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 challenging 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 apparent 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 merely 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 delighted 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 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 firmly 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 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?

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 this is true, how did they come to this determination? Because there is nothing listed that support why these things are right. S/4HANA reduces costs? How. Most S/4HANA implementations will be over an existing ECC implementation. Will S/4HANA mitigate 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 study? Is this a survey regarding future S/4HANA adoption or a paper that describes S/4HANA’s benefits as defined 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 samples?

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 thought that they would try to see what bleach tastes like. As with all of SAP’s sponsored research, it requires some 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 erroneous 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, during the maximization of predicted outcomes. This 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 practical information around S/4HANA– and this reduces the dependence on biased entities like SAP and all of the giant SAP consulting firms that parrot what SAP says.

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

The best strategy is to fight wrong information with useful information. 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.

The Necessity of Fact Checking

We ask a question that anyone working in enterprise software should ask.

Should decisions be made based on sales information from 100% financially biased parties like consulting firms, IT analysts, and vendors to companies that do not specialize in fact-checking?

If the answer is “No,” then perhaps there should be a change to the present approach to IT decision making.

In a market where inaccurate information is commonplace, our conclusion from our research is that software project problems and failures correlate to a lack of fact checking of the claims made by vendors and consulting firms. If you are worried that you don’t have the real story from your current sources, we offer the solution.

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.

S/4HANA Implementation Research

We offer the most accurate and detailed research into S/4HANA and its implementation history. It is information not available anywhere else and is critical correctly interpreting S/4HANA, as well as moderating against massive amounts of inaccurate information pushed by SAP and their financially biased consulting ecosystem.

Select the description that best matches you.

Option #1: Do You Work in Sales for a Vendor?

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

Option #2: Do You Work for an Investment Entity that Covers SAP?

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

Option #3: Are You a Buyer Evaluating S/4HANA?

For companies evaluating S/4HANA for purchase. See this link for an explanation to software buyers

Search Our Other SAP S/4HANA Implementation Failure Content

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

Why SAP Will Charge a Premium for 2025 ECC Support

Executive Summary

  • SAP previously stated that it would not support ECC beyond 2025.
  • SAP is telling its customers that support beyond 2025 can be obtained by paying a support premium.
  • We analyze what SAP is doing and what it means for customers.

Introduction

When SAP introduced S/4HANA, they violated the terms of the ECC contract by making S/4HANA the not the…

“logical but not the legal successor”

..to ECC. This was true even though the HANA database is a disadvantage for an ERP system, Fiori is little used by S/4HANA customers, and there has been little change to the functionality of S/4HANA versus ECC.

This tactic went without comment as nearly all of the information providers on SAP are financially tied to SAP.

Every policy, every discount offered by SAP, every statement made by SAP has a singular objective, to maximize the amount of money that SAP can extract from their customers. SAP’s entire policy with S/4HANA and its “premium” support model for post-2025 support has this same intent. 

Following SAP’s Approved Path

This policy of pretending/asserting S/4HANA was not the legal successor to ECC allowed SAP to charge customers that had paid their support for ECC for S/4HANA.

  • SAP usually uses support deadlines as a way to push customers down SAP’s preferred pathway.
  • This is true, as SAP’s actual cost of providing support is minimal. The reason is that SAP has an 85% margin on support. Therefore it costs them only a small fraction of the charged amount to provide support.

SAP will most likely keep the premium adjustable per customer. So customers, where SAP feels it has the leverage to push them to S/4HANA, will likely receive a higher post-2025 support premium.

Outlining the Strategy For Moving Customers Along the Desired Pathway

It has two parts.

  1. The first part is the deadline, and…
  2. The second is the flip-flop on that deadline.

Notice the following case study on the flip flop on support for the SAP HCM application

SAP HCM Support Flip Flop

“First the announcement under the unassuming title of: Product Note: SAP HCM On-Premise Option for SAP S/4HANA. Basically, this boils down to a choice for customers. Remain on premises for HCM provided they switch over to S/4HANA and, in doing so, get extended support through 2030 or go the SuccessFactors cloud route. Support for other HCM ERP versions ends in 2025.” – Diginomica

SAP made the following statement.

“SAP also continues to support our customers using SAP ERP HCM, our on-premise HCM solution. While an increasing number of them are migrating to SAP SuccessFactors solutions to accelerate their digital HR journeys, we also recognize that every customer journey is unique and must be undertaken at each customer’s own pace. For some SAP customers this includes a desire to deploy their HCM solution in an on-premise environment for the foreseeable future.” – Diginomica

The reason for all of this?

“The bottom line is SAP has really struggled to convince their ~12,500 SAP HCM customers to move to #SuccessFactors as the last provided info had ~600 out of the 2,000 SuccessFactors Employee Central customers coming from SAP HCM. Many of these customers understandably want some assurances that SAP will continue to support SAP HCM further out than 2025 which could have easily been provided by getting agreement to move the entire Business Suite out to 2030. Instead, SAP has decided to introduce a new licensed offering called SAP HCM On-Premise for SAP S/4 HANA that will be built by 2023 and will be based on SAP HCM so they are counting on customers trusting SAP will deliver something five years from now, being willing to do an upgrade (always painful in SAP), signing up for a new license and all of this to get virtually the exact same functionality they have today and an extension of support until 2030.” – Diginomica

Therefore, very practically speaking, SAP HCM customers are not migrating to SuccessFactors. Let us do the math. So 600/12,500 is roughly 5%. Five percent of SAP HCM moved to Employee Central. This is nearly six years after the acquisition (SuccessFactors was acquired in Feb 2012).

Therefore, the migration of HCM customers to SuccessFactors can rightly be called a failure. This brings up another question which is was the outcome of the SuccessFactors primarily PR related and to make an impression on Wall Street by having Bill McDermott repeatedly say “SuccessFactors” for six years.

But getting back to the support implication. SAP had to extend support for SAP HCM as nowhere near enough customers were moving.

This is a pattern of SAP.

Illumination of A Major Technique Used to SAP to Control Customers

This is a staple of SAP at this point. In the comments to the press, everything is about SuccessFactors and how everyone will migrate to SuccessFactors. But then, the reality of projects is that many customers will not migrate to SuccessFactors from SAP HCM. How many customers have been migrated to SuccessFactors versus SuccessFactors just keeping the customers it already had before the acquisition? The same question could be asked of the Ariba acquisition.

At some point, reality intervenes. And changes are made more in the background, with SAP hoping that no one notices.

This is why it does not make sense to listen to what SAP says. SAP views its customer base as rats to be pushed down a maze. Many, if not most of SAP’s statements, are to facilitate this progress through that maze. Instead, it makes more sense to evaluate likely outcomes without worrying about what SAP says. If SAP has a large number of customers on HCM, then yes, support will be extended.

SAP is brilliant at this.

  1. First, they set some unattainable timeline…
  2. Then they change direction 180 degrees, but they frame it as if they “listened to customers.”

They somehow turn a flip-flop on a policy that was just a “rat through maze” statement as being customer focused. 

This is the same way that SAP has used indirect access against customers, with the price quoted for indirect access transactions varying enormously depending upon the customer situation. SAP never published a price for indirect access (IA) transactions, precisely so they could adjust the cost per customer. However, the price discrepancy ended up being enormous.

Why?

Well, IA (which we cover in the article How to Best Understand Type 1 Versus Type 2 Indirect Access is not a “thing.” It is just a construct that SAP uses to pull money out of its customers, and because it is not real, it is not connected to any actual cost.

A premium post-2025 support charge is much like indirect access, and it is illusory. Therefore, it can be negotiated to be just about anything. It all comes down to either meeting SAP’s revenue objectives and or making SAP feel the customer is doing what they want and following the approved pathway. 

The approved pathway has nothing to do with anything outside of the incentives that are created by SAP and communicated to their sales reps.

Who Will Tell SAP Customers the Truth on Post 2025 ECC Support?

Customers can expect no helpful advice from entities like the SAP consulting partners, Gartner, Forrester, or ASUG — all who will repeat SAP talking points.

It will fall to the contract negotiation firms, those entities that negotiate on the part of SAP customers and have no partnerships with SAP. Any firm that has a partnership with SAP is obligated to repeat whatever SAP says.

Our Previous Prediction on The 2025 ECC Support Deadline

  • Our S/4HANA implementation study led us to conclude that SAP’s statement around halting support of ECC after 2025 was always a bluff and designed to create a “burning platform” for ECC customers to move to S/4HANA.
  • We previously contradicted all of the other SAP information providers by calling out SAP’s support burning platform as an unrealistic bluff.
  • Now evidence has come in that SAP is changing this messaging on a one on one basis with some customers (although the policy is still the same as published)

The Reality of Post 2025 ECC Support

First, we know that SAP will have to provide post-2025 support.

So the only question is how.

Will it be charged or not charged?

Conclusion

SAP’s marketing department is the New England Patriots of enterprise software. Other vendors run around, scratching their heads, wondering how they got away with it.

SAP’s statements about when support should be taken with a grain of salt. Ultimately it is how many customers have moved away from the previously supported item that will determine when support expires. SAP has a 90%+ margin in its support business. SAP has plenty of resources to support applications for many years. But it chooses to limit support as a mechanism, (or in many cases pretending to limit support) to coerce customers into moving to new products.

  • The best way to understand SAP is that they will never be happy with their customers just staying where they are. They must motivate them to continually spend more money on SAP upgrades, consulting through partners, etc..
  • One way of keeping away from these types of threats and manipulation by SAP is to move to third-party support.

SAP knows that dropping support for ECC post-2025 would lead to a wholesale search for alternative support providers. Our research indicates that most SAP ERP customers will still be on ECC by 2025. SAP would not at all want to drive customers away from ECC support through SAP as it would lead to a vast enlargement of the SAP third-party support industry. SAP’s margin is its support, so it cannot jeopardize this income stream, as this would also mean a massive loss of margin for SAP. Support is the easiest money that SAP makes. And their threat to drop customers rings hollow — in fact, this is apparent by merely observing how SAP responds when a customer states they will not be renewing support.

SAP, as our S/4HANA Implementation Study shows, is not in a position to demand a support premium for ECC post-2025. But they will likely convince many customers to hand over a premium for support regardless.

Our Recommendation

  • The premium that SAP will be asking for ECC support is not a viable threat.
  • SAP customers should look at SAP’s statements regarding the post-2025 ECC support as an opening point for negotiation.
  • SAP customers must find advice that is non-aligned with SAP for how to deal with this empty threat on the part of SAP.

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of S/4HANA

There are two fundamental problems around S/4HANA. The first is the exaggeration of S/4HANA, which means that companies that purchased S/4HANA end up getting far less than they were promised. The second is that the SAP consulting companies simply repeat whatever SAP says. This means that on virtually all accounts, there is no independent entity that can contradict statements by SAP.

The Necessity of Fact Checking

We ask a question that anyone working in enterprise software should ask.

Should decisions be made based on sales information from 100% financially biased parties like consulting firms, IT analysts, and vendors to companies that do not specialize in fact-checking?

If the answer is “No,” then perhaps there should be a change to the present approach to IT decision making.

In a market where inaccurate information is commonplace, our conclusion from our research is that software project problems and failures correlate to a lack of fact checking of the claims made by vendors and consulting firms. If you are worried that you don’t have the real story from your current sources, we offer the solution.

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.

S/4HANA Implementation Research

We offer the most accurate and detailed research into S/4HANA and its implementation history. It is information not available anywhere else and is critical correctly interpreting S/4HANA, as well as moderating against massive amounts of inaccurate information pushed by SAP and their financially biased consulting ecosystem.

Select the description that best matches you.

Option #1: Do You Work in Sales for a Vendor?

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

Option #2: Do You Work for an Investment Entity that Covers SAP?

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

Option #3: Are You a Buyer Evaluating S/4HANA?

For companies evaluating S/4HANA for purchase. See this link for an explanation to software buyers

Search Our Other S/4HANA Content

References

https://diginomica.com/2018/01/09/sap-extends-hcm-premise-support-2030-smart-move-massive-error/

Should You Listen to NTT Data on S/4HANA?

Executive Summary

  • NTT Data wrote an article designed to sell NTT Data consulting services that give out information on S/4HANA.
  • How accurate was this article?

Introduction

This NTT Data article was titled S/4HANA: the Big Why Part One.

NTT Data Quotations

Maintenance is Coming to an End

“Tens of thousands of companies rely on the SAP Business Suite for their critical business operations. With maintenance for SAP ECC slated to end in 2025, most of these organizations should be preparing to move to SAP S/4HANA.”

We predict at the slow rate of S/4HANA adoption, and SAP will have to extend support beyond 2025.

Number of S/4HANA Live Customers

“However, according to SAP, only 9,500 customers have adopted S/HANA since its launch in 2015. Of these, ASUG reports, only around 1,500 — or approximately 15% — are actually live on the new digital core.”

These items are not correct. Our study shows far fewer than 1,500 live implementations.

Why S/4HANA is Seeing Slow Adoption

“Clearly, the vast majority of ECC customers are struggling to justify S/4HANA adoption from a business case perspective. Concerns about the cost, complexity and time required by the project are widespread. More critically, CIOs and business leaders are having difficulty grasping the overall business value — the big WHY? — that justifies moving to SAP’s new digital core.

Let’s be honest, adopting S/4HANA is a big deal, a major initiative that impacts all aspects of business. It is different from a single self-contained project (like an upgrade or a database migration) and will involve your entire IT system landscape – from architecture to applications to all of the processes mapped within. In many respects, adopting S/4HANA represents a full-scale digital transformation initiative, meaning there’s a lot to consider.”

S/4HANA offers no new functionality and primarily addresses technical changes that are of little value to customers. And it is a high expense item to migrate two, which brings many implementation complexities and high risk. Given these and many other facts, there should be little surprise at S/4HANA’s slow adoption.

S/4HANA = transformation?

“72% of senior leaders surveyed by IDG Research say they view digital strategy as critical to their organization’s success. As reported in Forbes, by 2018, 67% of the CEOs of Global 2000 enterprises will have digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategy.

However, according to a recent survey, only 50% of companies are successfully executing on their digital transformation strategies despite demonstrated efforts and investments.

This disconnect, and S/4HANA’s less-than-blistering uptake, makes one thing clear — CIOs and business leaders are overwhelmed by the massive scope, frenetic pace, and numerous, ever-evolving advanced technologies transformation entails.

Just the same, digital transformation is NOT optional. It is the commitment every business enterprise and public sector organization must make to ensure its relevancy, its survival. Disruption is rampant. No one is safe. This is the reality of business today. The time is now to move forward with your purposeful digital transformation journey.

American Enterprise Institute, a public policy think tank, paints a dire picture for businesses slow to transform. Of all the firms that started on the Fortune 500 list in 1955, almost 90% were no longer on it by 2017. And since 2000, 52% of the list is gone according to AEI.”

This is a ridiculous explanation. S/4HANA is an expense and must compete with other expenses. Other IT expenses also “digitally transform” the business. SAP is not the only vendor that makes promises of benefits from implementing their software. The American Enterprise Institute is a think tank that follows no research rules and is a front for big money donors that seek to influence public policy by using rigged studies funded by billionaires. There is no reason to believe that anything the AEI is legitimate.

S/4HANA — the big why?

“Truth be told, there is no single, silver bullet for justifying transitioning to S/4HANA. While S/4HANA’s lower TCO and easier maintenance are certainly appealing, these gains by themselves are likely not enough to inspire sign-off.”

S/4HANA does not have a lower TCO than ECC. If a company has already implemented ECC, the TCO of S/4HANA must include the implementation cost, which is very high. The proposal that S/4HANA has a lower TCO is an entirely evidence-free contention. Secondly, if S/4HANA did have a lower TCO, why would that not enough to inspire sign-off?

S/4HANA Has Value That Makes Adoption Compelling and Essential?

“Rather, it is the cumulative value S/4HANA delivers across key transformational categories that makes adoption both compelling and essential.”

Why is this true. As previously stated, S/4HANA does not have new functionality from ECC. What makes S/4HANA transformational? It is not the database, and it is not Fiori (which is little used on projects). This is another evidence-free claim.

NTT Data Will Guide You?

“To help our SAP clients better understand why they should make the move to S/4HANA, we guide them through a detailed and comprehensive evaluation of how the key transformational categories yield dramatic, immediate and measurable business value.”

Nothing NTT Data has written so far has been true, so the guidance NTT Data would provide would have a negative value. NTT Data, desiring to implement S/4HANA for clients will guide them to S/4HANA no matter the value of S/4HANA.

Acquiring, Analyzing and Acting on Big Data?

“SAP S/4HANA means that as an enterprise you will not have to ignore opportunities involving big data or internet of things. You can tap into insights from any data set of any size with sub-second results to drive effective decisions, boost performance and tap new revenue streams.

Deriving actionable insights — correlations, trends, outliers, etc. — in real time from terabytes of big data — operational, transactional, structured, unstructured — is vital to success for businesses of all sizes across all industries in today’s increasingly global, hyper-competitive, always-on, Internet-of-everything business world.”

S/4HANA has nothing to do with Big Data or IoT. This entirety of this statement is nonsense.

Is Big Data Important to….S/4HANA?

“To be sure, big data has become big business. Data monetization has become a major source of revenues. According to IDC (as reported by Forbes), revenue growth from information-based products will double the rest of the product/service portfolio for one third of Fortune 500 companies.

However, according to Forrester, on average, between 60% and 73% of all data within an enterprise goes unused. Moreover, according to the NewVantage Partners Big Data Executive Survey 2017, 95% of the Fortune 1000 business leaders surveyed said that their firms had undertaken a big data project in the last five years. However, less than half (48.4%) said that their big data initiatives had achieved measurable results.”

Big Data has become a big business for consulting firms and vendors, but there is little evidence that Big Data has made much of a difference for customers. Secondly, even if it did, it still would not be a justification for implementing S/4HANA, as S/4HANA has nothing to do with Big Data.

Big Data “Challenges”

“Clearly, organizations are facing some major challenges when it comes to implementing their big data strategies. In fact, the IDG Enterprise 2016 Data & Analytics Research found that 90 % of those surveyed reported running into challenges related to their big data projects.”

Yes, Big Data projects nearly always have a negative ROI, and are beginning based on lies on the part of vendors and consulting companies. The major challenge of Big Data projects is that the actual benefits of Big Data are small.

Powered by HANA (for Big Data)

“Powered by HANA, S/4HANA makes large data loads and complex business models easier to manage and process, enabling organizations to seize business opportunities from big data in the digital economy.”

HANA has nothing at all to do with Big Data. HANA connects to Hadoop (which is Big Data) through something called Vora. Here is the estimate of Vora’s customer base.

This number is the global users of the product, although it does not declare the degree of use.

Yes, Vora is a dead product. This means customers are not using HANA for Big Data.

Real-Time, Operational Intelligence?

“S/4HANA empowers your business to ‘Go Digital’ by connecting people, processes and things to generate business intelligence across a range of key business activities, delivering real-time, continuous insights to business users across your enterprise.”

We have used and tested S/4HANA and have difficulty seeing how this is true. S/4HANA offers very generic analytics functionality.

S/4HANA is Data Driven?

“Organizations that effectively harness BI/analytics will be able to create significant value and differentiate themselves, while those that stall on this front will find themselves increasingly losing ground and making futile attempts to catch up. The chasm between the two will only become more pronounced as technological advances in BI/analytics continue and adoption reaches critical mass.

However, Forrester reports 74% of firms say they want to be “data-driven,” but only 29% are actually successful at connecting analytics to action.

Successfully connecting analytics to actions pays off big time. According to Nucleus Research, analytics delivers on average benefit of $9.01 per every dollar spent.”

This is all nice, but again, S/4HANA does not have much more than canned reports. Any more advanced BI will require the same data warehouse used by ECC.

S/4HANA Transforms ECC?

“S/4HANA transforms ERP from a system of record to a system of intelligence capable of analyzing what is happening in real-time and making recommendations based on the results. With in-memory computing, embedded analytics within S/4HANA allow business users to drill down to a transactional level from within the ERP solution itself. This means they have the flexibility to explore at will and gain in-depth insights without depending on IT or waiting for data to load overnight.”

This again assumes that S/4HANA possesses these excellent analytics characteristics that it does not. S/4HANA’s embedded analytics are fundamental canned reports. This entire paragraph is an enormous overselling of the analytics within S/4HANA.

Here is a cash report from S/4HANA. 

This is the Stock Overview Report.

Why are the canned reports and tables available within S/4HANA so highly touted by NTT Data? When we review S/4HANA, it seems to have no relationship to the claims made by SAP or NTT Data or any of SAP’s other consulting partners.

In Memory?

“Processing information in memory directly, rather than reading from and writing to disk data storage, facilitates a sea change real-time operational intelligence. The simplified HANA database removes aggregation and history tables providing fast accurate information on demand and a single version of the truth at the lowest level of granularity.”

HANA does store data to disk. HANA works like other databases in that it uses memory optimization to move between memory and disk.

Conclusion

This article receives a 1 out of 10 for accuracy. It is clear that NTT Data is very willing to tell any lie to obtain S/4HANA consulting work.

NTT Data receives our Golden Pinocchio Award for the false information it published on S/4HANA and HANA in this article.

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

Fact-Checking SAP’s HANA Information

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

SAP Video Accuracy Measurement

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

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of HANA

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

The Necessity of Fact Checking

We ask a question that anyone working in enterprise software should ask.

Should decisions be made based on sales information from 100% financially biased parties like consulting firms, IT analysts, and vendors to companies that do not specialize in fact-checking?

If the answer is “No,” then perhaps there should be a change to the present approach to IT decision making.

In a market where inaccurate information is commonplace, our conclusion from our research is that software project problems and failures correlate to a lack of fact checking of the claims made by vendors and consulting firms. If you are worried that you don’t have the real story from your current sources, we offer the solution.

Inaccurate Messaging on HANA as Communicated in SAP Consulting Firm Videos

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

SAP Video Accuracy Measurement

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

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

Search Our Other Who Was Right and Wrong on HANA Content

References

https://us.nttdata.com/en/blog/2019/april/s4hana-the-big-why-part-one

https://discovery.hgdata.com/product/sap-vora

Who Was Right About S/4HANA’s Readiness?

Executive Summary

  • SAP, along with many entities, made projections about S/4HANA’s ability to be implemented.
  • Four years into S/4HANA, who was right and who was wrong?

Introduction

This article was published on Feb 8th, 2019. S/4HANA just had its 4th birthday as it was introduced on Feb 3rd, 2015. S/4HANA has been a highly promoted application with many entities making projections about it. Four years is quite a while for an application to build up a history. In this article, we will cover who got it right and who got it wrong.

Overestimation of S/4HANA’s Usage

SAP has been playing a game for four years, where they have exaggerated the implementation success of S/4HANA. The following is a common set of statements made about S/4HANA by SAP. This is from the Q2 2018 analyst call.

“Driven by fast adoption of SAP S/4HANA, cloud and software revenue grew by a stellar 10%.

And, remember that new high-growth cloud solutions like S/4HANA Cloud and C/4HANA will have more impact on growth as they scale to be a bigger part of the mix.

And then, maybe, coming back to S/4HANA, obviously, very successful ramp-up with customers.

We have close to 2,000 live customers on S/4HANA by now already (Q2 2018), and we have another close to 3,000 ongoing implementation projects, which means that given the implementation timeframe for S/4HANA is greatly reduced versus traditional ECC implementations of the past decade, we will soon have 5,000 reference customers to speak for us.”

Large Numbers of S/4HANA Reference Customers on Wall Street Calls, But Only Three for Forrester

Interestingly, when it came to having Forrester perform an SAP funded study to evaluate S/4HANA implementations, SAP provided Forrester with a total of three customers to talk to. Of 2000 customers, SAP, which is aware of every single one of the 2000 “live” customers were able to come up with three names. And of those three, all three had tiny implementation timelines and costs. 

When SAP is talking to Wall Street, but when it comes to providing clients, Forrester gets three clients. Let us do some math. 3/2000 = .0015. We covered Forrester’s “study” in the article How to Understand Forrester’s Fake S/4HANA TCO Study.

What is the Risk Level of S/4HANA When Implemented?

Since S/4HANA was first introduced, we rated as the highest risk of applications. This was primarily due to the immaturity of the application, which we determined through first-hand testing of the application. S/4HANA, in our view, was released several years too early, which we covered in the article How Accurate Was SAP on S/4HANA Being Complete?

Our estimate was recently supported by UpperEdge, who stated the following about S/4HANA projects.

“While 32% of S/4 clients have a go-live date, our research shows project failure rates go as high as 70%.”

We have never performed an estimate, but we do know that S/4HANA failures are quite common.

The Recent High Priced S/4HANA Failures

S/4HANA has had several high profile failures or postponements which include the following:

Uncovered in the IT media is the fact that there have been countless postponements of S/4HANA projects, and very few of the 2100 estimated customers that SAP states as live are actually live, which we covered in the article A Study into S/4HANA Implementations.

How did we figure this out?

Well, the first clue was the immaturity of S/4HANA when we tested it. Then we started getting complaints from companies implementing S/4HANA about that exact thing. Finally, we evaluated every S/4HANA case study (both public and private) and analyzed each. When we did this, we found that most made no sense.

SAP marketing had released information that they did not realize allowed us to figure out that many of the go-lives were fake, exaggerated, not really live, etc.. This is true even though S/4HANA has appeared like wildfire on resumes, and is currently one of the most falsified skills in the SAP space, along with its cousin HANA.

Who Was Right About S/4HANA?

Two entities stand out.

  • One is us. Brightwork Research & Analysis published more accurate information about S/4HANA than anyone else in the market.
  • Two is UpperEdge. UpperEdge consistently told the truth about what it saw from working with SAP clients around S/4HANA. Like Brightwork, UpperEdge is not a partner with SAP, and they are not controlled by SAP, and generally, it is apparent from what they published that they don’t care what SAP thinks.

Who Was Wrong About S/4HANA?

This is a long list, indeed. However, the primary culprits are the following:

  • SAP: (obviously, and the worst offender as they knew they were lying more than any of the following parties).
  • The SAP Consulting Companies: One cannot know what was said in every private meeting, but generally, the SAP consulting companies I worked with or knew of provided my clients with terrible advice on S/4HANA and only seemed to care about selling S/4HANA projects and staffing S/4HANA resources. We could include the links of our analysis of SAP consulting firms’ inaccurate articles on S/4HANA, but then this article would be 1/2 links.
  • IT Media: Nearly all the IT media is paid by SAP to run paid placements. They wrote mostly what SAP wanted them to write.
  • ASUG: ASUS is just a marketing arm of SAP that masquerades as a user group. We only list them separately from SAP because many people think that they are independent of SAP.
  • Gartner and Forrester: Forrester has egg all over their face from the S/4HANA TCO/ROI study they produced, but Gartner was less active in promoting S/4HANA. However, neither of them did anything to educate their customers as to the reality of S/4HANA.

Conclusion

The past four years have been a torrent of false information about S/4HANA from all the major information providing entities in IT. Two entities got it right, and they were the two that are not partners with SAP and are not paid by SAP. That is no coincidence.

The Necessity of Fact Checking

We ask a question that anyone working in enterprise software should ask.

Should decisions be made based on sales information from 100% financially biased parties like consulting firms, IT analysts, and vendors to companies that do not specialize in fact-checking?

If the answer is “No,” then perhaps there should be a change to the present approach to IT decision making.

In a market where inaccurate information is commonplace, our conclusion from our research is that software project problems and failures correlate to a lack of fact checking of the claims made by vendors and consulting firms. If you are worried that you don’t have the real story from your current sources, we offer the solution.

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.

S/4HANA Implementation Research

We offer the most accurate and detailed research into S/4HANA and its implementation history. It is information not available anywhere else and is critical correctly interpreting S/4HANA, as well as moderating against massive amounts of inaccurate information pushed by SAP and their financially biased consulting ecosystem.

Select the description that best matches you.

Option #1: Do You Work in Sales for a Vendor?

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

Option #2: Do You Work for an Investment Entity that Covers SAP?

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

Option #3: Are You a Buyer Evaluating S/4HANA?

For companies evaluating S/4HANA for purchase. See this link for an explanation to software buyers

Search Our SAP S/4HANA Maturity Content

References

*https://upperedge.com/sap/timing-your-move-to-s-4hana/

*https://upperedge.com/sap/migrating-to-sap-s-4hana-could-get-you-fired-not-deciding-on-s-4hana-will-probably-get-you-fired/

https://www.fool.com/earnings/call-transcripts/2018/07/19/sap-se-sap-q2-2018-earnings-conference-call-transc.aspx

TCO Book

 

TCO3

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

Getting to the Detail of TCO

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

The Mechanics of TCO

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

Why Does S/4HANA Need B/4HANA for Analytics?

Executive Summary

  • For years SAP proposed that applications on HANA would remove the need for a data warehouse.
  • Now the message is changing, and B/4HANA is back in the mix.

Introduction

The original presentation of S/4HANA was that because of HANA, and the reporting schemas would no longer be necessary. The elimination of the data warehouse would be possible because S/4HANA would report directly off of the column-oriented tables, which were optimized for reporting.

Part of the point of S/4HANA was to minimize the use of the need for the data warehouse. The idea went, that if all SAP applications used HANA, and a company used all SAP applications, then they would no longer need a data warehouse. SAP described this as using embedded analytics, which we covered in the article What is the Value and Future of SAP Embedded Analytics?. This vision, of course, left out entirely the reports that go across applications, which, of course, still required a central repository, which shall we call a “data warehouse.” We quote from the following to illustrate how on SAP consulting company explains this undeniable fact.

“To achieve this, you need a system that can collect, merge and harmonize data from various sources. A single S/4 system cannot achieve this. SAP does not recommend using embedded analytics to consolidate data from multiple systems, and it is meant for operational reporting only. Even though the S/4 system comes with an embedded BW system, it is not designed to be used as your enterprise data warehouse.”

And illustrated in this slide.

And this quote from SAP.

“Most of us would have for sure thought for once that Embedded BW on S4HANA would replace BW as whole and would not need BW in future. Which is kind of myth looking at the basic nature and capabilities of the EDW(Enterprise Data Warehouse). Its correct the Embedded BW can be used to support certain business processes on SAP Business Suite and S4HANA like BPC optimized. However, there are many other reasons why we can’t use Embedded BW for all the EDW needs. Based on many documents and notes following are the major reasons for which it becomes obvious to use SAP BW4HANA”

Again, who created this “myth?” Let’s not be coy about this. SAP proposed this myth.

Over several years, I don’t recall telling people that HANA would lead to the elimination of the data warehouse. Quite the opposite, and those people telling me that I need to get with the “brave new world of analytics” within each application were SAP consultants. Even in private, with no one listening, the adherence to SAP talking points by SAP consultants never ceases to amaze me. 

Who Thought This Illogical Approach Would Work and Evangelized The Design?

Usually the less technical the resource, the more they thought this would happen, with salespeople who had never personally worked with databases or analytics software being the most blatant that this was the future that HANA allowed. They topped this off by proposing that only SAP had the vision to make this happen. This following quotation is verbatim.

“Hasso Plattner always hated analytics systems. He saw them as a failure of the application to provide the reporting. His vision is to eliminate the data warehouse, and HANA is how he will do it.”

SAP Analytics Products are All Jumbled In

Another undiscussed issue is how many products are now part of this solution. Let us review a slide.

This slide is already a bit out of date as Lumira has been discontinued, and Cloud for Analytics is the replacement product. But let us review all of the products that are part of this design.

  1. SAP Cloud for Analytics
  2. SAP Business Objects
  3. SAP Lumira

How much are all of those licenses going to add up to? Is this us, or does this appear like a confusing combination of items?

The New Reality of S/4HANA and the Data Warehouse

Years after, SAP presented this vision, and they are now changing their story regarding data warehousing. SAP is now proposing that customers use something called embedded BW. This is the junior version or BW/4HANA, which is the more advanced version that is merely the rebranded stand along BW but which of course only runs on HANA and pushes out other database vendors from the mix. Embedded BW is implemented within S/4HANA and, according to SAP, is for “strategic analysis” rather than the standardly embedded analytics that are for more or less canned analytics.

We have been saying for some time that the embedded analytics in S/4HANA are simply for canned analytics. Because they are canned, they don’t even leverage HANA as they can be pre-compiled, with only net change information updated.

One of the reasons it’s very easy to overestimate the number of apps or tiles of functionality included in S/4HANA is because so many of the tiles are just reports, as the slide above illustrates. Once in the transaction/report, there usually is not much that one can do other than some necessary searching or filtering. 

Why BW4/HANA?

It is understood that more analytics than the canned “embedded analytics” are required for non-standard reporting, but why did SAP port an obsolete product like BW to S/4HANA? One of the main points of HANA was that a heavy overhead BI environment with their hefty maintenance overheads like the SAP BW was supposed to be no longer necessary.

Column-Oriented Tables: A Simplified Data Model

Recall the simplified data model? We covered the topic in the article, and contradicted the notion that S/4HANA had a simplified data model in the article Does S/4HANA Have a Simplified Data Model?

However, while the data model is no simpler, it is, that is, column-oriented tables, are certainly more optimized for read access or that is for reporting and analytics. The idea that was presented by SAP was that a simpler, lighter BI environment, for instance, like Lumira (now discontinued), or SAP Analytics Cloud (not yet ready to be implemented) or a mature visualization product like Tableau or Qlik was supposed to be able to be used. So far, the number of application of HANA has been for the BW, which speeds BW, but does little to reduce the lengthy reporting queues sitting behind most BW implementations globally.

Continuing to Work Off of Data Cubes?

Something else odd was that there are graphics that show both embedded BW and B/4HANA using data cubes. They also work off of Core Data Services that feed the data cubes, which we covered in the article How to Understand HANA Lock in with Core Data Services.

Again why are either of these products using data cubes? Data cubes are actually not cubes; they are star schemas that are designed to speed row oriented tables. The point of using columnar tables is so that they can read accessed very quickly without any intermediate object such as a star schema.

SAP Backtracks on the Design Proposals of HANA

The story around SAP analytics keeps getting weirder and more complicated, and it contradicts what was supposed to be the primary benefits of HANA.

With new articles coming from compliant SAP consulting companies, we have the explanation that companies still need a data warehouse, which means that SAP’s vision of entirely embedded analytics has failed. Alternatively, should we say, what SAP stated about doing away with the data warehouse because of the embedded analytics will never come true? We knew it would never come true, as it never made any sense. We told many SAP consultants this in discussions, but they overrode the concerns and told us this all made sense at SAP. Five or six years after the fact, SAP is finally changing it’s messaging (although not admitting it is changing its messaging).

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

Fact-Checking SAP’s HANA Information

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

SAP Video Accuracy Measurement

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

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of HANA

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

The Necessity of Fact Checking

We ask a question that anyone working in enterprise software should ask.

Should decisions be made based on sales information from 100% financially biased parties like consulting firms, IT analysts, and vendors to companies that do not specialize in fact-checking?

If the answer is “No,” then perhaps there should be a change to the present approach to IT decision making.

In a market where inaccurate information is commonplace, our conclusion from our research is that software project problems and failures correlate to a lack of fact checking of the claims made by vendors and consulting firms. If you are worried that you don’t have the real story from your current sources, we offer the solution.

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.

S/4HANA Implementation Research

We offer the most accurate and detailed research into S/4HANA and its implementation history. It is information not available anywhere else and is critical correctly interpreting S/4HANA, as well as moderating against massive amounts of inaccurate information pushed by SAP and their financially biased consulting ecosystem.

Select the description that best matches you.

Option #1: Do You Work in Sales for a Vendor?

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

Option #2: Do You Work for an Investment Entity that Covers SAP?

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

Option #3: Are You a Buyer Evaluating S/4HANA?

For companies evaluating S/4HANA for purchase. See this link for an explanation to software buyers

Search Our Other BI on HANA Content

References

*https://www.yash.com/blog/10-reasons-sap-bw4hana-is-unavoidable/

https://n-spro.com/blog/do-we-need-a-separate-bw-system-with-sap-s-4hana-embedded-analytics

https://blogs.sap.com/2018/04/24/why-bw4hana-is-still-required-even-after-embedded-bw-on-sap4hana/

https://www.adfahrer.com/files/2017/sap%20sbn%20hana%20reporting%20capabilities.pdf

The Risk Estimation Book

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 Accurate Was ASUG on S/4HANA’s Integration as R&D Priority?

Executive Summary

  • ASUG proposed that S/4HANA integration was an R&D priority.
  • We review the accuracy of ASUG’s statements.

Introduction

In this article, we will review ASUG’s article on the S/4HANA and SAP cloud integration.

Quotes from the ASUG Article

Does Innovation Equal Acquisition?

“Bill McDermott started as Co-CEO of SAP, along with Jim Hagemann Snabe, in 2010, and has held the CEO position solely since 2014. During the past seven years under McDermott, SAP has been busy trying to meet the standard of the “Cloud Company Powered by HANA” vision. This has meant new product developments as well as large acquisitions.

“Since 2010, we’ve invested $50 billion in innovation,” says McDermott, who spoke on the main stage at SAP Ariba Live in Las Vegas last week.”

This seems misleading. Investing in innovation is typically reserved for R&D. Innovation is not considered acquisitions. In fact, a high number of acquisitions is actually evidence of a lowered ability to innovate. For instance, SAP cannot, in accounting, take acquisitions and place them into the R&D expense for tax purposes. So this linguistic inaccuracy is noteworthy on the part of Bill McDermott. Bill McDermott is a lifelong salesperson in character, and it is interesting to ponder how much he actually believes what he is saying.

Unsurprisingly, ASUG does not comment on McDermott’s inaccuracy.

“During a separate Q&A session with press and analysts at SAP Ariba Live, McDermott did confirm to me that the $50 billion number includes cloud mergers and acquisitions, such as Ariba, Concur, Fieldglass, SuccessFactors and Hybris — keep in the mind the Concur acquisition alone was more than $8 billion. That innovation also includes the development of S/4HANA, SAP’s next generation ERP suite and products such as the HANA Cloud Platform, which McDermott calls “the fastest growing software we have at the company.”

HANA Cloud Platform or SAP Cloud Platform has been the fastest growing software that SAP has because it is free. I logged into the SAP Cloud Platform to test it as well, and I assume my credentials count as a user, even though I never really did anything with it.

How Innovative is S/4HANA?

As for the commingling of S/4HANA development with software acquisitions, that is simply confusing. Also while S/4HANA development expenditures do meet the definition of R&D, they don’t meet the definition of innovation. S/4HANA development can be roughly categorized into the following changes:

  • Creating new tables that leverage HANA’s column-oriented design.
  • Code reduction and simplification.
  • Development of Fiori apps
  • Removal of ECC functionality

Most of these things can be considered sort of background housecleaning. But roughly 93% of S/4HANA is using code from ECC. I have logged in rooted around S/4HANA and it looks like ECC to me. Also, most companies that use S/4HANA don’t use the Fiori apps, so the effect of SAP’s improvements here have yet to be really used. As for the column-oriented table redesign, reports from the field is that transaction processing has suffered as a result. Therefore, not all “innovation” is necessarily good innovation. It is simply very difficult to see S/4HANA as an innovative application.

“With all those new products both homegrown and acquired, building native integration has been a challenge for SAP in the past seven years. If they want customers to sign on to the whole vision, with core ERP alongside SAP-owned cloud providers, integration is a key selling point. McDermott admits to the SAP Ariba main stage crowd that it hasn’t been easy.”

SAP’s Continual Problems with S/4HANA and SAP Cloud Integration

Integration has always been a challenge for SAP. For example, APO, which is now roughly 18 years old and thus is older than “the past 7 years,” has had the CIF, which has been a highly problematic integration component, as is covered in this article.

It also brings up the question of why SAP it has been so difficult to integrate ERP to SAP’s cloud purchases and therefore before SAP cloud integration became an issue. SAP has enormous resources, but continually has such problems developing adapters promptly to its acquired applications. That should not be the case. It brings up the question of whether customers should simply wait at least five years or longer before buying any product acquired by SAP, so SAP can finally complete and adapter.

“When we bought other cloud assets, we had to integrate back to the core and I know that wasn’t always smooth,” he says.

I asked McDermott about what integrations customers can expect from SAP going forward, including integrations with S/4HANA’s predecessors, ECC and Business Suite. He says that S/4HANA is the focus.

“The No. 1 key R&D [research and development] initiative is whatever you do on innovation has to integrate seamless into S/4HANA,” says McDermott. “It’s an essential element in everything we do.”

Right, so companies that stay on ECC will not be integrated to SAP’s new applications or SAP cloud integration. This will be used to motivate customers to migrate to S/4HANA. However, it would be a bad decision to move to S/4HANA before it is ready to be implemented. Secondly, SAP’s acquired products are not differentiated in the market from other competitive applications. Therefore current ECC users may want to simply connect non-SAP applications to ECC. SAP is very much against this of course, as is covered in the article SAP’s Position on Non-SAP Application Integration.

S/4HANA Customers Should be Happy?

Finally, If S/4HANA is the focus on integration for SAP, customers that have bought into the whole SAP S/4HANA vision along with complementary cloud offerings will be happy.

I am not sure how happy those customers should be. Most of them are probably still pretty unhappy about how little they got from their S/4HANA implementations. But secondly, even when SAP does make integration a priority, they have a problem pulling out off. SuccessFactors and Ariba were purchased 5 years ago. Why have they not been fully integrated yet?

“Those looking to stick with ECC or Business Suite longer, but still take advantage of cloud products that haven’t yet been natively integrated, such as Concur, will likely have to look to third parties to complete those integrations. They can also expect those native integrations to be an S/4HANA selling point when talking with their favorite friendly SAP account executive.”

Hmmm…..ASUG could do a little better job of hiding their complete subordination to SAP a little better. ASUG is supposed to be a user group. It seems that ASUG needs to be constantly reminded of this fact and that they are not supposed to simply be a court jester for the mighty SAP.

Advice on Enjoying the S/4HANA Quiz

To see the full screen just select the lower right-hand corner and expand. Trust us, expanding makes the experience a whole lot more fun.

 

Conclusion

ASUG did a fine job of publishing uncritical information about SAP cloud integration that put SAP in the best light possible. This is why I can never tell if an ASUG article is written by a person at ASUG or a person at SAP. It’s almost like they are one and the same! SAP will use its SAP cloud integration to S/4HANA, but there is no evidence that SAP customers should jump at this. In fact, it will in most cases be far better to stay with ECC and use better non-SAP cloud applications and skip the SAP cloud integration altogether. Or simply wait a while until SAP gets its SAP cloud integration issues worked out.

This ASUG article has a Brightwork Accuracy Score of 2 out of 10.

See our The S/4HANA Implementation Study. for real story and details on actual S/4HANA implementations.

SAP’s Inaccurate Messaging on S/4HANA as Communicated in SAP Videos

Fact-Checking SAP Information on S/4HANA

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

SAP Video Accuracy Mesurement

Appleby's StatementAccuracy % of the CommentExplanationLink to Analysis Article
S/4HANA is what allows key processes to be digitized.
0%
ECC was already fully digitized and digitized across key business functions.The Problem with Using the Term Digital Transformation on IT Projects
HANA is a Platform
0%
HANA is not a platform, it is a database.How to Deflect You Were Wrong About HANA
Fiori is a major advantage for S/4HANA.
10%
In S/4HANA implementations Fiori is infrequently used when S/4HANA. How Accurate Was SAP on the Number of Fiori Apps?
Fiori is far more efficient than what came before.
10%
In testing Fiori and S/4HANA, Sven Deneken's statements did not hold up. There was a particular weakness in actually making changes after noticing something needed to be changed, and we found the efficiency below that of ECC with of course SAPGUI.
S/4HANA is innovative as it brings "real time inventory."
0%
Sven Deneken brings up the topic of "real-time capabilities," however there is nothing particularly real-time or different in terms of a reaction than ECC. Whenever you make a change in ECC or any other ERP systems for that matter, the entry is real-time. Sven Deneken states that "the physical inventory is the same as the digital inventory." However, under what system would this not be true?What Happened to the Term Perpetual Inventory?
S/4HANA is innovative because it allows access to supplier information.
0%
Sven Deneken states that information about the supplier is "just a fingertip away." Sven Deneken may be familiar with ECC, where supplier data is also a fingertip, or say mouse click away. It called the Vendor Master in ECC.
Sven Deneken says that the cycle could be changed to daily or sub-daily.
0%
Why would that occur? This is a very strange scenario that is being laid out.
S/4HANA is innovative because it allows MRP to be rerun interactively for a product location.
0%
Sven Deneken is extremely confused when he states that S/4HANA allows a fresh MRP run to be performed for a specific product location and that this is a differentiator for S/4HANA. For a single product location, there is no ERP system that cannot run MRP for a single location. Secondly re-running MRP does not remove uncertainties. MRP can be re-run when something changes. For example, when the forecast changes.Performance Problems with HANA and MRP
Sven Deneken states this demo shows SAP has reimagined inventory management.
0%
However, all of this functionality, save for several of the graphics shown in the video have already been available in ECC for many years, in fact, decades.

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of S/4HANA

There are two fundamental problems around S/4HANA. The first is the exaggeration of S/4HANA, which means that companies that purchased S/4HANA end up getting far less than they were promised. The second is that the SAP consulting companies simply repeat whatever SAP says. This means that on virtually all accounts there is no independent entity that can contradict statements by SAP.

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

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

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

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.

S/4HANA Implementation Research

We offer the most accurate and detailed research into S/4HANA and its implementation history. It is information not available anywhere else and is critical correctly interpreting S/4HANA, as well as moderating against massive amounts of inaccurate information pushed by SAP and their financially biased consulting ecosystem.

Select the description that best matches you.

Option #1: Do You Work in Sales for a Vendor?

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

Option #2: Do You Work for an Investment Entity that Covers SAP?

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

Option #3: Are You a Buyer Evaluating S/4HANA?

For companies evaluating S/4HANA for purchase. See this link for an explanation to software buyers

Search Our ASUG on S/4HANA and HANA Content

References

https://www.asug.com/news/sap-ceo-bill-mcdermott-s-4hana-integration-is-top-r-d-priority

The Real Story on ERP Book

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

Software Selection Book

 

SELECTION

Enterprise Software Selection: How to Pinpoint the Perfect Software Solution Using Multiple Information Sources

Mastering Software Selection

Software selection is a form of forecasting, just as any another purchase decision is a forecast of how successfully the purchased item will meet expectations. Forecasting is necessary because it is not feasible to implement each application under consideration before it is purchased to see how it works in the business.

The Importance of Software Selection

Software selection is the most important part of any software implementation because it is the best opportunity to match the software with the business requirements, which is the most important factor in determining the success of the project. This book explains how to get the right information from the right sources to perform software selection correctly.

What You Can Expect from the Book

Essential reading for success in your next software selection and implementation. Software selection is the most important tasks in a software implementation project, as it is your best (if not only) opportunity to make sure that the right software the software that matches the business requirements is being implemented. Choosing the software that is the best fit clears the way for a successful implementation, yet software selection is often fraught with issues, and many companies do not end up with the best software for their needs. However, the process can be greatly simplified by addressing the information sources that influence software selection.

This book is a how-to guide for improving the software selection process and is formulated around the idea that much like purchasing decisions for consumer products the end user and those with the domain expertise must be included. In addition to providing hints for refining the software selection process, this book delves into the often-overlooked topic of how consulting and IT analyst firms influence the purchasing decision and gives the reader an insider’s understanding of the enterprise software market. By reading this book you will:

  • Learn how to apply a scientific approach to the software selection process.
  • Interpret vendor-supplied information to your best advantage.
  • Understand what motivates a software vendor.
  • Learn how the institutional structure and biases of consulting firms affect the advice they give you, and understand how to interpret information from consulting companies correctly.
  • Make vendor demos work to your benefit.
  • Know the right questions to ask on topics such as integration with existing software, cloud versus on-premise vendors, and client references.
  • Differentiate what is important to know about software for improved “implement-ability” versus what the vendor thinks is important for improved “sell-ability.”
  • Better manage your software selection projects to ensure smoother implementations.

Chapters

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Software Selection
  • Chapter 2: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
  • Chapter 3: Software Sell-ability versus Implement-ability
  • Chapter 4: How to Use Consulting Advice on Software Selection
  • Chapter 5: How to Use the Reports of Analyst Firms Like Gartner
  • Chapter 6: How to Use Information Provided by Vendors
  • Chapter 7: How to Manage the Software Selection Process
  • Chapter 8: Conclusion
  • Appendix a: How to Use Independent Consultants for Software Selection

The Math of Probable S/4HANA & Fiori Usage

Executive Summary

  • SAP has made exaggerated claims regarding the usage of S/4HANA and Fiori.
  • In this article, we estimate the actual usage which is quite distinct from these claims.

Introduction

SAP has been releasing false numbers regarding the uptake and usage of S4 HANA and Fiori for several years now. This is driven by the desire to make it appear as if their new offering is far more popular than it is. The more that they can seem to have a wide acceptance of these new products the more they can convince others to purchase S/4 HANA (and accompanying Fiori) and the more they can convince Wall Street that their strategy is working. SAP claims 4,200 customers of S/4 HANA. (I prefer to call S/4 HANA simply “S4” as I find S/4 HANA to be marketing centric as there is no reason to have the database as part of the application’s name). The evidence I bring is one cannot find another application with the database in its name.

This is a short article designed to show the actual usage of both S4 and by extension Fiori.

The Math for the Estimate

In order to estimate the amount of Fiori usage and how drastically it differs from the statements made by SAP, we have to isolate where Fiori is used.

  • Fiori has been designed to be used with the S4 ERP system, at least in the beginning. Fiori has been broadened out to work with other applications, but there are still very few S4 applications.
  • S4 only works with HANA, and Fiori only works with HANA for roughly 83% of its apps. (This is a correction. Bjorn comment can be read below this article. It is a good interchange. However, Bjorn’s estimate, upon review is also inaccurate. The number of Fiori apps requires its own article because of the confusing way that SAP has counted Fiori apps)

Therefore determining likely Fiori usage means estimating S4 usage.

According to SAP, they have 50,000 ERP customers across 25 industries. I have been on projects where it is claimed that SAP has upwards of 250,000 customers. However, this would mean any company that was in possession of an SAP license for any application. It would not necessarily include active customers. SAP may count customers that used their software 10 years ago and moved off of their software.

So for this estimate, I have gone with the 50,000 ERP customers to compare against the total number of S4 customers.

I have spent time estimating the number of customers using S4 with inputs from multiple sources and come to around 150. This is 150 global customers either in the current state of implementing S/4HANA, or having already implemented it (almost all only having implemented S4 Finance). The largest concentration of these implementations is in Germany, and they were not undertaken because of S4’s value (as it is a currently being developed application – set of applications) but because of the control that SAP has over these companies. (See this article for the surprising details on the implement-ability of S4)

That would mean that of the 50,000 customers, 150/50,000 or .003 of SAP ERP customers use S4. But this is not 150 live customers with S4.

However, this is not sufficient for estimating how small the usage of Fiori actually is. Unlike what has been proposed by Hasso Plattner, Fiori is not a replacement for SAPGUI. Fiori is only a series of a little over 1000 apps that are concentrated in low data intensive transaction. No company can use S4 without spending most of its time in SAPGUI. Companies would use S4 some percentage of the 1000 apps, but these apps replicate screens in the SAPGUI, and there would be a transitionary time and training required to use these Fiori apps.

  • Therefore of the 150 implementations of S4, some small subset of the overall transactions accessed by SAP customers that use S4 use some Fiori apps.
  • Of these 150 implementations, only some portion of which may be using some of the Fiori apps.

Conclusion

Understanding these limitations of the possible usage of Fiori indicates that Fiori’s overall usage must be incredibly small. This likely fact, combined with the fact that Fiori has been around for several years now, argues very poorly for Fiori’s likely survival.

What is also interesting about this is if you compare the numbers I have come up with versus pretty much every other number that is published — it is far off. This is because just about every IT media outlet just takes SAP’s word for how many companies are using the software. Wall Street and the traditional IT media are so easy for SAP to fool because they apply no filter to what they are told by SAP.

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.

S/4HANA Implementation Research

We offer the most accurate and detailed research into S/4HANA and its implementation history. It is information not available anywhere else and is critical correctly interpreting S/4HANA, as well as moderating against massive amounts of inaccurate information pushed by SAP and their financially biased consulting ecosystem.

Select the description that best matches you.

Option #1: Do You Work in Sales for a Vendor?

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

Option #2: Do You Work for an Investment Entity that Covers SAP?

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

Option #3: Are You a Buyer Evaluating S/4HANA?

For companies evaluating S/4HANA for purchase. See this link for an explanation to software buyers

Search Our Other S/4HANA Content

References

Risk Estimation and Calculation

Risk Estimation and Calculation

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.

project_software_risk

How Accurate is the Messaging on the SAP S/4HANA On Premises Roadmap?

Executive Summary

  • We analyze S/4HANA’s regarding the S/4HANA roadmap.
  • SAP has greatly misled customers and prospects regarding the maturity of S/4HANA.

Introduction to the S/4HANA Roadmap

SAP has been releasing strange information about the S/4HANA roadmap since S/4hANA was first released. You will learn about our analysis of SAP’s projections with S/4HANA.

What is S/4HANA?

S/4HANA is the first major upgrade to what was R/3.

  • ..aka ECC (Enterprise Core Component)
  • ..aka Business All in One
  • aka All in One…

This article will focus on making sense of the statements made about S/4HANA by SAP.

This should of value to people because the messaging on S/4HANA is confusing and requires translation as well as validation.

Understanding The Language of Selling and SAP Run Simple

Before we get into the evaluation of SAP’s slides on S/4HANA. What should be contemplated is that S/4HANA marketing documents are not necessarily designed to be true, but to sell S/4HANA.

That is why much of the S/4HANA material will seem strange to an experienced implementer.

SAP has teams of people who go around trying to pump up SAP partners on HANA, who in turn relay the message to their prospects. This group never implement software, they are compensated on how well they can convince people of this or that future. So their material tends to be quite divorced from reality, and it is the same material that will find it’s way to SAP’s website, or to the conference circuit.

So with that background let us get on with the analysis of the SAP S/4HANA slides.

S/4HANA Slide Analysis

SAP R/3 has been renamed over the years to ECC and then to SAP ERP (which never took) and then to Business All in One.

  • None of these names meant anything regarding referring to something new in the application; they were just marketing terminological changes.
  • R/3 has stabilized some years ago, which means that it has seen little in functionality enhancement since that time, with most of the development focused on non-ERP applications. This brings up the topic of the support that is paid to SAP for a stable application, which will be the subject of a future article.

Initial Slide Benefits

This SAP S/4HANA Roadmap slide states the following benefits:

  • Simplified Data Model: I moved this response over to a separate article titled Does S/4 HANA have a Simplified Data Model? 
  • Completely Fiori: Fiori is the new SAP user interface. However, Fiori is not a replacement for the SAPGUI, now or in the future. I covered this in detail in the article What is Actually in the Fiori Box? Interestingly, I was recently speaking with a custom UI vendor, and they were telling me that SAP has started backing off the “completely Fiori” proposal to saying that Fiori will be complementary to the SAPGUI. I have not seen the newest SAP messaging here, but I look forward to reviewing it when it comes to me.
  • Guided Configuration: I cropped this screenshot above too much when I took it, but the statement to the right in the slide above is “guided configuration.” I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have heard about guided configuration. I have never seen one of these guided configuration toolkits/etc.. work. SAP has been trying to sell RDS or Rapid Deployment Solutions as guided configuration, and the RDSs are not this at all. It should be remembered the IMG, which ships with the previous ERP version of SAP ERP, was also supposed to be guided configuration as well, but it never was. S/4HANA may have a few helpful screens, but it most assuredly won’t be guided configuration.
  • Reimagined Business Models: It is very unlikely that business models will be “reimagined,” instead what companies should look for is if S/4HANA can be made to work. They need first to check when the actual overall suite will be released. These are a lot of changes SAP is making, and they are clearly having problems making them, which is why S/4HANA Enterprise Management (i.e., the full suite) is late.
  • Reimagined Business Processes: Same thing, SAP is not offering new application functionality in S/4HANA. S/4HANA is about an infrastructure upgrade (with a tiny amount of UI improvement for the areas that can use Fiori). The business functionality is roughly the same as in ECC. SAP showed some sexy stuff in what was S/4HANA Simple Finance (now just S/4 HANA Finance), but given that it is now apparent that these are just a limited number of Fiori apps, it is hard to validate how much of this is completed.
  • No More Batch — All Processes in Real Time: S/4HANA is an ERP system, and that means it’s a transaction processing system. There are some processing that is performed in batch, such as MRP and closing the quarter for financial reconciliation, but this is a very simple type of processing. The batch processing is a small part of ERP processing already. Most processing in ECC/Business All in One is transactions and is already processed immediately or in real-time.
  • Reimagined Business Decisions: Hmmm…this one seems to propose massive differences in reporting for S/4HANA. Clearly, S/4HANA will be much faster. However, the idea of reporting would be so much better also depends upon the reporting application. HANA has several tools, such as HANA Live Browser, but this is not S/4HANA. All of these tools are too new and unproven to make big statements about them.

Process Time Slide Benefits

One slide shows the reducing in time for processing. However, it overestimates the time that the transaction processing system takes.

Yes, S/4HANA will faster, but companies currently don’t have a real problem with closing. I performed the research to be able to make this statement with confidence. It’s a nice to have, but SAP is overemphasizing the benefits here.

This slide is similar in that it focuses on the speed of the system. Again it focuses on the two most processing-intensive processing within ERP which is financial closing, reporting, and MRP.

This particular slide is misleading and confusing. Neither SAP TM (Transportation Management) nor Ariba runs on HANA. I can’t tell if that slide is trying to say that they do, or that S/4 simply can integrate with other SAP applications. S/4HANA does not run on HANA yet because the vast majority of S/4HANA is not yet released.

The slide also includes all the trendy terms, like the Internet of Things and Big Data — and one I had never heard of before, called Omni-Channel. Omni-Channel only means to offer a sales experience across multiple retail channels — such as online, offline, etc..

This has nothing to do with SAP as SAP has no product that does this — and these three things just tell the executive that “we do the new sexy.” It’s a subliminal messaging that “we get it.” 

Shrinking the DB?

A big message about S/4HANA has been getting lean. So SAP has a few good slides on this that explain how this works. The first slide shows database aggregates and indices in the database.

One of the benefits of columnar databases is that they require less aggregation and indices. The blue is the aggregates and indices that are still necessary with HANA. SAP states it was able to shrink the size of the data that S/4HANA takes up.

However, it also needs to be stressed that you will pay a lot more per GB when using anything on HANA, so these changes won’t translate to cost savings.

SAP proposes that transactions are currently pushed throughout the system. SAP proposes that data will now be pulled.

Why is this true? Is information currently pushed in R/3/ECC? This is the first time I have heard of this.

S/4HANA Options

There is a lot of talk about all the options available for S/4HANA. However, S/4HANA in the cloud is quite expensive. And being able to put an ERP system in the cloud, or any other application for that matter should not be considered a big deal.

I happen to find most of the SAP’s material on the cloud more confusing than anything.

I have spent so much time on sales proposals where the topic of either on-premise or cloud is discussed, and it always seems to break toward on-premise. Also, except for purchased applications like SuccessFactors or Ariba, most of the SAP purchases are still being sold on-premise.

SAP on Roadmap Specifics

“More recently, SAP released three new SAP S/4HANA “1603” cloud editions that provide industry-focused capabilities for marketing, professional services and more general enterprise ERP needs. In fact, the vendor is producing new updates for both cloud and on-premises SAP S/4HANA editions every quarter — so the answers to the question of functional completeness for S/4HANA are effectively changing every three months.”

As Uwe states, 1603 is the cloud edition of S/4 HANA. So 1603 contains focused industry capabilities for marketing and professional services.

So that would seem to imply that 1151 does not have these capabilities. It would make sense that professional services firms would be a better fit for 1603 – although overall S/4 HANA is overkill for a professional services firm. All a professional services firm needs is a finance module with professional services functions, which can be attained far more economically from Intacct of FinancialForce. Most companies that implement S/4 will only implement it so they can resell that experience in consulting. But this brings up a tangential question as to whether the cloud and on-premises editions are no longer the same set of functionalities.

S/4HANA Enterprise Management

SAP, through Uwe, is telling customers it’s S/4HANA Enterprise Management, which is the full suite, is ready to go. Notice at the end of the quotation, it contradicts itself, stating that the functional completeness of S/4HANA Roadmap changes every three months.

So is S/4 complete? What are we to learn from the S/4HANA Roadmap information?

Or on the other hand, is it becoming more complete every three months? It cannot be both. Let us see…I now have to check Wikipedia as SAP is using the term in a new and unprecedented way.

SAP is primarily using the term “complete” to mean “incomplete.” S/4 HANA is perfect, but it will become more and more complete every three months. Did you get that? Ok good, we can move on to more classic Uwe quotes.

Now this next quote is not related to the readiness of S/4, but it gives some more background as to where Uwe lives. It is from the same article.

“In S/4HANA, we are connecting classical ERP processes with new processes of the digital economy,” Grigoleit said. “For example, if we are talking about asset management as a classical ERP process, then we are making a connection to information networks so that you’re not entering data on your own — you’re getting the data out of the network automatically, connecting it to the asset management and location services.”

How Reliable is Uwe Grigoleit as a Source of Information?

Ok, so we can see from this quotation that Uwe likes to spin a good yarn.

You see the issue is that a quotation can be repeated that is taken from a high-level SAP business development resource like Uwe or Bill McDermott, but without the context that these types of spokesmen from SAP live in a permanent fantasy-land, and take huge numbers of meetings, but don’t themselves touch or test software.

With a heavy dose of stock options pushing them towards unprecedented (in fact they do have precedent, but I decided to adopt SAP’s hyperbolic way of making statements for this sentence) levels of optimism, it is understandable that so much unreliable information like this is generated. I would like it if they were more honest and said something like….

“S/4 HANA is going to help me make $5,000,000 off of my stock options!”

Now that at least would be true.

The S/4HANA Roadmap and Agile Development

SAP has missed its deadline on the rest of the S/4 suite versus the S/4HANA Roadmap, and it was now scrambling to get functionality released as soon as possible.

Agile has its benefits, and I use Agile on projects, but I don’t use the term Agile to cover up for lack of planning. What is completely apparent is that S/4 HANA was announced far too early and that the S/4HANA Roadmap was inaccurate from the beginning. All along SAP really misrepresented the S/4HANA Roadmap and made appear that they were much further along on S/4HANA than they were.

This is not Agile. This is marketing getting too far ahead of development and living too comfortably on Fantasy Island, and then putting development on the grill to deliver too quickly. It has been well-known for some time that making the types of changes to S/4 that SAP talked about making would result in many millions of lines of code being rewritten. Now the obvious conclusion is that SAP did not allocate enough time to allow for this to happen, or did not organize their internal teams appropriately to accomplish this task in their predicted timelines.

Oracle Fusion (Agile) Development Revisited

Interestingly what SAP is doing with S/4 has a precedent in the not too distant past and within a company that SAP does not like very much. That is right, what SAP is doing with the S/4HANA Roadmap is very similar to what was done with Oracle Fusion.

Oracle Fusion development went to Agile development, but the Fusion development just never seemed to end. Fusion was the subject of non-stop marketing on the part of Oracle, and Fusion never seemed to reach a point of finality. By 2016, pretty much everyone was burned out on hearing about Fusion has had very little market acceptance.

There is another similarity between Fusion and S/4 HANA. Like Fusion, the migration effort is enormous. See the following quotation from a comment on a Fusion article:

“Oracle is in a tough spot here because from what I understand, the move from the legacy apps onto Fusion Apps is not a straightforward “upgrade”, like you would expect from IBM, Microsoft or SAP but, rather, a complicated and expensive migration. This means when faced with the decision to move off e.g. PeopleSoft, customers are likely to evaluate Fusion vs Workday vs Successfactors (depending on use case). This is a tremendously dangerous place for Oracle to be in – none of the other ERP vendors have put themselves in this position, and SAP’s ability to upgrade from almost any version of R/3 (back to version 3.1I in 1998) to the latest version.”

The Similarity Between Fusion Problems and S/4HANA Problems?

This was written without consideration for S/4 HANA however. Mainly S/4 HANA faces similar migration problems as Fusion as the change from ECC is so significant. This quotation was from John Appleby, the GM of Bluefin. Now while John Appleby notices that Fusion has enormous migration effort involved, he comments on an article. But when S/4 HANA is the same migration issues, he is silent on that topic. Why? Because Bluefin implements SAP.

That is the extent of much of the information available in enterprise software. The algorithm works something like this:

  • If the author can make money on it, then hide the downsides.
  • If one cannot make money on it, then be “objective” and bring up the downsides with competitor products. It’s all very scientific you see.

Advice on Enjoying the S/4HANA Quiz

To see the full screen just select the lower right-hand corner and expand. Trust us, expanding makes the experience a whole lot more fun.

 

Conclusion

Statements about the S/4HANA Roadmap have to be analyzed because a lot of the information in these types of sales slides is fanciful. SAP needs to declare what parts of the S/4HANA Roadmap are ready currently. And they are not doing this.

It is easy to view a S/4HANA Roadmap slide and let it pass you by simply, and I think I tended to do this for a while on S/4HANA and HANA. It is another thing to evaluate if what is written makes sense. I have worked on S/4HANA sales pursuits, and I don’t like using these types of slides because they are inaccurate and they create expectations that are too high.

It is no easy feat keeping up with SAP’s S/4HANA Roadmap terminology. SAP went through a period where they invested mightily in what was essentially a false marketing construct — that the new applications were somehow simple.

One of the reasons I wrote this article is that I am beginning to wonder myself how many people who have investigated S/4 and know that outside of Finance (which also has rough areas and a big question mark with how may Fiori apps can be used). S/4 as a suite is not ready to be implemented.

SAP’s Inaccurate Messaging on S/4HANA as Communicated in SAP Videos

Fact-Checking SAP Information on S/4HANA

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

SAP Video Accuracy Mesurement

Appleby's StatementAccuracy % of the CommentExplanationLink to Analysis Article
S/4HANA is what allows key processes to be digitized.
0%
ECC was already fully digitized and digitized across key business functions.The Problem with Using the Term Digital Transformation on IT Projects
HANA is a Platform
0%
HANA is not a platform, it is a database.How to Deflect You Were Wrong About HANA
Fiori is a major advantage for S/4HANA.
10%
In S/4HANA implementations Fiori is infrequently used when S/4HANA. How Accurate Was SAP on the Number of Fiori Apps?
Fiori is far more efficient than what came before.
10%
In testing Fiori and S/4HANA, Sven Deneken's statements did not hold up. There was a particular weakness in actually making changes after noticing something needed to be changed, and we found the efficiency below that of ECC with of course SAPGUI.
S/4HANA is innovative as it brings "real time inventory."
0%
Sven Deneken brings up the topic of "real-time capabilities," however there is nothing particularly real-time or different in terms of a reaction than ECC. Whenever you make a change in ECC or any other ERP systems for that matter, the entry is real-time. Sven Deneken states that "the physical inventory is the same as the digital inventory." However, under what system would this not be true?What Happened to the Term Perpetual Inventory?
S/4HANA is innovative because it allows access to supplier information.
0%
Sven Deneken states that information about the supplier is "just a fingertip away." Sven Deneken may be familiar with ECC, where supplier data is also a fingertip, or say mouse click away. It called the Vendor Master in ECC.
Sven Deneken says that the cycle could be changed to daily or sub-daily.
0%
Why would that occur? This is a very strange scenario that is being laid out.
S/4HANA is innovative because it allows MRP to be rerun interactively for a product location.
0%
Sven Deneken is extremely confused when he states that S/4HANA allows a fresh MRP run to be performed for a specific product location and that this is a differentiator for S/4HANA. For a single product location, there is no ERP system that cannot run MRP for a single location. Secondly re-running MRP does not remove uncertainties. MRP can be re-run when something changes. For example, when the forecast changes.Performance Problems with HANA and MRP
Sven Deneken states this demo shows SAP has reimagined inventory management.
0%
However, all of this functionality, save for several of the graphics shown in the video have already been available in ECC for many years, in fact, decades.

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of S/4HANA

There are two fundamental problems around S/4HANA. The first is the exaggeration of S/4HANA, which means that companies that purchased S/4HANA end up getting far less than they were promised. The second is that the SAP consulting companies simply repeat whatever SAP says. This means that on virtually all accounts there is no independent entity that can contradict statements by SAP.

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

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

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

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.

S/4HANA Implementation Research

We offer the most accurate and detailed research into S/4HANA and its implementation history. It is information not available anywhere else and is critical correctly interpreting S/4HANA, as well as moderating against massive amounts of inaccurate information pushed by SAP and their financially biased consulting ecosystem.

Select the description that best matches you.

Option #1: Do You Work in Sales for a Vendor?

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

Option #2: Do You Work for an Investment Entity that Covers SAP?

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

Option #3: Are You a Buyer Evaluating S/4HANA?

For companies evaluating S/4HANA for purchase. See this link for an explanation to software buyers

Search Our Other SAP S/4HANA Messaging Content

References

I cover how to interpret risk for IT projects in the following book.

The Risk Estimation Book

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

Risk Estimation and Calculation

Risk Estimation and Calculation

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.

project_software_risk

Getting Clear on SAP S/4HANA Simple Finance & Simple Logistics

Executive Summary

  • The reason that HANA in the name of S/4HANA tells us interesting things about what SAP is communicating to customers.
  • It is unheard of to place the database in the name of the application.
  • Simple Finance and Simple Logistics are immature applications.
  • S/4HANA’s Simple Logistics missed its release date.

Introduction to S/4HANA Naming

There has been quite a bit of marketing information written on SAP S/4HANA. It is hard to overstate how much.

The first introduction of SAP S/4HANA by SAP was quite confusing, and there has been another change since this first introduction. This article will (hopefully) help to explain what appears to be a moving target in SAP’s naming and strategy with its new ERP system.

Breaking Down the S/4 HANA Name

SAP S/4HANA is the new ERP system. The overall naming convention is strange and confusing all by itself. But this is the reason for its naming…according to Hasso Plattner.

  • The “S” is supposed to stand for simple.
  • “4” being what would follow “3” as in R/3. So this would translate to “Simple 4rth major incarnation of the SAP ERP system.”
  • HANA is the database
  • SAP S/4HANA is the ERP system, and HANA is the database is running on. Thus “S/4HANA.”

Why Put the Database as Part of the Name of the Application?

This is the first time that SAP has offered an application and then named the database within the name. SAP S/4HANA only runs on HANA (for now). However, it is either very uncommon or possibly unprecedented for any software vendor to declare the database that an application runs on as part of the name.

This would be like if Oracle only allowed JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ERP system only to run on Oracle, they would name it:

“JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Oracle 12C.”

SAP is naming things way because it is trying to emphasize how important HANA is to the new ERP system. In a future article, I will explain how this strategy is about to fall apart, but I will stick to the naming discussion for this article.

What is the State of Simple Finance?

For some time, the only part of SAP S/4HANA you could buy (i.e., that was released) was the finance area. It was referred to as “S/4 Simple Finance.” This is the first time that SAP released a module of the ERP system all by itself. All previous versions of SAP’s ERP system included the big four or SD, MM, PP & FI/CO. In fact, this integrated feature was SAP’s significant advantage when it came on the scene in the 1980’s and was it’s the main differentiator for many years.

S/4 Simple Finance represented the new version of what was the FI/CO module or financial and controlling in the ERP system.

With all the hype around S/4 Simple Finance, it has gone rather unobserved how strange it is for a vendor to bring out a single module of an ERP system all by itself. I have been scratching my head for over a year trying to figure out who would invest in a module of an ERP system, without getting the rest of it to connect to. With what I will explain, S/4 Simple Finance is now stranded due to development issues at SAP with the remainder of the S/4 suite.

Where Oh Where is Simple Logistics?

SAP has a bit of a problem that is not often discussed, but SAP as been telling companies to jump on board with S/4 Simple Finance because SAP S/4HANA Simple Logistics (which it would connect to) was coming right around the bend. Simple Logistics was the rest of the S/4 suite. SAP has historically put much more effort and functionality in finance than in the rest of the suite. But with Simple Finance and Simple Logistics, this is the first time they released the areas of their ERP application separately. That is with Simple Finance mostly done, and Simple Logistics still very much a work in process.

I was told by several people that I needed to jump on board with  Simple Finance because it was going to make everything so simple and it was of course SAP’s direction. After researching this, both reviewing statements around SAP S/4HANA’s proposed simplified data model as well as the supposedly simplified user interface in Fiori and found these proposals to be incorrect.

This is covered in two articles:

Missing S/4HANA Simple Logistics’ Release Date

The problem is that SAP has very significantly missed its release date on Simple Logistics.

Making so many changes at once to SAP S/4HANA was always risky with the timeline that SAP put out there. And now it is evident that SAP bit off more than they could chew.

Luckily, because so few companies implemented SAP S/4HANA, this will have little impact. Some German companies have implemented S/4 Simple Finance, but almost no companies outside of Germany. So for the vast majority of businesses, there will not be any impact. So it is a good thing that these companies passed on S/4 Simple Finance.

The Plot Thickens for S/4 HANA’s Name

As development has been doing its work, SAP marketing silently went through a change to the overall naming of the new ERP functionality. As I predicted the “simple” adjective is now gone. And S/4 HANA “overall” is now called S/4 HANA Enterprise Management.

SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management now includes:

  • S/4HANA Finance (not “Simple Finance” mind you. Apparently finance is complicated once again!)
  • S/4HANA Human Resources (Success Factors) (I saw no mention of Old SAP HR so that module has likely and thankfully been removed)
  • SAP S/4HANA Sourcing & Procurement (Ariba) (I saw no mention of SRM or SAP’s pre-Ariba supplier product)
  • SAP S/4HANA Supply Chain (Production, Inventory & Warehousing) (Old PP, MM & WM)
  • SAP S/4HANA Manufacturing (Manufacturing Operations & Quality Management) (Old PP & QM)
  • SAP S/4HANA Sales (Order and Contract Management)

Can You Keep Up with SAP’s Terminology Changes on S/4HANA?

It is no easy feat keeping up with SAP’s S/4HANA terminology. SAP went through a period where they invested mightily in what was essentially a false marketing construct — that the new applications were somehow simple.

While little covered, SAP has a bumpy ride in trying to redo and introduce it’s new ERP system. Marketing is going through multiple name changes before the overall new ERP system is even ready to purchase. Simple Finance and Simple Logistics are now on their way out. SAP’s problems with its S/4HANA overall deadlines are a problem because SAP put so much of its credibility on the line that it would be able to bring out the rest of the S/4HANA suite, and it raises the question of when the real release date of the suite will be. And then, how much after the publication date will the application be ready for actual implementation.

Advice on Enjoying the S/4HANA Quiz

To see the full screen just select the lower right-hand corner and expand. Trust us, expanding makes the experience a whole lot more fun.

 

Conclusion

SAP’s problems with its S/4HANA overall deadlines are a problem because SAP put so much of its credibility on the line that it would be able to bring out the rest of the S/4HANA suite, and it raises the question of when the real release date of the suite will be. And then, how much after the publication date will the application be ready for actual implementation.

At this point, it seems that S/4 Simple Finance was rolled out far too early. I was part of a sales team that was proposing SAP S/4HANA Simple Finance last year. Good thing that the companies we pitched this to, did not purchase this as it is likely that a full functional SAP S/4ERP system (with all the standard modules released) is even now some time away.

Curious about the reality of S/4HANA implementations? See our The S/4HANA Implementation Study, for real story and details on actual S/4HANA implementations.

SAP’s Inaccurate Messaging on S/4HANA as Communicated in SAP Videos

Fact-Checking SAP Information on S/4HANA

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

SAP Video Accuracy Mesurement

Appleby's StatementAccuracy % of the CommentExplanationLink to Analysis Article
S/4HANA is what allows key processes to be digitized.
0%
ECC was already fully digitized and digitized across key business functions.The Problem with Using the Term Digital Transformation on IT Projects
HANA is a Platform
0%
HANA is not a platform, it is a database.How to Deflect You Were Wrong About HANA
Fiori is a major advantage for S/4HANA.
10%
In S/4HANA implementations Fiori is infrequently used when S/4HANA. How Accurate Was SAP on the Number of Fiori Apps?
Fiori is far more efficient than what came before.
10%
In testing Fiori and S/4HANA, Sven Deneken's statements did not hold up. There was a particular weakness in actually making changes after noticing something needed to be changed, and we found the efficiency below that of ECC with of course SAPGUI.
S/4HANA is innovative as it brings "real time inventory."
0%
Sven Deneken brings up the topic of "real-time capabilities," however there is nothing particularly real-time or different in terms of a reaction than ECC. Whenever you make a change in ECC or any other ERP systems for that matter, the entry is real-time. Sven Deneken states that "the physical inventory is the same as the digital inventory." However, under what system would this not be true?What Happened to the Term Perpetual Inventory?
S/4HANA is innovative because it allows access to supplier information.
0%
Sven Deneken states that information about the supplier is "just a fingertip away." Sven Deneken may be familiar with ECC, where supplier data is also a fingertip, or say mouse click away. It called the Vendor Master in ECC.
Sven Deneken says that the cycle could be changed to daily or sub-daily.
0%
Why would that occur? This is a very strange scenario that is being laid out.
S/4HANA is innovative because it allows MRP to be rerun interactively for a product location.
0%
Sven Deneken is extremely confused when he states that S/4HANA allows a fresh MRP run to be performed for a specific product location and that this is a differentiator for S/4HANA. For a single product location, there is no ERP system that cannot run MRP for a single location. Secondly re-running MRP does not remove uncertainties. MRP can be re-run when something changes. For example, when the forecast changes.Performance Problems with HANA and MRP
Sven Deneken states this demo shows SAP has reimagined inventory management.
0%
However, all of this functionality, save for several of the graphics shown in the video have already been available in ECC for many years, in fact, decades.

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of S/4HANA

There are two fundamental problems around S/4HANA. The first is the exaggeration of S/4HANA, which means that companies that purchased S/4HANA end up getting far less than they were promised. The second is that the SAP consulting companies simply repeat whatever SAP says. This means that on virtually all accounts there is no independent entity that can contradict statements by SAP.

The Necessity of Fact Checking

We ask a question that anyone working in enterprise software should ask.

Should decisions be made based on sales information from 100% financially biased parties like consulting firms, IT analysts, and vendors to companies that do not specialize in fact-checking?

If the answer is “No,” then perhaps there should be a change to the present approach to IT decision making.

In a market where inaccurate information is commonplace, our conclusion from our research is that software project problems and failures correlate to a lack of fact checking of the claims made by vendors and consulting firms. If you are worried that you don’t have the real story from your current sources, we offer the solution.

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.

S/4HANA Implementation Research

We offer the most accurate and detailed research into S/4HANA and its implementation history. It is information not available anywhere else and is critical correctly interpreting S/4HANA, as well as moderating against massive amounts of inaccurate information pushed by SAP and their financially biased consulting ecosystem.

Select the description that best matches you.

Option #1: Do You Work in Sales for a Vendor?

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

Option #2: Do You Work for an Investment Entity that Covers SAP?

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

Option #3: Are You a Buyer Evaluating S/4HANA?

For companies evaluating S/4HANA for purchase. See this link for an explanation to software buyers

Search Our Other SAP S/4HANA Messaging Content

References

I cover how to interpret risk for IT projects in the following book.

The Risk Estimation Book

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

Risk Estimation and Calculation

Risk Estimation and Calculation

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.

project_software_risk

How Accurate Was Hasso Plattner on Customers Being Too Risk Adverse for SAP S/4 HANA?

Executive Summary

  • Hasso Plattner makes an enormous number of inaccurate statements about S/4HANA.
  • How much of what Hasso Plattner said about S/4HANA was true?

Introduction

On November 30, 2015, Hasso Plattner published How to Understand the Business Benefits of SAP S/4 HANA Better.

This article shows some apparent frustration on the part of Plattner with the well-documented fact that SAP’s customers are having a problem seeing the value in SAP S/4 HANA.

Let us understand each of observations by Plattner and see how they stack up. You can first read the article by Plattner, which I have provided the link above and then read this one as I have taken out what I think are the most relevant quotes. I have each of the quotes and my comments organized under the specific headings that are from the article by Hasso Plattner.

Let us begin at the end of the article.

Slow MRP

Hasso’s Introduction

“It is sad to still hear the same arguments after all the sales success, the implementations in record time and happy productive customers. We have written books, where we describe dozens of new or improved application scenarios, specific events are taking place throughout the world and we have many success stories on our website. I just heard of a Chinese fashion manufacturer who installed SAP S/4HANA and reports a game changing improvement of the MRP2 run from more than 24 hours to under two hours. My advice for the smaller and midsize SAP Business Suite customers is to carefully watch the early adopters, soon approaching 2000, especially in related industries.” – Hasso Pattner

In the first part of the quotation, Hasso declares the sadness to hear some general arguments against HANA due to sales success. However, has HANA had sales success? No. HANA has been the most significant marketing initiative ever undertaken in the enterprise software space, however, while SAP has “sold” quite a few HANA licenses (at a debatable cost), the number of live HANA instances is tiny. I have seen HANA at literally one of my customers, and of course, it was for BW. So this success is an assumption made by Hasso that merely is untrue.

On the next topic of the case study that Hasso presents above, why is MRP taking 24 hours to run at this Chinese company?

Interpretation

Let us start off by understanding that MRP is the simplest of the supply and production planning methods and it was first designed to run on hardware from the 1970s.

It is true that current MRP goes further down the bill of materials then perhaps MRP runs did in the 1970s. Still, if MRP is taking 24 hours to run in any system then either the hardware is tiny, or there is something wrong with how MRP is setup — which is strange because MRP in SAP has very few settings. If a company is taking 24 hours to run MRP, something is very wrong and needs to be evaluated. Hasso did not explain if this evaluation happened, but instead stopped and declared that the solution was implementing HANA. However, implementing HANA for MRP means implementing S/4HANA — which is a major issue. This means a Chinese company, which tend not to be new technology adopters, and do not have significant IT budgets compared to the US and European companies — decided to implement HANA.

  • I cover MRP in the book Supply Planning with MRP, DRP, and APS Software, and have extensive experience with MRP and all of the supply and production planning methods, and Hasso’s statements here do not make any sense.
  • Secondly, in my book Repairing your MRP System, I explain that a significant factor which holds back running MRP well is the fact that MRP is so frequently run from the ERP system — and ECC and S/4 HANA are ERP systems.

This is because ERP systems provide poor quality MRP functionality when compared to applications that specialize in supply planning. For instance, if I talked about a 24 hour MRP runtime with the best of breed vendors that I know of that can run MRP they would fall laughing. We better move one, because I am starting to laugh thinking about this proposal myself.

There is something very fishy about this story of a 24 hour MRP processing run. Much more would need to be explained, but under no scenario should it take anywhere close to that amount of time to run MRP.

Hasso on The Reduction in Complexity from S/4 HANA

“For years our customers complained about the complexity of the business suite and asked for simplification. Now some fear they have to relearn a lot and that will cost time and money. The simplification of the UI is real and will save time with the first day of productive use. The business functionality of the transactions is still the same but comes in a much more efficient form.

The dramatic simplification of the data model, the fact that any field can be used as an index for selecting data and the unprecedented short response times are allowing for much faster development cycles of new applications. The deployment of extensions in SAP HANA Cloud Platform is an elegant way to enhance SAP S/4 HANA systems or to build completely new applications. SAP S/4 HANA combines the proven set of core business functionality, in many languages and for nearly all countries, with the ability to venture into completely new dimensions of applications. This capability is key when business processes are developing at an ever increasing speed and core enterprise systems cannot just be complemented by point solutions but have to also accommodate these changes.  This reduction in complexity also lowers the threshold for smaller companies to switch to SAP S/4 HANA.”

Let’s look into the detail in each area brought up by Hasso.

  • For Years Our Customers Complained About the Complexity of the Business Suite (ECC): Yes, this is true. However, most of the complaints did not have to do with what HANA is improving (which is primarily analytics). Many of the companies complained about complexity with the SAPGUI, or areas of functionality that did not work, or problematic help that made the feature difficult to decipher, or a long list of complicated items that make up SAP software. So Hasso seems to be mingling a number of issues here. However, again SAP buyers cannot expect Fiori to cover many of the ECC screens for some time. So Fiori will be used along the same old SAPGUI. Therefore, complaints will continue.
  • The Dramatic Simplification of the Data Model: I cover in Getting Clear on S/4 HANA, that it is debatable whether HANA simplifies the data model.
  • ..The Ability to Venture into Completely New Dimensions of Applications: It’s hard to see how this is true. S/4 has a (partially) new UI. And Fiori can be customized much more easily than SAPGUI. However, it’s still a lot of work, and there is not a consensus on Fiori yet regarding whether it will stick long term. The later part of this paragraph is fanciful sales talk, and it is difficult to address what Hasso is describing.

Interpretation

This quotation is mostly incorrect.

Hasso Plattner on How Disruptive is SAP S/4 HANA

“All master and transactional data will be migrated, all the business processes are still available, the new UI is easy to comprehend and most importantly the application configuration can also be carried forward. Many long term SAP customers are contributing in the design efforts of the new user interaction. By applying the principles of design thinking, end users, consultants, domain experts and developers interact till the most comprehensive solution is found. All predefined aggregate data (totals, info cubes) have been eliminated and the system offers now the highest flexibility in reporting and analysing business data.

The first step in an SAP S/4 HANA project should be the evaluation of the system without the company specific modifications and extensions but using the customer production data set. Many new features are added and may make modifications obsolete. Don’t extrapolate the amount of work and training from previous experience with ERP release changes. Once the data is carried over to SAP S/4 HANA everything will be much faster. In case of an on-premise or hosted deployment, the previous UI will still be available in order to ease the transition phase.”

The first part of this quotation is not really to be commented upon because of there it is generalized. For instance, the idea that all the business processes are still available is evident, as S/4HANA directly takes ECC functionality and puts it onto HANA. But later on in the first paragraph, there is something to comment on.

  • All Predefined Aggregate Data (Totals, Info Cubes) Have Been Eliminated?: Yes, this is true. All of the things that used to be performed on the backend in the BW now is not necessary for HANA.
  • Don’t Extrapolate the Amount of Work and Training from Previous Experience: Not only is Hasso’s proposal here untrue, but it will also be significantly more work, and it is indeed more risk to upgrade to S/4 HANA. S/4 HANA has a new database and a new user interface. It changes all of the enhancements that SAP customers have because the tables structures have changes, which means the already existing improvements must be modified. There is all manner of questions as to S/4 HANA implement ability as Simple Logistics was just very recently released. It is merely an absurd contention that S/4 will be less work to upgrade than previous versions of SAP’s ERP system.
  • Once the Data is Carried Over to SAP S/4 HANA Everything Will be Much Faster?:  The fact that S/4 HANA will be faster should not be blended with the amount of work and training and risk associated with implementing such a new and lightly implemented application. And analytics will be faster, but transactions will only process faster because of the hardware advantage of HANA. Columnar databases are sub-optimized for transactions, or that is most of what SAP’s ERP systems do. I cover this in detail in the article What Makes HANA So Fast? 
  • The previous UI will Still be Available to Ease the Transition Phase: This contradicts earlier statements that the UI or Fiori will be so much easier than SAPGUI. However, potential buyers of S/4 HANA should also know that probably a more important reason that the SAPGUI will be used no matter what is because Fiori is not complete for all of the old ECC screens, a fact that Hasso is leaving out of his article. I cover this topic is What is Actually in the Fiori Box? 

Interpretation

This quotation is mostly incorrect.

Hasso on How Complete SAP S/4 HANA Is

“One of the reasons why companies have more long-term plans for SAP  S/4 HANA is the completeness of the product. To recreate the wealth of functionality of the business suite is quite a challenge, but now financials, sales and logistics are available and most of the industry specific solutions will follow soon. SAP wants to achieve a better separation between the industries in order to reduce potential conflicts between them. Every transition case from SAP ECC 6.0 to SAP S/4 HANA has to be evaluated individually but most of the installed base should be covered by now. Many clients choose to become familiar with SAP HANA by moving the business warehouse onto SAP S/4 HANA or start with completely new projects in product research or service including internet of things scenarios.”

Interpretation

This is not at all correct. Let bulletize this list because there is a lot here:

  • Companies Have S/4 HANA in Long-Term Plans? I don’t think its established that companies have long-term plans for SAP S/4 HANA. SAP has an enormous installed base, and they have heavily pushed S/4 HANA, and there are still extremely few clients live on S/4 HANA. There are many questions regarding its actual implement ability.
  • Recreate the Wealth of Functionality of the Business Suite: I don’t know why Hasso is phrasing it this way. SAP is not recreating anything – it is porting ECC functionality to a new set of tables, the columnar tables of HANA. And secondly, not all functionality in ECC is making it over to S/4HANA.
  • Industry Specific Solutions: Most of the SAP Industry Solutions are more for marketing than anything else. Once you get to implementing you will find that there is little to leverage. I have gone through this with many different industry solutions. They are primarily marketing fiddle-faddle. For example, SAP has a Repetitive Manufacturing Industry Solution, and after you get through analyzing it, it makes no sense to turn on, but you can waste a lot of time analyzing and testing it. So, whether S/4 HANA is ported to “Industry Solutions” it’s not real.
  • Converting the Installed Base to S/4 HANA: The idea that most of the installed base should be converted to S/4 HANA now, considering that there are so many implementation questions about S/4 HANA’s readiness, considering the extra cost, considering that all the previous customizations that customers have written will need to be rewritten, considering a number of other items are utterly delusional.
  • BW: BW can be moved to HANA most easily because HANA is primarily an analytics database. BW’s implementation onto HANA is quite smooth. However, HANA happens to undermine many of the functionality of BW, which can be the topic of a future post.

HANA Disruptive

Hasso Plattner on How Disruptive is SAP S/4 HANA

“All master and transactional data will be migrated, all the business processes are still available, the new UI is easy to comprehend and most importantly the application configuration can also be carried forward. Many long term SAP customers are contributing in the design efforts of the new user interaction. By applying the principles of design thinking, end users, consultants, domain experts and developers interact till the most comprehensive solution is found. All predefined aggregate data (totals, info cubes) have been eliminated and the system offers now the highest flexibility in reporting and analysing business data.

The first step in an SAP S/4 HANA project should be the evaluation of the system without the company specific modifications and extensions but using the customer production data set. Many new features are added and may make modifications obsolete. Don’t extrapolate the amount of work and training from previous experience with ERP release changes. Once the data is carried over to SAP S/4 HANA everything will be much faster. In case of an on-premise or hosted deployment, the previous UI will still be available in order to ease the transition phase.”

The first part of this quotation is not really to be commented upon because of there it is generalized. For instance, the idea that all the business processes are still available is evident, as S/4HANA directly takes ECC functionality and puts it onto HANA. But later on in the first paragraph, there is something to comment on.

  • All Predefined Aggregate Data (Totals, Info Cubes) Have Been Eliminated?: Yes, this is true. All of the things that used to be performed on the backend in the BW now is not necessary for HANA.
  • Don’t Extrapolate the Amount of Work and Training from Previous Experience: Not only is Hasso’s proposal here untrue, but it will also entirely be significantly more work, and it is indeed more risk to upgrade to S/4 HANA. S/4 HANA has as new database and a new user interface. It changes all of the enhancements that SAP customers have because the tables structures have changes, which means the already existing improvements must be modified. There is all manner of questions as to S/4 HANA implement ability as Simple Logistics was just very recently released. It is merely an absurd contention that S/4 will be less work to upgrade than previous versions of SAP’s ERP system.
  • Once the Data is Carried Over to SAP S/4 HANA Everything Will be Much Faster?:  The fact that S/4 HANA will be faster should not be blended with the amount of work and training and risk associated with implementing such a new and lightly executed application. And analytics will be faster, but transactions will only process faster because of the hardware advantage of HANA. Columnar databases are sub-optimized for transactions, or that is most of what SAP’s ERP systems do. I cover this in detail in the article What Makes HANA So Fast? 
  • The previous UI will Still be Available to Ease the Transition Phase: This contradicts earlier statements that the UI or Fiori will be so much easier than SAPGUI. However, potential buyers of S/4 HANA should also know that probably a more important reason that the SAPGUI will be used no matter what is because Fiori is not complete for all of the old ECC screens, a fact that Hasso is leaving out of this article. I cover this topic is What is Actually in the Fiori Box? 

Interpretation

This is a tough portion of the article from Hasso Plattner. There is lots of commingling of separate concepts and things that do not make sense.

S_4 HANA New

Hasso Plattner on The New Concepts for Sales, Customer Support, Product Development

“After the simplification of the main application in sales, logistics and finance, the development of new functionality has started and will be rolled out in short release cycles. It is paramount that SAP and its community learns how to efficiently deal with shorter release cycles, without introducing any kind of instability. The reduced complexity of the data model and the removal of transactional data aggregation clearly improves robustness.  The focus on the SAP HANA platform allows for better applications, because the technical advantages of SAP HANA can now be exploited without consideration for compliancy with other platforms. This is a formidable advantage and as mentioned before a strategy taken by all other providers of cloud services.”

Interpretation

  • Simplified Sales, Logistics and Finance and Shorter Release Cycles: It is not clear how sales, logistics, and finance were simplified with S/4. And SAP could have developed new functionality over a decade ago for ECC but chose not to. The reason was to get more sales from non-ERP products that they could sell a new license for. So this seems to be an empty promise. SAP should learn how to deal with shorter release cycles without introducing any stability efficiently, but currently, SAP has problems even with very long release cycles without introducing functionality that is broken upon arrival. So it’s a strange thing overall for Hasso to say.
  • The Focus on the SAP HANA Platform Allows for Better Applications Because the Technical Advantages of SAP HANA Can Now be Exploited Without Consideration for Compliancy with Other Platforms: Why is this true? Hasso is repeatedly referring to advantages of S/4HANA and HANA without providing any reason at all to think this is true. SAP is only one part of the picture within SAP customers, so SAP must always content with other platforms. Secondly, Hasso is speaking in such an unspecific manner that it can be difficult to confirm or disconfirm his statements, this one being a perfect example, because he is not even clear what he means. It is difficult to see why that is true. Why is being compliant with other platforms, not a consideration? Nothing has changed here. Any system must be implemented with consideration with how it connects to other systems.

Curious about the reality of S/4HANA implementations? See our The S/4HANA Implementation Study, for real story and details on actual S/4HANA implementations.

Advice on Enjoying the S/4HANA Quiz

To see the full screen just select the lower right-hand corner and expand. Trust us, expanding makes the experience a whole lot more fun.

 

Conclusions

There is not much to take away from this section of the paper by Hasso Plattner. The statements are not substantiated.

SAP’s Inaccurate Messaging on S/4HANA as Communicated in SAP Videos

Fact-Checking SAP Information on S/4HANA

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

SAP Video Accuracy Mesurement

Appleby's StatementAccuracy % of the CommentExplanationLink to Analysis Article
S/4HANA is what allows key processes to be digitized.
0%
ECC was already fully digitized and digitized across key business functions.The Problem with Using the Term Digital Transformation on IT Projects
HANA is a Platform
0%
HANA is not a platform, it is a database.How to Deflect You Were Wrong About HANA
Fiori is a major advantage for S/4HANA.
10%
In S/4HANA implementations Fiori is infrequently used when S/4HANA. How Accurate Was SAP on the Number of Fiori Apps?
Fiori is far more efficient than what came before.
10%
In testing Fiori and S/4HANA, Sven Deneken's statements did not hold up. There was a particular weakness in actually making changes after noticing something needed to be changed, and we found the efficiency below that of ECC with of course SAPGUI.
S/4HANA is innovative as it brings "real time inventory."
0%
Sven Deneken brings up the topic of "real-time capabilities," however there is nothing particularly real-time or different in terms of a reaction than ECC. Whenever you make a change in ECC or any other ERP systems for that matter, the entry is real-time. Sven Deneken states that "the physical inventory is the same as the digital inventory." However, under what system would this not be true?What Happened to the Term Perpetual Inventory?
S/4HANA is innovative because it allows access to supplier information.
0%
Sven Deneken states that information about the supplier is "just a fingertip away." Sven Deneken may be familiar with ECC, where supplier data is also a fingertip, or say mouse click away. It called the Vendor Master in ECC.
Sven Deneken says that the cycle could be changed to daily or sub-daily.
0%
Why would that occur? This is a very strange scenario that is being laid out.
S/4HANA is innovative because it allows MRP to be rerun interactively for a product location.
0%
Sven Deneken is extremely confused when he states that S/4HANA allows a fresh MRP run to be performed for a specific product location and that this is a differentiator for S/4HANA. For a single product location, there is no ERP system that cannot run MRP for a single location. Secondly re-running MRP does not remove uncertainties. MRP can be re-run when something changes. For example, when the forecast changes.Performance Problems with HANA and MRP
Sven Deneken states this demo shows SAP has reimagined inventory management.
0%
However, all of this functionality, save for several of the graphics shown in the video have already been available in ECC for many years, in fact, decades.

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of S/4HANA

There are two fundamental problems around S/4HANA. The first is the exaggeration of S/4HANA, which means that companies that purchased S/4HANA end up getting far less than they were promised. The second is that the SAP consulting companies simply repeat whatever SAP says. This means that on virtually all accounts there is no independent entity that can contradict statements by SAP.

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

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

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

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.

S/4HANA Implementation Research

We offer the most accurate and detailed research into S/4HANA and its implementation history. It is information not available anywhere else and is critical correctly interpreting S/4HANA, as well as moderating against massive amounts of inaccurate information pushed by SAP and their financially biased consulting ecosystem.

Select the description that best matches you.

Option #1: Do You Work in Sales for a Vendor?

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

Option #2: Do You Work for an Investment Entity that Covers SAP?

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

Option #3: Are You a Buyer Evaluating S/4HANA?

For companies evaluating S/4HANA for purchase. See this link for an explanation to software buyers

Search Our Other Hasso Plattner Content

References

https://news.sap.com/how-to-understand-the-business-benefits-of-s4hana-better/

I cover how to interpret risk for IT projects in the following book.

The Risk Estimation Book

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

Risk Estimation and Calculation

Risk Estimation and Calculation

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.

project_software_risk