KPS Continues to Keep Promote HANA for Retail for Lidl After Failure

Executive Summary

  • KPS published a page about how great it was that Lidl selected HANA for Retail.
  • After Lidl terminated this implementation, KPS still has the web page up about what a good idea the selection was.

Introduction to Continual Lying at KPS

We have frequently covered how inaccurate the information is on SAP consulting company websites. And this is a perfect example of how consulting companies live on a fantasy island.

KPS and HANA for Retail

Here is a direct quotation from the Lidl project which is on KPS’s website.

Lidl Went Live??

“Lidl went live with a new electronic merchandise management and information system based on SAP for Retail powered by SAP HANA at its Austrian stores in May 2015.” 

“This new platform is making us fit for the future,” explains Lidl’s Alexander Sonnenmoser, Divisional Board Member for Business Technology, who is responsible for the company’s entire IT.”

Interestingly, several years after this, Lidl terminated the project. Interestingly, this web page describing the “success” of going live has not been replaced by a web page describing the failure. In fact, it has not even been removed. The great decision to use SAP for Retail powered by SAP HANA is still on KPS’s website at this link.

There are more amusing quotations.

Problematic Legacy Systems?

“The company’s legacy merchandise management system, which had been developed in-house, was coming up against the limits of its capacity for innovation and enhancement. It was hampered by process breaks, redundant master data storage, integration gaps and functional restrictions. Moreover, a combination of myriad interfaces and modules and a decentral server structure was making the task of running and maintaining the system increasingly complex.”

Interestingly this problematic system was less problematic and apparently a better value than SAP Retail for HANA, as they are now going back to it.

Opting for the Latest Technology?

“We were looking to map integrated process chains right through from the vendor to the customer ‒ rather than individual functions,” explains Sonnenmoser. “That’s why we opted for the very latest technology,” adds René Sandführ, Executive Vice President IT ERP Systems

Hmmmm…sounds like they should have used something more proven.

Cutting Edge SAP Implementation Methodology?

“Lidl’s new system was implemented in a joint project with partner KPS, which took a highly agile approach based on its Rapid Transformation Method.”

Perhaps this methodology should be questioned because, after 7 years and 500 million Euro, the system implemented by KPS is not going to be used.

A Foundation for the Future?

“The new platform SAP for Retail powered by SAP HANA is the foundation needed to continue implementing processes efficiently in IT systems at Lidl. It is time to reduce complexity and focus on providing simplicity for the customers and employees through forward-thinking concepts.”

It may be time, but it is not going to happen. Lidl’s investment in this solution has been washed away.

Promoting an Implementation that Failed

The success of this solution will be proposed by KPS after it has failed. And of course, the completeness and quality of Retail powered by SAP HANA before any evidence existed for it. This is lying both before the fact and after the fact. The information provided by so many of the SAP consulting companies has nothing to do with what is true. It has to do with what allows companies to sell.

SAP’s Inaccurate Messaging on HANA as Communicated in SAP Videos

Fact-Checking SAP’s HANA Information

This video is filled with extensive falsehoods. We will address them in the sequence they are stated in this video.

SAP's Statement
Accuracy
Brightwork Fact Check
Link to Analysis Article
HANA is a Platform
0%
HANA is not a platform, it is a database.How to Deflect You Were Wrong About HANA
HANA runs more "in-memory" than other databases.
10%
HANA uses a lot of memory, but the entire database is not loaded into memory.How to Understand the In-Memory Myth
S/4HANA Simplifies the Data Model
0%
HANA does not simplify the data model from ECC. There are significant questions as to the benefit of the S/4HANA data model over ECC.Does HANA Have a Simplified Data Model?
Databases that are not HANA are legacy.
0%
There is zero basis for SAP to call all databases that are not HANA legacy.SAP Calling All Non-HANA DBs Legacy.
Aggregates should be removed and replaced with real time recalculation.
0%
Aggregates are very valuable, and all RDBMS have them (including HANA) and they should not be removed or minimized in importance.Is Hasso Plattner Correct on Database Aggregates?
Reducing the number of tables reduces database complexity.
0%
Reducing the number of tables does not necessarily decrease the complexity of a database. The fewer tables in HANA are more complicated than the larger number of tables pre-HANA.Why Pressure SAP to Port S/4HANA to AnyDB?
HANA is 100% columnar tables.
0%
HANA does not run entirely with columnar tables. HANA has many row-oriented tables, as much as 1/3 of the database.Why Pressure SAP to Port S/4HANA to AnyDB?
S/4HANA eliminates reconciliation.
0%
S/4HANA does not eliminate reconciliation or reduce the time to perform reconciliation to any significant degree.Does HANA Have a Simplified Data Model and Faster Reconciliation?
HANA outperforms all other databases.
0%
Our research shows that not only can competing databases do more than HANA, but they are also a better fit for ERP systems.How to Understand the Mismatch Between HANA and S/4HANA and ECC.

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of HANA

Lidl made the same mistake that most SAP customers do — they rely on information from SAP, SAP consulting firms, or Gartner — which receives somewhere around $150 million per year from Gartner. None of these entities are interested or willing to fact check information provided by SAP.

There are two fundamental problems around HANA. The first is the exaggeration of HANA, which means that companies that purchased HANA end up getting far less than they were promised. The second is that the SAP consulting companies simply repeat whatever SAP says. This means that on virtually all accounts there is no independent entity that can contradict statements by SAP.

Being Part of the Solution: What to Do About HANA

We can provide feedback from multiple HANA accounts that provide realistic information around HANA — and this reduces the dependence on biased entities like SAP and all of the large SAP consulting firms that parrot what SAP says. We offer fact-checking services that are entirely research-based and that can stop inaccurate information dead in its tracks. SAP and the consulting firms rely on providing information without any fact-checking entity to contradict the information they provide. This is how companies end up paying for a database which is exorbitantly priced, exorbitantly expensive to implement and exorbitantly expensive to maintain. When SAP or their consulting firm are asked to explain these discrepancies, we have found that they further lie to the customer/client and often turn the issue around on the account, as we covered in the article How SAP Will Gaslight You When Their Software Does Not Work as Promised.

If you need independent advice and fact-checking that is outside of the SAP and SAP consulting system, reach out to us with the form below or with the messenger to the bottom right of the page.

The major problem with companies that bought HANA is that they made the investment without seeking any entity independent of SAP. SAP does not pay Gartner and Forrester the amount of money that they do so these entities can be independent as we covered in the article How Accurate Was The Forrester HANA TCO Study?

If you need independent advice and fact-checking that is outside of the SAP and SAP consulting system, reach out to us with the form below or with the messenger to the bottom right of the page.

Inaccurate Messaging on HANA as Communicated in SAP Consulting Firm Videos

For those interested in the accuracy level of information communicated by consulting firms on HANA, see our analysis of the following video by IBM. SAP consulting firms are unreliable sources of information about SAP and primarily serve to simply repeat what SAP says, without any concern for accuracy. The lying in this video is brazen and shows that as a matter of normal course, the consulting firms are happy to provide false information around SAP.

SAP's Statement
Accuracy
Brightwork Fact Check
Link to Analysis Article
HANA runs more "in-memory" than other databases.
10%
HANA uses a lot of memory, but the entire database is not loaded into memory.How to Understand the In-Memory Myth
HANA is orders of magnitude faster than other databases.
0%
Our research shows that not only can competing databases do more than HANA, but they are also a better fit for ERP systems.How to Understand the Mismatch Between HANA and S/4HANA and ECC.
HANA runs faster because it does not use disks like other databases.
0%
Other databases also use SSDs in addition to disk.Why Did SAP Pivot the Explanation of HANA In Memory?
HANA holds "business data" and "UX data" and "mobile data" and "machine learning data" and "IoT data."
0%
HANA is not a unifying database. HANA is only a database that supports a particular application, it is not for supporting data lakes.
SRM and CRM are part of S/4HANA.
0%
SRM and CRM are not part of S/4HANA. They are separate and separately sold applications. SAP C/4HANA is not yet ready for sale. How Accurate Was Bluefin Solutions on C-4HANA?
Netweaver is critical as a platform and is related to HANA.
0%
Netweaver is not relevant for this discussion. Secondly Netweaver is not an efficient environment from which to develop.
HANA works with Business Objects
10%
It is very rare to even hear about HANA and Business Objects. There are few Buisness Objects implementations that use HANA.SAP Business Objects Rating
Leonardo is an important application on SAP accounts.
0%
Leonardo is dead, therefore its discussion here is both misleading and irrelevant.Our 2019 Observation: SAP Leonardo is Dead
IBM Watson is an important application on SAP accounts.
0%
Watson is dead, therefore its discussion here is both misleading and irrelevant.How IBM is Distracting from the Watson Failure to Sell More AI and Machine Learning
Digital Boardroom is an important application on SAP accounts.
0%
SAP Digital Boardroom is another SAP item that has never been implemented many places.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.

SAP Contact

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References

https://www.kps.com/en.html/article-0208-lidl-setzt-auf-sap

In case KPS deletes its article in the future (not out of honesty, but out of embarrassment, we have copied its text below.

“Lidl opts for SAP for Retail powered by SAP HANA
Lidl went live with a new electronic merchandise management and information system based on SAP for Retail powered by SAP HANA at its Austrian stores in May 2015. The system roll out to other countries is now in full swing.

With some 10,000 stores and over 140 logistics hubs, Lidl is one of Europe’s largest retailers. It operates in 29 countries and has retail outlets in 26 European nations. In the fiscal year 2014/2015, Lidl’s 200,000 employees generated sales of approximately €59 billion. And with its sights set firmly on further expansion, the company plans to enter the Lithuanian market in 2016, followed by Serbia and the United States in 2018.

Efficient processes are a key element in Lidl’s successful business model of offering top-quality products to millions of European customers at the best possible prices. Making sure these processes are optimized on an ongoing basis requires a powerful IT and application landscape. That’s why the company, headquartered in the southern German town of Neckarsulm, is implementing a new merchandise management and information platform – “eLWIS” – based on SAP for Retail powered by SAP HANA companywide as part of its IT strategy. “This new platform is making us fit for the future,” explains Lidl’s Alexander Sonnenmoser, Divisional Board Member for Business Technology, who is responsible for the company’s entire IT.

The company’s legacy merchandise management system, which had been developed in-house, was coming up against the limits of its capacity for innovation and enhancement. It was hampered by process breaks, redundant master data storage, integration gaps and functional restrictions. Moreover, a combination of myriad interfaces and modules and a decentral server structure was making the task of running and maintaining the system increasingly complex.

Looking to the future with SAP
Although precisely tailored to Lidl’s operations, there was no getting around the fact that the legacy system would have to be enhanced if it were to offer the company new functions and opportunities in the future. With this in mind, Lidl’s requirements for the new system included:

End-to-end processes: Lidl wanted to replace vertical processes with horizontal ones to create a seamless supply chain from the vendor to the customer
Greater functional scope: inventory valuation, flow of goods management, and so on
State-of-the-art technologies to meet the challenges ahead
A centralized IT and application landscape
Integration capabilities, consistency, and compliance
“We were looking to map integrated process chains right through from the vendor to the customer ‒ rather than individual functions,” explains Sonnenmoser. “That’s why we opted for the very latest technology,” adds René Sandführ, Executive Vice President IT ERP Systems, who is globally responsible for the company’s merchandise management system. Thanks to SAP platforms and technologies, Lidl can now make inventory data and reports available in near real time and provide key information to adjacent systems. An enterprise service bus controls communication between the interacting systems to avoid data redundancy. Lidl’s process chains were defined and implemented in SAP for Retail powered by SAP HANA.

International project team brings expertise
This required the expertise of an international project team based at Lidl’s headquarters in Neckarsulm and composed of members from many countries. Representatives from various divisions and user departments defined the process chains, and key users provided practical input. “We wanted a solution that would be acceptable to our customers, who, in this case, are our employees,” says Sandführ, explaining the basis of a successful approach to change management. In line with this strategy, employee training centers address the question of what is different in the new system and why. Lidl no longer distributes user manuals to its employees, but favors an approach it calls “Lernen bei Lidl” (“Learning at Lidl”), in which employees receive part of their training directly using the system.

Lidl’s new system was implemented in a joint project with partner KPS, which took a highly agile approach based on its Rapid Transformation Method. Following a brief, single-weekend operation to migrate all the systems and connect up all the stores to the new system, the first of Lidl’s regional distribution centers in Austria went live on May 1, 2015. The first set of orders was processed in the new system on a Saturday, and inventory reports were available in near real time.

The standards developed for eLWIS will form the basis for implementing the new system in all of Lidl’s operations. “We can use the global template in every country, which means that we’ll gather pace as we progress through the roll-out program,” says KPS Vice President Matthias Nollenberger, looking to the future. And Sonnenmoser adds: “SAP for Retail powered by SAP HANA has enhanced our capacity for IT innovation.”

The new platform SAP for Retail powered by SAP HANA is the foundation needed to continue implementing processes efficiently in IT systems at Lidl. It is time to reduce complexity and focus on providing simplicity for the customers and employees through forward-thinking concepts.”

Should You Trade In Unused Licenses for S/4HANA and HANA?

Executive Summary

  • Snow Software explained how to trade in unused SAP licenses for S/4 HANA.
  • Snow’s article makes unfounded assumptions regarding the readiness of S/4HANA while approaching the question from the perspective of only the licensing implications.

Introduction

In this article, we will evaluate a strategy that is proposed by Snow Software on their website. Snow Software makes software that is used for auditing SAP software. The article by Snow Software is quite interesting and is very specific in what it proposes, and it provides specific recommendations.

I want to set the table properly before we get into Snow Software’s article. I don’t have anything against Snow Software. I happen to like a lot of the articles on their website, and several weeks ago I read every one of their articles related to SAP and quite a few others not related to SAP. Snow Software has a blog that brings in some authors with different license domain expertise.

I don’t happen to agree with the recommendations in this article, and I invite a representative from Snow Software to comment on this article and to have a collegial discussion. These are involved topics, and even people who are knowledgeable in the area can disagree, and that is quite reasonable.

Understanding Snow Software’s Logic for S/4HANA

The logic for Snow Software’s proposal is laid out in their article Use S/4HANA to Get Rid of your SAP Shelfware?

In that article they layout the following logic for purchasing S/4HANA. Let us get into their quotations.

“SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA. S/4HANA, for short, is SAP’s latest technology. But it’s also much more than that. S/4HANA represents a fundamental shift in how the mega vendor will generate long-term revenue streams. What is often less-discussed is what S/4HANA means for you, the customer. Not only in terms of technology; but in terms of an opportunity to reshape your relationship with SAP. Without over-dramatizing things, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Why? Because SAP needs S/4HANA to be a success. It needs to demonstrate to investors that it has a business model that is not stuck in the era of on-premise perpetual software licensing. And because it needs to sell S/4HANA licenses, it is offering excellent deals to existing SAP customers to move fast.”

So, what can be seen as left out is that S/4HANA has not been a success and it has had plenty of time to become one. It has a massive installed base (with ECC/Business All in One).

Now, while it is true that SAP has a strong desire to show that its business model is not suck in an on-premises state, SAP really has Wall Street fooled already on this topic. SAP has successfully adopted cloud speak, and is constantly cloud washing their products. The more you cloud wash, the more Wall Street rewards you. So we have yet another example of an industry that is driven by the opinions of people who don’t have any expertise in the area.

S/4HANA to be Delivered as SaaS?

Secondly, (and don’t tell Wall Street or they will be very very sad) S/4HANA is unlikely to be delivered by SaaS. In research that I am currently performing into S/4HANA to determine what has occurred on S/4HANA implementations, it turns out that very few of the implementations have been in the cloud. And in the few that I can find that are stated to be in the cloud or SaaS, they are not cloud or SaaS at all. Instead, they are non-multi-tenant or simply hosted solutions. Customers can expect none of the traditional benefits of SaaS from S/4HANA when delivered this way.

Finally, S/4HANA has nothing to do with the cloud or SaaS.

The quoted paragraph from Snow Software continues:

“And therein lies a huge opportunity for those existing SAP customers, who have typically seen their investments in SAP license increase year-on-year over quite significant periods of time. This is an opportunity to reverse that trend and focus in driving deals with hungry SAP account managers on the licenses and technologies you really need, not the ones you’ve been force-fed over recent years. To understand the scale and opportunity of this shift, we must first look to the past.”

Customers Need S/4HANA?

It is very difficult to argue that anyone “needs” S/4HANA at this point. S4HANA comes with all types of implementation costs and maintenance costs. These costs are far higher than any potential license cost benefit from moving to S/4HANA. In fact, the majority of costs associated with SAP come in maintaining SAP systems, not purchasing SAP systems. I cover this topic in detail in my book on TCO, Enterprise Software TCO: Calculating and Using Total Cost of Ownership for Decision Making.

The quoted paragraph from Snow Software continues:

“The fundamental change is that the open architecture of R/3, with the ability to employ third-party databases within the system, is giving way to a more specific database that you’ll require as part of the platform – SAP’s HANA. This is all being done with the promise of improved performance and scalability through in-memory databases.”

Well, the promise of the performance improvement is not analyzed by Snow Software’s article. But as HANA is an analytics database primarily, there is no evidence that an ERP system will run much faster on HANA due to software. Here it is important to draw a distinction between the software side and the hardware side of HANA.

Hardware Improvement?

HANA combines a changed database with SSD memory (instead of a spinning disk) so the performance will automatically increase because of the hardware change (SSD), but not necessarily due to the software.

The quoted paragraph from Snow Software continues:

“The faster it migrates everyone, the quicker it can stop focusing its investment in resourcing and maintaining R/3. So, in a perfect world, SAP would spend nothing on R/2 today and, 10 years from now, it won’t spend any money on R/3.

Moreover, S/4HANA revenue is heavily scrutinized by investors in SAP. The faster they see adoption of this new platform, the quicker that is reflected in the share price for SAP. SAP as a stock needs a growth leg to the story despite its strong position and cash flow.

The transition to S/4HANA requires the replacement of third-party database systems with HANA and there is a monetary uplift from doing this.”

Ok, so this is a strange way of saying that the cost will be higher. The cost of HANA is quite high, and the expensive software is just the beginning. The following quotation will focus on support costs, but the support costs are based upon the license cost. Let us continue with the quotation to see how this is a problem.

Lower Cost for HANA?

The quoted paragraph from Snow Software continues:

“SAP Enterprise support customers currently pay (by default) 22% of license costs in annual maintenance for the use of third-party databases within the architecture of their systems. SAP has steadily over the past few years increased this amount from the 15% level in advance of its migration mandate. In lieu of paying an annual 22% of license costs for your database (typically Oracle), you will pay 15% of license costs for HANA*. Additionally, as an incentive to move to S/4HANA, SAP’s extension policies may enable you to apply unused SAP licenses against a credit for the new purchase. A reduction in the software application value means reduction in overall maintenance to be paid on HANA. *Note that individual circumstances may vary.”

The problem is that Snow Software is making a case for the lower cost of the annual license cost for HANA. However, HANA is the most expensive database on the market. So if you decline from 22% to 15% maintenance, the maintenance is lower, but the base is much higher than the database that HANA replaces.

Secondly, HANA comes with other liabilities, such as indirect access liability, that impact the costs of other software, which are a whole other can of worms and which I have covered in part in other articles.

Conclusion

I find the strategy presented by Snow Software to be problematic. Here is a synopsis.

  1. Total Cost of Ownership: It is far too focused on the simple license math. It leaves out the all-important aspect of implement ability of S/4HANA. And these issues are far more cost impactful. These costs are far higher than any potential license cost benefit from moving to S/4. In fact, the majority of costs associated with SAP come in maintaining SAP systems, and Snow Software’s article is not observant of this point. This true even if the unused software is traded in for HANA or S/4 HANA and if the maintenance on HANA is reduced to 15%.
  2. S/4HANA Maturity Issues: It is difficult to see how any company could have taken S/4HANA live at this point. That will not be true at some point in the future, but it is true now. I will elaborate on this point in my research which is due out in around five weeks from now. But most of the S/4HANA implementations that have “gone live” at this point are not what we would typically consider real implementations. And below that statement resides quite a lot of very interesting detail.

Therefore, applying the strategy above will simply result in having the license for S/4HANA that cannot be taken live for some time. Snow Software is not taking into account that S/4 HANA will most likely sit unused or in a partial demo state for this time. This would not be a problem as S/4HANA will normally be purchased at a discounted rate. Not HANA, which is required to run S/4HANA will not be purchased at a discount.

Therefore every year maintenance will be required to be paid on a very expensive database, albeit it at a reduced rate. And that is just one of the limitations of the strategy.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.

SAP Contact

  • Do You Need SAP Analysis and Advice?

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References

[Use S/4HANA to get rid of your SAP shelf ware | Snow Software](https://www.snowsoftware.com/int/blog/2016/09/20/use-s4hana-get-rid-sap-shelfware-pt-1#.WBzBfY_XJ-Y)

TCO Book

TCO3

Enterprise Software TCO: Calculating and Using Total Cost of Ownership for Decision Making

Getting to the Detail of TCO

One aspect of making a software purchasing decision is to compare the Total Cost of Ownership, or TCO, of the applications under consideration: what will the software cost you over its lifespan? But most companies don’t understand what dollar amounts to include in the TCO analysis or where to source these figures, or, if using TCO studies produced by consulting and IT analyst firms, how the TCO amounts were calculated and how to compare TCO across applications.

The Mechanics of TCO

Not only will this book help you appreciate the mechanics of TCO, but you will also gain insight as to the importance of TCO and understand how to strip away the biases and outside influences to make a real TCO comparison between applications.
By reading this book you will:
  • Understand why you need to look at TCO and not just ROI when making your purchasing decision.
  • Discover how an application, which at first glance may seem inexpensive when compared to its competition, could end up being more costly in the long run.
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the cost, categories to include in an accurate and complete TCO analysis.
  • Learn why ERP systems are not a significant investment, based on their TCO.
  • Find out how to recognize and avoid superficial, incomplete or incorrect TCO analyses that could negatively impact your software purchase decision.
  • Appreciate the importance and cost-effectiveness of a TCO audit.
  • Learn how SCM Focus can provide you with unbiased and well-researched TCO analyses to assist you in your software selection.
Chapters
  • Chapter 1:  Introduction
  • Chapter 2:  The Basics of TCO
  • Chapter 3:  The State of Enterprise TCO
  • Chapter 4:  ERP: The Multi-Billion Dollar TCO Analysis Failure
  • Chapter 5:  The TCO Method Used by Software Decisions
  • Chapter 6:  Using TCO for Better Decision Making