How Accurate Was ASUG on its S/4HANA Poll?

Executive Summary

  • ASUG produced a poll called the 2019 State of the SAP Community which covered S/4HANA topics.
  • How accurate was this poll?

Introduction

The first thing to note about the ASUG poll is that ASUG provided no numbers about who took the poll. Nothing. No numbers about how many participants there were, industry the customers were from, nothing.

But something else to mention is that ASUG has no independence from SAP. Therefore they are an entirely non-credible source of information on SAP, and we find falsehoods presented by ASUG in their publications as a normal course of reading ASUG material. In fact, ASUG’s material is essentially copied and pasted directly from SAP marketing literature.

ASUG’s Infographics

These graphics are the only real detail from the poll. We will highlight some of the curious observations listed in these graphics.

In June of 2016, Nucleus Research published a very different type of result from polling SAP customers.

But again, ASUG exists primarily to promote SAP, therefore they are required to report that the vast majority of customers see SAP as central to their innovation. 

Business Self Identify as Innovators?

Being an innovator has a positive connotation. This does not prove that the respondents are innovators, only that they think they are.

Who is Moving to S/4HAAN and When?

This is a problematic reporting of the percentages that fall into each category. If we look at just the percent of customers already live, which is reported as 16% and multiply this by the number of ERP customers. First, let us review the estimate of the SAP ERP customers.

Potential S/4HANA Customers from SAP ERP Installed Base

SAP has the following ERP systems.

Customers Using SAP ERP

 
SAP ERP Product
Number of Live Customers
1SAP ECC14,964
2SAP R/323,903
3SAP R/2986
4SAP Business One13,065
5SAP ByDesign1,052
6Number of Net New S/4HANA Customers (non previous SAP ERP customers)Not relevant for the evaluation of the ASUG poll.
7Total SAP ERP Live Customers53,970
9Total Adjusted (Estimated) Potential S/4HANA Customers40,591

Applying a S/4HANA Conversion Probability per ERP Product

ECC and R/3 customers are natural candidates for S/4HANA. Although it is interesting that most of SAP’s ERP customers are still using R/3 and not ECC. This is made even more interesting by observing that ECC was introduced in 2016. This means that most of the SAP customers on R/3 did not migrate to ECC.

*The raw data for this table was provided by HG Insights. Something to observe is that there are not truly reliable source for the number of customers actively using the various SAP products. We cover this topic in the article Does SAP EWM Have Close to 2,000 Live Customers?  

To arrive at an estimate for the potential installed base ERP customers that are the potential overall market for S/4HANA, we used the following logic.

  • 100% of ECC customers
  • 100% of R/3 customers
  • R/3 was released in 1992. If these R/2 customers have not upgraded to R/3 from this time, they are unlikely to be candidates for S/4HANA.  We estimate 5% of R/2 customers would be a potential market for S/4HANA.
  • As Business One is the SMB market and is quite distinct from the rest of SAP, we estimated only 10% of Business One customers are potential customers for S/4HANA, and this would only be for S/4HANA Cloud
  • ByDesign is aging and many SAP customers need a replacement. We estimated 35% of current ByDesign customers to be potential customers for S/4HANA, and this would again be S/4HANA Cloud.

This is how we arrived at we arrived 40,591 potential S/4HANA customer conversions from the current installed base. The poll is of current SAP customers, so we did not add an estimate for net new SAP customers.

If we apply the 16% provide by ASUG by 40,591, we arrive at 6,495 customers already live on S/4HANA. However, as recently as a month ago at SAPPHIRE, Hasso Plattner estimated only 3,500, which according to our study is extremely exaggerated.

The Implications of the ASUG Poll Versus Our SAP ERP Customer Estimate

This means that ASUG’s poll shows more than 1.85x or almost 2x the number of live instance of S/4HANA of even the rosiest projections. It also proposes that another 6,495 (roughly) S/4HANA projects are currently being implemented. If this were true, this would be an enormous number of S/4HANA consulting jobs and job listings (that we do not observe) and an overall “buzz” around the S/4HANA application. It would also mean many tickets being opened on S/4HANA topics.

This brings up a question as to representativeness of the poll group or the sample to the population. But ASUG has no adherence to any research rules. In fact, they don’t even report any of the details around the underlying information. Polling has to attempt to represent the population or the poll is worse than useless.

Conclusion

When ASUG reports these numbers, and when they are repeated through various media and consulting channels, these number will be quoted without observing that..

  • No information about the poll respondents was provided, not even the number that took the poll.
  • The lack of representativeness of the poll.
  • The impact of this poll will simply be to have readers overestimate the growth of S/4HANA.

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

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References

https://discovery.hgdata.com/product/sap-erp-central-component-ecc

http://blog.asug.com/asugs-2019-state-of-the-community-study-reveals-sap-customer-insights-challenges-and-opportunities

https://www.riministreet.com/Documents/Collateral/Nucleus_6-out-of-10-customers-wouldnt-buy-SAP-again_June-2016.pdf

How Accurate Was ASUG About Migrating to HANA?

Executive Summary

  • ASUG wrote a number of inaccurate statements about HANA and has provided really broken logic regarding SAP being a customer’s long-term partner, stating that other customers should move away from other vendors.
  • One thing that ASUG will not address is the TCO of HANA.

Introduction

As we have proposed for some time, there is no longer any difference between SAP and the marketing outlet that goes by the name of ASUG which poses as a user group for SAP.

In the article About Those Oracle Runtime Licenses That You Own, Geoff Scott proposes that it is time to migrate to HANA from Oracle.

“If you run your SAP software on Oracle databases, and you purchased your Oracle licenses through SAP (referred to as “runtime” licenses), your cost is now 7 percent higher than it was just two years ago.”

Creating that Burning Platform

So this is one part of the “burning platform” that ASUG attempts to create. And then comes the second part.

“Another important thing to note is that the SAP-Oracle database licensing agreement is again up for renewal in 2017.

What happens next can be anything from additional price increases to an end to the agreement, to something in between. In other words, uncertainty—which is a hard thing to plan for.”

So ASUG proposes here that the SAP-Oracle licensing agreement could be terminated? Did ASUG think this was within the realm of possibility when they wrote this or was this just FUD? If that did happen, what a massive change of the rules that would have been.

This article was written in 2016. However, when the agreement was reviewed, it was extended, which we covered in the article. How SAP Has Quietly Changed Strategy on HANA and Oracle.

He then finishes with:

“It’s hard not to conclude that if SAP is your long-term enterprise software partner, you need to make a move to SAP HANA, Suite on HANA or SAP S/4HANA. All of the other options are intermediate stop-gaps, which require time and money. Better to do this once and right than have to do it multiple times.”

Thus, the answer is to remove all other databases and replace them all with HANA!

Are Vendors Also Partners?

Did it occur to ASUG that these other vendors are also “partners” with these customers in the same way that SAP is a “partner”? In fact, the term partner is just misleading. SAP as with Oracle expects to get paid by their customers. Therefore, these are customers and SAP, and Oracle is vendors. This reframing of customer/vendor relationships as partnering is a highly inaccurate way to describe entities that pay and that are paid. Partners frequently team up to service another customer together. Partners often don’t transfer funds for goods and services.

The words in the English language have already been created to explain these relationships. Furthermore, many customers have had SAP as a vendor and have also had Oracle, IBM or Microsoft as vendors. Why is this logic to move more business over to one vendor versus the other?

What is the TCO of HANA?

Something that ASUG may be interested in knowing is that they think a 7% increase over two years is high, they should read the Brightwork HANA TCO Study which estimates that HANA is more than 2x the TCO of “AnyDB.”

Conclusion

Once again, is ASUG the user group that it claims and just looking out for their member’s interests, or are they a marketing channel for SAP. Was this advice offered by them looking out for the interests of their members, or only what SAP wanted their customers to do? We know that this article lays out precisely what SAP would like customers to do. There is just no way that following this advice would result in anything but higher costs and a worse value for the customers that followed this path.

ASUG receives a 1 out of 10 for accuracy on this article.

*This article was written without any consideration from any vendor of any kind. Unlike ASUG, we are independent of any entity that we provide information.

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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.

HANA & S/4HANA Research Contact

  • Interested in Research on S/4HANA & HANA?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in S/4HANA and HANA without outside advice. And it is not possible to get honest S/4HANA and HANA advice from large consulting companies. We offer remote unbiased multi-dimension S/4HANA and HANA support.

    Just fill out the form below and we'll be in touch.

References

https://www.asug.com/news/about-those-oracle-runtime-licenses-that-you-own

The Risk Estimation Book

 

Software RiskRethinking 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

Rating ASUG’s Inability to Challenge SAP’s Predictions

Executive Summary

  • ASUG is the world’s largest SAP user group.
  • We review the accuracy of ASUG’s presentation of SAP predictions.

Introduction

In this article, we will cover yet another inaccuracy presented by SAP and repeated by ASUG. This has to do with estimating the number of live customers for S/4HANA by a certain date.

The following is from the ASUG S/4HANA Adoption Survey of 2016.

ASUG on the Obstacles to S/4HANA Adoption

“When it comes to the top obstacle to S/4HANA adoption, our survey drew no one clear answer. Of the 550 respondents to the question, 18 percent said it was unclear how S/4HANA benefits their specific organization. In joint second position, at 15 percent apiece, were lack of a clear general-purpose S/4HANA road map and lack of in-house S/4HANA skills. Not far behind, at 14 percent, was not enough live S/4HANA customers, which we’ve heard voiced regularly by ASUG members who would like to see S/4HANA live customer figures in the thousands rather than the hundreds before they commit their organization to moving to the suite. SAP tells us it expects to reach those levels of live S/4HANA customers by SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference, in May 2017.”

In the Brightwork article How to Best Understand ASUG’s S/4HANA Adoption Survey dated 03 30 2017

I stated the following:

“S/4HANA will not meet those number of live customers by May 2017.”

If one looked at the pattern of reported go lives for S/4HANA, there was nothing in August 2016 that would have supported SAP’s prediction that they would reach go lives in the thousands by May of 2017.

Let us compare that to what actually happened.

SAP’s Forecast Accuracy on S/4HANA Adoption

SAP’s forecast accuracy For May of 2017 was 2000 (SAP stated to ASUG they would have S/4HANA go-lives in the thousands by May 2017 — which I have translated to 2000. Although “in the thousands” could be 3000. But to give SAP the benefit of the doubt, I kept it to the lowest possible number that would still meet the definition of “in the thousands.”)

(2000 (SAP forecasted go lives) – 700 (SAP reported go lives) )/700(SAP reported go lives)

This equals…

+ 185% Forecast Error

The Inaccuracy of Claims Made by SAP Surrogates on SAP Forecast Accuracy

  • How would SAP customers learn that this prediction turned out to be untrue?
  • Will ASUG publish an article on this high level of error?
  • Will Deloitte inform its customers that SAP said this and what the results ended up being?
  • Who tells customers when SAP ends up being wrong?

In several Linked In comments as of late, individuals that make their career in SAP and are SAP biased frequently make the accusation that Brightwork is biased. The accusation of bias is easy to make. However, it is curious when the person making the accusation has an easily traceable income stream to SAP. A traceable income stream is the most predictive elements to forecast bias. For example, it is why the sales forecast is the least accurate input of all the inputs to the forecasting process. I cover this in detail in the book Sales and the Statistical Forecast Combined.

The accusation of bias is easy to make. However, it is something else to prove bias. Bias means that what a person or entity says and what they predict is consistently inaccurate in either a positive direction or a negative direction. Yet, SAP and ASUG are consistently positively biased.

Biased can be measured mathematically when predictions are made that are quantitative. In this case, SAP’s forecast had an error of 185%, and it was positively biased.

This is always the way SAP predictions work.

The Importance of Verifying SAP’s Predictions

A trend line off of the data points available to ASUG at the time the prediction was made would have easily shown that this forecast by SAP was extremely unlikely. The last published data point available to ASUG in their August 2016 adoption study was 350 go-lives. S/4HANA had already been available for a year and a half at that point. Why would ASUG think that SAP would increase its go lives by over 1650, which would have been a 470% increase in 8 to 9 months?

  • Option 1: If the ASUG authors of the study actually thought that, then they are the wrong people to be writing the survey.
  • Option 2: If they did not believe it, but simply repeated it because they are remotely controlled by SAP, then (once again) they are the wrong authors to write a survey covering S/4HANA adoption.

SAP is consistently positively biased. SAP stated that Oracle was finished on SAP, that HANA was the fastest database in the world, that it would take over the CRM market, that it would effectively compete against AWS in the PaaS market (see this article on the Multicloud).

All of these things were covered uncritically in the major media outlets.

None of these things came true.

If one could describe a perfect audience for SAP’s forecasts it would be a group of amnesiacs.

Yet it is interesting to observe that no one from Accenture, or Deloitte or other SAP surrogates seem to care if SAP is biased. What they collectively will not tolerate is if a person or entity observes this and makes a prediction which does not match with SAP’s positive bias. As soon as any entity questions the accuracy of SAP’s statements, then at that point the person making money from either selling SAP licenses or consulting services levels the claim of bias.

It is quite hypocritical for entities that have a 100% bias in favor of SAP, accusing entities (like Brightwork) of being biased when unlike SAP surrogates, we do not obtain revenue from vendors that compete with SAP. Naturally, the forecast accuracy of SAP surrogates is similarly inaccurate as they serve primarily as passive repeaters for messaging and prediction which is developed at SAP and released to the surrogates.

Redefining the Definition of Bias

The normal definition of bias is simply unacceptable to SAP surrogates. So it is back to the drawing board to create an entirely new definition. It is a definition where their strong financial incentive to promote SAP is not biased, it’s “looking out for client’s interests.”

For SAP surrogates, bias is information that is not explicitly promotional of SAP.

  • Promotional information is accurate.
  • Non-promotional information has an anti-SAP bias. This is true no matter how inaccurate SAP has been over no matter how large a span of time.

When asked directly to vouch for previous statements by Hasso Plattner, Bill McDermott, Vishal Sikka, Bill Enslin and others, statements that are now clearly inaccurate, the SAP surrogate swiftly pivots back to why Brightwork is biased.

Saying SAP “Said It”

According to how ASUG reports, SAP never lies or provides false information about their applications. How can ASUG credibly hold this view? What evidence is there, aside from ASUG declaring it to be true that ASUG looks out for their member’s interests?

Virtually all of the global SAP user groups are just like ASUG, with only DSAG for the German-speaking countries really challenging SAP when they do things that are bad for customers. Now ASUG did not start like this, but it is where they are at this point in their history.

This is not only ASUG’s approach. ComputerWeekly, Gartner, Forbes, Fortune, Deloitte, Accenture, all also do the same thing. They simply quote SAP. And very rarely question the information. And when the information ends being wrong, they don’t go back and explain that SAP previously mislead them. That is why none of them can forecast SAP because they are all on the take from SAP.

How SAP Misleads in Multiple Dimensions

Up to this point, I only pointed out that SAP widely missed its forecast of having thousands of live S/4HANA customers by May 2017, as per the officially reported figures.

However, the official numbers of 850 live S/4HANA customers reported by SAP is also false.

SAP has probably a very few number of customers live on S/4HANA due to the application’s immaturity. This is not to say S/4HANA implementations have not been attempted. It is not to say that tiny areas of S/4HANA are being used for “something” or that there aren’t demo environment setup at customers. But truly live customers for S/3HANA? That number is so small it is barely worth discussing.

But uncovering that fact would require getting into some detail, doing research and in the end, it would all be for nothing…… as it would hurt these media outlet’s ability to get money from SAP. In this way, these media outlets pretend that they represent the interests of their readership. When in fact, they represent the interests of those that pay them to publish.

How SAP Stands Out from Even Other Mega-vendors in IT Media Control

Strangely there is really no other vendor that receives such universally positive coverage as SAP. All the large vendors obtain a media advantage over smaller vendors. That is an unfair system, which shows the dangers of allowing concentration in sectors of the economy. Yet there is really no other vendor, not IBM, not Oracle, not Microsoft that can publish inaccurate information so consistently, and eventually not fact some blowback from it in the IT media. This is why we like to say at Brightwork that we almost have the market on providing the real story on SAP to ourselves. The other entities that call out SAP on inaccuracies being

  • Vinnie Mirchandani
  • Rimini Street
  • Nucleus Research

Yet if the combined web traffic of these three entities plus Brightwork on SAP topics (Nucleus Research publishes on many topics, not just SAP, and Rimini Street tends to focus on areas of SAP reality that relate to support) and compare it to the web traffic of the pro-SAP cheerleaders in IT media, the size of the reality-based output would pale by comparison.

There is something about SAP’s total IT media control and control over so many consulting companies (who are also major providers of information to the IT marketplace – although not in a public forum) that is contradictory to the foundations of the US system of speech and the press. When a single entity has so much control over what people are told and what they read on a subject, that is not a diversity of thought, it is totalitarian. The fact that so much of it is false, makes, of course, that much worse.

Conclusion

ASUG is another puppet of SAP that cannot challenge anything that SAP says. ASUG is an interesting case study in how an entity that begins as a user group transforms into a marketing outlet for the vendor. What is curious is that ASUG members actually pay for the privilege of receiving information from an entity that does nothing more than serving as a passive repeater for SAP marketing.

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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.

HANA & S/4HANA Research Contact

  • Interested in Research on S/4HANA & HANA?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in S/4HANA and HANA without outside advice. And it is not possible to get honest S/4HANA and HANA advice from large consulting companies. We offer remote unbiased multi-dimension S/4HANA and HANA support.

    Just fill out the form below and we'll be in touch.

References

Best Understand ASUG’s S/4HANA Adoption Survey

The Risk Estimation Book

 

Software RiskRethinking 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.

  • This is the European Schools S/4HANA which is part of our research study.
  • We evaluate the accuracy of this case study.

    Search Our Other Fiori Content

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.

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.

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://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

How to Best Understand ASUG on S/4HANA’s Cloud Relaunch

Executive Summary

  • S/4HANA was relaunched. SAP has an explanation of this relaunch.
  • We review the accuracy of this explanation.

Introduction

In this article, we will review ASUG’s article on the S/4HANA Cloud relaunch.

Quotes from the ASUG Article

“While S/4HANA in all flavors appears to have had a successful sales start, with SAP now claiming 6,000 customers having purchased its next-generation, in-memory-centric ERP, those buys have primarily come in the form of on-premise or managed cloud deployments.”

That is misleading. According to ASUG’s own S/4HANA Study of 2016, only 350 customers are live on S/4HANA. Brightwork’s estimate is that the number is quite a bit lower than 350 live customers. Many of the S/4HANA implementations are either demo type systems or offline systems. ASUG knows that the 6,000 customer number is a gross exaggeration, but they published it anyway. This is covered in the article How SAP Controls Perceptions with Customer Numbers.

“The public cloud, or software-as-a-service (SaaS), edition, which was originally announced alongside the other two versions originally, has not picked up the same steam—with SAP having set a goal of 30 S/4HANA Cloud customers by the end of 2016 last May.”

And is ASUG going to explain why that is? Why does SAP have so few public cloud customers on S/4HANA?

The answer is very simple. S/4HANA is not now and will not be in the future a good fit for the public cloud. The reason is that history shows us that 92% of customers either moderately or aggressively customized ECC. However, you can’t customize a public cloud application, because at that point it ceases to be multi-tenant. And therefore, it becomes private cloud.

It is curious that ASUG does not explain this to its readers.

“Since August, however, SAP has put a renewed focus on S/4HANA Cloud by creating a dedicated division led by Darren Roos, who told a roundtable of analysts and reporters at SAP Capital Markets Day in New York City this week that the vendor signed up more S/4HANA Cloud customers in the Q4 of 2016 than it had in all previous quarters combined. He declined to give specific numbers, but the goal by the end of 2017 is to see the customer numbers “in the hundreds.”

SAP effectively re-launched S/4HANA Cloud this week. To be clear, this is not a new offering but rather the maturation of the product that was announced in early 2015. What the announcement does signal is SAP’s clear dedication to growing S/4HANA Cloud.

“We are gaining good momentum,” says Roos.”

That is quite doubtful, for reasons that were just covered.

SAP needs to continue to present a brave public cloud face for Wall Street. However, S/4HANA is not inherently designed for the cloud as is covered in this article.

Pizza Chain Takes S/4HANA Cloud Leap

SAP is targeting the mid-market—businesses with above 1,500 employees but not quite at enterprise scale—with S/4HANA Cloud. Most of the S/4HANA Cloud customers thus far have been net new SAP ERP customers, Roos says.

SAP may or may not be targeting this segment, but it won’t matter. S/4HANA public cloud so far has only attracted the smallest customers. This is because some small customers can get by without customizing S/4HANA. That will be the market in the future that will work for S/4HANA regardless of who Roos wants to target.

“One of those net new customers is MOD Pizza, a fast-casual pizza chain that launched in 2008. MOD is currently two months into its S/4HANA Cloud Core Finance module implementation, with about another two months of work before go-live.

MOD’s commitment to S/4HANA Cloud is an encouraging sign for the product, which had previously been targeting at professional services firms that could implement, then help their own customers do the same. MOD, instead, is a 3,000-employee consumer-facing organization with hundreds of locations conducting thousands of transactions every day.”

Why is S/4HANA targeted towards professional service firms? S/4HANA is an ERP system, why would a professional services firm deal with the expense and overhead of S/4HANA unless they were managing a physical product. Actually, there is one reason why that it is covered in the article, The Problem with S/4HANA Consulting Company Case Studies. 

“So why did MOD go with S/4HANA Cloud above other options on the market that may be currently more mature? One major reason was a belief in SAP as a stable organization committed to growing its product.

“Some other alternatives were more advanced than where S/4HANA is today,” says Bob Barton, chief financial officer at MOD Pizza, who also spoke at roundtable in New York this week. “But it wasn’t about where they are today, but they are going to be. The ultimate selection came to the fact that SAP is a real company with a real set of solutions that has been there and done that before.”

This is a fairly ridiculous statement. Intacct and FinancialForce, which are two far better choices for a professional services company, are also real companies with a real set of solutions. And they have also been there and done that before.

“Barton also cites the support and commitment received from SAP in the selection process, saying “it felt like we were doing them a favor” and that SAP was there to answer any questions, offer creative pricing to ensure affordability and promises to implement quickly.

Of course, MOD is doing SAP a favor. Being an early adopter is never an easy task, but MOD saw that as a positive, adds Barton.”

MOD is doing SAP a favor. S/4HANA is still not ready to implement and MOD won’t be able to get much value out of S/4HANA, but it will be a boon to SAP to be able to use them for propaganda purposes. Which is really the entire point of the ASUG article.

“If we got in early, we could influence where the product is heading,” he says. “It’s a great opportunity. We’ve got an SAP-based product, a new product that is going to evolve.”

Tiny little MOD will not be influencing where the product is heading. And S/4HANA is not a new product. It is roughly 93% identical in code to ECC. But I can see that SAP told them that it was new. Rod Enslin, head of SAP Sales apparently tells clients that S/4HANA is a totally new product.

Conclusion

As with any ASUG article, it is difficult to tell how much of it was written by SAP, but this is a rather standard piece of SAP propaganda that has been released by ASUG. The nice thing about writing for ASUG is that SAP writes most of the article for you.

This ASUG article receives a 3.5 out of 10 on the Brightwork Accuracy Scale.

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

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://www.asug.com/news/sap-re-launches-s-4hana-cloud-aims-for-significant-growth-in-2017

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

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 to Best Understand ASUG on S/4HANA at REV Group

Executive Summary

  • ASUG makes the proposal that S/4HANA should be customized in a particular way.
  • We evaluate the accuracy of ASUG on this topic.

Introduction

One of the areas of S/4HANA that has been obscured by SAP has been S/4HANA customizations. In this article, we will describe what happens when S/4HANA is implemented by a company moving from ECC. And we will also delve into comments made by Deloitte regarding its highly customized version of ECC.

Quotes from the ASUG Article

“When a company grows through mergers and acquisitions, that typically leaves a mess of various enterprise systems. That’s the case at REV Group, which is implementing SAP S/4HANA after first getting a taste of SAP through an acquisition.

“REV is an amalgamation of several disparate specialty vehicle companies that was at one point utilizing 30 different ERP systems and Excel spreadsheets,” says Tim Sullivan, CEO at REV Group. “You can imagine the impossible task of assimilating our business operations with such a complex IT system.”

REV first implemented a Baan ERP system to try and bring together the organization, but after an acquisition of a company that had been using SAP, REV decided to upgrade and standardize to one instance of SAP ERP. The company found the increases in efficiencies and reduction in operating expenses associated with implementing SAP were enough to be convinced that upgrading to S/4HANA was the right move. Sullivan believes that running S/4HANA will provide an estimated $15 million in annual operational savings.”

Actually, none of the information provided in this quotation is a reason for migrating to S/4HANA. REV had standardized on one instance of ERP. But that does not mean that moving to S/4HANA is a good move. ECC is far more mature than S/4HANA and has a lower TCO.

And Tim Sullivan’s estimate of a $15 million in annual operational savings cannot be correct. This is because REV will learn that it is extremely difficult to get any ROI out of S/4HANA in its present state. Most likely Tim Sullivan is underestimating the costs of the implementation along with the costs of long-term maintenance.

Going Vanilla Versus S/4HANA Customizations?

“The move to S/4HANA hosted in a managed cloud environment is a gradual one for REV, with a division-by-division implementation approach, says Prasanth Sharma, VP of business solutions at ThoughtFocus Technologies, the key partner on REV’s S/4HANA project. As has been the case with many early S/4HANA adopters, REV is attempting to customize as little as possible.”

This is how any move to S/4HANA would have to be because S/4HANA is still not ready to be implemented.

This concept of not customizing SAP ERP has been a long-term message from SAP. However, the problem is that studies show that around 92% of SAP implementations are either moderately or extremely customized. And S/4HANA has less functionality than ECC, so there is little reason to think that S/4HANA will have less customization than did ECC. In fact, given the drop of functionality, it should have more.

Constant SAP Consulting Partner Lying About S/4HANA Customizations

SAP and SAP consulting partners normally lie to their prospects during the sales cycle by getting them to believe that SAP will cover more of a company’s requirements than they actually will. The consulting partners are critical in this, as they gather the requirements prior to the software selection. Then after the software has already been purchased and the consulting project has begun, customizations begin to be added. At that point, the customer is not in a position to go back and switch to a different vendor. Therefore even though the approach to using vanilla SAP has been disproven over decades of SAP, SAP and the consulting companies continue to propose it.

“We use off-the-shelf modules, and we don’t allow any customization of the software at all. We adapt our business processes to the software, not the other way around. This significantly accelerates the implementation cycle, and it guarantees one instance of the software,” says REV Group’s Sullivan. “Future training, maintenance, and updates are infinitely simpler and cost effective. I would never allow customizing of any software.”

Good luck with that Tim Sullivan. REV is about to get the surprise of their life.

S/4HANA Customizations Free Approach is the Way to Go?

“Sharma says the customization-free approach is the way to go for a company like REV looking to bring many divisions under a single umbrella—achieving standardized processes is key.

“The vanilla philosophy is a brilliant approach to take for businesses that have disparate divisions,” says Sharma. “You need a platform that brings them together—a standardized model with S/4HANA makes it very easy to do that, and very easy to manage as well.””

A better word than brilliant would be “unattainable.” Sharma is completely lying here. S/4HANA is not a platform any more than ECC was a platform, and ECC has, as already stated, historically had a lot of customizations. Furthermore, it is unclear what standardized model S/4HANA has that Sharma is talking about. S/4HANA has a listing of functionality, that is lower than ECC’s functionality list. Any functionality that does not cover REV’s requirements, will have to either be a customization or another application.

The Challenge of IT Change Management

“The key challenge in any “vanilla” implementation is acclimating people to an environment where they are adapting their work processes to a system, rather than adapting a system to their work processes. That means a change management strategy is as important as a technology strategy.”

This has been the boilerplate statement of SAP and SAP consulting companies for decades. Yet is extremely difficult to find SAP implementations that don’t have moderate to extreme customization. And it is not like these previous projects did not have change management as a concept. Secondly, the issue of entirely relying upon change management does not solve the issue. There are often processes that it does not make sense to change to SAP’s way of doing things. These may be key business requirements for the company that they can’t change. For example, ECC has always been weak in process industry manufacturing. Companies cannot simply adopt ECC’s functionality for process industry manufacturing because they simply don’t make any sense for the company. Doing so would be a force fit, that would leave the company unable to function properly. SAP is often confused, thinking that everything that the company does must be sacrificed at the altar of how SAP works. However, there is a different idea, that the software should support what the company wants to do.

Change Champions?

“The only way you can crack that nut is by not only having change champions within the organization but by also simplifying the solution as much as possible,” says Sharma. “People will accept change only when they know that their job is going to be easier.”

Here Sharma is commingling two issues into “change management.” One is the issue of simplification and change resistance, and the other are the requirements of the company. In the example of the process industry, it is not a question of simplification of the process. The issue is that process industry companies perform manufacturing in a way that SAP does not effectively model. Any process industry manufacturing company that uses vanilla ECC or vanilla S/4HANA will lose money if they don’t either customize ECC or S/4HANA or use other applications to perform some of the functions and then integrate back to ECC or S/4HANA. This example does not have anything to do with people resisting change simply to resist change. SAP and their consulting partners enjoy placing any resistance to SAP into the category of “resisting change,” but this is inaccurate. Resisting change due to being set in one’s ways can occur, but it is not the majority of the resistance to SAP generally. The main reason for resisting SAP is that SAP  cannot meet certain business requirements.

Returns from S/4HANA

“He says managers that didn’t embrace or commit to the process slowed the implementation down—but that situation was an isolated one and calls the project at all other locations “flawless.”

So far, Sullivan is “very pleased” with the returns on S/4HANA. The company can close months faster than before, freeing staff up to examine areas where REV Group can be more efficient.”

This is somewhat amusing that the implementation of S/4HANA was flawless in that S/4HANA is still such an immature application.

The statement made by Tim Sullivan regarding closing months faster than before is false if he means when compared to ECC. This argument has previously been analyzed by Brightwork in the following article Does S/4HANA Actually Have a Simplified Data Model?

Conclusion

As with any ASUG article, it is difficult to tell how much of it was written by SAP, but just about every sentence in this article by ASUG is false. Once again, ASUG stopped being independent from SAP a long time ago.

This article by ASUG receives 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.

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://www.asug.com/news/sap-s4hana-customer-story-hana-s-4-rev-group-thoughtfocus

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

The Risk Estimation Book

 

Software RiskRethinking 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 to Best Understand ASUG’s SAP S/4HANA Adoption Survey

Executive Summary

  • ASUG’s study into S/4HANA adoption was highly skewed towards SAP’s marketing and sales messaging.
  • In the study ASUG attempts to normalize the bumpiness with S/4HANA.
  • The study minimizes the issues with pre-existing ECC customizations.

Introduction to ASUG’s S/4HANA Study

I am currently working on and plan to release the first study into the actual implementation case studies for S/4HANA. As part of this research, I reviewed any previous work performed in the area. One of the publications that came to my attention was the ASUG S/4HANA Adoption Survey. In many cases when a survey of this type is published, it is common to immediately to begin reading the study or to trying to understand the method that they used. I don’t think that is the best place to start. For me, the best place to start is by analyzing the source, which, is in this case, ASUG.

Analyzing ASUG’s Media Output

My research into both the media output of ASUG as well as its institutional structure indicates that ASUG lacks any independence from SAP. Therefore it should not be possible for ASUG to conduct a survey that can be relied upon for accurate information on what is happening on S/4HANA projects. And sure enough, when I analyzed the ASUG survey, there were obvious points where ASUG had obscured areas that contained negative information so that ASUG members and others that read the study would not find out what I know through my research. For this and other reasons, the paper is misnamed. It is not an objective survey of what SAP customers have experienced or what they plan to do with S/4HANA. This is a critical and often overlooked aspect of reading the output of any entity. The entity may have access to the information; it may have all the domain expertise in the world. But if it lacks the institutional structure, leadership, financial sources, etc..

To tell the truth on the research topic, its output must be highly filtered to see if some insights can be gained from consuming its content. For instance, SAP places people in ASUG in senior leadership positions who have allegiance to SAP and entire career is based on their relationship with SAP, so it is not going to occur that ASUG would publish any information that would cast S/4HANA in anything but a flattering light.

Having covered that, let us jump into what I found to be important or interesting quotes from the ASUG survey.

Quotes from the SAP HANA Adoption Survey

“Available in a variety of deployment options—on-premise, managed cloud and public cloud— S/4HANA is the replacement for SAP’s on premise SAP Business Suite, being re-architected to take full advantage of HANA. So, for all SAP ECC 6.0 customers and those on earlier versions of SAP ERP, S/4HANA is their future destination.”

So this quote is consistent with the overall article that sprinkles in promotional language throughout the “study.” Notice the two areas of the quote that are bolded. The statements may or may not be true, but the question should be why are they even in what is ostensibly a study.

As for the first part of the quote, almost all S/4HANA implementations are on-premises. Why doesn’t ASUG bring up this fact? SAP marketing literature frequently mentions that S/4HANA is available either on-premises, managed cloud and public cloud. So why is a duplicated of phraseology from SAP marketing collateral in ASUG’s survey?

“SAP is positioning HCP as the extension and integration platform common to all SAP solutions, whether on-premise or cloud. HCP is also the foundation for much of SAP’s new product offerings, from microservices to full-blown software such as SAP BusinessObjects Cloud. Again, HCP is a technology that many ASUG members will be using, whether knowingly as a developer or a business user, or unknowingly as an SAP software end-user.”

This study is supposed to focus on HANA and S/4HANA. So why is ASUG bringing up HCP? HCP is a PaaS and is unrelated to either HANA or S/4HANA. Very few companies are using HCP, which I have covered in this article HCP Designed for HANA Washing? 

Other parts of the quote move into BusinessObjects Cloud. Again, this is a distraction from the survey on S/4HANA. It makes one wonder about ASUG’s reasoning for including it in the paper.

Top Level Statistics of S/4HANA

“The survey drew 749 respondents, most of whom are ASUG members occupying a mix of roles and coming from a broad range of company and industry backgrounds.”

  • 33 percent of respondents have already purchased S/4HANA, and a further 28 percent expect to buy the suite at some point before the end of 2018.
  • 8 percent of respondents are live on S/4HANA, while 19 percent are not currently considering a S/4HANA purchase, and 20 percent don’t know or aren’t sure about their organizations’ plans.
  • On-premise is the dominant deployment choice for S/4HANA, chosen by 33 percent of respondents; but a further 33 percent don’t know or aren’t sure of their deployment option.
  • While finance is the primary area where respondents rolled out or plan to deploy S/4HANA (33 percent), the second largest group (22 percent) are set to implement the suite companywide.

The Number of Respondents

The number of respondents that have purchased S/4HANA is not relevant because SAP included S/4HANA for free for some customers. The definition of a customer is merely in possession of the license. It does not mean the customer paid for it.

The third bullet point does not make any sense. The survey result showed 33% deployed S/4HANA on premises. But then 33 percent did not know how their S/4HANA implementation was deployed. In this case, the response should probably have been removed because it is most likely that a large percentage of the unknowns were on premises. Also, who is filling out the survey if they don’t know how the solution is deployed?

The fourth bullet point is problematic. This is because the S/4HANA Suite or Enterprise Management is not a completed product. ASUG discusses the plans of companies, but plans can be changed depending upon what companies learn about the completeness of S/4HANA outside of the Finance module. And neither SAP nor the vast majority of consulting companies, which are also SAP partners explains how unfinished S/4HANA is. This is likely the reason behind so many of the halted or postponed S/4HANA implementations that I am finding case studies for the S/4HANA Implementation Study that I am currently performing. Therefore the plans for the future of SAP customers are not based on the reality of S/4HANA.

“SAP is reintegrating functionality into the central core of the S/4HANA software, which it previously provided in additional complementary solutions in areas such as supply chain management (SCM), supplier relationship management (SRM) and customer relationship management (CRM).”

However is it true?

Checking if its True

 Well if we look at the SCM area, which is APO. The module PP/DS and perhaps EWM is moving to S/4HANA, but the other modules in APO are not moving over. These are instead migrating to IBP which I cover in the following article on SAP IBP’s Open Questions and Opportunities. Some of the APO modules, like F&R and SNC, will likely be dropped, or have their functionality migrated elsewhere.

If we look at SRM, SRM is not migrating to S/4HANA. In fact, it is supposed to be replaced by Ariba.

I am not sure about CRM’s direction. I say that I am unsure how much CRM has been or will be migrated. But as you can see from the other examples, it is not so cut and dried.

Here are the currents Fiori apps that are part of the CRM.

  • Customer Reports (SAP Business Suite)
  • My Accounts (SAP Business Suite – Lower back-end versions)
  • My Accounts (SAP Business Suite)
  • My Appointments (SAP Business Suite – Lower back-end versions)
  • My Appointments (SAP Business Suite)
  • My Contacts (CRM) (SAP Business Suite – Lower back-end versions)
  • My Contacts (CRM) (SAP Business Suite)
  • My Leads (SAP Business Suite – Lower back-end versions)
  • My Leads (SAP Business Suite)
  • My Notes (SAP Business Suite – Lower back-end versions)
  • My Notes (SAP Business Suite)
  • My Opportunities (SAP Business Suite – Lower back-end versions)
  • My Opportunities (SAP Business Suite)
  • My Tasks (SAP Business Suite – Lower back-end versions)
  • My Tasks (SAP Business Suite)
  • Simulate Sales Pipeline (SAP Business Suite – Lower back-end versions)
  • Simulate Sales Pipeline (SAP Business Suite)
  • Track Sales Pipeline (SAP Business Suite – Lower back-end versions)
  • Track Sales Pipeline (SAP Business Suite)
But will these apps connect to CRM as a separate system or to S/4HANA? That requires investigation.

ASUG Attempts to Normalize the Bumpiness with S/4HANA

“All well and good, but like any new offering S/4HANA has undergone some product maturation and repositioning, leaving ASUG members and other SAP customers confused about what different releases of the suite provide and why, how and when they and their organizations might adopt S/4HANA. There has been gradual, ongoing uptake for S/4HANA among SAP’s existing customers, along with purchasing by customers who are net-new to SAP. The latest public figures SAP shared in October 2016 put the number of S/4HANA customers who have licensed the in-memory-based business suite at more than 4,100, 350 of whom are live on S/4HANA. Typically, SAP talks about its ERP customer base being around 37,000, so there’s a long way to go before everyone is live on S/4HANA. We’ve heard both SAP and ASUG members describe S/4HANA as being “a journey.””

It is always interesting to see how ASUG presents negative information.

Not All Offerings Have Problems S/4HANA

First, not all new offerings have had the problems that S/4HANA has had. This is because it is rare for software applications to be released to the market in the state that S/4HANA was released. Therefore, S/4HANA has been far bumpier and has had a much higher failure rate than the typical new application. ASUG will not discuss this of course, but SAP announced S/4HANA too early, and then missed the deadlines for the rest of the overall suite. In this way, S/4HANA has many similarities to Oracle Fusion, which was an overly ambitious program for migrating Oracle applications to SaaS. Over nine years in, the Oracle Fusion program is still having difficulty gaining traction. I do not anticipate it will take S/4HANA as long to gain acceptance — but SAP is repeating many of the same glaring mistakes that plagued the Oracle Fusion program.

A significant difference is that Oracle does not have the partner network that does SAP, and does not have the control over the IT media landscape as does SAP. For this reason, stories around the shortcomings of S/4HANA have been kept under wraps. My research entity, Brightwork Research & Analysis is one of the very few entities that has published the reality on the topic. Another being Vinnie Mirchandani in his book SAP Nation and SAP Nation 2.0.

The Paragraph’s Introduction by ASUG

But overall, this is paragraph’s introduction by ASUG is an attempt to generalize S/4HANA’s problems to all applications. This is inaccurate, though self-serving.

Now the second sentence about SAP customers being confused is certainly correct. But it is not because of rational “repositioning.” SAP has frequently communicated contradictory and inaccurate information about S/4HANA. Again, this is not “normal.” Of all the applications I cover, there is probably the most confusion about S/4HANA, and we are several years into its introduction into the market.

The comment about “gradual uptake” is another sentence from the Soviet University School of Propaganda. Talk about wordsmithing. S/4HANA has seen very low adoption. And there is little reason for surprise.

  • S/4HANA is the largest change to SAP’s primary ERP system ever introduced — and it is still not a completed product.
  • There is also the necessity switch out the database that was being used for HANA, which is not something customers were clamoring for. Using HANA has some implications that have been significantly oversimplified by both SAP and the major SIs. (I have covered some these in my previous articles) It is not at all a simple analysis to do this.

All of these factors and more have hindered adoption of S/4HANA. As for ASUG’s estimates of usage of S/4HANA, I am quite confident that it is exaggerated.

I will cover this in more detail in the soon to be released S/4HANA Implementation Study.

Losing Focus on the Purpose of the Paper

“When SAP first released S/4HANA in February 2015, the primary functionality focus was financials. The second major on-premise release of the suite, S/4HANA 1511, generally available in November 2015, expanded functionality into areas of logistics such as production planning and inventory management. As of the third major on-premise release, S/4HANA 1610, which debuted in October 2016, all the features of S/4HANA Finance were added into the suite and all future innovation on finance will concentrate on S/4HANA, not a stand-alone finance offering. Of course, companies don’t have to start with finance; they can adopt the latest release of the full on-premise suite, SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management.

SAP’s approach with S/4HANA, public cloud edition, is somewhat different, offering a suite but also providing modular S/4HANA editions—for instance, S/4HANA Finance Cloud was new in the 1611 November 2016 release of S/4HANA Cloud.”

I have a major complaint with how ASUG is presenting information, and this is a perfect example of what I mean by this.

This paragraph gets into all the details about when different versions of S/4HANA are coming out. They then offer some advice on implementation.

How is any of this relevant to a study of this type?

What ASUG Appears to be Trying

ASUG appears to be trying to do some things with this study, but a lot of the information they are presenting is not relevant to the title of the paper. The title is a S/4HANA Adoption Study. Therefore the information presented in the paper should reflect the title of the paper.

This reminds me when I ask if a task is completed from an IT resource and instead of and answer of “yes” or “no” I get a lengthy explanation of what happened, and what remains to be done. This seems to be the preferred way for many IT resources to answer when the actual answer is no.

Greenfield Versus Upgrade

“For many organizations, determining how they get to S/4HANA is a pressing issue, given that there are a variety of routes to choose from. In talking to early S/4HANA adopters, we’ve heard that a greenfield approach has been more common than a migration.”

Is ASUG seriously not cognizant of why most respondents have gone with a greenfield approach?

This is one of those observations that really can only fall into two categories. Either the people that wrote this paper at ASUG do not know why Greenfield is so common, in which case they are not the right people to write a paper on S/4HANA adoption. The second option is that they know, but decided not to explain why, and in which case they are also not the right people to write the adoption paper.

ECC cannot be upgraded to S/4HANA because the changes from ECC are so dramatic. S/4HANA is a reimplementation. This is critical information, and of course, ASUG leaves it entirely out of the study on S/4HANA adoption.

Pre-existing ECC Customizations

“Another key “how” question we hear S/4HANA adopters frequently debating is their approach to customization. Typically, customers have tended to heavily customize their existing SAP ECC on-premise deployments and, in moving to S/4HANA, organizations can rethink their business processes, which may result in more simplicity and avoid the need for a lot of customization. So, we asked our respondents to describe their organization’s position on customization as it relates to current or planned S/4HANA implementation. Of the 558 respondents to the question, the majority (43 percent) said they would implement S/4HANA with as few customizations as possible, followed by 25 percent who said they would implement S/4HANA with all the customizations required by business and IT, and a further 25 percent who answered they don’t know or aren’t sure. Only five percent of respondents said they would implement S/4HANA with zero customizations.”

Everything written in this quotation is very unlikely to come true. Customizations are created because the functionality in ECC was not what was desired for a particular area. S/4HANA adjusts the functionality in S/4HANA, but SAP has not engaged in a program for greatly enlarging the functionality in SAP’s ERP system to account for a huge number of customizations at customers. In fact, some functionality has been removed, meaning customizations may increase for come customers.

What ASUG is Leaving Out

Think about the implication of this for a moment. Is SAP committing to enlarge its ERP scope to such a degree?

ASUG is leaving out something imperative in its coverage of S/4HANA. And that is that every single customization will break when a company moves to S/4HANA. One primary reason for this is that the table structure and overall database schema of HANA for S/4HANA are different. And customizations have to connect to tables. Why isn’t ASUG explaining this? It is not necessary for ASUG to explain this as the topic of the paper is S/4HANA adoption. But if they are going to bring up the topic of customization, this is probably the number one issue around customizations for S/4HANA, and ASUG strangely does not think it is important enough to include.

Much of the verbiage around simplifying one’s environment by removing customizations is either directly or very close to nonsense. SAP too often uses the term simplify to obscure what are real issues. It is of course SAP’s preference to remove all customizations and for everyone to run standard SAP. That is what the SAP sales process more often than not oversells, but it is not reality. One cannot change the conversation by using the term simplify as a magic wand on these issues.

False Information at End of Quotation

The rest of the quotation gets into the percentage of what customers think they will keep or lose regarding their customizations. I would say that it is highly doubtful that the respondents know enough to answer this question with very much accuracy as to what will eventually happen when they implement S/4HANA.

It is important to note, that this entire paragraph on customizations is the exact position of SAP. Not a similar position, a 100% facsimile to SAP’s position on customization. If ASUG is designed to represent user interests to SAP, But they don’t. As a commenter from ASUG stated on a comment on my previous ASUG article ASUG’s Biased and Inaccurate Coverage of SAP Indirect Access.

If the users/customers and SAP have never seen eye to eye on customization, why is ASUG’s position a facsimile of SAP’s?

Customer Reason for Moving to S/4HANA

“We were eager to find out the number-one driver for organizations moving to S/4HANA. Of the 571 respondents to the question, the largest number (28 percent) chose the statement “S/4HANA is where SAP is making primary investments and innovations.” In second place was “We need a single reliable source of real-time data truth to power decision making,” chosen by 15 percent of respondents, followed by “S/4HANA will enable our digital transformation strategy,” which drew 14 percent of those polled. Next up was “We need an improved user experience so our staff can be more productive” (11 percent), then “We need a simpler data model so we can cut IT costs,” and “We need a simpler landscape so we can consolidate apps and databases” (each option attracted 9 percent of those polled).”

I found this answer genuinely interesting. The first answer seems like it is difficult to take issue with. SAP is making investments into S/4HANA, so the company wants to use the applications that SAP is investing in. It is a reasonable platitude. But the other comments show how misinformed the customers that responded to the survey are.

A Jumble of False Statements

  • Single Source of Truth: S/4HANA will not provide a single source of truth any more than ECC did. Also, are we recycling motivations here? SAP sold ECC and R/3 also by promising a single source of truth.
  • We Need to Enable Digital Transformation: I have a future article on this, but it is difficult to see “DT” as anything real. It is a strange and insubstantial logic for making such an investment decision. It also brings up the problem with the survey. As it was obviously multiple choice, it is clear that ASUG created this series of options. Therefore, the respondents chose options that were preselected for them.
  • Improved User Experience: This leads to Fiori. However, Fiori has a ways to go before it is proven as a usable interface for S/4HANA. There are just not enough people using it yet to say a lot about it.
  • Simpler Data Model: HANA’s “simpler data model” is not more straightforward. I cover this in the following article Does HANA Have a Simpler Data Model. But companies must be prepared for higher costs with HANA, not lower costs. Now the benefits side may improve, but the cost side will only increase.

Obstacles to Implementing S/4HANA

“When it comes to the top obstacle to S/4HANA adoption, our survey drew no one clear answer. Of the 550 respondents to the question, 18 percent said it was unclear how S/4HANA benefits their specific organization. In joint second position, at 15 percent apiece, were lack of a clear general-purpose S/4HANA road map and lack of in-house S/4HANA skills. Not far behind, at 14 percent, was not enough live S/4HANA customers, which we’ve heard voiced regularly by ASUG members who would like to see S/4HANA live customer figures in the thousands rather than the hundreds before they commit their organization to moving to the suite. SAP tells us it expects to reach those levels of live S/4HANA customers by SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference, in May 2017. 13 percent cited no clear understanding of how to get from their current ECC 6.0 to S/4HANA, followed by 12 percent who said there was a lack of clarity of S/4HANA versions and functionality (see Figure 5 ). SAP is endeavoring to address these concerns by publishing regular road maps for the different deployment options and versions of S/4HANA. The vendor is also providing more tools to help customers at each step of their S/4HANA journey, including SAP Value Assurance service packages.”

Interesting that one of the most important reasons which are the fact that S/4HANA is not completed product is not included as an option on the survey. This is why ASUG performing this study is a problem. They lack the objectivity to place interesting and important questions on the survey as they know they would not like the answers and it would not “look good.”

Not Meeting the Numbers of Go Lives

S/4HANA will not meet those number of live customers by May 2017. And I want to bring up a point here that is telling. Notice that ASUG is simply stating what SAP told them regarding the number of live customers on S/4HANA by a certain date. However, ASUG claims to be independent of SAP. If ASUG is independent of SAP, why is ASUG not offering their view on whether the statement by SAP is likely to be true? Let me give you an example. How can you tell that I am not on SAP’s payroll or somehow receive financial consideration from them? Brightwork may be getting lots of money from SAP and lying about it. But the Brightwork media output is a clue, and it significantly diverges from SAP marketing. And it is unlikely that SAP would pay any entity to write objectively about them.

We can all read SAP press releases to find out what SAP thinks. However, the purpose of an entity performing research or writing on SAP is to evaluate statements by SAP independently. Let me restate, the ostensible purpose of ASUG’s study is to determine the adoption of S/4HANA. However, this is not the overall objective. The objective is at least in equal part to promote S/4HANA adoption. That is why so much has been concealed that is negative or problematic about S/4HANA implementations and why so much SAP marketing literature is sprinkled throughout the study.

The Issue with SAP Bias

This issue of SAP bias that extends to the major SAP consulting companies as well, but entities that pose as being independent of SAP, but that simply repeat what SAP says, creates an echo chamber. These entities are abusing the trust of the reader by pretending to be something that they are not. The reality is that these entities are not independent. And by doing this, it makes the SAP proposals seem to be more valid than they are.

I can bring up many examples of this, both present and past were very obvious falsehoods were not questioned in public by any of the entities that are ostensibly independent of SAP. One older example is why not one of them published or discussed the inaccurate marketing around Netweaver as I did years ago in the article I published years ago Did Netweaver Exist?

Did the rest of the entities that wrote on SAP and specifically on Netweaver really not know that it did not exist and was a marketing construct. Did some know but decide not to publish because it would ruffle feathers at SAP? The kindest thing that can be said is that they did not know. But if you don’t know, then why are you authoring articles on topics you don’t understand?

Clarifying S/4HANA Releases?

On the topic of clarification on S/4HANA on the part of SAP. While it sounds like a good thing. The problem with SAP’s attempting to clarify the various releases is that S/4HANA’s releases are themselves grossly confusing. And this is because S/4HANA is being developed incrementally. This has the unfortunate consequence of making everything more complicated. This is the downside with following the incremental development schedule.

Conclusion

In yet another article (see my previous analysis of the ASUG article on indirect access here), ASUG demonstrates that it is a marketing arm for SAP.

I do not know ASUG history all that well, but from speaking with numerous people who have participated in ASUG for many years, ASUG was not always a marketing arm of SAP. At one time they used effectively represent user interests. However, through not having any transparency, it is clear that SAP has taken over ASUG. This should be a concern for all ASUG members, and ASUG members should begin to ask for more of a hand in choosing who ends up in ASUG leadership positions. Obviously, if the leadership is controlled/nominated by SAP, it will reflect SAP’s interests. This is the precise problem with the US FDA or the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA’s senior leadership is essentially a revolving door through which the executives of big Pharma rotate. They are nominated to these positions because pharmaceutical companies are major donors in presidential campaigns. This is why we can no longer have an objective pharmaceutical regulatory body in the US.

ASUG for Moderating Conflicts

In my article on indirect access, I question whether ASUG is still a place to moderate conflicts between customers and SAP. It may be difficult for people that work at ASUG to understand how transparently they are demonstrating their bias in their media output. Pretty soon you just begin to internalize the values of the entity that pays your bills and come up with rationalizations for why it is all good for the users. It is tough to write a clean piece once you come from a particular angle of financial bias.

ASUG, your seams are showing.

This article is part of The S/4HANA Implementation Study. Please see that study for the overall conclusions.

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.

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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. 

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References

https://www.asug.com/news/asug-research-what-asug-members-tell-us-about-sap-s-4hana-and-sap-hana-cloud-platform-adoption

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

The Risk Estimation Book

 

Software RiskRethinking 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