The Importance of Knowing Your Place in the SAP Hierarchy

Executive Summary

  • SAP has created a hierarchy, which those in the SAP ecosystem are compelled to follow.
  • This ensures that information provided by SAP is unquestioned.

Introduction

The unrelenting nature of hierarchy is exceptionally well explored in the following quotation in a book I recently rediscovered.

“Social ladders exist precisely to keep you where you are. Thanks to them, everyone knows his place. Hens, for example, have a pecking order. The No. 1 hen can easily be spotted: she’s the only one no other hen pecks. But she does peck the others. Nos. 2, 3 and 4, and so on, down the line. A hen halfway down the hierarchy. No. 50 say, gets pecked by Nos. 1 to 49 and herself pecks Nos. 51 to 100. At least, it could work this way. But if a hen were really to peck all the other hends below here, she’d have no time to lay her eggs. A No. 1 hen that pecks all the other hends in the coop would soon be too tired to stay at the top. In reality, hen No. 1 only pecks those directly below her, and then No. 35 just worries about her immediate neighbors. Thanks to the ladder, you only need to worry about the rungs within reach; ladders exist precisely so that you can take small steps, not big ones. Such a system guarantees the stability of the group. Biologically speaking, the rungs of the hierarchy aren’t meant as steps upwards for the ambitious individual, but for the welfare of the whole group. Everyone should be happy, and is, except for the lowest rung. Because that’s the good part about this system: almost everyone, however many bosses he has above him, is himself the boss over others below him. Even if you’re only No. 95, you still have a higher status that Nos. 96, 97, 98, 99 and 100 – a status worth keeping — which is why Mr. Smith meekly accepts his boss’s harsh words. A ruler doesn’t need to divide in order to rule, the subjected divide themselves.” – The Way of All Flesh

Hierarchy in Technology

What can be surprising is that while information technology often seems like a relatively evolved space from the outside, the reality from inside often looks much different.

“In Accidental Empires, his classic book on the rise of PCs, Robert X. Cringely described Microsoft’s software management style when Bill Gates was in charge as a system where “Each level, from Gates on down, screams at the next, goading and humiliating them.” Ah, yes, that’s the Microsoft I knew and hated.

The difference between the leaders at big proprietary software companies and Torvalds is that he says everything in the open for the whole world to see. The others do it in private conference rooms. I’ve heard people claim that Torvalds would be fired in their company. Nope. He’d be right where he is now: on top of his programming world.”

How Hierarchy is an Integral Component to SAP and its Ecosystem

I debate a lot of SAP consultants and have I have been doing it for years. Even though my article covers technical topics, who are the most aggressive SAP consultants who debate me? It is illuminating because it is not technical SAP resources. Instead, it is SAP project managers, often self-described “project advisors.” That the resources furthest away from the technology. Furthest away from what is real. And there is something else that they bring along with their arguments, which is a sense of shock and bewilderment that I would critique what SAP has to say.

And there is a good reason for this.

To a project manager, there is a specific hierarchy that is to be respected. They see themselves as at the top of one of these hierarchies (that is they can peck all the hens at least on their own project). They may not be that high in the SAP hierarchy, but they still want to protect their place in the hierarchy that they have. They also know their place in the hierarchy. If a senior member from SAP appears on their project, or they meet them at TechEd, they know it is their role to genuflect and to become as close to them as possible. Whether one works for Accenture, IBM, SAP, ASUG, or any other related entity, the only way to do well in one’s career is to respect the hierarchy. And this respect means repeating false information from on high. Information delivered from on high is true, information that questions the information from on high must be false. It is a simple mechanism that removes all thought. There is little choice given to people.

Media Entities Questioning the Orthodoxy?

The media entities, which are ostensibly supposed to not respect this hierarchy end up also supporting the hierarchy as money flows from SAP (and other powerful entities) to the media entities. The objective is to make the hierarchy so all-encompassing that a rigid top-down control is enforced throughout the ecosystem.

Big monied interests don’t like independent media, they either want to own it (Salesforce recently purchased Time Magazine, AWS owns the Washinton Post), or control it. Independent media threatens the creation of a self-reinforcing echo chamber. This disdain for independent information is clear when one studies the topic of “corporate communications” which is how hierarchies propagandize their own employees by feeding them a steady stream of biased information right to their inboxes.

This is a map of a location where all of the undisputed information comes from. Information from this location is unassailable and no one outside of the hierarchy is to question it. This is a map of Waldorf, which is SAP’s headquarters……Or is it? 

Life in the SAP Kingdom

In the SAP Kingdom, information (pure truth) flows from the mouths of the top of the hierarchy. The “excellent sources of information,” or the providers of the cannon are Bill McDermott, Hasso Plattner, the SAP website, and the role of those in the SAP ecosystem is to agree with the revealed wisdom. The SAP consulting partners have demonstrated they will repeat absolutely anything SAP says, no matter how false. And unless a person has a similar level in the hierarchy, they are not to question this wisdom.

When Bill McDermott says that HANA runs 100,000 times faster than any other technology, while absurd, the SAP consultant knows very well to avert their eyes. The ability to propose ridiculous things, and to not be criticized is the embodiment of abusive power. But why limit the analysis of how power is abused to the software industry, in the subject of the abuse of power there is such a rich tapestry of examples to choose from.

It is curious about reading the website of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision website. The writing is essentially similar to SAP’s website. Did they use the same PR firm? We don’t know.

Within Saudi Arabia, it is important that one repeats whatever King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Mohammed Bin Salman say. But the SAP ecosystem is not so repressive as and controlling in thought and as unaccepting of contradictory viewpoints as the one of the most repressive regimes on the planet.

Of course not. First, the clothing is entirely different. Pictures here these men at the top of the hierarchy wear a thobe with a bisht and then a headdress. People in the SAP ecosystem normally wear slacks and a button-down shirt.

Also, while being “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques” is pretty good, being the “Custodian of in-memory computing” is actually much better.

Conclusion

Hierarchies that cannot be questioned are a primary way that falsehoods are promulgated in societies. This hierarchy ensures that the most corrupt at the tippy top of the hierarchy are not held to account for their frequently false statements. This particularly true of any individual within the hierarchy (who risks losing their job and their position in the hierarchy) by observing the obvious fact that the emperor often has no clothes. But it extends to outward from the “official” hierarchy to entities associated with the first hierarchy.

The coercive ability and lack of accountability of any hierarchy can be tested by how willing those that are part of the hierarchy can question, and publicly question, obviously false statements from the top of the hierarchy.

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.

SAP Contact Form

  • Questions About This Area?

    The software space is controlled by vendors, consulting firms and IT analysts who often provide self-serving and incorrect advice at the top rates.

    • We have a better track record of being correct than any of the well-known brands.
    • If this type of accuracy interests you, tell us your question below.

References

Bill Gates deserves to be at the top of the hierarchy…..or did he? Where did DOS come from? What happens if Gary Kildall had not taken that plane trip that day?  

https://www.amazon.com/Way-All-Flesh-Romance-Ruins/dp/0374286825

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3004387/it-management/how-bad-a-boss-is-linus-torvalds.html

Enterprise Software Risk Book

Software RiskRethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Rethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Better Managing Software Risk

The software implementation is risky business and success is not a certainty. But you can reduce risk with the strategies in this book. Undertaking software selection and implementation without approximating the project’s risk is a poor way to make decisions about either projects or software. But that’s the way many companies do business, even though 50 percent of IT implementations are deemed failures.

Finding What Works and What Doesn’t

In this book, you will review the strategies commonly used by most companies for mitigating software project risk–and learn why these plans don’t work–and then acquire practical and realistic strategies that will help you to maximize success on your software implementation.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 3: The Basics of Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 4: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
Chapter 5: Software Sell-ability versus Implementability
Chapter 6: Selecting the Right IT Consultant
Chapter 7: How to Use the Reports of Analysts Like Gartner
Chapter 8: How to Interpret Vendor-Provided Information to Reduce Project Risk
Chapter 9: Evaluating Implementation Preparedness
Chapter 10: Using TCO for Decision Making
Chapter 11: The Software Decisions’ Risk Component Model

Enterprise Software Risk

See our free project risk estimators that are available per application. The provide a method of risk analysis that is not available from other sources.

How to Best Understand the SAP Digital Transformation Navigator

Executive Summary

  • Digital transformation was adopted by software vendors and consulting companies that place the process as the desired outcome.
  • Ding Ding Ding….we have a new Golden Pinocchio Award Winner!

Introduction to the Term Digital Transformation

After many years analyzing various methodologies, tools or assistive items offered by both consulting companies and SAP, it is curious how often the item in question ends up being simply another way for the consulting company or for SAP to get the customer to do what they want. SAP’s Rapid Development Solutions (as we covered in How to Best Understand SAP’s Faux RDS, turned out to be primarily a way to get customers to think they could implement SAP faster than was actually possible. The SAP ASAP Methodology, (which we cover in Did SAP ASAP Methodology Ever Reduce Project Timelines?) was essentially intended to do the same thing.

Neither of these items had any positive effect on projects, and most likely worsened projects by creating unrealistic expectations.

Why Digital Transformation is a Term of Propaganda

It should be noted that the term digital transformation actually is a meaningless term as applied to modern IT projects, which we cover in the article The Problem with Digital Transformation and Modern IT Projects. The reason being is that term digital transformation applies to a change that occurs when something is first converted from non-digital to digital. You can’t apply the term to a movement between two processes that are both digital. So we are beginning this journey with what is a term of propaganda. The definition of which is a term that allows the user to present unsupported assumptions to the listener.

Enter SAP’s Digital Transformation Manager

The following video explains the Digital Transformation Manager.

Interesting actions of note are the following:

Here the “Open Decision” under the category of Supply Chain Management is that what the customer uses is not the recommended solution from SAP. 

Once the previous screen’s Open Decision button is selected one taken to this screen, where the customer is allowed to choose between the Public Cloud and On Premises. If the user selects, then they are taken to the following screen.

Here the customer is using SAP Demand Planning today, but SAP recommends SAP Integrated Business Planning or IBP.

 

Well, that seems so simple, but that is a huge decision with many cost implications. SAP DP happens to be an application that few companies get very much value out of. Her are some important features that the DT Navigator will not tell you about.

  1. IBP is still not widely implemented.
  2. IBP has maturity issues.
  3. IBP does not have the same functionality set as SAP APO, so one cannot merely say “migrate to IBP.”

Naturally, SAP would like companies to move to their newest software, but SAP DP never met any of the claims for it that SAP set forth. Obviously, another option would be to either replace DP with a non-SAP application or to augment DP with a non-SAP application. Those are real options, which we have covered in great detail in separate articles. However, the more the customer uses the DT Navigator, the less they will be likely to ask those questions. In this way, the DT Navigator can be seen as an anti-decision making tool.

The DT Navigator is designed very simply to get customers to do exactly what SAP wants them to do.

The DT Navigator for Saving Money on SAP Consultants?

Is there a way to actually derive value from the DT Navigator?

We think there might be.

At the conclusion of the video, it is stated that the DT Navigator is designed for both customers and partners. So consulting partners will use the DT Navigator to come up with what they should tell customers to do. As SAP consulting companies don’t do much else when it comes to advise but repeat what SAP says if one views the DT Navigator as simply SAP’s official position on products (that not that the DT Navigator necessarily contains 100% truthful information) then a customer could use the the DT Navigator to cut out the middleman of having to pay an SAP consultant to tell them what they can find from the DT Navigator.

Ding Ding Ding!

SAP’s Digital Transformation Navigator receives our Golden Pinocchio Award for extreme deception. Seriously, you would have to be a twit to take the DT Navigator seriously. 

Conclusion

The SAP Digital Transformation Manager is a sales tool designed to get the customer to do more of what SAP wants. It is presented under the cloak of providing a clear and easy tool, but has as an important built-in assumption that the user accepts the information presented as “recommendations” and that SAP’s only motivation for providing this tool is to “help their customers!”

One should be suspicious of information provided by software vendors or consulting companies that are only introduced to help the customer. 

The pure SAP marketing message is delivered to the Digital Transformation Manager. For example, SAP IBP, is still very lightly installed — and requires purchasing HANA, which comes with a number of negative issues in addition to being the most expensive database among all of the options in the category.

Perhaps not surprisingly, these details are left out of the SAP Digital Transformation Manager.

But the DT Navigator can add value to customers, but primarily to reduce the number of hours that are billed by SAP consultants to simply repeat what SAP tells them.

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.

SAP Contact Form

  • Questions About This Area?

    The software space is controlled by vendors, consulting firms and IT analysts who often provide self-serving and incorrect advice at the top rates.

    • We have a better track record of being correct than any of the well-known brands.
    • If this type of accuracy interests you, tell us your question below.

References

Enterprise Software Risk

See our free project risk estimators that are available per application. The provide a method of risk analysis that is not available from other sources.

The Problem ComputerWeekly on the SAP UK/IR Conference

 What This Article Covers

  • Report on Leonardo Uptake
  • Is SAP Updating Indirect Access Policy?
  • SAP’s Empathy or Faux Empathy?
  • Back Maintenance Versus Back License Costs
  • SAP Pledges (Once Again) to Be Transparent
  • SAP Places Customers First? (While Ripping Them Off with Faux Indirect Access)

Introduction

In this article, we will perform an analysis of a ComputerWeekly article on the UK/IR User Group Conference.

Report on Leonardo Uptake

“On the opening day of the SAP UK and Ireland user group conference in Birmingham, a survey revealed that only 2% of the supplier’s customers intend to use its much-trumpeted Leonardo artificial intelligence (AI) initiative, and 43% were unaware of its existence.”

Well, as covered in this article, Why SAP’s Leonardo seems so Fake.

SAP has very little to offer in the IoT space. And furthermore, SAP’s proposal to route IoT means that customers should probably not follow SAP’s direction on IoT as SAP intends to route IoT data illogically through their ERP system in order to create a false association.

Is SAP Updating Indirect Access Policy?

“And almost 50% were also unaware of SAP’s attempts to update its indirect licensing policy in line with how enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are accessed now, as against in the 1980s.”

The version that SAP is enforcing against its customer’s something that we have called Type 2 indirect access — and it is an invalid claim. To understand Type 2 indirect access see the article Type 1 Versus Type 2 Indirect Access.

It is also in violation of the Tying Agreement clause of US anti-trust law which you can read in the extensive article How SAP’s Indirect Access Violates the Tying Agreement of and US Anti Trust Law.

Therefore, there is no reason for SAP to “update” its indirect access policy. All they need to do is stop enforcing illegal licensing against their customers. Secondly, everytime SAP “updates” its indirect access licensing, SAP tightens the noose further. But CW does not bother analyzing what the previous history of indirect access updates have been.

As can be observed, by reporting on indirect access this way, simply repeating that SAP plans to “modernize” its indirect access licensing, implies that SAP’s indirect access is a valid concept.

SAP’s Empathy or Faux Empathy?

“Cooper said SAP salespeople need to heed the words of empathy that have been coming from their CEO, Bill McDermott, expressed at this year’s and last year’s Sapphire customer conferences in Florida. “A lot of members are concerned about being back-charged,” he said.”

Does Bill McDermott really have empathy?

That is Doubtful.

SAP has savaged many customers using indirect access to extract money from them. So far Brightwork has not found any other vendor that applies indirect access the way that SAP does. What would be not even empathetic but simply reasonable would be to stop bringing invalid indirect access claims against customers. But as is usual Bill McDermott is deceptive in his statements. We often call Bill McDermott the happy face (Hasso’s term for him when he was selected as co-CEO) that hides SAP’s iron fist.

Once again, ComputerWeekly covers this story with the analytical capacity of someone writing a story at a high school paper. CW challenges nothing that SAP says, even though much of it is ripe for being challenged.

Back Maintenance Versus Back License Costs

“The problem for most organizations is they have no idea whether they are correctly or incorrectly licensed,” said Cooper then. “Despite SAP’s assurances that it won’t ask for back maintenance payments from organizations that are under-licensed, members have understandably been reluctant to speak with their account managers.”

We have addressed this sleight of hand previously. SAP wants customers to contact them so that SAP can have a low effort way to coerce the purchase of unwanted software from them. SAP only states back maintenance payments won’t be charged — it says nothing about back license charges — which of course it will charge customers.

SAP Pledges (Once Again) to Be Transparent

“Speaking during the same opening session, Hala Zeine, chief business development officer at SAP, said predictability, transparency, and consistency are the principles governing SAP’s efforts to update licensing. She said the “order to cash”, “procure to pay” and “static read access” scenarios that all make the shift to a business outcome metric will cover 80% of indirect access. And that the company is working on the other 20% of use cases with the user groups to further modernize the licensing for [what users call] indirect access.”

We suggest being very careful listening to anything Hala Zeine says. We have caught here repeatedly lying in her public statements. And once again, SAP’s Type 2 indirect access claims do not have any validity.

CW continues to speak about something which is merely a way for SAP to rip off their customers in a novel way as if it is something legitimate.

SAP Places Customers First? (While Ripping Them Off with Faux Indirect Access)

“Mike Slater, managing director, SAP UK and Ireland said in the same session: “We genuinely do hear you – we constantly talk about customer first at SAP.””

If that is true, why does SAP bring Type 2 indirect access claims against customers?

If this is true why does SAP allow such low quality consulting companies to extract so much money from customers with so little to show for it?

SAP is about SAP and is has shown repeatedly that it is one of the most extractive companies in enterprise software. Any comment about SAP related to being fair or putting customers first should be met with bellowing laughter. You would have to have no experience in the area to believe it.

“Slater announced some new efforts by the supplier to make itself more customer-focused in his territory. These include a new “customer success team” that is tasked with taking a long-term, non-transactional approach – a “blue ocean strategy”.”

What an idiotic statement. And once again, CW is there to act as SAP’s repeating mechanism.

Conclusion

Media entities like ComputerWeekly are complicit in reinforcing SAP’s false redefining of indirect access by missing the distinctions in topics they are writing about. Covering a topic is not simply collecting a series of quotes and putting them into an article.

ComputerWeekly is owned by TechTarget. ComputerWeekly is not an honest media outlet. ComputerWeekly creates content to capture information that is then passed to TechTarget’s marketing automation system. For this reason, ComputerWeekly would not have any interest in what is true.

This is covered in the following article How ComputerWeekly is a Front for Marketing Automation.

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.

SAP Contact Form

  • Questions About This Area?

    The software space is controlled by vendors, consulting firms and IT analysts who often provide self-serving and incorrect advice at the top rates.

    • We have a better track record of being correct than any of the well-known brands.
    • If this type of accuracy interests you, tell us your question below.

References

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/450430697/UKISUG-2017-only-2-of-British-and-Irish-SAP-users-plan-to-use-Leonardo

Enterprise Software Risk Book

Software RiskRethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Rethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Better Managing Software Risk

The software implementation is risky business and success is not a certainty. But you can reduce risk with the strategies in this book. Undertaking software selection and implementation without approximating the project’s risk is a poor way to make decisions about either projects or software. But that’s the way many companies do business, even though 50 percent of IT implementations are deemed failures.

Finding What Works and What Doesn’t

In this book, you will review the strategies commonly used by most companies for mitigating software project risk–and learn why these plans don’t work–and then acquire practical and realistic strategies that will help you to maximize success on your software implementation.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 3: The Basics of Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 4: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
Chapter 5: Software Sell-ability versus Implementability
Chapter 6: Selecting the Right IT Consultant
Chapter 7: How to Use the Reports of Analysts Like Gartner
Chapter 8: How to Interpret Vendor-Provided Information to Reduce Project Risk
Chapter 9: Evaluating Implementation Preparedness
Chapter 10: Using TCO for Decision Making
Chapter 11: The Software Decisions’ Risk Component Model

How ComputerWeekly is a Front for Marketing Automation

 What This Article Covers

  • What is ComputerWeekly?
  • Who Owns ComputerWeekly?
  • Understanding the TechTarget Marketing Platform
  • Those Everpresent Email Capture Forms
  • Absolutely Corporate Controlled Media Output

Introduction

Over time we have become frustrated with the information published by Computer Weekly regarding how they cover SAP.

We decided to investigate who owns Computer Weekly. This and how they operate will be the subject of this article.

What is ComputerWeekly?

On the surface, ComputerWeekly looks like a popular technology magazine with no particular bias. ComputerWeekly churns out conventional articles that essentially repeat quotations from sources at conferences and phone calls with technology companies. For many of the articles there is virtually no analysis, so while there are authors attached to the articles, there is not much reason to use authors. The intent of many of the articles is not to explain anything to readers, but to allow the marketing departments of technology companies to reach leads.

But mixed along with this are “real articles,” such as this one.

https://www.computerweekly.com/opinion/My-brother-Lauri-Love-should-have-the-right-to-a-trial-in-the-UK

Who Owns ComputerWeekly?

What ComputerWeekly “is” comes to light when one learns who owns ComputerWeekly.

ComputerWeekly is owned by TechTarget. TechTarget is a media giant. It purchased ComputerWeekly in 2011. It owns other media properties such as LeMagIT, KnowledgeStorm, BitPipe, including others.

The TechTarget website says close to nothing about being a media entity but instead is entirely focused on marketing to businesses how it can help them with lead generation.

That is ComputerWeekly looks like an online technology magazine, but that is not what its owning company looks like. Not at all.

ComputerWeekly creates content to capture information that is then passed to TechTarget’s marketing automation system. This is what technology providers pay TechTarget for so that readers as potential buyers can be monitored and then shared with technology companies.

Those Everpresent Email Capture Forms

Article after article on the ComputerWeekly site has an email capture form to access content.

We would propose that most people that fill in this form have no idea what is behind this innocent looking website. This email form, along with cookies, is what feeds the TechTarget marketing system.

  • The forms are very specific to ask for a company email address. This is because ComputerWeekly and their “partners” want to find out what company you work for, and of course to spam your company address.
  • This, when combined with the article being searched, combined with the number of people with that same company email address allows TechTarget to create a profile of which companies are looking into various technology purchases.

ComputerWeekly states that by filling out your email address (which is done to receive some content), this gives ComputerWeekly the right for their technology “partners” to contact you. See the exact quotation below.

By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.

However, this information that is provided does not explain the extent of what happens after ComputerWeekly/TechTarget receives the information.

Furthermore, when you select the partner list, you find a list of what appears to be a little less than 1000 partners. And of course, SAP is one of these partners. ComputerWeekly receives around 1.7 million page views per month.

With so many page views and with its backend, it is apparently quite capable of aggregating its email addresses to build a profile of interests in various technology and to track how that interest rises or declines over time.

TechTarget is watching, as are 1000 tech companies that are customers of TechTarget. Nothing on the ComputerWeekly website indicates the powerful backend analytics to which your email is subjected.

This means that while the individual person may think they are simply giving over their email, they are in fact signaling to TechTarget and giving up their privacy in a way they are more likely than not, not fully aware. Secondly, the person filling out the form has no idea that they through filling out that one form, it is as if they are filling out 50 or more forms on different vendor websites! TechTarget has hundreds of customers, and your email, as well as your company, could end up being shared with any of those companies.

Understanding the TechTarget Marketing Platform

TechTarget’s website (which again, the reader does not see) is very clear about how they allow tech companies to monitor readers.

These screenshots are directly off of the TechTarget’s website.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16tTanaR-OM&feature=youtu.be

This video, also on the TechTarget website also shows how the TechTarget platform works. Discover.org is a very popular marketing platform that integrates with TechTarget. In this way the TechTarget is integrated with other data, making the information even more powerful, which means even more invasive of your privacy. 

Conclusion

ComputerWeekly is a honeypot designed to obtain volume that can then be sold to technology companies. This means that ComputerWeekly aggressively tracks its viewers. It also means that its content is optimized around how to get the most targeted emails so they can be processed.

To maximize the financial benefits of such a model, you would have minimal interest in what is true; One would expect that ComputerWeekly would never write anything that was critical of any technology company. They will repeat self-serving quotations from readers as stated in this article.

Furthermore, it is quite likely that the topics of the articles are backward engineered from the information that they need to collect. This means that SAP and the other partners are instructing TechTarget what leads they would like, which most likely has a strong influence on what is published. And the larger the entity and the more they can pay, the more TechTarget will direct its resources to write articles about those subjects.

The objective would be to write articles that can maximize its ability to sell its audience to technology companies. ComputerWeekly does not need to advertise because the entire website is an email harvesting system. Advertising implies that the reader will see the ad and then contact or purchase from the advertiser. But in the TechTarget model, ads are superfluous as the customer of TechTarget (i.e. the partner) contacts the reader. Remember, SAP (and other tech companies) has a large database of email addresses and other contact details. This means they do not necessarily need to contact the person filling in the information. They may determine the person is too far down the food chain to be worth contacting (i.e., not an influencer) and they may instead use the filled in email addresses of a particular company to signal intent or interest, and then select what they think is the best contact in their database for that company to reach out to. This may be determined by the account manager who would be assigned to the prospect.

ComputerWeekly and TechTarget are yet another example of what is wrong with IT media. Here we have a popular website posing as an information provider that has its primary objective to capture information that it can sell as part of a marketing solution. And it is deceptive because unlike an ad, the reader is not aware of the complex apparatus in the background.

Interestingly, ComputerWeekly even had an article that is quite germane to this topic. However, they come to a conclusion that should be analyzed.

“We can’t and won’t go back to that old world of heavily staffed newspapers offering careers and good wages. The money isn’t there in the system any more. It is, then, this economic reality brought about by the technological change which is going to prevail.

There aren’t going to be as many journalists as there used to be and they’ll not get paid as they did, simply because the entire ecosystem of the business is able to extract less money from you and I, the consumers.

Which is all to the good of course, we consumers being who the economy is and should be in favour of. But, still, the good old days aren’t coming back; they never have done elsewhere either.”

And guess who wrote this article? Not a member of the ComputerWeekly staff, but Tim Worstall, a member of the Adam Smith Institute, which is a conservative think tank. “Free market” think tanks love the idea of wholly privatized and corporate controlled media. It allows the media system to deprived of income from any source but private companies. This way the media system does the bidding of elite interests, which is to serve as a purely propagandist function which is sold to the highest bidder.

That is what is meant when one says to bring the “free market” to media. A free market in media results in a corporate controlled media, and of course a media system that is controlled in a hidden manner and which has no mechanism to police itself or has any other objective than to push product out the door. Care t0 take a guess who pays the Adam Smith Institute to write such articles?

The problem with this is that the revenue model for a company like TechTarget is entirely funded by the entities that TechTarget writes stories about. And that means that ComputerWeekly both misleads its readers as to who is paying for ComputerWeekly, and ComputerWeekly’s content will be aligned with the companies that it covers. In this way, TechTarget misleads its readers in at least two different dimensions.

And this is the perfection of the model of “free market” media entities, as promoted by conservative think tanks. It meets the twin objectives of maximizing profits while minimizing the truthful information that is received by readers.

References

https://www.adamsmith.org/

https://www.computerweekly.com/opinion/Newspaper-woes-show-that-when-technology-changes-everything-changes

Enterprise Software Risk

See our free project risk estimators that are available per application. The provide a method of risk analysis that is not available from other sources.

How to Understand The Myth of the Golden Age of SAP

Executive Summary

  • SAP consultants like to talk about a “Golden Age” of SAP, where SAP added a great deal of value to customers.
  • We show how this is a myth, and how this myth is used.

Introduction

In this article, we will cover a common assumption promoted by SAP proponents. This is the proposal that SAP was at some point a company that added a lot of value to customers. This is what we call the myth of the golden age of SAP.

How and When the Myth is Used

Over time even with near total control over IT media and with complicit SAP consulting companies and even independent SAP consultants (who know where their bread is buttered), a concept has arisen. It is often used by the proponent when faced with the undeniable fact that SAP is abusing their market position and power in some way. In a discussion around indirect access claims brought by SAP, the following is an example of this claim.

I love SAP and worked with it all my career, but it is sad to see such a great innovative technology company allowing their Sales teams to go down this path…”

We found this comment curious because SAP has never been an innovative company.

What SAP has had is an aggressive series of claims about innovation. But as we have analyzed in great detail, SAP routinely misleads customers, Wall Street and their own employees about how innovative SAP is. A very good example of this is regarding the claim that Hasso Plattner invented HANA. This claim is demonstrated to be an impossibility in the following article Did Hasso Plattner and PhDs Invent HANA? 

And the thing is that truly innovative companies don’t need to exaggerate their level of innovation because they let their innovation speak for itself. For example, Google or Intel spend little time exaggerating their level of innovation.

Their innovation is well known and is demonstrated in their products and output.

What Was SAP’s Innovation?

The reason SAP is SAP has little to do with their software. Back in the 1980s SAP was one of many ERP vendors. At that time ERP was a new category of software that took an MRP system and integrated it into a financial system and later other systems. The “M” in MRP was simply replaced with “E” for “enterprise,” to broaden out the meaning of the software as to mean the overall company being covered by the functionality.

SAP is widely thought to have done a better than average job in integrating the MRP functionality to the financial functionality, but it would be difficult to classify this as an innovation. The reason being that all the ERP vendors had the same idea and were doing the same thing. At that time many MRP vendors were purchased by vendors with financial functionality, and after the acquisition spree, there were few exclusive MRP vendors left.

Now one might say that SAP did a better than average job of executing on what was a widely shared vision. But what SAP did that was divergent from other, other ERP vendors at the time is that they outsourced their consulting to the large consulting companies. There are a series of disadvantages to doing this. Consulting companies like the longest possible projects And they like to bill the most possible hours. So any software company that outsources almost totally it’s consulting to consulting companies will end up with a poorer value for their customers. But the more a vendor does this, the more they can expect to be recommended by consulting companies to their clients.

And that is what SAP did, and they did it more than any other vendor.

And it is why SAP has the most expensive and most time-consuming implementations, which is correspondingly why they have the most consulting company recommendations (see the connection?)

Was a Three-Tier Design Innovative?

Once one moves outsides of doing a good job of executing on a universally shared vision of connecting the financial system to the MRP system (which again is not innovation, as all ERP vendors had this vision at the time), the next claim is that SAP innovated when they went to a client-server or three-tier design. This was when they introduced R/3. Only a few people would propose this because most people that work in SAP don’t remember this supposed innovation.

However again, this is something that vendors were in general moving to at that time. If everyone is doing something, and you do it as well, then it is by definition not innovative.

SAP’s claims of even being close to innovation become even less supportable.

  1. The early SAP APO was primarily copied from i2 Technologies, and then other later modules like EWM were copied from other warehousing applications at the time.
  2. SAP BW was copied from other BI vendors at the time but became popular because of its connection to SAP ECC.
  3. SAP PI is a copy of previously existing middleware applications at the time.
  4. SAP CRM is a copy of already existing CRM applications.
  5. SAP HANA is based upon column-oriented databases, which goes back to the 1970s, and for which SAP already owned a column-oriented database it purchased from Sybase (IQ) before it developed HANA. HANA itself was based primarily on several acquired products and as proposed in the Teradata lawsuit was in part stolen from Teradata.
  6. SAP MDM was a copy of already existing MDM applications at the time.
  7. SAP PLM was a copy of already existing PLM applications at the time.
  8. Fiori is an SAP take or co-option on HTML5.

This list could be longer, but there is really no innovation we can find anywhere. (if we eventually find some, we will update this article).

SAP’s Missing Innovation?

Furthermore, there are many examples of SAP providing very backward components of its software and not changing them for many years of these items.  Many components of SAP are positively backward. A few of these items we have listed in the article How to Best Understand SAP’s Negative Innovation.

This, of course, does not stop SAP marketing from constantly talking about how innovative SAP is, but SAP’s marketing department will normally have at least two false statements in any single page of content that they create. (that is two being the minimum number of falsehoods) so there is no reason to uncritically accept any statement that comes from SAP as true.

It also does not stop SAP consultants from dramatically overstating SAP’s history of innovation. Interestingly, we innovation is one of the criteria we use to evaluate software vendors in our Honest Vendor Ratings.

  • Our highest rated vendors in innovation are PlanetTogether, Arena Solutions, FiancialForce and Intacct.
  • SAP is one of the lowest rated vendors when it comes to innovation in our research.

Yet, how often are PlanetTogether or Arena Solutions listed as innovative leaders? Actually how much does being lauded for innovation have to do with the company’s size and the number of people who are enriched through association with you?

We can find out by going back in history.

This is Louis XIV. He began his reign at the age of 5 and died at 77. During his reign, France was the leading power in Europe.

Did Louis XIV Receive Flattery from Subjects?

It might surprise some people to learn that when people would come to the court of Louis XIV, they tended to flatter Louis. In fact, they downright exaggerated his positive attributes. That is they exaggerated his attributes both to Louis XIV and to others in order to gain favor with Louis XIV.

It is difficult to tell from the portrait, don’t know if you can tell, but Louis XIV tended to like flattery. I know this is all rather shocking, so please just hold your surprise until you have had time to finish the article, and then you can go and lay down.

The SAP market is filled with consultants who will praise SAP because it is profit maximizing to do so. These sycophants will say anything about SAP’s accomplishments because they don’t care what is true and only look out for their self-interests. A meeting with any of the high command at SAP would go something like the scene from John Adams above, (except they would perform more curtsies)

How Powerful Entities Benefit from Widespread Sycophancy

History shows that powerful people often have people say flattering things about them by people who have benefited from them or intend to benefit from them. In fact, once you become a billionaire today, you receive basically an unending series of gifts, and people reaching out to you to praise you for various characteristics you possess. I know several people who have kept count of how many billionaires they have met (and in turn ask me how many I have met (my answer? zero))

Isn’t it curious that the software which normally pays the consultants the most to work in it, also just so “happens” to be the most innovative according to those same consultants?

Is it possible that people are exaggerating positive attributes about SAP, and downplaying innovation at other vendors for personal reasons?

At first glance, the emphasis of religious worship may seem a bit odd. Why would an all-powerful entity care if the beings he created worshiped him (or her or it).

It wouldn’t.

But the people that created these organizations do care. 

Religous worship can be viewed as early training in how to subordinate one’s thought to concentrated power. What is being worshiped does not have to check out with the facts, it just has to be widely agreed upon as something to be esteemed.

Why the SAP Golden Age Myth is Promoted

There are a lot of people who have made a good living from SAP. The top 18 SAP consulting companies employ over 248,000 consultants at both very good incomes for the consultants, and at a sizable margin for the consulting companies. Much of this income is due to the SAP consultants promoting SAP marketing materials and related assumptions to clients that are often easy to take advantage of.

People don’t like thinking they have benefited from being associated with an entity that attained its station through non-value added means. For this reason, it is very difficult to get people to accept criticism of what they work within. And this forces the mind to search for a justification. For example.

  • Lawyers don’t publicly comment on how unfair the judicial systems are.
  • Health care workers don’t spend much time discussing how inefficient the health care system is.

In fact, if you bring up these topics with people that work in these areas, they usually tend to either become disassociative or use a logical fallacy to defend the area that they work in.

SAP’s Increase in Abuse as a Continuation of a Long Thread

Certainly, SAP has gotten more abusive in recent years, treating it’s more partners poorly, using new approaches to extract undeserved income from its customers such as with indirect access. But these are simply enlargements of abuses that have already been in place for decades. SAP was the most aggressive vendor, perhaps in the history of software vendors to outsource it’s consulting to large consulting companies, which means it essentially had the lowest bar for ethics and consideration for its customers.

It knew these consulting companies would fleece these customers, but it simply did not care.

Conclusion

People that propose that SAP was at one time good or at one time ethical are in part attempting to justify their complicity with SAP that resulted in excess gains. They seem to be particularly skillful in “looking the other way.” It is difficult to believe that the actual outcomes on SAP projects, SAP’s unending lies and the treatment of SAP-endorsed consulting companies managed to escape their attention.

It also happens to be historically inaccurate.

SAP benefits from having a literal army of people who have made their career in SAP define what SAP’s history is for other people. And they are not driven by what is true, but rather by what they would like others to think is true.

Through their defense of this faux “Golden Age of SAP” they lay the groundwork for the idea that SAP can be “reformed” and help perpetuate what will be simply more abuse on the part of SAP.

SAP Contact Form

  • Questions About This Area?

    The software space is controlled by vendors, consulting firms and IT analysts who often provide self-serving and incorrect advice at the top rates.

    • We have a better track record of being correct than any of the well-known brands.
    • If this type of accuracy interests you, tell us your question below.

References

https://www.democracynow.org/2000/3/14/aetna_acknowledges_issuing_slave_policies_during

Today you can buy life insurance from Aetna. But in 1850, you could buy insurance from Aetna for your slaves.

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5042377

https://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2015/09/slavery_myths_seven_lies_half_truths_and_irrelevancies_people_trot_out_about.html

*https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/goldman-chief-says-he-is-just-doing-gods-work/?_r=0

*https://www.amazon.com/Complicity-Promoted-Prolonged-Profited-Slavery/dp/0345467833

https://assets.teradata.com/News/2018/2018-06-19-Complaint.pdf

Enterprise Software Risk Book

Software RiskRethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Rethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Better Managing Software Risk

The software implementation is risky business and success is not a certainty. But you can reduce risk with the strategies in this book. Undertaking software selection and implementation without approximating the project’s risk is a poor way to make decisions about either projects or software. But that’s the way many companies do business, even though 50 percent of IT implementations are deemed failures.

Finding What Works and What Doesn’t

In this book, you will review the strategies commonly used by most companies for mitigating software project risk–and learn why these plans don’t work–and then acquire practical and realistic strategies that will help you to maximize success on your software implementation.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 3: The Basics of Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 4: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
Chapter 5: Software Sell-ability versus Implementability
Chapter 6: Selecting the Right IT Consultant
Chapter 7: How to Use the Reports of Analysts Like Gartner
Chapter 8: How to Interpret Vendor-Provided Information to Reduce Project Risk
Chapter 9: Evaluating Implementation Preparedness
Chapter 10: Using TCO for Decision Making
Chapter 11: The Software Decisions’ Risk Component Model

Enterprise Software Risk

See our free project risk estimators that are available per application. The provide a method of risk analysis that is not available from other sources.

Does Brightwork Have an Axe to Grind with SAP?

Executive Summary

  • Those who are incapable of debating the Brightwork Research & Analysis arguments often use the hominem of an “ax to grind” against Brightwork and Shaun Snapp.
  • The proponents of the hypothesis of the ax to grind fail to provide evidence of the ax.
  • Is Brightwork paid by Oracle?
  • Is Brightwork Research & Analysis grinding axes or are we biting the hand that fed us?

Introduction to the Ax to Grind Hypothesis

This article is to address the comments that people that have brought forward Brightwork articles on SAP to generally to SAP-centric IT environments. The accusation leveled by some individuals is that the work by Brightwork and Shaun Snapp are biased because they or I have an “ax to grind.”

The Definition of an Axe to Grind

The criticism of an ax to grind means that the person writing the article or otherwise providing the information should be disregarded because they have an intent to damage the entity that is being discussed. The idea is that the author has a grievance with the entity or person.

Sometimes the grievance is part of the discussion. For instance, women who were sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein had an ax to grind with Harvey Weinstein.

However, curiously, when the grievance is public, the term ax to grind is not used. For whatever reason, the term ax to grind is only used when the supposed grievance is not part of the discussion. For example, when the term is used by those in SAP IT departments against Brightwork, the grievance (as far as we can tell) is not stated.

Therefore the reason for the supposed ax to grind is never declared.

Why Use Ad Hominem?

Ther term ax to grind can be seen as a type of ad hominem argument. It does not address the arguments presented in any particular Brightwork article.

It is well known in the study of logic and argumentation that ad hominems are used as a way of distracting the listener from focusing on the content of the information provider. For this reason, they are not considered a serious form of argumentation.

Let me provide an example.

In the case of inaccurate information published by Forbes or Fortune on SAP, we usually explain why the Forbes or Fortune article is incorrect. That is we directly address the arguments of any article.

Fortune on Article on the SAP Cloud

A good example of this is found in the following article dealing with Forbes repeating SAP marketing tropes in How Accurate was Forbes on SAP Cloud?

In the article, we observe that Forbes and Fortune are typically paid to write articles that are in large part either written by SAP or have most of the content provided by SAP.

But, we do not start off by stating that Forbes or Fortune’s information is inaccurate because of some undefined ax they must have to grind. Rather we provide the evidence that Forbes or Fortune receive money from SAP to publish what is called paid placements. These are articles that are not declared as advertisements. Most people do not consider Forbes of Fortune or other media entities biased because they are unaware of how the IT media system works.

As should be apparent, this places our criticism is a very different category than the criticism of an ax to grind that is often used by SAP-centric IT departments. In fact, we would never use the criticism of an ax to grind because it is an evidence-free claim — and we are a research entity, and therefore only about what we can write based on evidence.

What Ax is Being Ground?

The question we have to ask, is what is the ax that we have to grind?

It seems quite lazy to state that we have an ax to grind without proof or even a statement of what that “ax” actually is?

It occurred to us that the individuals bringing the claim aren’t interested in specifying the ax. Could it be they don’t have evidence of the ax we are grinding? What better way to quickly move away from discussing the arguments in the articles than making up an unspecified ax. Truly, it takes virtually no effort on the part of the person making a claim.

Marketing Versus Research. Trust Information from a Company that Maximizes Profit

What is curious about the claim of an ax to grind is that SAP centric-IT departments commonly accept claims on the part of SAP — even though it is of course known that SAP is a profit-maximizing entity. Bill McDermott is both paid $50 million per year and has a long history of making exaggerated claims. Hasso Platter is worth $20 billion. Is it possible that money motivated Hasso Plattner to make some quite exaggerated claims in his life? In the interest of full disclosure, the total revenue of Brightwork is a bit south of $50 million per year, so we could be said to have considerably less motivation than Bill McDermott to “make things up.”

Furthermore, Brightwork is a research entity, which while for profit, does not seek to maximize profits. If we did seek to maximize profits, we would simply, as do Forbes and Fortune, begin to publish paid placements. This is quite the opposite of SAP, Deloitte, Gartner, and other sources that provide information about SAP. These entities are distinctly profit maximizing. At Brightwork, we consider profit maximizing to be contradictory to research. For obvious reasons, if you seek to maximize profits, you will alter your research to match the desired outcomes of the highest bidder.

SAP’s Aggressive Sales Culture

SAP performs R&D which is primarily for improving their software. However, they are not and have never been a research organization. The information they do release has only one purpose, which is to increase the sale of SAP software and services. And SAP has a long history of releasing hyperbolic or inaccurate information. SAP’s inaccuracies go all the way back to their beginning when they made a wide variety of claims regarding ERP systems, the vast majority of which did not come true.

SAP’s History of Inaccuracy

We have documented a large number of these statements at the Brightwork website. Exaggerations can be found in the quarterly analyst reports, Inaccuracies in AP’s Q2 Analyst Call.

SAP’s inaccuracies rise to the level of creating entirely false storylines. For example, how SAP and Hasso Plattner made up the story of Hasso inventing HANA in the article Did Hasso Plattner and His Ph.D.’s Invent HANA? 

The Fear of Contradicting SAP

While our articles layout what amounts to a smoking gun (or a series of smoking guns), it is curious how quiet SAP proponents become when faced with this evidence. Actually, during repeated discussions on the topic of SAP’s exaggerations, the most common response on the part of SAP proponents is to pivot to some other topic.

In discussions on LinkedIn, SAP proponents will ordinarily not comment at all as to the inaccurate quotation by SAP that we provide. They appear to prefer to pretend that the quotation does not exist. This is not something that has happened quite a few times. In fact my response to a LinkedIn debate participant was as follows:

“I have you an opportunity to critique ridiculous statements by Bill McDermott and Hasso Plattner and Steve Lucas, and you would not do it. I asked you whether you agreed that HANA would run 100,000 faster than any other technology (Bill McDermott) and you would not comment on it. You fear to criticize even the most bananas statements by SAP because while you may not work for SAP, you are remotely controlled by them. You fear to contradict SAP in a public forum where people that work for SAP can see any disloyalty. So you very conveniently disappear when I have gone down that path. If Bill McDermott said he was going to go live on the moon, would you hold your criticism then also? How insane does a statement have to be before you disown it?

In a previous article where I invalidated several of SAP’s claims about HANA, you attempted to pivot away from SAP’s false claims by stating that the database does not matter. Several people emailed me that your statements were odd because since 2011 (since HANA was introduced) SAP has claimed that the database is critical and that customers need to migrate away from Oracle to HANA. Also, you entered that discussion without having any knowledge of databases. Which I also found odd. You professed you did not care about something you don’t know much about. SAP’s claims being proven false, and HANA not only not improving S/4HANA performance, but actually underperforming previous versions of Oracle (ECC on Oracle) is a subject of interest to many, particularly to customers being pressured into migrating to HANA.”

Repeatedly Testing the Hypothesis of Bias in SAP Consultants

We deliberately find opportunities to test this hypothesis, and the result is consistent.

SAP proponents seem to have a deficient standard regarding the honesty of statements if they come from SAP. A likely reason for this is that these proponents make money from SAP, and therefore are unconcerned with what is true, as what is true could potentially reduce their income.

The Ultimate Test of Bias: Accuracy

At Brightwork we consider bias to be incredibly important. We have written on bias in forecasting in many articles including Understanding Forecasting Bias.

We have explained how SAP spreads money to IT media entities and through outsourcing its consulting receives highly biased recommendations on the part of the large consulting companies. And that SAP would not receive these recommendations if it did not allow consulting companies to create an entire business model around recommending SAP. As far as we can tell, we are the only media entity that explains how these things work or seem to understand SAP’s history going back to its origins before it became the darling of the major consulting companies, and made the strategic decision to outsource its consulting.

However, demonstrating bias is not enough. As in the article, we provided on Forbes and the SAP Cloud; we also explain why the information that is provided is incorrect. That is bias should show itself in inaccuracy. If an entity were to be shown to have a bias, but their media output were shown to be accurate, it would appear that the bias did not impact the media output. And that is the most important issue, for obvious reasons. It is the output, not the input which is critical.

Evidence of the Ax?

In the case of the ax to grind criticism, critics of Brightwork Research & Analysis provide neither evidence of bias (ax to grind is merely a claim, it is not itself evidence), nor do they explain why the information provided by Brightwork Research & Analysis is incorrect.

Quite the contrary. Brightwork’s history of prediction on SAP has been remarkably accurate. There are several reasons for this.

  • Years of SAP Implementation Experience: We are one of the very few information sources on SAP that combines many years of SAP implementation experience as a backdrop to our research. Not Gartner, not Forrester, not ComputerWorld or others have this expertise among their analysts or authors. (and of course, they all take money from SAP).
  • Financially Independent: Unlike SAP, Deloitte, Gartner, Forbes, etc.. we have no financial incentive to promote SAP. We also have no incentive to promote other solutions over SAP as we are primarily funded through consulting work. That is we can stand outside of the media bias which so damages IT reporting because we don’t make a very high percentage of our income from out media output.

We invite those that find the “ax to grind” argument persuasive to try to find a prediction about SAP that we have published that ended up not coming true. Yes, that is a challenge. Currently, we are predicting that S/4HANA is far less mature than is known in the IT media. This is covered in the research article A Study into S/4HANA Implementations.

Where Our Confidence Comes From, Out Track Record

We are very confident in our predictions because, after years of doing this, we have yet to be wrong in a prediction. In fact, you can check our track records versus SAP’s track record in the article A Study into The Accuracy of SAP. At some point, because we make so many predictions, we will be wrong. But when we are wrong, it won’t be because we were paid by SAP to repeat what SAP told us to write.

Meanwhile entities like Forbes, Fortune, Gartner, ComputerWorld, etc… are repeatedly wrong about SAP. This is what happens when you rent out your media storefront to SAP to publish anything they want for money. However, these entities rely upon the short memory of their readers and the fact that people tend to observe the size of the media entity for whether the entity is credible.

The Contradictory Claim: Axe to Grind or Biting the Hand that Feeds You?

The ax to grind claim is not the only claim that is used by SAP centric-IT media against Brightwork Research & Analysis. We have also been accused of biting the hands that has fed us. Now the term biting the hand that feeds you is when you criticize a person who or entity from which you have personally benefited.

Now, this claim is true. We benefited for years working in SAP for much of the time as an independent consultant. However, for those that use the argument, the issue is that it is contradictory to the claim of having an ax to grind.

This does not address the arguments presented by Brightwork in our articles, but rather is another ad hominem accusation that accuses us being disloyal to SAP. Again, we admit, we are disloyal to SAP. We think there is far too much loyalty to SAP that only exists because it is profit maximizing to be loyal to SAP.

But biting the hand that feeds you, while an accusation about loyalty does not say anything about whether the information provided by the entity that is “biting the hand that fed it” is true.

Of course, if we did not have such intimate knowledge of SAP, our analysis would not be nearly as much of a concern to SAP and SAP-centric IT departments.

Without such intimate knowledge of SAP, we assume a different argument would be used — that is the argument that we do not know what we are talking about.

Is Brightwork Paid by Oracle?

Other criticisms have been that because Brightwork fact checks SAP, it, therefore, must be paid by Oracle. Remember, no evidence is presented, the claim is simply made.

Here is our critique of Oracle to an Oracle representative pretending that they did not pay entities to replicate Oracle marketing information about the Oracle Autonomous Database.

“First, the documents show as I state in the analysis, telltale signs of being copy and pastes from Oracle marketing. So the bias is apparent through the writing and the conclusions.

Second, recall what I wrote. IDG accepts large amounts of money from Oracle for paid placements and advertising. IDG owns IDC. The IDC article may also have been a paid placement, or not. But either way, the parent IDG draws significant income from Oracle. That explains all the inaccurate articles I have critiqued from IDG over time on SAP (that you liked) as well as inaccurate articles by IDG/IDC on Oracle (which you don’t like). Both SAP and Oracle use the same technique of paying media entities to carry their message, without disclosing the funding. Now IDG is one of your sources for the Oracle Automated Database.

The problem is that vouching for IDG, and the ludicrous assertion that Oracle did not pay IDG/IDC for the coverage, will mean vouching for SAP’s marketing material being published by IDG outlets. It is curious how so much marketing literature gets mainlined directly into IDG publications’ articles. Isn’t it?

Very curious indeed.

Can you find any SAP or Oracle marketing literature published as fact in Brightwork Research & Analysis articles? I wonder why that is. Perhaps that is a good indicator that I am not paid by Oracle or SAP.

This assertion that IDG is not on the payroll of vendors puts Oracle in a tough spot in IDG’s HANA and S/4HANA coverage. Because if we listen to IDG, then we need to replace Oracle DBs with HANA. Oracle DB is legacy and can’t keep up with HANA’s innovation. IDG has a great business model. Publish articles on command from the largest software vendors. It makes for highly inaccurate output, but makes a lot of money.”

Our article/expose on The Oracle Autonomous Database, for which we awarded Oracle a Golden Pinocchio Award can be viewed at the following article How Real is the Oracle Autonomous Database.

So whatever seems to annihilate the argument of Oracle cutting checks to us.

What Information Sources Does SAP Consider Credible?

This goes to why most of our material is not picked up by the mainstream IT press. For example, one company reached out to us and asked why the article The Real Reason for Under Armour’s Problems with S/4HANA.

SAP funds nearly every media outlet in IT. They report some controversies in SAP, but they do so within very narrow boundaries so as not to offend SAP.

When this company asked why no IT outlet had picked up the Under Armour article, I think we have our answer. Major IT outlets want quotes from sources that limit their criticism within narrow boundaries so that when they publish the article, they do not incur the wrath of SAP, which is reportedly a very strong use of intimidation.

Finding Independent Sources on SAP?

We have analyzed this topic extensively and found there are almost no independent sources on SAP. Everyone seems to lead back to SAP either through direct payment, partnership, etc..

This type of discussion is already well explained by a media critic called Noam Chomsky.

They will use ad hominems rather than addressing the actual points. The more they have to address the points, the worse it is for them. And who is credible according to SAP?

Deloitte, Accenture, ComputerWeekly, Diginomica, Forbes, Fortune — that is everyone they pay. The outlets they pay are credible, the outlets they don’t “lack credibility.” 

Conclusion

Brightwork Research & Analysis writes lengthy and research-based articles about SAP. The accuracy of Brightwork’s articles is exceptionally high, as we can predict things in SAP years before they take place. Our interest is in discussing the research and the information we provide.

However, many SAP proponents are less interested in our specific arguments and more interested in making ad hominem statements that go to our motivation. These arguments range from grinding axes to the social pressure of not criticizing SAP because it will end up getting the Brightwork or being a “complainer.”

These arguments don’t have anything to do with whether our research is true.

If any person or company can demonstrate the financial bias that we routinely point out regarding other media entities, then please bring that claim. That would at least move towards an addressable claim of bias.

If any person or company can demonstrate that articles by Brightwork Research & Analysis are inaccurate, then bring that claim. If we can observe the inaccuracy, we will acknowledge the inaccuracy.

SAP Contact Form

  • Questions About This Area?

    The software space is controlled by vendors, consulting firms and IT analysts who often provide self-serving and incorrect advice at the top rates.

    • We have a better track record of being correct than any of the well-known brands.
    • If this type of accuracy interests you, tell us your question below.

References

Enterprise Software Risk Book

Software RiskRethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Rethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Better Managing Software Risk

The software implementation is risky business and success is not a certainty. But you can reduce risk with the strategies in this book. Undertaking software selection and implementation without approximating the project’s risk is a poor way to make decisions about either projects or software. But that’s the way many companies do business, even though 50 percent of IT implementations are deemed failures.

Finding What Works and What Doesn’t

In this book, you will review the strategies commonly used by most companies for mitigating software project risk–and learn why these plans don’t work–and then acquire practical and realistic strategies that will help you to maximize success on your software implementation.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 3: The Basics of Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 4: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
Chapter 5: Software Sell-ability versus Implementability
Chapter 6: Selecting the Right IT Consultant
Chapter 7: How to Use the Reports of Analysts Like Gartner
Chapter 8: How to Interpret Vendor-Provided Information to Reduce Project Risk
Chapter 9: Evaluating Implementation Preparedness
Chapter 10: Using TCO for Decision Making
Chapter 11: The Software Decisions’ Risk Component Model

Enterprise Software Risk

See our free project risk estimators that are available per application. The provide a method of risk analysis that is not available from other sources.

How Much Should Hasso Plattner and SAP be Cut Slack for Lying?

Executive Summary

  • Hasso Plattner and SAP tell a large number of lies compared to the typical software vendor.
  • Some have proposed that these lies are not lies but exaggerations.

Introduction

In this article, we will discuss the interesting double standard that seems to be applied to SAP lies. And the idea that SAP should not be held to a standard to truth-telling.

A Resistance to Criticize Obvious Lies by SAP

In debating various articles that I have written about SAP many people on LinkedIn who are SAP surrogates or general proponents seemingly have not been interested in addressing my questions concerning the accuracy of statements made by Hasso Plattner. The reason for this is, in my view, no matter how false the statement by SAP, SAP resources are fearful of being seen as publicly repudiating it.

The interaction often goes something like the following.

  1. Postponing the Reckoning: The proponent states that I don’t understand the vision of SAP and that in the future the things that the SAP spokesman says will happen and all I have to do is wait. This is one of the common strategies that are not considerate of whether the claim is even possible. I outline this extensively in the article When Articles Exaggerate HANA Benefits and When Articles Exaggerate S/4HANA Benefits. However, my entity, Brightwork Research & Analysis has been virtually the only media entity to describe the impossibility of many of SAP’s claims. Something that is impossible does not require time to determine if it is true. IT media entities normally consider their job done if they simply repeat statements by vendors. After all, they have a source.
  2. How Calling Out SAP on Falsehoods Results in Accusations of Bias: A second approach that is used is for the SAP proponent to question my bias. The evidence of this bias is fact-checking SAP, which is not supposed to be fact checked. SAP is supposed to be agreed with, but never fact-checked. The amusing thing about this is that the entire SAP ecosystem is incredibly financially biased. Large consulting companies recommend SAP because it’s their highest margin item that they can bill the most hours for. The major IT media entities, as well as it analyst, are almost all paid in some shape or form by SAP. The bias that the SAP proponent identifies in this corrupt morass is bias against SAP. When I bring this up to the SAP proponent, they again, are not interested in addressing real bias. Instead, they prefer to use the term bias dishonestly. And when I point out their undeniable financial bias, they tend to leave the conversation.
  3. Silence on SAP’s Exaggerated Statements: When I list the statements by SAP when I list the statements by SAP which often sound ridiculous and false (HANA has 100,000 times the performance of any competing technology, S/4HANA is ready to be implemented, SAP is only based upon best practices), and I asked the SAP proponent to support them or contradict them. Invariably SAP proponent changes the subject.

A Consistent Pattern of Lying

After many years of analyzing sap in one of the few full-time SAP analysts, the amount of inaccurate information that comes out of SAP is it a consistent theme. And these lies are accepted by SAP proponents for obvious reasons. Actually, beyond acceptance, these lies are most often repeated.

Should SAP Be Immune from Charges of Lying

This does bring up the question of whether SAP should be considered immune from charges of lying.

  • That is is SAP in a special category of company.
  • That large company should never be held to what is true because being large means they have natural authority, and that authority should not be questioned.
  • SAP is German. And German companies don’t lie.

That is should we accept that SAP has the right to lie as much as it seems necessary to meet its objectives and should not be criticized.

Are Lies Part of Capitalism?

I bring up this question because in a recent discussion with an SAP proponent I was told that in a capitalist system it should be expected that software vendors will exaggerate.

It has been proposed to me that lying is ok if it is within a capitalist system. It is unclear as to whether lying is considered a part of communism. According to some, we have to accept lying if we want to participate in capitalism. And it implies that lying is acceptable depending upon the economic system that a country chooses. 

How SAP’s Accuracy Level Compares to Other Software Vendors

However, SAP exaggerates far more than other software vendors, and I have the evidence to prove this which anyone can see at A Study into SAP’s Accuracy. This is the most comprehensive listing of SAP’s accuracy documented. When we ask SAP proponents to provide their research into SAP’s accuracy, they disappear.

I know quite a few software vendors that while they certainly present their product in the best possible light do not so consistently lie about their product as SAP, which is why we rate them in the bottom of vendor accuracy in our Honest Vendor Ratings. And of course, all of these software vendors operate within a capitalist system as well. But this research tells a different story of SAP’s lying. It illustrates that SAP’s lying is out of line with the lying of other vendors in scale and scope. This should not be seen a blanket endorsement of other vendors, which is why we created the ratings for a reasonable number of vendors and rated each individually. This research both in the accuracy of other vendors and in a great deal of detail into SAP, allows us to say that SAP lies at a far higher level than the majority of software vendors.

The Problem with Justifying Lying on the Basis of the Economic System

Capitalism just means that the means of production can be kept in private hands. It does not say anything as to whether companies should be lying to meet their financial objectives. There are very few scenarios where lying results in good overall outcomes and the acceptance of lying say quite a bit about the honesty of these person making the determination. And where would this end?

  • Can food companies change the expiry dates on their product in grocery stores?
  • Can pharmaceutical companies lie about the efficacy of their drugs? (oops bad example, as they already do this)
  • Can child care facilities lie about whether children were taken care of after being dropped off, versus being locked in a closet?

Where does the natural extension of the lying argument go?

Overall, SAP proponents seem to be looking for an excuse to cover up for why SAP lies so much. That is they are “cool with it.”

Lying and Market Efficiency

The argument that lying is a part of capitalism is weak and weaker than the proponents of the argument seem to realize. They appear to be forgetting the foundational principle of market efficiency. It is well known that capitalist systems and systems operate better when the market is efficient. However for a market to be to be efficient, it must have access to accurate information. Lying and deception do nothing but reduce the quality of information in the market making the economic system less efficient. Therefore it would seem that any economic system capitalist or otherwise does not benefit from the companies within that system lying to the buyers within that system.

However, faux capitalism is the norm. If we look at large companies, they frequently discuss the free market, and at the first opportunity send in political donations to receive special favors and contracts. Banks pretend they are “rugged individualists” when in fact their entire money creation power comes from the government, and they live almost entirely off of the public nipple.

How SAP Clearly Prefers Executives that Lie

Hasso Plattner is an aggressive liar. It is to the point where when I analyze statements by Hasso Plattner my first assumption is that in some way it contains a lie. His knowledge level is not particularly deep, and there is little to learn from him. What do look for in Hasso quotes is the lie. And I am never disappointed. Some people have ascribed his recent lies to age. However, I know people that knew Hasso 20 years ago, and he has always had a deceptive approach. Hasso tricked many executives in his life, and it has paid off for him handsomely.

Hasso Plattner is by no means unique with an SAP. For people that know SAP the statements made by Bill McDermott average on the comedic.

  • Vishal Sikka told an enormous number of lies about SAP HANA before he left the company some years ago.
  • Rob Enslin appears to be a pathological liar, and I have been amazed by his lies in SAS quarterly analyst calls.
  • I have criticized Steve Lucas for telling enormous lies and for not even understanding the topics of which he writes as I covered in the article Analysis of Steve Lucas’ Article on What Oracle Won’t Tell You About HANA.

I could create a long list of SAP executives that habitually lie, but hopefully, the point is made. I am probably one of the largest consumers of SAP content and of executive statements I cannot think of a single SAP executive who I find to be a reliable source of information on SAP.

This brings up the question of the nature of the executives that SAP promotes and attracts to its company. From the outside, it looks as if the line and lying in extreme forms is a prerequisite for being a top-level executive at SAP. The question that should be asked is why is that acceptable. Why are customers so comfortable with the track record of SAP executives line over such a large period.

What is Fortune’s Accuracy on SAP and Apple Partnership?

 What This Article Covers

  • Article Quotations
  • Powered by HANA?
  • What Happens to Fiori?
  • Benefits of the Partnership Bearing Fruit?

Introduction

On May 05, 2016, Fortune published the article Apple and SAP Team Up for Blockbuster Partnership.

I this article, we will check the accuracy of this Fortune article.

Article Quotations

“Apple just partnered with another business technology giant in hopes of winning mind share as a serious corporate technology supplier.

The Mac maker and enterprise software titan SAP have joined forces in a partnership that will see SAP building corporate apps tailored for Apple’s mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad.

Additionally, SAP also will create a new software development kit that corporate developers can use to build their own iOS apps for their companies. The new software development kit will let coders build corporate software powered by SAP’s HANA database technology.”

Powered by HANA?

SAP attempts to get HANA to “power” things outside of using SAP BW has not worked very well.

SAP has been trying to get noticed for its user interface, which has been a long term weakness for SAP. The idea is that Apple’s excellent user interface capabilities could be brought to SAP.

What Happens to Fiori?

However, the announcement is also strange because SAP has put so much emphasis behind and marketing collateral behind Fiori. SAP has stated that Fiori is SAP’s future UI for everything that SAP offers. Although that will not be feasible for the UIs of SAP’s acquired applications as they have their own UI. Secondly, Fiori is actually primarily a mobile user interface. So why would SAP then begin promoting an Apple UI if SAP has Fiori?

“This partnership will transform how iPhone and iPad are used in enterprise by bringing together the innovation and security of iOS with SAP’s deep expertise in business software,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement. “As the leader in enterprise software and with 76% of business transactions touching an SAP system, SAP is the ideal partner to help us truly transform how businesses around the world are run on iPhone and iPad.”

Yes, but Fiori is designed to run on iPhone and iPad. In fact, that is been an area of focus for SAP when they discuss and promote Fiori.

“For Apple (AAPL, +0.86%), the alliance is just the latest in a series of high-profile partnerships the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has been making over the past few years in an attempt to sell more of its devices to corporate customers.

In September, Cook said that Apple’s enterprise technology sales hit $25 billion in a twelve-month period that ended in June. He stressed that enterprise sales are “not a hobby” for Apple, but he conceded that the company lacked the traditional sales expertise of selling to corporate clients enterprise companies typically have.

To build better sales relationships with companies, Apple has inked several partnerships with enterprise giants like Cisco(CSCO, +0.48%), Microsoft(MSFT, +1.35%), and IBM(IBM, +0.40%).”

Benefits of the Partnership Bearing Fruit?

I don’t recall hearing any benefits from any of these partnerships. Fortune could bring up this history but unsurprisingly decided not to.

“We’re proud to take this special partnership between Apple and SAP to a groundbreaking new place,” SAP CEO Bill McDermott said in a statement. “In giving people an agile and intuitive business experience, we empower them to know more, care more and do more”

SAP and Apple did not elaborate on what type of corporate apps SAP will develop for the iPhone and iPad, only to say that they will be “for critical business operations” and will be built using Apple’s Swift programming language.

It’s also not clear at this time whether these corporate apps will be similar in nature to the over 100 business apps that have so far been built from Apple’s partnership with IBM.”

There does not appear to be anything of significance of this partnership to announce, except that SAP and Apple have agreed to partner with one another.

Conclusion

This appears to be another paid placement on the part of SAP to Fortune. Since this announcement was made, there does not appear to have been any development regarding Apple and SAP.

The accuracy of this article is so poor and is so obviously a paid placement that it makes no sense to even give it a rating.

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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References

https://fortune.com/2016/05/05/apple-sap-partnership/

What is Fortune’s Accuracy on SAP and Health Care Transformation?

 What This Article Covers

  • Article Quotations
  • SAP Likes Open Systems
  • SAP Likes to Solve Society’s Problems?

Introduction

On October 13, 2016, Fortune published the article SAP’s CEO Is on a Mission to Reform Healthcare.

I this article, we will check the accuracy of this Fortune article.

Article Quotations

“Bill McDermott is on a mission to fix the American health care system. The CEO of SAP is not a health care expert. His German-based company supplies software that is used to run the operations of many of the world’s largest companies. But he is motivated to take on the problems in healthcare because of his own experience as a patient. He suffered an accidental fall that resulted in multiple surgeries, but ultimately he lost his left eye.”

SAP Likes Open Systems?

“McDermott tells Fortune’s Susie Gharib that SAP has plans to fix health care using software to allow medical professionals and individuals to share personal data in an easy-to-use open system. “To help the world run better is what I think our technology should do,” he says. “But to improve people’s lives is really to think about not just the technology impact on an enterprise, but actually the people who work in an enterprise.”

SAP is the master of closed systems. This is not a controversial point. SAP makes its money by selling a closed system, and then by using the investment into its primary system, which is called ECC or S/4HANA (the new ERP system) to drive purchases of other SAP applications that are not competitive.

Why would SAP move away from this strategy that has been so successful for them for so long?

SAP Likes to Solve Society’s Problems?

SAP’s new strategy is part of a trend called “leading with purpose”— corporations stepping up to solve society’s problems.

That is a joke. SAP is a profit maximizing entity that does extremely underhanded things to make money. They have never shown the slightest interest in doing anything that was not 100% about them. I have been tracking SAP for 20 years, and I am one of the few analysts that focus entirely on SAP. Also, most people that write on SAP are in some shape or form connected to SAP financially, and therefore will not criticize SAP no matter what SAP does.

“CEOs tell Fortune that integrating social good into their companies’ purpose is also good for business. The interviews were conducted in partnership with The Aspen Institute Business and Society Program (https://www.aspeninstitute.org/programs/business-and-society-program/purpose-of-the-corporation/).”

Pretending to good things for society is good for business because you don’t incur any real costs. But doing good things for society means incurring costs, which is not profit maximizing. That is why most profit maximizing companies simply pretend to do good things for society.

“As McDermott puts it, “We really get our high out of making our customers get their high. But I do think we have to do a better job of sharing and expressing how what we do touches that end consumer in a really powerful, digital way because that drives opportunity for all.”

This is a highly deceptive statement by McDermott. SAP “gets their high” off of putting companies in a position so that they have to buy SAP no matter how inadequate their offering, and they use things like biasing consulting companies and applying something called indirect access to do it.

SAP has been promising some type of health care product since 2013, and nothing has been forthcoming. And none has been since this article was published. Fortune could bring up that track record but chose not to, as SAP paid them to put this article in their publication.

Conclusion

This appears to be another paid placement on the part of SAP to Fortune. The accuracy of this article is so poor and is so obviously a paid placement that it makes no sense to even give it a rating.

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References

https://fortune.com/video/2016/10/13/ceo-sap-healthcare-reform/

SAP’s Position on Non SAP Application Integration

Executive Summary

  • SAP’s has a specific story and position on integrating non-SAP systems to SAP.
  • SAP’s story is inconsistent with the reality of SAP integration.
  • SAP even has many integrations between its own products, with only the ERP system being “naturally integrated.”
  • We cover the cost estimation of various solution architectures.

Introduction to SAP to Non-SAP Integration

SAP and virtually anyone that makes money from SAP has an interesting perspective on the wisdom of using non-SAP systems along with SAP. This is the official story on SAP integration, which tends to differ greatly from the reality of SAP integration. You will learn about our analysis of this narrative.

SAP’s Story and Position on Integrating Non-SAP Systems to SAP

I believe I can represent SAP’s position on this topic accurately. Anyone who disagrees who works for SAP is free to correct my interpretation, but SAP has told me this on some occasions.

  • SAP’s Amazing Best Practices: SAP maintains a catalog of Best Practices that it then incorporates into its software. All of SAP’s software is based upon Best Practices and because SAP is so widely deployed it contains all Best Practices. I have an article which analyzes the best practices claims at this article. That is the first part of the argument.
  • Integration to Non-SAP Systems Must be Avoided: According to SAP, or apparently, virtually anyone who makes money on SAP, integration is so difficult that you should not integrate any non-SAP system to SAP. SAP will concede that some best of breed applications may be slightly better but any business benefit received from using a non-SAP system is immaterial because you will any business benefit will be overcome by such substantial integration costs. In cases where SAP does not have a solution, it makes more sense to wait until SAP brings out one. As stated, it is simply too risky to connect a non-SAP system to SAP.
  • Connecting Non-SAP Applications to SAP Comes with Legal Liabilities Due to Indirect Access: Furthermore, (and this is a recent addition) if you don’t buy all SAP applications, you face indirect access liabilities. Therefore you should be careful not to try to purchase non-SAP applications because it is so risky.

The Reality of Integration Versus the SAP Presentation

This is sort of the problem in enterprise software where it’s all about quota attainment, you can’t get an opinion or advice without getting a biased answer. But the problem with the viewpoints of SAP, SAP consulting companies, and independent SAP consultants is that there is no evidence that application integration is a worse trade-off than customization. Secondly, all of those that draw money from SAP overstate the degree of integration among SAP’s applications. In SAP APO, the integration harness called CIF has very high overhead, integration issues to not simply go away, as is implied in the SAP sales process.

Problems with SAP’s Integration Between Its Own Applications

I constantly receive complaints about the poor integration between SAP’s new acquired products like SuccessFactors, Concur, etc.. Outside of ERP, which is a multi-module system which is completely part of one database, all of SAP’s other applications required integration harnesses. Anyone can develop an integration harness, most vendors have some type of integration to ECC already.

Cost Estimation for Various Solution Architectures

My experience and time spent quantifying the costs of software as well as working on implementations is that the number one feature to look for in software is its actual inherent capabilities and how well it meets business requirements. For those that would tell me how horrible application integration is, unfortunately, I have done it myself. I have created integration harnesses from scratch as part of integration teams.

And I did not even get to use really good tools like Informatica. And secondly what you get out of SAP regarding integration between its applications is not much different than what other vendors offer regarding connecting to SAP.

Conclusion

There has been a tremendous amount of lying and false information about what is really going on behind the scenes with respect to SAP integration. Finally, this observation has come from the detailed study that frankly virtually none of the SAP entities I presented above have done themselves. Secondly, it comes from a point with no financial bias. SAP and SAP surrogates like Deloitte, IBM, etc.. cannot make that claim. SAP and their surrogates make their claims about integration not because they are true, but because it makes them the most money to do so. 

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.

SAP Contact Form

  • Questions About This Area?

    The software space is controlled by vendors, consulting firms and IT analysts who often provide self-serving and incorrect advice at the top rates.

    • We have a better track record of being correct than any of the well-known brands.
    • If this type of accuracy interests you, tell us your question below.

References

The Real Story on ERP

ERPThe Real Story Behind ERP: Separating Fiction From Reality

How This Book is Structured

This book combines a meta-analysis of all of the academic research on the benefits of ERP, coupled with on project experience.

ERP has had a remarkable impact on most companies that implemented it. Unplanned expenses for customization, failed implementations, integration, and applications to meet the business requirements that ERP could not–have added up to a higher Total Cost of Ownership for ERP were all unexpected, and account control, on the part of ERP vendors — is now a significant issue affecting IT performance.

Break the Bank for ERP?

Many companies that have broken the bank to implement ERP projects have seen their KPIs go down— but the question is why this is the case. Major consulting companies are some of the largest promoters of ERP systems, but given the massive profits they make on ERP implementations — can they be trusted to provide the real story on ERP? Probably not, however, written by the Managing Editor of SCM Focus, Shaun Snapp — an author with many years of experience with ERP system. A supply chain software expert and well known for providing authentic information on the topics he covers, you can trust this book to provide all the detail that no consulting firm will.

By reading this book you will:

  • Examine the high failure rates of ERP implementations.
  • Demystify the convincing arguments ERP vendors use to sell ERP.
  • See how ERP vendors take control of client accounts with ERP.
  • Understand why single-instance ERP is not typically feasible.
  • Calculate the total cost of ownership and return on investment for your ERP implementation.
  • Understand the alternatives to ERP.

Chapters

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to ERP Software
  • Chapter 2: The History of ERP
  • Chapter 3: Logical Fallacies and the Logics Used to Sell ERP
  • Chapter 4: The Best Practice Logic for ERP
  • Chapter 5: The Integration Benefits Logic for ERP
  • Chapter 6: Analyzing The Logic Used to Sell ERP
  • Chapter 7: The High TCO and Low ROI of ERP
  • Chapter 8: ERP and the Problem with Institutional Decision Making
  • Chapter 9: How ERP Creates Redundant Systems
  • Chapter 10: How ERP Distracts Companies from Implementing Better Functionality
  • Chapter 11: Alternatives to ERP or Adjusting the Current ERP System
  • Chapter 12: Conclusion