Comments on Brightwork Articles on Fiori

Last Updated on March 15, 2021 by Shaun Snapp

Executive Summary

  • This article contains comments from the articles on Fiori.

Introduction

These comments are in response to the articles on Why Fiori Will Not Survive.

Article Questions & Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now the filtered view will show just the AnyDB apps.

This comes to 210. 210/8565 = 2.4% 

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

Synopsis

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

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

There are only two options.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Synopsis

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

Comment 4: The Debate as to Whether Fiori Has a Long Way to Go, and Fiori’s Lack of Uptake is Due to Users not Wanting to Change

Fiori is over four years old.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Synopsis

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

Comment 5: Debate on the Reasons for Fiori’s Lack of Uptake

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

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

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

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

Reality of SAPGUI

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

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

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

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

Synopsis

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

Comment 6: SAP is Going Through a Huge Amount of Change Internally, and Change Takes Time

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

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

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

Comment 7: The Debate on Whether SAP Sales Uses Shady Tactics.

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

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

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

Comment 8: The Facts?

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

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

The Concern with Accuracy of SAP Among SAP Consultants?

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

Synopsis

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

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