Should Oracle Create the Larry Ellison Institute to Counter the Hasso Plattner Institute?

Executive Summary

  • The Hasso Plattner Insitute is routinely used to support SAP’s marketing contentions.
  • How valid is the concept of vendor-controlled institutes on university campuses?

Introduction

Hasso Plattner created the Hasso Plattner Institute years ago at the University of Potsdam in Germany. Through this institute, he now is a “professor of computer science” even though he has no degrees in computer science. He also has a fake or honorary PhD from the University of Potsdam.

This means that the University of Potsdam is one of the only universities in the world to have a professor “working” there who’s PhD is honorary. In the article How Accurate Was Hasso Plattner About SAP HANA Publications? we pointed out that Hasso Plattner has moved on to what appears to be the final stage of academic falsification by to pointing to fictitious peer-reviewed research to support various contentions around HANA, that were reviewed by his Hasso Plattner Institute.

Hasso claimed that 200+ peer-reviewed publications supported the statistics and assertions made in this slide. 

How Oracle Can Copy the HPI with the Larry Ellison Institute

What is the point of an entity connected to an academic institution that is used to generate PR and marketing support for a software vendor? What I recommend is that Larry Ellison start up the Larry Ellison Institute (LEI), and it with enough money, Larry Ellison can also become a professor of computer science and can then refer to fictitious 200+ peer-reviewed studies about the autonomous database and 200+ peer-reviewed studies how you can cut your AWS costs in half if you use Oracle as we covered in Calling Total BS on Oracle’s “Cut Your AWS Bill in Half”​ Guarantee.

The HPI is a degree-conferring entity (the University of Potsdam confers the degree as they have the charter), that can only publish research that supports SAP’s marketing contentions. AWS can then start up the Jeff Besoz Institute (JBI) that says Larry Ellison is wrong…..and so on. We could have a conflicted “institute” for every significant entity in software, all pretending to be part of the academic system, all pointing to fictitious research.

Theranos and Faking Peer-Reviewed Studies

Here is the published paper that describes how the Theranos blood testing machine worked.

Notice that the paper is focused on a product rather than performing a test. This paper is a fraud.

Look at all of those parts! Theranos spent 13 years and $900 million on private investment on a machine that any person well versed in the topic of blood diagnostics could have known would not work before the company was started. But with a failing machine, Theranos needed some academic type of authority. And hence this paper was published. Elizabeth Holmes and those that wrote this study knew that it was a misrepresentation, but they went ahead and published it, and then referred to it later. 

The blood machine never worked, but this paper was repeatedly referred to by Theranos to investors and the press. I believe this journal where the article was published is a journal posing as an academic journal and will publish anything for money.

Some journals act as parasites on the academic publication system by pretending to be part of the system.

Conclusion

Financial conflicts ruin research. The more software vendors that create institutes associated with universities, the less reliable will be the information produced by the university system. The experiences with medical research have clearly demonstrated that corporate funding of education and research is entirely corrosive to objectivity. We now have a medical system in the US that is in great part controlled by pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

Search Our Other SAP Content

SAP Contact Form

  • Interested in Our SAP Research?

    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, contact us and we will be in touch.

References

https://aiche.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/btm2.10084

SAPPHIRE 2019: Why Do SAP and North Korea Look Like They Use the Same Set Designer?

Executive Summary

  • Powerful entities often try to impress their followers with overwhelming set design.
  • We illustrate the parallels between SAP and North Korea and others.

Introduction

In reviewing Bill McDermott’s speech at SAPPHIRE 2019, we noticed something curious about the set design.

SAPPHIRE’s 2019 Jumbotron

SAPPHIRE has always been a very “Vegas” style conference much more focused on sales than communicating accurate information. However, this year’s central presentation area of the conference has taken it up several notches.

This “Jumbotron” at SAPPHIRE this year seems a bit out of hand. It completely dwarfs the speaker. 

The Point of Creating Awe

Is this Jumbotron actually this size to communicate information? Previous SAPPHIREs did not have this size of a display, and the information on them was communicated quite well.

The Reason for this Jumbotron

This Jumbotron appears to have been introduced to overwhelm the audience. At SAPPHIRE, the presentations are tedious and mostly filled with inaccurate information, but the displays are massive.

Historical Overwhelming Symbology and Displays

One display or background that immediately came to mind when seeing this SAPPHIRE Jumbotron was the following backdrop.

This is the backdrop to the North Korean Worker’s Party. Notice the similar extreme exaggeration in scale. Observe the size of the man standing to the right, versus the size of the backdrop. There is no practical reason for this scale except to communicate the power of the entity. 

This is an image of the same meeting hall but is a side shot. Because of the perspective, it makes it look smaller than in the front on shot above. However, this side shot illustrates how impractically the room is designed. The (most likely) junior members of the Worker’s Party are so so far away from Kim Jong-Un, that they can’t see him (at first we assumed that they were looking at monitors built into the desks, but this side view indicates that the only have note pads). If most of the Worker’s Party officials can’t see the speaker, why are they up on the stage, and why is the stage so long?

A Presentation Setting as a Movie Set

All of this illustrates that the room is not designed for useful interaction, but is instead designed to show the importance of the proceedings to the audience. The speaker presents and everyone else listens. Something else which is telling is that every single Worker Party member seeks to be taking notes at the same time. To anyone who has taken notes, this is unusual if it just happened to be randomly the case when the photo was taken, and it indicates that the profuse note taking is performed to show deference to Kim Jong-Un, so they are “taking notes” at all times.

In North Korea, there is no “fact checking.” Anyone who disagrees with the state is sent, often with their extended family to a Stalinesque prison camp. Therefore, the regime never has to worry about having anything it says being verified. Much of North Korean displays (pictography, monuments, news reporting) is about exalting the state.

How Does North Korea Compare with the Netherlands in Set Design?

The Dutch have a highly practical culture, a cultural disdain for hierarchy and unlike North Korea, good outcomes from their government. Given this, and given the fact that the Netherlands is far more wealthy than North Korea, and thus has far more resources to spend on government buildings, what does the Dutch Parliament look like?

The Dutch apparently decided to have their Parliament furnished by Ikea! This level of expense is roughly approximate to many large conference rooms at well-endowed universities. Although if one takes into account the upper deck, the overall room is a bit larger. Observe the background. There is no Dutch flag, no photographs of past Prime Ministers. In fact, if you magically appeared in this room, until someone begins speaking Dutch, you would not know where you are. 

Other Examples of Overwhelming Set Design

Long before SAP or North Korea, the Catholic Church has been overwhelming its followers with displays of ostentatiousness. If one travels to various smaller towns in Europe, it is curious to find that even today the largest or at least most prominent buildings are churches.

And at the “headquarters” of Catholicism, the set design is quite extreme.

Very nice, but what is the point of this type of expense?

The Vatican is extremely wealthy, and is, in fact, its own mini-sovereign country cut out of Italy. A major percentage of the Catholic Church’s overall income over the centuries has gone into buildings and set design and has ended up in the Bank of the Vatican. Buildings and set design are critical to helping to raise more funding. 

What is the objective of this “Lord of the Rings” set design of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican than to overwhelm the followers? Many people who have visited St. Peter’s Basilica stated that it reaffirmed their belief. 

The effect of not only the Vatican structures but of churches generally cannot be understated historically. This is expressed in the following quotation from Rick Steves.

“Art was a tool of the church, both to teach and to terrify. Imagine, once a week, illiterate peasants would walk into a church and be wonderstruck by stained glass, towering columns, and glittering glories. Church art gave them a glimpse of the amazing heaven that awaited them and reward only the faithful, and the terrible hell that awaited those that disobeyed.”

Great Buildings and Set Design as a Replacement for Logic and Evidence

When it comes to answering questions about their history or their statements around Catholicism, the Catholic Church has no interest in answering pointed questions. They would rather “let their buildings do the talking” (where they are very strong) rather than with their logic or evidence (where they are very weak). As with North Korea, there was never any fact checking accepted and was generally dealt with by declaring the fact checker a “blasphemer.” Today being labelled a blasphemer to some that are lucky to live in countries that do not have blasphemy laws, but that is certainly not everyone, and in the past blasphemy was used quite extensively to eliminate any fact-checking.

The same holds true for North Korea. The North Korean regime cannot be justified in terms of the outcomes for its citizens, and therefore they rely upon a combination of their control over media, their ability to eliminate people that are dissidents, and they move to make arguments on the basis of their buildings and monuments. That is they use physical props to provide evidence of their power. North Korea’s political regime and the Catholic Church are unified in their support for the concept that their followers should not question, but should have faith. SAP and SAP resources also share this perspective. And as the edifices employed by entities grow, their degree of separation from reality also correspondingly increases, and the degree to which they tolerate fact checking decreases.

Conclusion

This week’s attendees at SAPPHIRE and SAP customers generally should observe that having a very large Jumbotron or a large conference hall, or a giant North Korean flag in the background or a beautiful basilica does not make what the entity says true.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

Search Our Other SAP Content

SAP Contact Form

  • Interested in Our SAP Research?

    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, contact us and we will be in touch.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law

The Castel de Sant Angelo in Rome. All of these impressive edifices are further enhanced through lighting. 

Observing SAP’s Disclaimer on Statements

Executive Summary

  • SAP has a disclaimer when it publishes documents.
  • We analyze this disclaimer.

Introduction

One of the major issues of documents published by SAP is that while the statements are quite assertive, every one of the documents contains a legal disclaimer which states that none of the information provided is reliable or should be relied upon.

The SAP Disclaimer

The disclaimer says the following:

“This presentation outlines our general product direction and should not be relied on in making a purchase decision. This presentation is not subject to your license agreement or any other agreement with SAP. SAP has no obligation to pursue any course of business outlined in this presentation or to develop or release any functionality mentioned in this presentation. This presentation and SAP’s strategy and possible future developments are subject to change and may be changed by SAP at any time for any reason without notice. This document is provided without a warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. SAP assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in this document, except if such damages were caused by SAP intentionally or grossly negligent.”

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

Search Our Other SAP Content

SAP Contact Form

  • Interested in Our SAP Research?

    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, contact us and we will be in touch.

Why Does Infosys Marketing Literature Directly Copy SAP’s?

Executive Summary

  • Infosys’ marketing information is a direct copy of SAP’s literature.
  • We cover this marketing information.

Introduction

From an independence perspective, it is a concern how much “copy and paste” there is from consulting companies. This quotation below was off of the Infosys website. This is essentially directly lifted from SAP, and it shows the degree of copy and paste that occurs and the way that messaging is coordinated.

“At SAPPHIRE NOW and the ASUG Annual Conference, you will have the opportunity to explore the full array of Infosys’ winning solutions based on SAP S/4HANA, SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, SAP hybris, SAP SuccessFactors, Concur, and Fiori, that have given our clients the competitive edge. Attend the joint sessions with our clients to understand how to jumpstart your own digital journey.” – Infosys Website

Conclusion

This means that when a customer talks to Infosys, Deloitte or any other consulting company, they are not offering their own views, but rather presenting SAP’s views.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

Search Our Other SAP Content

SAP Contact Form

  • Interested in Our SAP Research?

    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, contact us and we will be in touch.

References

https://www.experienceinfosys.com/sapphirenow-2016