IDC Takes Money to Publish SAP Provided Sample on S/4HANA

Executive Summary

  • SAP has been spreading its substantial money out to IT analyst firms.
  • In this case, IDC took the money to publish whatever SAP wanted.

Introduction

SAP has a problem. S/4HANA’s uptake has been atrocious. Luckily, SAP has a lot of money, and any of the IT analyst entities will publish whatever SAP wants for money. We covered the atrocious SAP sponsored research performed by Forrester in the article How Accurate Was The Forrester TCO Study?, and in the article How Accurate Was Forrester’s Study on the ROI of SuccessFactors?

Both studies are laughably inaccurate and SAP resources have had to squirm around to try to defend them — SAP resources can never call out something as false if it is sponsored by SAP because SAP resources don’t care what is true, they care about what promoted SAP. One SAP resource tried to defend Forrester’s conclusion that a typical S/4HANA implementation could cost $877,000. There is no limit to what you can justify when one is trying to suck SAP’s ankles.

The IDC “Survey?”

It is very difficult to call this research. But let us review the numbers in what IDC calls a “survey.”

“IDC conducted a survey of 300 SAP clients in April 2019. In the survey, 54% of SAP customers are planning on deploying SAP S/4HANA within 3 years. SAP customer deployment models have also shifted from on-premise to cloud as 72% of respondents are moving to the cloud; of this total, 36.3% are moving to SAP S/4HANA Cloud and 36% are moving to SAP partner cloud providers. As part of the move to SAP S/4HANA, 43% of customers are consolidating several ERP instances to one SAP S/4HANA instance.

The 300 participants were IT and LOB executives from the C-level to the manager level. The participants spanned 10 countries covering three regions, from organizations with 1,000-25,000 employees across a multitude of industries and were either planning to deploy (73%), have in production (9%) or currently deploying (18%) SAP S/4HANA.”

What is the obvious problem with this survey?

What Could be the Problem with the Sample?

The sample was provided by SAP, which is also paying for the survey.

This is the same issue with the ASUG’s survey on S/4HANA which we analyzed in the article How Accurate Was ASUG on its S/4HANA Poll?

The problem is that SAP is providing the sample. In the case of Forrester’s study into S/4HANA implementations, SAP provided exactly 3 case studies. SAP claimed to have 3,500 live customers on S/4HANA but was only able to spare three case studies for Forrester to analyze. This is how SAP rigs every sponsored research that it funds. It simply provides an entirely unrepresentative sample to the IT analyst firm.

If the sample is not representative of the population, then none of the results of the study have any meaning. SAP has thousands of SAP customers to provide to IDC. By taking a subset of this population that is the most amenable to S/4HANA, the conclusion looks entirely different from the actual population.

As a way of comparison, let us say we took money to publish a survey from Oracle on the Oracle satisfaction. And we were provided with the information of 300 of Oracle’s most happy customers. And we then published that the sample of 300 customers demonstrated that 98% of the customers were happy with Oracle?

What would we have proved?

The answer is nothing, and in fact, we could not even be said to have performed a survey, because the vendor entirely controlled the sample.

Are We Really All About Math and Science?

As a side note, in the US, there has been this long term emphasis on math and science education. However, none of this is observable in the outcomes. Roughly 1/2 of the US population does not believe in global warming/climate change. Still, around 38% of the population believes in creationism. We are in the thrall of an enormous AI/ML bubble, that is strongly based upon not understanding the mathematics of AI/ML, and we repeatedly read polls/surveys where the sample is not randomized, and worse rigged. No math has any meaning if the intent is to rig the results, which is clearly the intent of IDC and SAP.

Combining a Survey with Promotional Information Courtesy of SAP?

The IDC survey does not stop at just publishing the results of the rigged sample, it places straight marketing documentation from SAP right into the document.

Wait….what does this have to do with the survey? Can’t SAP marketing control itself? This makes the “survey” look even more like the rigged piece of propaganda than it already is.

A Perfect Time….to the Review the Benefits of S/4HANA?

Apparently, its time to move on to the part of any survey, the benefits of the item?

One is confused.

  • Is this IDC saying this about S/4HANA?
  • Alternatively, is this SAP saying this about S/4HANA?

If IDC is saying is this is true, how did they come to this determination? Because there is nothing listed that support why these things are true. S/4HANA reduces costs? How. Most S/4HANA implementations will be over an existing ECC implementation. Will S/4HANA reduce the costs of an already functioning ECC implementation? IDC’s statements open a large number of questions.

If this is just provided by SAP and has not been fact-checked, then it should not be included in the survey. Also, what does any of this have to do with the survey? Is this a survey regarding future S/4HANA adoption or a paper that describes S/4HANA’s benefits as described by SAP?

Conclusion

SAP published how great this survey was on their website.

Isn’t this a bit circular? SAP is announcing positive results of a study they paid for, and for which they provided all of the sample?

This brings up the question of who is this designed to fool. Are there, in fact, idiots who won’t see through this and say “Wow, S/4HANA adoption is going to increase?”

Warning Labels for Bleach…..and SAP Sponsored Research

Much like the labels on bleach that say “Do Not Drink” the only reason the label is there, is because someone one thought that they would try to see what bleach tastes like. As with all of SAP’s sponsored research, it requires some type of idiot label.

Is a warning label the primary thing standing between you and adding Clorox to your martini?

If so, SAP sponsored research is for you. IDC, Forrester and Gartner, they are all open for business when it comes to sponsored research and publishing falsified numbers based upon data that you provide to them. SAP and SAP resources refer to this as “solid research.”

Since S/4HANA was first introduced, every entity with any connection to SAP has been wildly inaccurate in its predictions around S/4HANA. ASUG, Accenture, Forrester, etc.. All the biggest names in the SAP area have provided the most inaccurate information around S/4HANA. There have been a virtually unlimited number of articles from financially biased sources that have no other objective than to pump up S/4HANA sales and implementations, as one can review by analyzing the prediction history of just one of these providers in the article The Chalfen Accuracy Checker: A Study into Mark Chalfen’s Accuracy on S/4HANA.

This falsified study by IDC is just another example.

The Problem: The Available Information on S/4HANA

There are two fundamental problems around S/4HANA. The first is the minimization of S/4HANA risk, while the maximization of predicted outcomes, which means that companies that purchased S/4HANA end up getting far less than they were promised, and ended up with a high-risk implementation on their hands. Secondly, the SAP consulting firms have done nothing to contradict the false information on S/4HANA to their clients. We can provide feedback from multiple S/4HANA accounts that provide realistic information around S/4HANA– and this reduces the dependence on biased entities like SAP and all of the large SAP consulting firms that parrot what SAP says.

Being Part of the Solution: What to Do About S/4HANA

Obviously the best strategy is to fight bad information with good information. We offer fact-checking services that are entirely research-based and that can stop inaccurate information dead in its tracks. SAP and the consulting firms rely on providing information without any fact-checking entity to contradict the information they provide. This is how so many companies failed with S/4HANA. They had biased information that could not be trusted and this has cost those companies dearly.

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.

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References

https://www.sap.com/documents/2019/06/ea998aa5-557d-0010-87a3-c30de2ffd8ff.html

https://news.sap.com/2019/06/sap-s4hana-customer-migration-idc-survey/

https://news.gallup.com/poll/210956/belief-creationist-view-humans-new-low.aspx