How SAP Customers Turn into SAP Conference Monkeys

What This Article Covers

  • Case Studies
  • What is a Conference Monkey
  • How Individuals Lie to For Personal Gain


In many conferences, it is customary to think that consulting companies and software vendors will tell lies in order to increase their sales. But what is surprising to many is that many customers also will lie. I can recall when I worked for Deloitte, I was in many meetings with individuals from my client Lockheed Martin. The Senior Manager from Deloitte was trying to get the members from Lockheed Martin to present at SAPPHIRE. I presented at SAPPHIRE that year as well. When the member from Lockheed Martin presented, I observed him completely mislead the audience about how much progress had been made on the project. This is interesting because the Lockheed Martin representative was one of the more honest people I have worked with on a project. But the pressure he was under was evidently too great. Much of this was while being pressured by the Senior Manager to do so. The Senior Manager needed to sell his own project if he was going to be promoted to Partner, and to do that effectively, he needed to get Lockheed Martin to lie about the progress of the SAP project.

Since that time I have witnessed all manner of people at conferences clearly lying about how quickly they implemented SAP software, what they implemented, etc.

Case Studies

In the Brightwork Research & Analysis study on S/4HANA Implementation Study, there were numerous public case studies where the customer representative clearly lied about what occurred on the S/4HANA implementation. The following are examples:

  • Florida Crystals: The CIO stated that Florida Crystals upgraded to S/4HANA in 3 weeks.
  • New York Life: New York Life presented the idea that they implemented S/4HANA in order to use S/4HANA’s ledger. The representative for New York Life stated that they moved to S/4HANA to consolidated many different ledgers. However, one could have consolidated the ledgers to a single ledger. However, that could have been done with ECC.
  • Hillary’s Blinds: The representative for Hillary’s Blinds has told all manner of incorrect statements, not only related to S/4HANA but to quite a few other applications, including pretending that moving CRM to HANA made a great improvement in CRM.

Conference Monkeys

SAP has a number of customers where the members of the customers have the incentive or receive the incentive to lie about the status of S/4HANA. This is a problem that extends to all SAP products.

A conference monkey is a high ranking individual from a customer that is willing to lie about the functionality, the speed of the implementation, etc. A conference monkey may receive the benefit from SAP of being placed at a new position and a better position by SAP when a position opens up. A conference monkey lies on command, with the expectation of receiving something in return. They are critical in providing misinformation to the market, and therefore reducing the quality of information in the market. Just about all the conference monkeys are CIOs or out of the IT department. This gets into the topic of to whom does the IT department owe its allegiance which is covered in the following article.

  • Sales people lie all the time to get deals.
  • Consulting companies lie all the time to get consulting contracts.
  • Senior members of companies lie on everything from the budgets to the successfulness of their implementations. In this case, they are simply lying for career reasons. This means that much of the information at SAP conferences is unreliable.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

This article and no other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle and SAP. Brightwork does offer competitive intelligence work to vendors as part of its business, but no published research or articles are written with any financial consideration. As part of Brightwork’s commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research, the company’s business model is driven by consulting services; no paid media placements are accepted.

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