SAP - Outside Advice on HANA and S/4HANA

Is It Inhumane to Discuss HANA’s Lies on Post About Job Losses?

Executive Summary

  • SAP recently had major layoffs in its HANA group.
  • The question that is asked is if it is inhumane to describe the problems with HANA that lead to the layoffs.


This article is in response to a question we received about our comments related to critiquing HANA on LinkedIn shares for a leading HANA resource at SAP.

The Comment

“Shaun Snapp Ahmed Azmi Having tracked the HANA native dev job market for a year with very little showing up indicates to me it’s a dead end, so I agree with your sentiment anyone with a career invested in HANA needs to wake up. Perhaps sharing it in this specific thread opening with “rough 24 hours” was a little inhumane though. I would, however, object to any suggestion of HANA techie devs ripping off customers – I’ve seen for myself HANA native solutions delivering to customers what simply was not possible before. You put forward a case that should be discussed, that any SAP dev needs to start seriously thinking about, but you only alienate your arguments here given Thomas Jung and Rich Heilman brought such high-quality, hands-on education to so many, hence the hundreds of sincere wishes. Really sad so many losing their jobs and sad that HANA looks only to serve as a DB layer.”

Our Response

First I wanted to say that it seems to be your genuine view that commenting on this post was insensitive. You don’t appear to be using it as a pretext for censoring commentary. Moreover, if you think that then I respect that. What I don’t respect if someone using empathy as an excuse to censor a message. Although the term “inhumane” is a bit over the top. Here are synonyms for the word “inhumane.” ” cruel, harsh, brutal, callous, sadistic, severe, savage, vicious, barbaric, barbarous;”

There is no beating of puppies going on here. If you are using the same word to describe me physically beating up Thomas and stealing his favorite pet like in John Wick then it is probably inaccurate.

Furthermore, there are comments on this share asking “why,” and “seems strange” well if the question can be asked on the post, then the question should be able to be answered. It seems like a lot of SAP resources are not addressing the elephant in the room. This is called confirmation bias, when the individual disregards information that runs counter to their biases. And its on full display in these comments.

I want to address the part of your comment about objecting to suggestions that HANA techie devs have been ripping off customers. First, I did not say that. Thomas Jung is the Chief Product Expert, so he is not just some inwardly focused development resource. He serves as a marketing function for SAP. And a significant part of his job description is to push SAP. So I want to it framed adequately as to whom I am critiquing. Thomas Jung has/had a very good position at SAP, if he can make claims then he should be able to take criticism. I am not critiquing some homeless person here. Thomas Jung will do fine and land on his feet someplace else. Also, there are poor people in society that could probably use the sympathy being directed toward Thomas on this post.

Second, I have investigated numerous HANA implementations and don’t think your statement is possible. Every one of the evaluations that I have performed, the client did not account for key areas of the comparison. I don’t run into IT departments that have any idea how to perform benchmarking or measure results, so unless I see the data and review the case I am naturally suspicious. And I have good reason to be.

For instance, the fact that HANA has so much more hardware than the databased it replaced. Information coming in from global projects shows that HANA has not helped customers. Once the assumptions are controlled carefully, the claimed benefits disappear. So you can reach me offline if you like and I can incorporate your data points into our research. I don’t care either way. If your data points are convincing, I will state they have brought new information to light.

As for your last comment, HANA was never anything but a database. All of the comments around HANA being something other than a database were false, something that SAP has acknowledged (in a way), by changing the names of HANA Studio, HANA Cloud Platform to drop the HANA names as they never had anything to do with HANA. We were right on that, while the SAP resources debated the opposite as we covered here.

So it is worse than what you say. It is not only sad that HANA is just a database, but it is not even a very good database, and it is exorbitant in its price and its maintenance overhead.