that range from the functionality utilized in ECC to the degree of customization to the yearly IT budget and a host of other factors.

The first step of the assessment is an SAP environment evaluation. This allows us the customization of the assessment to our client’s situation. This is achieved with in-person interviews with various people in IT. These are not lengthy interviews, and this part of the process does not have much elapsed time. We have seen many SAP environments and can generally ascertain the general lay of the land in a few weeks. This assumes that many people are not out or traveling, which relates to the timing of the assessment. 

Question #2: What is the SAP Cloud (and HEC)?

As we alluded to in the introduction, one of the most significant areas of confusion around the SAP Cloud is what it is versus what SAP and the consulting firms present. We illuminate how the SAP Cloud or HEC (HANA Enterprise Cloud) works (we use HEC and SAP Cloud as synonyms even though there is a separate SAP Cloud or what was previously known as SAP Cloud Platform, which is far less used). Part of the reason that poor decisions are being made is that customers are being misinformed as to what HEC actually is, and how vendors are selected and “recommended” to SAP customers. All of this is explained during the assessment.

Question #3: SAP Cloud (HEC) Terms and Conditions

SAP Cloud (HEC) has terms and conditions that are unrelated to public cloud providers and are more restrictive than on-premises purchases to which SAP customers have been acclimated. SAP uses cloud phraseology, but its terms and conditions are nothing like cloud, not how Salesforce uses the term, but how the cloud is generally understood.

Secondly, SAP provides significant discounts off of the application bill of material if their HEC is purchased as a bundle, and removes significant discounts if the company chooses not to use SAP’s HEC. In our assessment, we explain why this is and how to deal with SAP on this issue.

This video is from 2017 when SAP called their SAP Cloud, SAP Cloud Platform. None of the things, particularly related to integration, came true. We predicted this….back when SAP consulting firms were telling their customers that the SAP story could come true. 

Question #4: Explaining SAP’s Strategy with SAP Cloud/HEC

Brightwork Research & Analysis has been virtually the only entity (research or otherwise) to publish on the reality of SAP’s strategy with the cloud. We have documented the pricing, lock-in, on-premises, and many other implications. Uncovered in the IT media or by SAP consulting firms is that SAP is using cloud to INCREASE lock-in while presenting cloud as increasing the freedom and flexibility of their customers.

Question #5: The Relationship to Between SAP Cloud and Public Cloud

Nearly all of SAP’s messaging around the HEC is grafted from messaging by public cloud providers like AWS or GCP. However, SAP’s HEC has little to do with the way that public cloud providers function. SAP is also presenting many of its applications that are not primarily delivered via the cloud as being selected by large numbers of customers in the cloud modality.

This video is also incorrect. Released in 2018, S/4HANA Cloud has been very sparingly implemented. Now S/4HANA “on premises” version can be deployed on the public cloud. This video presents a “plug and play” nearly SOA model that has no correspondence to what happens even several years later on SAP projects. 

Question #6: SAP Cloud and S/4HANA

SAP combines SAP Cloud/HEC with other SAP messaging that is, in many cases distracting. See the following video.

Jeff Anders of SAP states that SAP “allows companies to transition to S/4HANA” using HEC.

First, it is primarily SAP and SAP consulting companies that want companies to transition to S/4HANA. SAP reports every S/4HANA sale to Wall Street as a market justification for their S/4HANA and HANA strategy. This is not largess on the side of SAP. What should be a concerning factor for SAP customers is that SAP reps quickly move from SAP Cloud/HEC discussions to other SAP offerings, and there are a large number of “salesy” and unexamined assumptions contained in SAP’s statements. Things that are specific courses of action that SAP desires to push its customers into doing are presented as accommodations to customers by SAP.

Secondly, Jeff uses the term “us” when describing who is running the HEC cloud, implying it is managed by SAP. This is incorrect, and this is something we address in the assessment.

Question #7: Leveraging Cloud for SAP Environments

We have written several books on how to leverage the cloud for both SAP and Oracle environments. This detailed research has helped us address this issue from a variety of angles. Our SAP Cloud assessment now only covers the use of SAP Cloud/HEC but also discusses other cloud alternatives.

Conclusion

SAP has copied virtually all of its messaging around cloud from public cloud providers. SAP presents itself to customers, IT analysts, IT media, and Wall Street as cloud in several ways and to the degree that it isn’t. And there is virtually no fact checking that occurs regarding SAP’s claims. Deloitte, Infosys, IBM, and the entirety of the SAP ecosystem can be relied on to repeat whatever SAP says. We provide the real story on SAP Cloud/HEC.

What We Do and Research Access

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References

The Brightwork SAP APO/IBP Research Based Assessment

Executive Summary

  • SAP and SAP consulting firms dominate the presentation of how to leverage SAP APO and IBP.
  • Our analytics assessment is without SAP or their consulting firm’s influence or financial bias.

Introduction

SAP and SAP consulting companies propose that their customers must use APO, and they would prefer if they move to IBP so that they can obtain the license and implementation revenue. However, something that is barely discussed is that is the actual history of APO on projects. At one time, IBP was positioned as only an S&OP solution. However, its slow adoption has lead to mixed messages coming from SAP. Parts of APO have now been pushed back into the ERP system.

The best description of SAP’s advanced planning messaging is “muddled.”

What is the Assessment Based Upon?

Our SAP APO/IBP Assessment is based upon years of research into SAP that combines decades of SAP implementation experience with technical research and case studies to provide what is real and what is not with SAP APO/IBP without concern for what SAP thinks of our research conclusions. 

Our APO/IBP assessment covers the following areas. 

Question #1: Reviewing The Current Environment

Every customer has particularities to their environments that range from the functionality utilized in ECC to the degree of customization to the yearly IT budget and a host of other factors.

The first step of the assessment is an SAP environment evaluation. This allows us the customization of the assessment to our client’s situation. This is achieved with in-person interviews with various people in IT. These are not lengthy interviews, and this part of the process does not have much elapsed time. We have seen many SAP environments and can generally ascertain the general lay of the land in a few weeks. This assumes that many people are not out or traveling, which relates to the timing of the assessment. 

Question #2: SAP APO History

SAP APO rapidly became the most popular planning system, taking over for i2 Technologies and Manugistics in the early 2000s. This was primarily on the back of SAP consulting companies recommending APO, and on a long term set of assumptions that APO would always have a growing and improving functionality footprint. Brightwork Research & Analysis, and Lora Cecere and her Supply Chain Insights as virtually the only entity, research or otherwise, to cover the reality of APO.

Question #3: SAP IBP Opportunities

Since IBP was first introduced, SAP presented this as a “game-changer” for SAP customers. It would not only be easier to use than APO, but customers would finally get S&OP. IBP has an entirely new set of claims around machine learning to demand sensing to DDMRP and nearly every other trendy item that SAP marketing has decided to leverage to try to sell IBP.

DDMRP is simply a variant of Lean that has been renamed and with a few extra tweaks included to sell more services. It replaces “safety stock” with “inventory buffers” and tries to apply a concept related to physical movement — called KANBAN to a planning system. 

Lora Cecere is correct, the simulation limitations of SAP APO, have continued into IBP. This video is produced by Kinaxis, which is trying to sell its software. However, there are very few realistic videos on IBP, and what Lora is saying here is accurate. 

Question #4: APO Module Implementation Analysis

APO has around eleven modules, but only around six that are implemented to any degree (DP, SNP. PP/DS, GATP, TM, EWM).

Most of these modules underperform expectations by a large degree on projects, and the information that companies get around these modules is designed to protect SAP rather than provide a realistic analysis of what should be done with the modules. As part of the assessment, for those companies that have implemented APO modules, we analyze each implementation and provide our analysis of what should be done with these modules.

Question #5: Implementation and Maintenance Cost Estimates

We are familiar with all of the commercial package advanced planning solutions, and APO has the highest maintenance overhead of any system in this category. A significant issue at all APO customers that we have reviewed (and information we have received from active APO implementations remotely) that companies that purchase and install APO are almost never prepared for the amount of maintenance required to keep the systems working properly.

Every APO system we have evaluated has degraded since its initial implementation. At one project, a batch job that was supposed to execute a forecast had never run since the system was implemented six years before us performing the analysis.

As part of our APO assessment, we explain the maintenance implications for APO going forward and help develop a plan for improving maintenance.

Question #6: APO, ECC, and Non SAP Integration

SAP presents APO and IBP as “entirely integrated” into the ERP system, and SAP and consulting firms propose that any non-SAP system will radically increase integration costs.

What is undiscussed, is that neither APO nor IBP are part of the ERP schema, and are integrated through adapters exactly are other non-SAP applications. We get to the bottom of the trade-offs regarding SAP adapters versus non-SAP adapters.

Question #7: Planning Modernization HANA

The presentation of IBP is that HANA significantly improves planning. However, HANA does not do most of what SAP says that it does. We cover what SAP customers can expect to see from using HANA as a database with an advanced planning system.

Conclusion

Listening exclusively to SAP and SAP’s consulting firms lead to the highly wasteful multi-decade investment into APO. SAP and SAP consulting firms want this history wiped clean, and for companies to, without thought or evaluation of options, invest in IBP. Inaccurate information about IBP is available right out in the open on SAP and SAP consulting firm websites and at SAP conferences.

Listening to this information without an independent analysis is most likely to lead to the same outcome as the investments into APO. This scenario is what our APO/IBP assessment helps keep companies from experiencing.

What We Do and Research Access

Using the Diagram

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References

The Brightwork SAP Analytics Research Based Assessment

Executive Summary

  • SAP and SAP consulting firms dominate the presentation of how to leverage SAP analytics.
  • Our analytics assessment is without SAP or their consulting firm’s influence or financial bias.

Introduction

SAP and SAP consulting companies propose that their customers must use either the SAP BW or SAP Business Objects, (before Lumira) and now SAP Cloud Analytics. What SAP nor SAP consulting companies discuss is the efficiency level of their analytics solutions. Our evaluation does this and places SAP’s analytics solutions in the context of what makes effective analytics that is both efficient and useful for the business. 

What is the Assessment Based Upon?

Our SAP Analytics Assessment is based upon years of research into SAP that combines decades of SAP implementation experience with technical research and case studies to provide what is real and what is not with SAP analytics without concern for what SAP thinks of our research conclusions. 

Our ABAP assessment covers the following areas. 

#1: Reviewing The Current Environment

Every customer has particularities to their environments that range from the functionality utilized in ECC to the degree of customization to the yearly IT budget and a host of other factors.

The first step of the assessment is an SAP environment evaluation. This allows us the customization of the assessment to our client’s situation. This is achieved with in-person interviews with various people in IT. These are not lengthy interviews, and this part of the process does not have much elapsed time. We have seen many SAP environments and can generally ascertain the general lay of the land in a few weeks. This assumes that many people are not out or traveling, which relates to the timing of the assessment. 

#2: SAP Analytics Overreach

SAP has specific limitations to all of their analytics solutions. SAP customers that accept SAP’s claims around the analytics scope capability end up with low functioning analytics environments.

#3: SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP has been pushing hard for companies to perform a “cloud conversion” of Business Objects to SAP Analytics Cloud. This allows SAP to report cloud earnings to Wall Street and has little to do with customers actually moving to cloud. There are also implications to having an on-premises solution “converted” to the cloud from the perspective of flexibility. We lay out what the SAP Analytics Cloud program actually does, and what it far less of a focus, which is what is the state and roadmap of SAP Analytics Cloud.

#4: SAP BW & HANA, and BW/4HANA

This video, promoting BW/4HANA, is entirely inaccurate. Information from the field is wholly inconsistent with what SAP says about BW/4HANA. 

This states that the data warehouse is removed because of S/4HANA. S/4HANA has no capabilities that would support this, and any ERP system is not replacing data warehouses in the foreseeable future. 

#5: Implementation and Maintenance Cost Estimates

Most companies that are interested in SAP BW or Business Objects already have. Now the question is how to reduce the substantial overhead with these systems.

The question for the future is the SAP Analytics Cloud. We cover both the old and the new components of the SAP analytics strategy

This man might as well be reading the back of a cereal box. Nothing he is saying is true. SAP account managers are saying the same false things on projects. 

Question #6: Integration with Better Analytics Solutions

For better outcomes, one of the most significant opportunities is in connecting the older SAP BI backends with newer technologies. We cover how to do this very flexibly and at low cost.

Question #7: BW Modernization with HANA

The presentation of HANA is that it is made to work with BW. However, most of BW is actually designed to work with a standard row-oriented database. With many column-based tables, HANA does not require much of what BW offers. SAP and their consulting firms paper over these issues. We expose them.

Conclusion

Analytics is a major consumer of IT budgets at SAP customers. All of our clients have received nothing but promotional SAP information, which makes it difficult to make effective decisions with the analytics budget. Our SAP analytics assessment provides accurate information so that far more value can be wrung out of the analytics spend.

What We Do and Research Access

Using the Diagram

Hover over each bullet or plus sign to see more explanation. To move to a different bullet point, just “hover off” and then hover over the new bullet.

 

Research Access

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    Put our independent analysis to work for you to improve your spend.

References