Does Hiring Large SAP Consulting Firms Work as Political Insurance?

Table of Contents: Select a Link to be Taken to That Section

Executive Summary

  • A primary reason for hiring the major SAP consulting firms is for political insurance.
  • If the project does poorly, the decision makers can say they went with a major brand.

Video Introduction: Does Hiring Large SAP Consulting Firms Work as Political Insurance?

Text Introduction (Skip if You Watched the Video)

Giant SAP consulting companies have a long history of charging their clients exorbitant fees and offering them inferior value. However, they continue to be used. Why? Well, one hypothesis is that large consulting companies provide political cover for decision-makers. Even though Deloitte or Accenture or WiPro or Cognizant, or another SAP consulting firm continuously take advantage of their clients, they are at the very least “major brands.” Viewed in this way, they can be seen as political insurance. You will learn how IT decision makers hire these corrupt companies because they are major brand names, but we question how effective these firms are as political insurance.

Our References for This Article

If you want to see our references for this article and other related Brightwork articles, see this link.

Notice of Lack of Financial Bias: We have no financial ties to SAP or any other entity mentioned in this article.

  • This is published by a research entity, not some lowbrow entity that is part of the SAP ecosystem. 
  • Second, no one paid for this article to be written, and it is not pretending to inform you while being rigged to sell you software or consulting services. Unlike nearly every other article you will find from Google on this topic, it has had no input from any company's marketing or sales department. As you are reading this article, consider how rare this is. The vast majority of information on the Internet on SAP is provided by SAP, which is filled with false claims and sleazy consulting companies and SAP consultants who will tell any lie for personal benefit. Furthermore, SAP pays off all IT analysts -- who have the same concern for accuracy as SAP. Not one of these entities will disclose their pro-SAP financial bias to their readers. 

Paying to Get Robbed?

I recall a project where IBM was not getting what it wanted, and they declared:

“We cannot guarantee the success of the project if XYZ happens.”

I remember thinking, how does IBM guarantee the success of anything? You pay IBM, and they support a project. There is no guarantee.

The risk is with the client. All that IBM does is bill the customer, and any consulting firm provides no “guarantee.”

How SAP Consulting Firms Increase Project Risk

These firms significantly increase the risk of failure of projects. Here is why:

  • The Consistently Poor Quality of Product Information Emanating from SAP Consulting Firms: The information they provide is of such self-serving and inaccurate quality. If you cannot find out what is true from the SI, then you are destined to implement it incorrectly.
  • The Inability to Contradict SAP: The SAP consulting firms compete to gain the approval of SAP. They will agree with SAP on anything they say, creating a false impression of an independent third party.
  • Intense Hierarchy: No one but the top people on a project can determine what information will be released to a customer. All of the technical resources are entirely subordinate to the senior members, who are, in turn, subordinate to the most senior members within the consulting firms where policy is made.

Pushing Companies into High-Risk Implementations

We covered the Revlon S/4HANA implementation in the article What Was the Real Story with the Revlon S/4HANA Failure? We concluded that Revlon never had any potential to take S/4HANA live, given the implementation’s timing and the application’s maturity at the time of implementation. This brings up the ethics of recommending software that, as a consulting firm, you know, will fail, as we covered in the article Is it Right to Lead Clients into SAP Software Failure?

In discussions with some senior members/partners at large and small SAP consulting firms about the readiness of S/4HANA and other SAP applications and the availability of resources, I noted how the conversation tends to turn cold when I have brought up topics related to implement-ability. The most senior people in these organizations generally don’t seem to like discussing the implement-ability of sold work.

The comments that I have heard repeatedly is something like the following:

“We will worry about implementation after, not before we sell the work. First, we need to sell the work.”

In fact, in nearly every interaction with a partner resource or a sales resource, and I have had many, as soon as I begin to mention implementability or reality, the tension in that relationship quickly rises. Questions around implementability often lead me to be categorized as negative and have dramatically reduced the relationship’s congeniality. After one tense exchange at a dinner over HANA, where I brought up the many issues with HANA, the salesperson (who was, of course, paying for my meal) said to me.

“Shaun, don’t you think that SAP is a large company with a lot of resources and that they will just figure it out?”

I said no and explained why.

Now four years after that meal, and as covered in the article The SAP Layoffs and a Brightwork Warning on HANA, the bloom is off the HANA rose, and SAP did not figure it out.

In the movie How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, a British import runs afoul of all of the established rules in the celebrity media business. The way to do the same with software salespeople or partners is to bring up issues around implement-ability. The best way to push a career forward when dealing with these types is to pretend that none of the problems exist. And this is how projects, of course, also fail. 

After enough of these experiences, combined with reading many case studies, I have concluded that the major consulting companies do not factor implement-ability into their sales process. They approach the sales process like a newborn baby, assuming that everything will work correctly if they can just “get the work.”

Most senior members or partners I have worked with don’t live in a plane of reality. They exist in a fantasyland, which puts the sale above all else. The best salespeople tend to make the prospect the most excited, and this is more effective when the salesperson/partner is themselves deluded. The partner/salesperson then transfers this delusion to the prospect. This is my hypothesis as to why the best salespeople tend to be the most divorced from reality and end up with the most blown up projects. 

The Problem With Not Incorporating Implementation Issues into the Sales Process

However, what if the application is not ready to be implemented? What if resources cannot be found to perform the implementation? These are all things to worry about (a process called “planning,” not after you have sold the project. These considerations should influence what works and what projects are sold. One does not sell a defective or incomplete building design without any idea of where the labor will come from and then worry about them after the project is sold. The project is being sold on the basis that these items have been worked out. These conversations sometimes end with a warning that goes something like this.

“It is important that we don’t do or say anything that makes the prospect uncomfortable with the proposal we have put forward.”

Pushing Companies into Wasteful Expenditures

Therefore the waste is worse than just their billing rate. They urge companies to implement the worst systems (the most immature, worst fit for the requirements — the ones that the consulting firm specializes in billing for) and often in the worst way for their clients.

It is similar to paying robbers to come into your house to rob you.

Typically you can just get robbed for free. If made aware of these burglars worldwide, the world would be quite jealous of the SAP consulting companies. They have to break into houses and banks and steal things — but they don’t get paid to do it. SAP consulting companies flip the scenario around, so they are paid to screw over their clients and give them highly destructive advice.

Given Their Track Record, Why Do the Major SAP Consulting Firms Continue to Sell Work?

As observed by Ahmed Azmi,

“Customers really don’t have better options unless they’re willing and capable of doing the work themselves. Many don’t have that ability in house. It’s much easier to outsource everything to an SI and take what they can get. If the system under-delivers, they must downplay the problems because they are part of the project.”

Where Does Competition Occur in SAP Consulting?

The description laid out in the previous comment essentially proposes the SAP consulting firms as being selected primarily for appearances (insurance, lack of personal responsibility in choosing a “brand,” etc..).

This means that the various consulting firms “compete” but only within the context of agreeing with whatever SAP says. Therefore customers can choose from what amounts to the same rigged advice from any of the companies.

  • The consulting firms do not compete on which can implement. Because the implementation history of each is unknown. References are provided, but often references are not checked or not sufficiently checked. Wipro is on record in court, saying that they should not be reprimanded or held to account for providing false case studies. The responsibility is entirely with the client to verify the wrong case studies they provide, as we covered in the article How to Understand Wipro’s Position on Lying. If we take the specific example of IBM and AI, IBM has sold (according to IBM) over 20,000 AI projects and continues to sell these projects even though there is little evidence of AI doing what IBM sells it to do. IBM massively failed in its own AI project/product called Watson, as we covered in the article How IBM is Distracting from the Watson Failure to Sell More AI and Machine Learning.
  • SAP recommends companies that follow SAP’s directives, always placing client interests at the trough’s bottom.

Those that do what SAP says get more business. In this sense, the more you lie for SAP, the more business you get.

How Large SAP Consulting Firms Repeatedly Get it Wrong

In fact, in our research into the media output of SAP consulting firms, we find almost no variance between the large firms’ information published. This would not be such a terrible thing if the data were true, but the issue is that so much of the published information is not valid. That means that a wide variety of consulting entities are publishing the same false details……because it comes centrally from SAP. Areas which the consulting partners have repeated that turned out to be wrong are just too many to mention, but here are a few examples.

Accenture, as with all the major SAP consulting firms, promoted Leonardo. As we covered in the article Our 2019 Observation: SAP Leonardo is Dead, Leonardo is now a dead product, something we predicted would happen back in 2017 in the article Why SAP Leonardo Seems Fake. We could make this an extremely long article with initiatives that SAP has proposed supported by the major SAP consulting firms that ended up being non-items a few years after being introduced by SAP and hyped by the SAP consulting ecosystem. 

Therefore, the competition is substantially based upon who can lie better for SAP. And companies cannot count on any large SAP consulting firm to keep them away from wasteful implementations. This is because the consulting firms have no fiduciary duty to the client (that is, they have taken no pledge or are not regulated to place the client’s interests ahead of their own interests.) This means that the SAP consulting firm simply wants the most implementation/upgrade/etc activity possible.

Furthermore, these giant SAP consulting firms are not held accountable for their inaccuracy. They simply make new statements without their previous advice being analyzed. Here is the accuracy of one of the early promoters of HANA that we covered in the article A Study into John Appleby’s HANA Accuracy. Here is the material of a PwC resource on S/4HANA that we covered in the article Mark Chaflen Accuracy Checker on S/4HANA. These are not aberrations; these were just the instances where we went through the effort to verify their accuracy. If we measured the accuracy of other information providers from the major SAP consulting (and most of the smaller ones), the accuracy would be roughly similar.

A primary approach to improving forecast accuracy and decision-making is to remove biased and inaccurate inputs, as we covered in the article A Frank Analysis of Sales Forecast Bias. However, this is not done when selecting SAP consulting firms. The same firms continue to lie about SAP year in and year out, and they continue to be rewarded with more SAP work.

Consulting Companies as a Universal Problem in Software Selection

We wrote the article From IT to the Business: Go Jump Off a Bridge to describe IT’s problems in selecting good software for the business. Therefore it was interesting to find this quote, which explains the same problem, but in a specific software called course development software and from a blog by the course software company Playwrite. What is also curious about this software category is that it is a category that Brightwork Research & Analysis has no experienced studying.

As Explained by the Playwrite Blog

“LMSs are designed for the misinformed 💰people

Imagine a committee (when have committees ever made bad decisions?) composed of administrators, IT people, and the token student and/or teacher. For these committees, due diligence in LMS selection starts with a giant features list (one often found through a Google search or provided by fancy consultants). This list determines the “best” match for them.

I use quotes around “best” because the people helping them make this decision are often aggressive sales staff from LMS companies. As you might imagine, on the LMS side, this leads to an arms race of features— one that plays off the good intentions and fears of the committee.

The LMS with the most features #wins

The committee, with feature-FOMO, throws money at the problem.

This leads to LMS software that is a rat’s nest of features that only “power users” can understand. Those features require conferences and time-sucking, on-site training for the primary users (students and teachers) to get any work done. The original committee might even regret their decision, but now they’re trapped by the contract—often a contract that lasts as long as 5 years (light-years in internet time). In the end, this is a losing game for everyone.”

Rigging Software Selections

This is the exact issue that we have observed in all the enterprise software areas that we have covered. It allows the vendors with the most massive budgets to hack the software selection process. The consulting companies work in conjunction with the largest vendors to redirect the purchase to the most expensive solutions to bill the most hours.

Building Up Software Vendors

In the SAP space, SAP has been built up enormously through consulting companies singing their praises. Why? Because consulting companies found that they could make the most money from SAP implementations. The highest cost implementation (many of those costs translating to billing hours) promotes an ecosystem of consulting companies to specialize in that solution. Not because the answer is right technically, but because of the revenue stream it creates for the consulting ecosystem.

Faking Independence

The consulting companies present themselves as independent from the vendors. In fact, they have long term partnerships that go beyond agreements to work together, to agreements to conspire against other vendors to move the customer to the most expensive solutions, and to only the software that the consulting company has a partnership with. SAP consulting firms routinely provide inflated and false information about SAP — for one reason. They want to bill for SAP projects. And they do not care what the right solution is for their clients. Consulting firms use a combination of billing rates and billing margins to determine which products to recommend.

The Software RFP

One of the primary ways the consulting firm takes control of the selection process to redirect the selection towards their preferred vendor is to write up the RFP, which we covered in the article How to Rig an RFP to Maximize Billing Hours.

Do IT Consulting Companies Have a Fiduciary Duty?

Let us begin this article by evaluating the term fiduciary:

“Fiduciary: In a fiduciary relationship, one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably vests confidence, good faith, reliance and trust in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter. In such a relation good conscience requires the fiduciary to act at all times for the sole benefit and interest of the one who trusts.” – Wikipedia

When one is speaking to a financial advisor, as a recent episode of the PBS program by Frontline explained, the first question should be

“Are you a fiduciary?

Very few of them are, in fact, fiduciaries — this means that if not, the advisor will most likely steer you to investments that offer the highest margins for him or her. And the most top margin investments for the financial advisor are often the worst investments for the client (bad investments sweeten the pot for the advisor by offering higher compensation to the advisor). Financial entities work by employing more significant numbers, so salespeople, instead of being called “salespeople,” are called “financial advisors.” However, the term financial advisor is not an official designation. Aside from having to pass no test for competency, there is no test for financial bias.

What This Means

This all means that financial advisors can recommend whatever they like and cannot be held accountable for providing bad advice. That is, they have no fiduciary duty to their clients and therefore have no fiduciary liability. Their only measurement by the company that employs them is how much money they make for the company.

This is a primary reason so much retirement savings have been directed towards high risk and “complicated,” and poorly performing investment products like annuities.

How This Applies to IT Consulting

Frontline did an excellent job explaining how the financial industry works — by employing large numbers of salespeople who are pretending to be investment advisors. Often the language used by “investment advisors” makes it seem as if they offer excellent products to their clients. However, an investigation into this matter indicates that what they show their clients is entirely dependent upon how they are compensated.

In IT consulting, prestigious consulting companies such as Accenture, Deloitte, IBM, KPMG, Cap Gemini also imply that they look out for their clients’ interests. Still, they are entirely unregulated, and because they lack a fiduciary duty, they have minimal legal liability (fiduciary liability) if they provide advice that hurts their clients. It is tough to get judgments against IT consultancies because their legal liability is so low. In the case of Marin Country vs. Deloitte, Marin Country charged Deloitte with bribing their chief auditor — who rather conveniently left Marin County for a position of a Senior Manager at Deloitte very soon after approving 3 million dollars in consulting services.

Deloitte’s implementation was deemed incompetent and inexperienced by Marin Country, and the system Deloitte installed never worked correctly. However, because Deloitte is not a fiduciary, Marin was forced to go after Deloitte for civil racketeering (see this article for more details).

Understanding the Motivations of the IT Consulting Partner

The main salesperson at an IT consultancy is called a partner. IT consultancy partners have very high consulting service quotas — often around $2 million per year. Partners don’t do much work on projects, and their job is to sell. Senior level resources in consulting companies that cannot sell are called directors, and their status is lower than a partner.

Partners are highly restricted on which products they can recommend. They are inherently compelled to recommend the major applications from SAP and Oracle, two software vendors that have agreed to outsource their consulting to these companies.

However, there are three critical issues almost entirely unexamined in the enterprise software industry:

Issue 1: Consulting Companies Keep Clients in the Dark

The consulting partner never informs their client that they recommended software because they have resources they can bill for. They do not disclose that the nature of their business with SAP or Oracle is entirely different from their relationship with smaller software vendors. The partner does not explain the quota he or she is under and how they will lose their job if they do not meet it.

All of these mechanizations are hidden from view by the client. Clients and we have spoken with many of them seem to think that the IT consultancy is providing their recommendations based upon the software’s actual capabilities and the match with the client’s business requirements.

Issue 2: Choosing Inappropriate Alternatives

In most cases, neither of these software vendors (SAP or Oracle) will be the best alternatives for the client — but the partner must recommend them because these are the applications for which the IT consultancy has trained resources. And resources that can bill hours.

SAP and Oracle became two of the largest and most successful enterprise software vendors, not as much due to their software products’ quality as much as due to their special business relationship with large consulting companies — inherently corrupting their function. (we say corrupt, but in truth, the advisory role of IT consultancies has always been for sale, it is just that SAP and Oracle are currently the high bidders)

Issue 3: Blocking Out Vendors that the Consulting Company Does not Specialize In

If the partner recommends another application, that software vendor will want to bring in their consulting resources (who know the application). This will cut into the partner’s managed billing hours. Partners that allowed this to happen would be fired from the IT consultancy. Therefore the system is set up to allow no deviation and never place the clients’ interest ahead of the IT consultancy.

Misunderstanding IT Risk By Using a Single Prime Contractor

After a detailed analysis of this topic, it is clear that the standard approaches to managing risk on enterprise software selection and implementations such as hiring a name brand consulting company, purchasing name brand software, or paying for IT analysts like Gartner do not work. This should be entirely obvious at this point.

Some journalists will mourn the high failure rate of IT projects but will fail to point out the precise reasons as to why. Most of the advice they give and issues they highlight seems to be just nibbling around the problem’s edges. (Actually, most of them can’t because the entities that are most responsible for the high failure rate of IT projects are major advertisers in the publications they write for). However, the failed approach to risk management is still the dominant approach to managing project risk. This chapter explains why each approach does not work. We will start with one of the most commonly followed strategies.

Using a Single Prime Contractor

This section will cover the frequently applied risk mitigation strategy of using a prime contractor and often employed a commonly thought strategy to mitigate risk. But like many risk mitigation strategies, no evidence is ever presented that it actually does reduce risk. This myth has simply grown from the logic that it would seem to minimize the risk if there are fewer risk points, that is, fewer parties that are ultimately responsible for the risk on the contractor side. However, this comes from a fundamental misunderstanding about the behavior of most prime contractors.

It is a well-known feature of many types of projects, and not merely for IT projects. Many buyers frequently prefer to hire a single prime contractor to implement their projects. This prime contractor is typically a large consulting company. This is done, at least partially, under the concept that the buyer will have a single party to hold accountable – or as the terrible saying goes, “one throat to choke. This strategy has driven buyers to reduce the number of entities that they directly hire downward. This means the approved vendor list is concise – and quite often shockingly immune to the suppliers/large consulting companies’ actual performance. One client I am aware of only uses either CSC or Accenture for its IT work, both of which have provided inferior value to this buyer for several years. However, as much as the project managers at this buyer may complain about these firms’ performance, they have no latitude in choosing another firm. To this buyer, “competition” means switching the IT contracts between the different firms. This exact issue of a limited number of suppliers being called upon by an enterprise software buyer arose during the now well-known website fiasco.

What Can Be Learned from

The company that won the contract initially, CGI, had underperformed US government contracts for many years, but this did not stop them from receiving the contract. When the problems became well known regarding the website, some connected the dots when they figured out who had received the contract. CGI is a big firm, but even though the initial failure of is in little doubt, the government will not be receiving money back from CGI, but instead, the government paid CGI in full.

Myths of Hiring Prime Contractors

This is one of the great myths of hiring a prime contractor – that the prime contractor in some way “guarantees the project.” However, while this impression is undoubtedly given during the sales process, oral statements about supporting the project or being dedicated to the project don’t mean much. What matters is how the consulting contracts are worded, and the contracts created by prime contractors protect them from liability quite well.

How do they do this, you might ask?

They are typically responsible for meeting milestones – which they often control as they frequently manage the project – but they are rarely on the hook for the system’s performance. During the scandal, Obama complained that the government should analyze how IT contracts are bid. However, apparently, he meant that some other administration would analyze how IT contracts are bid for the government. When Accenture received the contract to fix the site and CGI’s contract was not renewed, it was not a competitive bid. The bid process was managed in the same way that the awarding of the initial contract to CGI was performed, which was also not a competitive bid. The reason given is the same as many of the corrupt bids that were given out to defense contractors during the second Gulf War, that there was simply no time – because aggressive timelines would have to be met.

Interestingly, Accenture has one of the poorer reputations for implementation success. Interestingly, Accenture has a poorer reputation as an implementer than CGI. However, the government most private companies cannot even think about giving contracts to anyone but “the usual suspects.” This is because CGI and Accenture heavily lobby the government for contracts, with CGI receiving $8 billion in government contracts. In one shape or form, these are firms that pay off government decision-makers to control the flow of contracts in their direction.

According to OpenSecrets, CGI paid $800,000 since 2006 on various contracts, actually a tiny amount of money compared to many other firms – particularly defense contractors. However, even these values underestimate the effect of the lobbying, as highly placed employees rotate between the government and these private entities, meaning that if you are a government decision-maker, awarding contracts to the right private entity can often mean an excellent paying job and job security when you have completed your “rotation” through “public service.”

Past Performance

These reasons are why the prior performance of these companies, which one may naively think would be paramount to the decision-making process, does not seem to control decision making. CGI already had multiple problems in creating health care registries before it received the contract. CGI has also had successful implementations. However, there is little doubt that CGI was nowhere close to the best company to award the contract to for The best company or series of companies would have been smaller web development companies and not make any of them the prime contractor. However, because these types of companies do not have sufficient lobbying muscle, they can’t win these types of contracts, something that is explained by the following quotation:

“Evan Burfield, who founded the relatively small company that worked with CGI to build, says the problem lies more in a federal procurement apparatus that makes it nearly impossible for an agile newcomer to bid on projects that in the private sector would take much less time and money. Plus, with so many contractors, everyone could technically fulfill the requirements in their statement of work, and the thing can still not work in the end.”[1]

The Nature of Government Contracts

The uncompetitive nature of the government contracting process for IT services is not unique to the government. These same consulting firms that sell to the public sector also sell to the private sector. This point was missed by the pro-private sector or pro “free market” voices, who assigned blame for the botched website because it was a government project. However, these voices emanated from entities that either did not understand how the system works or knew but were deliberately providing misleading information in their statements. CGI is a private company, not a government entity.

Secondly, botched IT implementations are widespread in the private sector, just as they are in the public sector. Indeed, the project’s overseeing agency, the Department of Health and Human Services placed the project in a difficult situation by not completing the requirements in a way that gave CGI enough time to complete the website’s creation. Many private sector companies that I have worked for have been guilty of doing the same thing regularly. I cannot recall a project where the complaint was not made at some point during the endeavor that either the requirements took too long to gather or when they were collected, they were either incomplete or not sufficiently documented.

Changing the IT Procurement Approach

The unfortunate fact is that who one knows is far more important than its performance in acquiring IT contracts. Both the government and the private sector could receive much better values by changing their IT procurement approach, and they could do so very easily. One of the easiest ways is to simply stop awarding contracts to large consulting companies as prime contractors. They could replace them by merely building their teams of contractors or hiring smaller consulting firms, but they choose to drive most of the business to the giant consulting firms. Smaller firms and independent contractors are more motivated to provide suitable work because they do not have the brand names and lobbying/sales muscle to obtain contracts after not performing on previous contracts repeatedly.

The Reality of Setting Up Prime Contractors

While it might be an excellent idea to hire a prime contractor, often a massive consulting conglomerate, and let them hire subcontractors – but it does not work for software implementations.[2] This strategy is frequently deployed, but as with any strategy that one is relying upon to reduce risk, it is vital to ask the question as to whether the evidence exists that it is true.  Here are the well-documented reasons why the prime contractor model is flawed:

  1. Control Over Advice Offered by Subcontractors: The prime contractor model results in the subcontractors serving the desires of the prime contractor (often having their opinions censored by the prime contractor – which has happened to me on several occasions as a subcontractor) and not primarily serving the desires of the end client. This should be entirely obvious at this point, and those buyers that have not realized this are only not paying attention.
  2. Lack of Disclosure: The large consulting companies have many partnerships and arrangements that work against their client’s interests but that their clients never know. When one has a financial relationship with another entity that could work against the interests of one’s client, that relationship is supposed to be disclosed. However, with major consulting companies, these relationships are never revealed. Larger consulting companies have more of these financial relationships than smaller consulting companies, making their advice quite dubious as to its accuracy.
  3. Legal Contracts Overprotect the Prime Contractor: The end client receives precious little risk mitigation benefit because the prime contractor writes the legal contracts, essentially remove themselves from legal liability. Major consulting companies are so habituated to dissatisfied clients that they can manage them down to a science, including the legal aspect.


The competition between the SAP consulting firms is within a very narrow context and mostly not right for customers. If one chooses Deloitte or Accenture, there is little practical difference in the quality of information that the customer receives. There are differences among technical skills, particularly language skills and organizational skills, with the Indian firms being worse than the US/Europe heritage firms. On the other hand, the US/Europe heritage firms are considerably more expensive.

The prime contractor model is durable and widely deployed. However, there is no evidence that using a prime contractor reduces risk, and in fact, there is considerable evidence that it does not. Buyers should replace simplistic platitudes such as “one throat to choke” [3] with an actual analysis of the evidence into the history of the prime contractor model. If they do, they will find that this model actually increases risk. Managing IT projects is not something that can be outsourced. A successful model is when the buyer takes an active management role in the project but hires the necessary expertise that they do not have in-house.

The Cost of “Political Insurance”

The political insurance that decision-makers obtain from selecting one of the major SAP consulting firms do exist. But it comes at an enormous cost and not only dramatically increases the costs of implementation but also increases the risk of failure. Therefore, while perhaps functional for the decision-maker, it is dysfunctional for the companies that pay the consulting bill.

The Problem: Tolerating False Information

It is incredible how many of the clients accept lying from both SAP and the consulting firm. By not calling out the lying, the client encourages more of it. The fact is both SAP and SAP consulting firms lie, and they lie a lot — and we have the evidence to prove it.

The lying intends to charge more for things that are often not true and cover up previous lies told to try to sell or otherwise influence. Many customers seem to have a problem processing that they are continually lied to by these companies.

The more lying is tolerated, the more SAP and the consulting company will continue to lie.