How Accurate Was SAP on ERP SD Is No Longer a Transaction Processing Module?

Executive Summary

  • SAP made the proposal that the SD benchmark is no longer applicable because the way that customers used SD has changed.
  • We review the accuracy of this claim.

Introduction

SAP’s stance on SD benchmarks is curious. In this article, we will review the history and accuracy of SAP’s claim regarding benchmark applicability.

The Position of SAP on its SD Benchmarks

“Hey guys keep your calm. let’s look at the benchmark issue first.

the current sd application of the sap erp suites reads tables without projection (didn’t matter in the past), maintains multiple indices (some via db, some as redundant tables), maintains materialized aggregates to achieve a decent response time for oltp reporting and still has some joining of tables trough loops in abap. all this is bad for a columnar in memory db. the current select ‘single’ is 1,4 times slower for a normal projection

(equal for a projection with one attribute, significantly slower for a projection of all attributes of a table with hundreds of attributes. the oltp applications have a large amount of supposedly high speed queries and transactional reporting. some of this had to be moved in the past to the bw for performance reasons. also planning activities should be part of the transactional scope, just think about the daily delivery planning.” – Hasso Plattner

Hasso’s English is a bit rough and while he is endorsing a particular statement here, the quotation from John Appleby is more understandable. (Appleby did not work for SAP, at the time this article was published, but he faithfully represented SAP’s position as Appleby lead a HANA consulting group at Bluefin and was a shill for SAP.)

“I’ve not run the benchmark but I believe it’s because:

1) SD doesn’t run well on HANA

2) SD doesn’t accurately represent how customers actually use systems in 2014

3) HANA does run well for how customers really use systems in 2014

SAP are in the process of creating a new benchmark which I understand will include mixed-workload OLTAP queries.

The BW-EML benchmark was designed to take into account the changing direction of data warehouses – a move towards more real-time data, and ad-hoc reporting capabilities.”– John Appleby

This quote is analyzed in more detail in the article How Accurate Was John Appleby on SAP BW-EML Benchmark?

The Very Serious Logical Problems with SAP’s Logic

Even though the vast majority of ERP instances are not on HANA (SAP claims 2000 live customers on S/4HANA, which even if true, would still be a tiny percentage of the total ECC live customers), the SD benchmarks are no longer representative of how companies use SD. This statement was made as far back as Nov 2013 by Hasso Plattner as we covered in the article John Appleby, Beaten by Chris Eaton in Debate and Required Saving by Hasso Plattner.


However, when we check the SD benchmarks, there is not a single HANA benchmark for SD, and we are now up to 2019.

Also, according to SAP, the appropriate benchmark for SD is the BW-EML/BWAML, which is an analytics benchmark. So somewhere around when HANA was introduced SD switched from being primarily a transaction processing module to being an analytics module? That is curious how a module can change its basic processing type retroactively. It’s almost like this entire proposal was made up out of thin air.

This is true even if SD on ECC has no analytics other than opening tables in SE16(n)?

Talk about a story that does not hold together.

Conclusion

SAP’s contention around the inapplicability of the SD benchmarks is false. It was done very obviously to create an excuse to keep HANA from competing with other databases and to hide the fact that HANA does not perform well for transaction processing as we covered in the article HANA as a Mismatch for S/4HANA and ERP.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

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References

TCO Book

 

TCO3

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

Getting to the Detail of TCO

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

The Mechanics of TCO

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

SAP HANA 大裁员:它怎么了

Executive Summary

  • SAP recently had major layoffs in its HANA group.
  • We analyze what this likely means for HANA.

Chinese Version of This Article

This article was originally written in English and became very popular in China. It was translated at a website in China and then removed for some reason. We copied a saved version of that article that we had to the site. This is our content after all. Note to the people that copied this to their site, this is our content, and you are not supposed to just copy it to your site. Lets have some respect for the work put in by others.

Introduction

2019年3月6日星期三,SAP对其高级HANA职位做出了重大调整。SAP解雇了所有顶级HANA开发人员,并且解雇了HANA实验室的主管。加上最近解雇的SAP首席技术官Bernd Leukert。在本文中,我们将回顾这些变化的重要影响以及HANA的进展。

HANA的重要背景

HANA是一个构思欠佳的数据库,其基本设计参数由一个完全没有资格设计数据库的人设定,Hasso Plattner。正如我们在文章中所述,Hasso Plattner和他所带领的博士生发明HANA?SAP为HANA的开发创建了一个有预谋的错误背景故事,Hasso在他博学的博士的帮助下发明了一个新的数据库。

Hasso has written this story in several books.

Hasso在SAPPHIRE和无数文章中重述了这个故事。这个故事完全是错误的,这意味着每次重复Hasso都会撒谎。事实上,所有这些技术都是在HANA“创建”之前一年获得的,这些收购并未列入SAP在维基百科上的收购中。

HANA以巨大的技术债务开始其生命,因为它的基本设计从未有任何意义。Hasso最终选择了另一位非常不合格的人来管理HANA的发展 – Vishal Sikka。 Vishal Sikka几年前离开SAP去了Infosys,但SAP在新任CTO Bernd Leukert的领导下,在HANA方面取得的进展很小,他没有资格成为CTO,甚至不如Vishal Sikka领导下HANA取得的进展。

HANA在哪里引领行业?

HANA领导行业的唯一领域是Marketing Claims。在Brightwork,我们对主要数据库供应商以外的任何实体的HANA进行了大量研究,由于他们与SAP的合作协议,他们都无法发布他们所拥有的信息。我没有和SAP之外的任何一个不懂数据库的人谈过SAP的Claims。

HANA不在SAP客户之外使用。如果HANA是SAP所说的,那就很奇怪了。如果HANA有效,为什么它的实施仅限于少数几家在购买HANA之前已经是SAP客户的公司?

伪创新的HANA

技术公司夸大其技术创新是很常见的。正如我们在“公共云革命:开源如何取代私有IT巨型供应商”一书中所述,私营部门公司参与的一项主要策略是从公共领域撤出,并假装创新是他们的。从制药公司到软件公司的每个人都经常这样做。 SAP是一位声称因未参与的创新而获得赞誉的大师。

HANA是伪创新,正如我们在《如何理解HANA伪创新》一文中所述。 SAP已经对其他数据库进行逆向工程,并重命名项目以隐藏逆向工程设计,SAP为HANA花费的资金只是为了简单的重复造轮子?SAP已经无法为数据库创建新的贡献。它的设计与数据库设计的完全相反,正如我们在如何理解AWS的多基础与SAP的单基础方法中所述。这一切都不应该那么难理解,因为SAP关于HANA的陈述经常违反数据库理论。

今天,SAP关于HANA的许多声明都可以穿插Dan Quayle或Sara Palin的引用,而且看起来并不一致。Steve Lucas提供的一些最荒谬的内容,正如我们对Steve Lucas 文章的分析关于HANA Oracle不会告知你的事情。

更多人似乎没有注意到这一点,这表明SAP顾问和员工膜拜SAP高级人员所声明的任何信息。

当来自SAP的高级别人员发表声明时,大多数SAP员工的大脑都会发生奇怪的事情。他们似乎没有问“等等,这有什么意义吗?”相反,信息直接进入大脑而没有过滤。自HANA首次推出以来,SAP员工现在一直在重复关于数据库的荒谬事情。这很奇怪,因为对于SAP员工来说,这些说法似乎完全正常,而对我们来说,这些说法看起来像是一个只是在制造东西的人的提议。

HANA的最初构想

HANA总是构思不佳,在市场上没有任何实际用途。我们对全球12个HANA实施报告的评估表明,它必须是市场上销售的最高维护数据库。我们跟踪的其他数据库都不是那么不稳定,需要很多其他组件才能正常运行 – HANA与各种创可贴相结合,这些辅助工具是将HANA推出市场所必需的,也是高度分散的开发领导力的自然结果。 HANA是数据库的黑洞,不断吞噬IT预算。我们跟踪的唯一适度成功的实现是针对HANA上的BW,但HANA仅在旧硬件上优于旧版本的Oracle和DB2。事实上,正如我们在文章中讨论的SAP HANA利益的多少硬件负责人所做的那样,大部分性能改进都不适用于更新和更大的硬件?

HANA没有竞争数据库的性能优势,在解决其规模巨大的内存占用空间方面遇到了巨大的问题,正如我们在HANA占用其他数据库内存30到40倍这篇文章中所述。

HANA的真正目的

SAP不断向客户介绍HANA的好处,但经过广泛的评估,HANA对客户没有任何好处。任何使用HANA替换DB2或Oracle或其他数据库的客户都不会看到分析性能方面的改进(相比现代版本的DB2或Oracle,即使是在较小的硬件占用空间上),但客户在事务处理和处理密集型方面都会出现显着的性能下降像我们在如何解释HANA上的MRP性能问题一文中所述的MRP等操作。

HANA的真正目的很简单。这是为了将促使Oracle退出他们的客户并为SAP获取更多的收入(SAP已经为Oracle的客户增加了收费)。Hasso和Larry已经陷入了长达数十年的根深蒂固的敌意,HANA是Hasso刺向Larry的一种方式……当Hasso的帆船在他们的一场比赛中遇到机械问题时,Larry可能不会停下来协助他。 老实说,Hasso受到自负和情绪的驱使,这可能是Hasso在头脑里第一次种下要开始做HANA的种子。这个假设最初是通过与Oracle / SAP领域多年经验的联系人向我提出的,但不希望被识别出来。

我不能证明这是真的,但如果是真的,它会解释很多看起来不合理的事情,而不是有其他什么原因。如果有人读过其他Brightwork文章,很明显我们不是Oracle的粉丝。我们认为Oracle是一个垄断供应商,应该由FTC分解。因此,这些陈述并非来自对Oracle的任何忠诚,而是来自数据库的事实特征。这同样适用于IBM,以及另一家供应商。但是,我们不允许我们对Oracle的不屑或IBM的业务实践影响到我们的技术观察。

HANA开发的问题

HANA推出了一项非常夸张的营销活动,正如我们报道中所提到的,SAP对HANA的不懈努力是否得到了汇报呢?

但是,除了几乎无法满足任何最初的声明之外,HANA仍然无法满足这些声明,而HANA根本就没有在这些声明中取得进展。

我们的观点是原罪是让Hasso设定了设计参数。正如我们一再声明的那样,Hasso不是一个技术性的头脑,他是我们在Hasso Plattner博士学位所涵盖的推动者吗? SAP的另外三位联合创始人更多的是技术人才。由于他是最后一位创始人,他基本上因为他们的贡献而受到赞扬。

听Hasso或阅读他的书的人显然没有注意到他对技术没有特别的洞察力这一事实。在读比尔盖茨所写的任何内容时,我们都会得到同样的印象拥有大量资金并不会转化为洞察力,但对于那些实际上并没有关注信息而非个人力量的人来说,这似乎已经失去了。

解雇 / 裁员

SAP不得不裁掉那些一直在误导自己的员工。因此,如果你在SAP的Leonardo下工作,那么你可能不得不转出或被解雇,因为Leonardo已经死了。这就是失败产品的情况。

HANA组刚刚遭遇裁员的打击。但是,HANA员工也应该被解雇。这听起来可能有些苛刻,但是如果您有一个失败的产品,它从其他满足预期的产品中吸收了IT预算,那么其他供应商当然可以声称他们应该得到这些收入。这应该是一个竞争激烈的市场的运作方式,而不是为了维持就业而维持那些声称拥有夸大权利的不合格产品。

但是,我认识和辩论的大多数SAP顾问似乎对竞争市场没有任何兴趣。他们希望HANA能够成为世界上最好的数据库,无需参与竞争。他们希望在简历中添加热门技能并尽可能多地获得报酬。

对HANA来说,事情会变得更加困难。SAP无法解决双模式处理,这使他们对S/4HANA的总体策略陷入了严重的困境。这只是对HANA不利的因素之一。

为什么HANA是反潮流

正如我们在文章中所述,HANA的在阳光下的日子终于结束了,SAP已经从HANA转变为主要营销手段。然而,随着Leonardo的过世,目前还不清楚SAP现在将转向什么。但HANA的夸张最终已经赶上了它,而且,SAP的内部团队正在反抗将过多的注意力和不成比例的资源分配给HANA。

多年来,HANA一直受到保护,因为每个人都担心与Hasso相矛盾,但随着Hasso年龄不断增长,HANA继续暴露,HANA的日子已成为SAP的核心重点。如果SAP认为过去的成功是基于差异化的技术实力,那就严重错误了。 SAP的主要区别在于它能够建立合作伙伴关系,并建立能够推荐SAP处于财务优势地位的大型和强大公司。从本质上讲,它是一个促进腐败的高功能机器。但SAP越来越认为它的成功是建立在技术差异的基础之上的 – 而且它正在给它们带来麻烦。

如果发生以下情况,毫无疑问SAP会更好:

1、SAP应该没有数据库。

2、SAP应该从未开发过HANA。

3、SAP应该永远不会获得Sybase(其中超过1/2的用于移动性,结果证明它不合法)。

4、当所有早期问题浮出水面而不是翻倍时,SAP应该纠正并抛弃HANA。

HANA的病?

SAP公司的其他组实际上对HANA感到了厌倦

SuccessFactors管理层拒绝将数据库换到HANA。

自首次推出以来,HANA一直在从其他应用程序中获取收入,因为其他应用程序的折扣已经增加,以减少对HANA的折扣,这对SAP的内部会计造成了严重破坏,使得HANA看起来比它更成功。

这是由彼得·戈德马赫(Peter Goldmacher)提出的,他解决了SAP多年前提出的会计技巧。他因为不知道自己在做什么而受到SAP的严厉批评,然后SAP在这个问题上变得黑暗。

我们对HANA的警告

我们认为最近的解雇是SAP认识到其与HANA的发展战略/方法不起作用。而且早就应该来了。但问题是很难看出HANA是如何恢复。它总是有不可能的设计参数,从那时起就一直在努力满足这些设计参数。问题是,它无法满足它们,这可能是所有抨击的主要原因。即使拥有比SAP更多数据库经验和人才的甲骨文也没有以满足SAP声称的方式推出多模式数据库。如果Oracle无法做到这一点,很难看到SAP或其他任何人这样做。我们的观点与Bloor Research的结论相同,正如我们的文章中关于Oracle内存中的Bloor研究的准确性,这与AWS的相同,即数据库应该专门用于处理任务。

如果我为某人设定了一项不可能完成的任务,那么他们就无法达到它。他们效率低下。这是因为不可能的目标会产生功能障碍,它会吸引像维萨尔•西卡(Vishal Sikka)或贝恩德•勒克特(Bernd Leukert)这样的人,他们会通过告诉Hasso和其他人他们正在取得进展而保持高调的立场。只有可实现的目标才是动机。 Hasso设定了设计参数,但后来却不知道如何满足它们。然后他把目标交给了另外两个也不知道如何遇见他们的人,但他们说过了。

我们一直在等待SAP将兔子从他们的帽子中变出来,已经八年了,没有任何兔子出现。多年来我们一直在讨论SAP资源,正如我们在如何避免您错过HANA这一文章中所述。很明显,那些人要么不知道他们在谈论什么,要么在撒谎。另一方面,SAP的许多人认为如果他们只是重复SAP的谈话要点,他们就会做好自己的工作。作为HANA周围虚假信息的最大传播者之一,John Appleby,我们曾在多篇文章中讽刺过,其中包括John Appleby如何错误地了解他的HANA预测,似乎已经从出版界消失了。

所有这些人现在看起来都很傻。最后,关于SAP是否具有在其他数据库供应商中并不是很优越的数据库知识,本书尚未公布。 SAP没有。

未来HANA开发的实际情况

因此,对于HANA的客户来说,他们被自己的购买和前景所困,HANA未来的改进将使其达到设计目标的可能性非常低。HANA仍然不稳定,这是8年前引入的。此时的问题不能归结为“将bug排除”。

这就是为什么我们要发出这个特别的警告,说我们已经完蛋了。SAP已经成功地从HANA获得了短期资金,但这不是一个可持续的战略。总的来说,HANA对SAP来说是一个巨大的干扰。

现在怎么办?

问题是如何处理HANA。很多读者会说……

“好吧,很容易指出手指,但现在呢?”

首先,我们先指出了事实。 SAP客户唯一要做的就是避免与HANA混在一起,而是阅读我们的研究而不是听Deloitte或埃森哲,他们生活中唯一的目标是最大化他们的计费时间。而且所有意图和目的都可以被高端鹦鹉所取代,正如我们在SAP咨询公司和鹦鹉之间的区别是什么?

所以这不是后见之明,我们对这个问题有先见之明,不是因为我们是魔术,而是因为我们把工作放在了研究上,因为我们能够发布我们发现的东西,因为我们缺乏与SAP的任何腐败关联。这是一个将我们与几乎所有SAP信息提供商分开的功能。

Search Our Other HANA Content

References

https://db-engines.com/en/ranking

https://www.businessinsider.com/sap-restructuring-jobs-2019-1

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TCO Book

 

TCO3

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

Getting to the Detail of TCO

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

The Mechanics of TCO

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

The Problem with SAP User Groups on S/4HANA for AnyDB

Executive Summary

  • SAP took advantage of customers by restricting S/4HANA to HANA.
  • How can SAP be pressured to open up S/4HANA to other databases?

Introduction

This is a perfect time for SAP user groups to bring the pressure on SAP to open S/4HANA to other databases. However, who can do this?

The Uselessness of SAP User Groups

Unfortunately, while the interests of SAP customers is enormous on this topic, no SAP user group is willing to confront SAP with this demand. Each of the user groups is too chummy with SAP and therefore cannot adequately represent the interests of the users. ASUG members, in particular, could ask “what are you good for?”

ASUG is useless outside of setting up conferences and figuring out where booths should go, managing the catering for events, etc. You can’t trust them to moderate any disagreement with any objectivity with SAP, because SAP tells them what to do. ASUG is a neutered entity and holding pen for CIOs that are between SAP gigs that care more about their relationship to SAP than any of the companies that are ASUG members which we covered in the article How ASUG Lost Its Way and Sold Out to SAP.

Conclusion

It this amazing when you think about it. Consulting firms, user groups, Gartner and Forrester — SAP has infiltrated them all, and none of them represents the interests of customers. Only DSAG seems even to attempt to challenge SAP.

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

Fact-Checking SAP Information on S/4HANA

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

SAP Video Accuracy Mesurement

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

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

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

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

We can provide feedback from multiple HANA accounts that provide realistic information around S/4HANA — and this reduces the dependence on biased entities like SAP and all of the large SAP consulting firms that parrot what SAP says. We offer fact-checking services that are entirely research-based and that can stop inaccurate information dead in its tracks. SAP and the consulting firms rely on providing information without any fact-checking entity to contradict the information they provide. This is how companies end up paying for a database which is exorbitantly priced, exorbitantly expensive to implement and exorbitantly expensive to maintain. When SAP or their consulting firm are asked to explain these discrepancies, we have found that they further lie to the customer/client and often turn the issue around on the account, as we covered in the article How SAP Will Gaslight You When Their Software Does Not Work as Promised.

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

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

S/4HANA Implementation Research

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

Select the description that best matches you.

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

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

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

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

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

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

Search Our Other S/4HANA Content

References

TCO Book

 

TCO3

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

Getting to the Detail of TCO

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

The Mechanics of TCO

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

What Will Happen to HANA Projects That Are In Process?

Executive Summary

  • We covered how SAP fired a number of top people in the HANA hierarchy.
  • So now the question is what happens to HANA projects that are in process.

Introduction

In the article SAP’s Layoffs and a Brightwork Warning on HANA, we covered what SAP’s layoffs meant for HANA. And it is not positive. However, it brings up an interesting question about what do do about planned HANA implementations.

The Background

Bernd Leukert is gone.  Bjorn Goerke is gone. Ken Tsai, who had global product marketing responsibilities for HANA, SAP Data Hub, SAP Vora, is now vice president of Adobe’s Experience platform. All of Bjorn’s product teams are slaughtered: ABAP, HANA, UI, JAM, Big data, Mobile and many more. Not just Neo, but any SAP proprietary service on any platform. Everything related to Cloud Platform & Mobile in North America was shuttered – several teams across several cities. Didn’t matter how old/young, good/bad. Layoffs announced in US, India, Japan, Hungary, Germany, Singapore, Canada, UK, China, Ireland, Malaysia, France, and Vietnam. SAP’s engineering culture died this week. – Ahmed Azmi

The Question

These high profile firings clearly mean something is wrong and SAP can no longer move forward with the current product leadership. You explained the reasons for the problems. What do you think SAP’s options going forward could be especially for customers who are currently implementing a HANA based system? SAP already removed HANA from the cloud platform a couple of years ago when they rebranded the HANA cloud platform (HCP) to the SAP cloud platform (SCP). Now, it looks like the on-premises product line is also taking a turn away from HANA.” – Ahmed Azmi

The Answer

“SAP is not going to change its strategy for in-process HANA customers, no matter how bad the value is for them. SAP can command many thousands of consulting firms to continue to promote HANA, none of them caring much what is true. I see them as continuing down the path they have followed of making false claims about HANA to anyone who will listen. But to your specific question, if a customer is in process, there is little that can normally be done. The IT department needs to pretend to the business that the purchase was justified. The number of IT departments that have admitted they ever made a mistake since the dawn of the computing age until two minutes ago still sits at about zero.”

And this brought up a question by Sam Bayer of Covisent.

“Actually incumbent CIOs never admit that they made a bad decision. Their successors get to proclaim that as they dance on the grave of their predecessor.”

To which we replied.

“Excellent point. This puts IT departments outside of the simply measurable realm. Basically the only time you hear about the details is when a customer files a lawsuit, and then, in that case, the fault is entirely with the consulting firm/vendor. Then the consulting firm/vendor says the fault lies entirely with the customer. This system, combined with where reviews are rigged on G2Crowd as we covered in the article Why G2Crowd Has False Information on S4HANA and Gartner as we covered in How Gartner is Similar to the Devil Wears Prada means that information about failures or limitations almost entirely come from personal connections. What I know about HANA is not public, it is because of people reaching out, but not high-level people, they are too far in The Matrix, rather I am contacted by those doing the work that have the unrealistic expectations placed upon them from their managers. The industry lacks any type of quality control. At many vendors, this is less of a problem because they do their own quality control, but at a vendor like SAP that constantly releases immature products, it a serious problem. As an example, I was recently contacted about a need for 4 EWM consultants from Deloitte. EWM is a dead application that has failed everywhere it has been attempted. But Deloitte is pitching it anyway, because their SAP consulting practice can only recommend SAP. That implementation is destined to fail before it begins.

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

Fact-Checking SAP’s HANA Information

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

SAP Video Accuracy Measurement

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

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of HANA

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

Being Part of the Solution: What to Do About HANA

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

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

The major problem with companies that bought HANA is that they made the investment without seeking any entity independent of SAP. SAP does not pay Gartner and Forrester the amount of money that they do so these entities can be independent as we covered in the article How Accurate Was The Forrester HANA TCO Study?

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

Inaccurate Messaging on HANA as Communicated in SAP Consulting Firm Videos

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

SAP Video Accuracy Measurement

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

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

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.

Search Our Other HANA Content

References

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.

TCO Book

 

TCO3

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

Getting to the Detail of TCO

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

The Mechanics of TCO

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

Why Did SAP Stop Reporting HANA Numbers After 2015?

Executive Summary

  • SAP reported customer numbers on HANA — right up until 2015.
  • The question we cover is what happened to this reporting and what it means.

Introduction

SAP has two ways of speaking in general. One is when they are speaking to an audience that is compliant, like at SAPPHIRE and on analyst calls. On analyst calls SAP makes confident statements about the growth of its products, but the evidence is normally lacking. In this article, we will address the peculiar decline in reporting on HANA implementation numbers.

The Diginomica Article

In Q2 of 2015, one of the last definitive statements around customer numbers was issued. Diginomica is paid by SAP, so they are a compliant media outlet for them. Every single time we evaluate the accuracy level of an entity that is funded by SAP, we find high levels of inaccuracy. And this has been true of every Diginomica article we have reviewed.

The revenue growth from HANA is described as explosive by John Appleby.

“…the explosive revenue growth from HANA continues, even if average deal volume has decreased, because there are plenty of sell-ons to existing customers. Therefore your original projections are probably about right. This means that HANA is supporting core revenue quite significantly by now. But also, every deal is a HANA deal, and deals are bundled.” – John Appleby

John Appleby was a primary shill for SAP in the past but has since fallen out of favor with SAP and no longer writes on HANA. But at this time in 2015, he was a primary source of information on HANA.

After Appleby, one of other least accurate sources of information on SAP, is Ron Enslin, and he had the following to say.

“This quarter, the number of HANA customers surpassed 7,200 compared with 3,600 a year ago.”

So there is the definitive quote. 7,200 customers in the 2nd quarter of 2015.

Dennis Howlett, the article’s author stated the following:

“This is a crucially important point because now, SAP is recognizing the need to be aligned to ‘solving the unsolvable’ and ‘imagining the unimaginable’ problems that former board member Vishal Sikka, now CEO Infosys envisioned back in 2010-12 and which he is carrying through in his current company.”

This is an amazing quotation, because it is a writer repeating another highly unreliable source, Vishal Sikka, without even filtering the observation. Furthermore, even in 2015, it was known that Vishal left SAP under unusual circumstances.

Where Are the 2016, 2017 or 2018 HANA Customers?

We searched online for HANA customers in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and could not find any statements from SAP on HANA customer numbers. If the growth was explosive in 2015 — why did the reporting of customer numbers stop in 2015? Interestingly, SAP appeared to change the narrative to S/4HANA, and began quoting S/4HANA customers numbers rather than HANA customers.

The Customer Estimate from iDatalabs

We found that iDatalabs tracks the number of HANA customers. iDatalabs is a sales intelligence firm, so they profile the usage of applications and databases in order to sell the data to companies that want to sell into customers that have ABC or XYZ product already.

We have reviewed iDatalabs in the past and found their estimates to seem reasonable, and they do not have an incentive to overestimate or underestimate the number of customers.

“We have found 7,370 companies that use SAP HANA. The companies using SAP HANA are most often found in United States and in the Computer Software industry. SAP HANA is most often used by companies with 50-200 employees and 1M-10M dollars in revenue. Our data for SAP HANA usage goes back as far as 3 years and 9 months.”

If this is accurate it means that SAP has not grown its HANA customers since it last reported the HANA numbers in 2015. For another data point, we went out to DB Engines, which tracks database popularity.

Notice that HANA begins to stall in 2015. Up until that point, SAP had a growth story, but growth was much more difficult to come by after this. Would this explain why SAP simply stopped reporting customer numbers? 

Customer Numbers Versus Number of Instances

A customer that brings buys a single instance of HANA is a customer of HANA. But one customer can have any number of individual HANA database instances. Therefore, the overall popularity would be measured by the total number of instances rather than the number of customers. Oracle, as an example, will normally have customers that use many instances of their Oracle database.

Top Customers of HANA

iDatalabs lists the following top customers for HANA.

“Royal Dutch Shell PLC shell.com Netherlands >1000M >10000
ICS Consultancy Services icsconsultancy.com India 10M-50M 50-200
Mawai Infotech Limited mawai.com India 10M-50M 50-200
Birlasoft (India) Ltd. birlasoft.com India 200M-1000M 1000-5000
SuccessFactors, Inc. successfactors.com United States 200M-1000M 1000-5000”

Notice that three of these companies are SAP consulting firms, and a fourth (SuccessFactors) is actually an SAP company.

Faux Customers Through SAP Consulting Firms

Something that is not generally explained is that the vast SAP ecosystem adopt SAP products, not to use them internally, but to build skills. Therefore they bring up a demo environment to show customers, and they are counted as a customer of that product. We found this repeatedly in the S/4HANA space, where again, many customers of S/4HANA were SAP consulting firms. This means that a sizable component of the early growth of HANA “customers” was to the consulting ecosystem. It should go without saying that these are not real customers. And when SAP has so many SAP consulting firms that it can transfer licenses to at very low cost, this is a primary way that SAP rigs the growth numbers of new products to make them look more successful than they actually are. By the time the growth slows down (as has now happened with S/4HANA) SAP simply pivots the reporting to a new product, which again is early in its lifecycle and being adopted by the SAP consulting firms.

Conclusion

SAP has grand plans for HANA, and when they did not pan out, SAP stopped reporting HANA customer numbers. This is consistent that when the numbers are good, the numbers get reported, and when they are not, they don’t get reported, and the company moves to reporting on other things. Growth is easy to attain in the beginning, but as a product gets better known, if it is less effective than advertised, its growth slows. And HANA was far less effective than advertized. We began our own coverage on HANA’s inaccuracies around 2016 as evidence began to come in that all was not right on HANA implementations.

References

https://diginomica.com/saps-q2-fy2015-more-color-on-the-results-s4-is-acoming-hana-revived/

https://idatalabs.com/tech/products/sap-hana

https://db-engines.com/en/ranking_trend/system/SAP+HANA

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.

TCO Book

 

TCO3

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

Getting to the Detail of TCO

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

The Mechanics of TCO

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

SAP’s Layoffs and a Brightwork Warning on HANA

Executive Summary

  • SAP recently had major layoffs in its HANA group.
  • We analyze what this likely means for HANA.

Introduction

On Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 SAP made a significant change to their senior HANA positions.

  • SAP fired all the top HANA developers
  • SAP fired the director of HANA labs

This adds on to the recent firing of Bernd Leukert, SAP’s CTO.

In this article, we will review the important implications of these changes along with HANA’s progress.

Important Background on HANA

HANA was an ill-conceived database that had its basic design parameters set by someone entirely unqualified to design a database, Hasso Plattner. As we covered in the article Did Hasso Plattner and His Ph.D. Students Invent HANA?

SAP created a premeditated false backstory to HANA’s development where Hasso with the help of his scrappy Ph.D.’s invented a new database.

Hasso has written this story in several books.

Hasso has retold the story at SAPPHIRE and innumerable articles. This story is entirely false, which means Hasso is lying every time he repeats it. The truth is all of the technologies were acquired a year before HANA was “created” and these acquisitions are not listed on SAP’s acquisitions at Wikipedia.

  1. HANA began its life with enormous technical debt because its basic design never made any sense.
  2. Hasso eventually picked another supremely unqualified individual to manage HANA’s development, Vishal Sikka. Vishal Sikka left SAP several years ago for Infosys, but SAP has made very little progress with HANA under the new CTO Bernd Leukert, who was no more qualified to be a CTO than Vishal Sikka or to lead progress on HANA.

Where Does HANA Lead the Industry?

The only area where HANA leads the industry is in the marketing claims. At Brightwork we have performed the most research into HANA of any entity outside of the major database vendors, none of whom can release the information they have because of their partnership agreements with SAP. I have not spoken to a single database knowledgable person outside of SAP that is impressed with SAP’s claims.

HANA is not used outside of SAP customers. This is strange if HANA is what SAP has said it is. If HANA were effective, why would its implementation only be limited to a small number of companies that were already SAP customers before they purchased HANA?

HANA as Fake Innovation

It is very common for technology companies to exaggerated their technological innovation. As we covered in the book The Public Cloud Revolution: How Open Source is Displacing Proprietary IT Mega Vendors, a major strategy engaged in by private sector companies is to pull from the public domain, and pretend that the innovation was theirs. Everyone from pharmaceutical companies to software companies routinely does this. And SAP is a master at claiming credit for innovation they were not involved in.

HANA is fake innovation as we covered in the article How to Understand the Fake Innovation of HANA. SAP has been backward engineering other databases and renaming items to hide the backward engineering as we covered Did SAP Simply Reinvent the Wheel with HANA? With all of the HANA funding, SAP has been unable to create new contributions to databases. And its design is the exact opposite of where database design is going as we covered in How to Understand AWS’s Multibase Versus SAP’s Single-base Approach. This all should not have been that difficult to understand, as SAP’s statements about HANA routinely violated database theory.

Today many of SAP’s statements about HANA can be interspersed with quotes from Dan Quayle or Sara Palin without seeming at all incongruous. Some of the most ridiculous provided by Steve Lucas as we covered in our Analysis of Steve Lucas’ Article on What Oracle Won’t Tell You About HANA.

The fact that more people don’t seem to notice this, shows the deeply propagandized nature of SAP consultants and resources. Any information stated by a high-level SAP resource must be worshipped.

Something odd happens to the brains of most SAP resources when a high ranking person from SAP makes a statement. They don’t seem to ask “wait, does this make any sense?” Instead, the information gets mainlined directly into the brain without filtration. SAP resources have been repeating ridiculous things now about databases since HANA was first introduced. Its odd, because to SAP resources these claims seem perfectly normal, whereas to us, these claims look like the proposals of someone who is simply making things up. 

The Problem With the Initial Conception of HANA

HANA was always poorly conceived and it serves no real purpose in the market. Our evaluation of 12 reported HANA implementations worldwide indicates that it has to be the highest maintenance database that is sold in the market. No other database we track is so unstable and requires so many other components to run properly — HANA is held together with various band-aids that were necessary to get HANA out the door and are the natural outcome of highly fractured development leadership. HANA is the black hole of databases, continually swallowing IT budgets. The only moderately successful implementation we have tracked are for BW on HANA, but HANA only outperforms older versions of Oracle and DB2 on older hardware. In fact, much of the performance improvement is unaccounted for more updated and larger hardware as we covered in the article How Much is Hardware Responsible for SAP HANA Benefits?

HANA has no performance advantage over competing databases, has enormous problems addressing the giant memory footprint it is sized for as we covered in the article How HANA Takes 30 to 40 Times the Memory of Other Databases.

The True Purpose of HANA

SAP constantly talks up the benefits of HANA to customers, however after extensive evaluation, HANA has no benefit to customers. Any customer that replaces DB2 or Oracle or other databases with HANA will see no performance improvement in analytics (versus modern versions of DB2 or Oracle even on smaller hardware footprints), but customers will see a significant performance degradation in both transaction processing and in processing intensive operations like MRP as we covered in the article How to Interpret the Performance Problems with MRP on HANA.

The true purpose of HANA is simple. It is to push Oracle out of accounts and to capture more of that revenue for SAP (SAP already upcharges customers for Oracle). Hasso and Larry have been in a multi-decade deep-seated animosity towards one another, and HANA was a way for Hasso to stick it to Larry….perhaps for not stopping and assisting him when his sailboat had mechanical problems in one of their races. Honestly, Hasso is so driven by ego and emotions, this may have been the first seed in Hasso’s mind to start HANA. This hypothesis was first proposed to me by a contact in with many years of experience in the Oracle/SAP space, but who would not want to be identified.

I can’t prove it is true, but if true, it would explain a lot of things that don’t seem to make any sense without some ancillary reason.

If anyone has read other Brightwork articles, it will be apparent that we are no fan of Oracle. We think Oracle is a monopolistic vendor that should be broken up by the FTC. So these statements don’t come from any allegiance to Oracle, but the factual characteristics of the databases. And the same applies to IBM, another vendor whose business practices we are not high on. However, we don’t allow our disdain for Oracle or IBM’s business practices influence our technical observations.

The Problem with HANA Development

HANA came out with a marketing campaign that was enormously exaggerated as we covered in Has SAP’s Relentless HANA Push Paid Off?

However, in addition to not being able to meet almost any of the initial claims, HANA still cannot meet these claims, and HANA is simply not making progress towards these claims.

Our view is that the original sin was having Hasso set the design parameters. As we have repeatedly stated, Hasso is not a technical mind, he is a promoter as we covered in Does Hasso Plattner Have a Ph.D.? The other three co-founders of SAP were more of the technical talent. As he is the last remaining founder, he has essentially taken credit for their contributions.

People that listen to Hasso or read his books apparently don’t pay attention to the fact that he is just not particularly insightful in technology. We get the same impression when reading anything Bill Gates writes. Having large piles of money does not translate into insight, but this seems to be lost on people who don’t actually pay attention to the message rather than the power of the individual.

The Firings/Layoffs

SAP is having to lay off people in areas where they have been misrepresenting themselves. So if you work in Leonardo in SAP, you are probably going to have to transfer out or get laid off, because Leonardo is dead. And that is what happens to failed products.

The HANA group just got hit with layoffs. However, HANA resources should get laid off. This may sound harsh, but if you have a failed product that sucks the IT budget from other products that do meet expectations, other vendors can certainly claim that they deserve those revenues. That is supposed to be how a competitive market works, not where incompetent products with exaggerated claims are kept on life support so that employment can be maintained.

However, most of the SAP consultants that I know and debate don’t seem to have any interest in a competitive market. They wish for HANA to be knighted as the best database in the world, without ever having to compete. They wish to add hot skills to their resumes and get paid as much as they possibly can.

Things are going to get a whole lot more difficult for HANA. SAP cannot solve the dual mode processing, which puts their overarching strategy for S/4HANA in a serious pickle. And that is just one of the factors working against HANA. 

Why The Tide is Moving Against HANA

As we covered in the article HANA’s Time in the Sun Has Finally Come to an End, SAP has transitioned away from HANA as the primary marketing tentpole. However, with Leonardo dead, it’s unclear exactly what SAP will now transition to. But HANA’s exaggerations have finally caught up with it, and furthermore, the internal groups in SAP are rebelling against the overarching focus and disproportionate allocations of resources that go to HANA.

For years HANA has been protected because everyone fears contradicting Hasso, but as Hasso continues to age, and HANA continues to get exposed, HANA’s days are numbered as a central emphasis point at SAP. SAP is gravely mistaken if it leads itself to think that its past success was based upon differentiated technology prowess. SAP’s primary differentiator has been its ability to create partnerships and to place large and powerful firms that can recommend SAP in a financially advantageous position to do so. Essentially it is a high functioning machine for corruption promotion. But SAP increasingly thinks that its success was based upon technological differentiation — and it is getting them into trouble.

There is no doubt SAP would have been better off if the following had occurred:

  1. SAP should have stayed out of databases.
  2. SAP should have never developed HANA.
  3. SAP should never have acquired Sybase (more than 1/2 of which was for its mobility, which turned out to not be legitimate).
  4. SAP should have course corrected and dumped HANA when all of the early problems surfaced rather than doubling down.

Sick of HANA?

Other groups in SAP are literally sick of HANA.

The SuccessFactors management refused to move to it. The overall topic of SuccessFactors on HANA is rife with controversy, and we cover the topic in the article Why Did SAP Move SuccessFactors to HANA?

HANA has been pulling revenues from other applications since its first introduction, as other applications had their discounts increased to reduce discounting on HANA, which has played havoc up SAP’s internal accounting — making it look like HANA is far more successful than it is.

This was was called out by Peter Goldmacher who figured out the accounting trick that SAP was pulling years ago. He was heavily critiqued by SAP for not knowing what he was doing, and then SAP went black on the issue, which we covered in the article Who Got HANA Wrong and Who Got HANA Right?

Our Warning on HANA

The recent firings is in our view SAP’s recognition that its development strategy/approach with HANA is not working. And it is long overdue. However, the problem is it is difficult to see how HANA can be recovered. It always had impossible design parameters, and it has been flailing about to meet those design parameters ever since. And the problem is, it can’t meet them, which is likely a primary reason for all of the flailing about. Even Oracle, which has far more database experience and talent than SAP has not pulled off multimode databases in a way that meet the claims of SAP. And if Oracle cannot do it, it is difficult to see SAP or anyone else for that matter doing it. Our view is the same as Bloor Research’s conclusion as outlined in our article How Accurate was Bloor Research on Oracle In Memory, which is the same as AWS’s, which is that databases should be specialized for the processing task.

If I set an impossible task for someone, then they won’t reach it. They will be inefficient. This is because impossible goals create dysfunction, and it attracts people like Vishal Sikka or Bernd Leukert who will say anything to keep the lie going and keep their high profile positions by telling Hasso and others that they are making progress when they aren’t. Only attainable goals are motivational. Hasso set the design parameters, but then had no idea how to meet them. He then handed the goals over to two other men who also had no idea how to meet them but said they did.

We have been waiting for SAP to pull a rabbit out of their hat for eight years, but no rabbit has been forthcoming. We have debated SAP resources for years as we covered in the article How to Deflect That You Were Wrong About HANA. It is clear that those people either had no idea what they were talking about or were lying. On the other hand, many people in SAP think they are doing their job if they simply repeat talking points from SAP. One of the biggest disseminators of false information around HANA, John Appleby, who we have lampooned in multiple articles including How John Appleby Was so Wrong About His HANA Predictions, seems to have disappeared from the publishing scene.

And all of those people look quite a bit silly right about now. Finally, the book is closed on whether SAP has any database knowledge that is not far superior in other database vendors. SAP does not.

That article on deflecting about being wrong about HANA was written back in 2016, and HANA defenders have become increasingly scarce.

The Reality of Future HANA Development

So for customers of HANA that are stuck with their purchase and prospects, there is now a very low probability of future improvement in HANA that will allow it to meet its design goals. HANA is still not stable and this is 8 years into its introduction. The problems at this point can’t be chalked up to “getting the bugs out.”

This is why we are issuing this specific warning that the jig is up. SAP has been successful in getting short term money out of HANA, but this is not a sustainable strategy. And HANA overall has been a massive distraction for SAP.

What Now?

The question is what to do about HANA. Many readers will say…

“Well it is easy to point fingers, but what now?”

So first, we pointed fingers before the fact. The only thing that SAP customers had to do to stay out of this mess with HANA was read our research rather than listen to Deloitte or Accenture, whose only objective in life is to maximize their billing hours. And for all intents and purposes can be replaced by high-end parrots as we covered in the article What is the Difference Between an SAP Consulting Company and a Parrot?

So this is not hindsight, we had foresight on this issue not because we are magic, but because we put the work in to do the research, and because we were able to publish what we found as we lack any corrupt association with SAP. That is a feature that separates us from nearly every provider of information on SAP.

As for specifics of what to do now, we recommend the following:

Tips for SAP

  1. Multimode databases are no longer a differentiator, and SAP has not gotten the memo because they keep releasing marketing literature that states that it is.
  2. There are very good databases that are multimode that SAP could partner with/resell if they don’t want to port S/4HANA to Oracle. They could simply place their brand on another database, and get rid of HANA development except for support, porting any application to another database that they can mark up. This is where SAP is moving in the cloud, just marking up other people’s products as we covered in the article How to Understand SAP’s Upcharge as a Service Cloud. SAP could do this with databases also. HANA could be sunset and SAP could just have someone else do all the work, but mark that open source database up many times. SAP can come up with some phony backstory that SAP added some “secret sauce” and most IT departments won’t check anyway if any of it is true. If it is blessed as “standard SAP” it will certainly get purchased. The only value add SAP is adding to database development is its customer base, so why not step out of the way and let someone else figure out databases for you? This would allow them to continue to punish Oracle (a major goal of SAP) and get an even higher margin on databases while not doing anything.

Tips For Companies on HANA

  1. For Prospects Looking at HANA: Stop any HANA purchases. If even 1/2 of the things we have documented on HANA were true, that should be enough to stall any HANA purchase.
  2. For Current Customers of HANA: The promised stabilization of HANA is not coming. If HANA is sitting under BW, then it will in most cases make sense to keep it. If HANA is sitting under other non-analytics applications, it should be removed.
  3. For Prospects Looking at S/4HANA: Customers should communicate to SAP that there is no way they will move to S/4HANA until it is opened up to other databases. We predicted S/4HANA would open to other databases in the article Why SAP Will Have to Backtrack on HANA. , which was written in 2016. All the leverage resides with customers as S/4HANA is still not ready to be implemented, so customers should wait on S/4HANA in any case. If enough customers push back, SAP will change its tune and port S/4HANA to AnyDB. And when this does happen it will be introduced by Bill McDermott as either “showing empathy for” or “listening to” customers.  If there were any truly independent SAP user groups in the world, they would advocate for this. But none of the user groups have enough independence to do so.

Tips for Job Seekers on HANA

For years HANA was a hot skill to get on one’s resume. Despite this, there were never that many people working in HANA. So there was always more conversation around HANA, and setting up POCs that true HANA implementation work. HANA is in a way a dream for consultants because it is the highest overhead database that we track, which means that the consultants that are placed will tend to stay on projects longer. However, HANA stopped growing around 2016, so the projected growth never occurred. Because HANA is not effective as anything but as an analytics database, resources that choose to focus on HANA should focus on HANA for BW.

Because of HANA’s technological limitations, HANA will have a hard time growing out of this area. Many companies that had plans to extend HANA from BW, halted those plans as they learned more about HANA.

HANA is the 20th most popular database according to DB Engines, but this overstates HANA’s popularity because part of DB Engine’s measurement method is to account for media mentions, which are exaggerated for HANA due to SAP’s marketing spend. For years HANA coasted on promises and hype, and that can’t continue forever. SAP can only allow HANA to disappoint so many customers before it risks its core business. Therefore, unless resources have a substantial amount of HANA experience on their resume already, it is something that makes sense to steer clear of making a focus for one’s career.

To find out what these changes mean for SAP development, see this article Brightwork Notice: Changes in SAP Development Strategy.

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

Fact-Checking SAP’s HANA Information

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

SAP Video Accuracy Measurement

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

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of HANA

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

Being Part of the Solution: What to Do About HANA

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

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

The major problem with companies that bought HANA is that they made the investment without seeking any entity independent of SAP. SAP does not pay Gartner and Forrester the amount of money that they do so these entities can be independent as we covered in the article How Accurate Was The Forrester HANA TCO Study?

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

Search Our Other HANA Content

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://db-engines.com/en/ranking

https://www.businessinsider.com/sap-restructuring-jobs-2019-1

TCO Book

 

TCO3

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

Getting to the Detail of TCO

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

The Mechanics of TCO

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

Is It Inhumane to Discuss HANA’s Lies on Post About Job Losses?

Executive Summary

  • SAP recently had major layoffs in its HANA group.
  • The question that is asked is if it is inhumane to describe the problems with HANA that lead to the layoffs.

Introduction

This article is in response to a question we received about our comments related to critiquing HANA on LinkedIn shares for a leading HANA resource at SAP.

The Comment

“Shaun Snapp Ahmed Azmi Having tracked the HANA native dev job market for a year with very little showing up indicates to me it’s a dead end, so I agree with your sentiment anyone with a career invested in HANA needs to wake up. Perhaps sharing it in this specific thread opening with “rough 24 hours” was a little inhumane though. I would, however, object to any suggestion of HANA techie devs ripping off customers – I’ve seen for myself HANA native solutions delivering to customers what simply was not possible before. You put forward a case that should be discussed, that any SAP dev needs to start seriously thinking about, but you only alienate your arguments here given Thomas Jung and Rich Heilman brought such high-quality, hands-on education to so many, hence the hundreds of sincere wishes. Really sad so many losing their jobs and sad that HANA looks only to serve as a DB layer.”

Our Response

First I wanted to say that it seems to be your genuine view that commenting on this post was insensitive. You don’t appear to be using it as a pretext for censoring commentary. Moreover, if you think that then I respect that. What I don’t respect if someone using empathy as an excuse to censor a message. Although the term “inhumane” is a bit over the top. Here are synonyms for the word “inhumane.” ” cruel, harsh, brutal, callous, sadistic, severe, savage, vicious, barbaric, barbarous;”

There is no beating of puppies going on here. If you are using the same word to describe me physically beating up Thomas and stealing his favorite pet like in John Wick then it is probably inaccurate.

Furthermore, there are comments on this share asking “why,” and “seems strange” well if the question can be asked on the post, then the question should be able to be answered. It seems like a lot of SAP resources are not addressing the elephant in the room. This is called confirmation bias, when the individual disregards information that runs counter to their biases. And its on full display in these comments.

I want to address the part of your comment about objecting to suggestions that HANA techie devs have been ripping off customers. First, I did not say that. Thomas Jung is the Chief Product Expert, so he is not just some inwardly focused development resource. He serves as a marketing function for SAP. And a significant part of his job description is to push SAP. So I want to it framed adequately as to whom I am critiquing. Thomas Jung has/had a very good position at SAP, if he can make claims then he should be able to take criticism. I am not critiquing some homeless person here. Thomas Jung will do fine and land on his feet someplace else. Also, there are poor people in society that could probably use the sympathy being directed toward Thomas on this post.

Second, I have investigated numerous HANA implementations and don’t think your statement is possible. Every one of the evaluations that I have performed, the client did not account for key areas of the comparison. I don’t run into IT departments that have any idea how to perform benchmarking or measure results, so unless I see the data and review the case I am naturally suspicious. And I have good reason to be.

For instance, the fact that HANA has so much more hardware than the databased it replaced. http://bit.ly/2BxLoPt Information coming in from global projects shows that HANA has not helped customers. Once the assumptions are controlled carefully, the claimed benefits disappear. So you can reach me offline if you like and I can incorporate your data points into our research. I don’t care either way. If your data points are convincing, I will state they have brought new information to light.

As for your last comment, HANA was never anything but a database. All of the comments around HANA being something other than a database were false, something that SAP has acknowledged (in a way), by changing the names of HANA Studio, HANA Cloud Platform to drop the HANA names as they never had anything to do with HANA. We were right on that, while the SAP resources debated the opposite as we covered here. http://bit.ly/2BGWrab

So it is worse than what you say. It is not only sad that HANA is just a database, but it is not even a very good database, and it is exorbitant in its price and its maintenance overhead.

Search Our Other HANA Content

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

TCO Book

 

TCO3

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

Getting to the Detail of TCO

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

The Mechanics of TCO

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

Is it True That Few SAP Customers Care About Databases?

Executive Summary

  • Should SAP’s Claims About HANA Not be Verified Because Most People Don’t Care About Database Performance?
  • How SAP Uses HANA’s Performance Claims to Push for Customers to Switch Databases
  • SAP’s HANA Claims Fact-Checked

Introduction

In a recent article titled SAP HANA as a Mismatch for ERP and S/4HANA.

We received a response that seemed to minimize the importance of our verification of the claims made by SAP about HANA because. as the commenter put it..

“…no one cares about the db outside of a very small tech bubble – it’s all about people and process.”

This statement seems to be an attempt to pivot away from the question of whether SAP’s claims regarding SAP are true.

How SAP Uses HANA’s Performance Claims to Push for Customers to Switch Databases

SAP has very aggressively promoting customers to move to HANA under the logic that the database is incredibly important.

Here are a few examples.

  1. Restricting S/4HANA to HANA has been justified on the basis that no other database can offer acceptable performance versus HANA. SAP has stated that they need to design or optimize S/4HANA around a single database for performance reasons. According to Jon Appleby, who is a proxy for SAP, due to HANA’s capabilities in innovation and unparalleled performance advantage over all other databases that SAP is finished Oracle DB as is covered in the article Why Jon Appleby Was So Wrong In His HANA Predictions.
  2. SAP is proposing, and SAP consulting companies are relaying the message word for word (I have many of the emails that are forwarded to me from the recipients of this advice) that solutions ranging from TPM to CRM need to have HANA or the applications will not properly support the application’s functionality.

This is suspicious. It is dubious because other vendors that I track do restrict the database options of their customers in this way.

SAP’s HANA Claims Fact-Checked

Secondly, SAP’s performance claims for HANA are not only not holding up, every data point we obtain works in the opposite direction from SAP’s claims. One performance claim for HANA is true.

HANA will outperform a non-column data store database for analytics (but only within a data warehouse environment).

For all other database processing, the performance is worse. That is a serious issue that I am not sure how any pivot or alteration of the point of discussion can change what are now quite a few observations of this fact. We are not tracking performance issues with S/4HANA on multiple accounts. These observations tell a story of S/4HANA’s performance negatively impacting the project.

SAP is using the argument of HANA’s performance combined with what appear to me to be faux arguments about application compatibility between SAP’s applications and to their database to push existing databases out of SAP account. If you have read the Brightwork Study into HANA’s TCO, you might imagine that there are most likely severe implications for the customer’s IT budget to following this advice.

Conclusion

As this is a primary strategy of SAP, it would seem to be reasonable to validate if SAP’s statements about HANA’s performance are true. Therefore, we consider it highly relevant as to whether SAP’s claims regarding HANA’s performance are true.

The topic of the compatibility argument that increasing numbers of SAP’s applications are proposed by SAP and by SAP’s consulting partners to only be supported by HANA is another topic.

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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.

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References

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

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

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

SAP’s Misleading Storyline for S/4HANA Being Complete

Executive Summary

  • SAP has consistently misled customers on the maturity of S/4HANA.
  • One of the ways they have done this is by playing word games with the term “complete.”

Introduction

We have covered S/4HANA’s completeness in great detail since around a year and a half after its introduction. While SAP consulting companies and IT media entities have been covering up this story, we published Why the S/4HANA Suite is Not Yet Released.

Recently we found an article that looks quite suspicious to us and attempts to craft the storyline around S/4HANA in a way that appears deceptive. In this article, we will explain how SAP coordinates and pays or compensates not only the media entity to distribute their story but how the media entity then go to sources that are both compensated by SAP, all in an attempt to mislead buyers.

How SAP Introduced S/4HANA and its Completeness

Let us begin with how S/4HANA was introduced.

S/4HANA was explained as having two major phases of introduction. One was S/4HANA Simple Finance (which was the new FI/CO). SAP customers were told that the rest of the suite would follow shortly.

This second part did not happen as stated by SAP. We covered the missed deadlines of the rest of the S/4HANA suite in the article The Evidence that S/4HANA Missed its Release Deadlines.

It is now going into 2018, and S/4HANA is still not complete. This means that companies that purchased SAP Simple Finance (now just Finance) under the impression that the rest of  S/4HANA have a problem.

Becoming Increasingly Complete?

SAP has repeatedly released information that has attempted to make S/4HANA seem more complete than it is.

“If you look at the S/4HANA system that we released in November of last year that we are calling 1511, we can say that this is already a complete ERP system,” said Uwe Grigoleit, SAP global head of business development for Business Suite on HANA and HANA applications.”

“Why can we say this? If we are looking at pure modules we are shipping already, S/4HANA spans across financials, material management, inventory management, procurement, distribution, product and planning,” he explained. “It’s going across the vast majority of the ERP system already.”

That statement was made in March of 2016.

As we said at the time,

“This gets away entirely from the question of the completeness of each of these modules. Therefore, Uwe Grigoleit is staying away from whether the modules are complete. Uwe is stating that the modules are being released. But released is not necessarily complete.”

The Actual Story with S/4HANA’s Completeness

In our article Why the S/4HANA Suite is Not Yet Released, we explained.

“There has been and will continue to be a tremendous amount written about S/4 HANA. Interestingly there is lots of confusion as to what parts of S/4 HANA are ready to be implemented. SAP has misrepresented the readiness of S/4 HANA on just about every occasion, and it has an army of SAP partners that do the same.

This army is all about getting S/4 HANA implementation business, so they are actively misleading their prospects about S/4 HANA. Additionally, these partners are also misleading prospects about the consulting experience with S/4 HANA.”

Our Coverage of S/4HANA’s Completeness Versus the Standard IT Media

We have covered in this many times, but the IT media is more often than not the recipient of income from SAP. And therefore, there has been very little coverage of the completeness of S/4HANA.

The Attempt by SAP to Minimize the Issue with S/4HANA’s Completeness

SAP’s communication around S/4HANA’s timelines have been inaccurate since S/4HANA was first released. The lack of S/4HANA’s completeness has been a significant factor as to why S/4HANA has so few go lives globally, as is covered in the article A Study into S/4HANA Implementations. However, SAP can continue to predict future completed states without the worry of anyone publicly calling out SAP for this, because virtually no one fact checks SAP.

One example of the storyline of when S/4HANA will be complete is illustrated by an article that was published by ComputerWeekly in March of 2016 entitled SAP S/4HANA functional completeness in the eye of the beholder.

Before we analyze the article itself, let us explain what ComputerWeekly is.

ComputerWeekly used to be a legitimate IT magazine. However, in 2011 they were purchased by TechTarget. TechTarget is primarily a marketing automation entity that uses various online websites like ComputerWeekly to capture email addresses that are then sold to software vendors. This is covered in the article ComputerWeekly is a Front for Marketing Automation. What this means is that ComputerWeekly will publish whatever its customers, which are software vendors and consulting companies want them to publish.

Computer Weekly as a Passive Message Repeater of SAP

Now that we have explained ComputerWeekly as a passive message repeater for its customers, we can get into the interesting article SAP S/4HANA functional completeness in the eye of the beholder.

In this article, ComputerWeekly uses the following sources.

In this article Uwe Grigoleit attempts to present a storyline where S/4HANA cannot be compared to the functionality in ECC.

“Along the way, SAP S/4HANA is also evolving beyond SAP Business Suite in capability, which in turn starts to change the nature of how you compare traditional Business Suite capabilities to new S/4HANA capabilities.”

Seeing Where Uwe is Going

See what Uwe is going. S/4HANA’s functionality completeness would compare very poorly versus ECC, so Uwe’s simple answer is to do away with the comparison altogether because its “evolving beyond SAP Business Suite.” This is also curious because S/4HANA is exceptionally close in functionality to ECC, except it has less of it.

Uwe is expert at talking in circles as the following quotations also attest.

“For something like maintenance, he said, SAP is changing classical maintenance with machine-to-machine communication, which helps generate “predictive maintenance scenarios.””

It should be clear from this that Uwe is a hype man, and one cannot discern anything from actually listening to Uwe.

Jon Appleby Enters the Funhouse

Next up is Jon Appleby, who ComputerWeekly or TechTarget does not explain has a long history of making inaccurate statements about SAP, and who’s incentives are to sell S/4HANA and HANA business. Yet ComputerWeekly or TechTarget provides no inkling to the reader of Jon Appleby’s background and history. Furthermore, Jon Appleby was most likely provided as a source to ComputerWeekly or TechTarget by SAP.

“In some cases, [you have to] wait 18 months and do a ‘big bang’ implementation, and in other cases [you can] start now, so we can phase the program. Every customer we’re working with is planning that journey to S/4HANA,” said Jon Appleby, global head of SAP HANA for Bluefin Solutions.

“I’ll give you an example,” Appleby explained. “I’m working with a U.S. customer in telecommunications, and the feds have told them they have to change the way they do revenue recognition, which they have to do before April of next year. They don’t think they can do what they need on Oracle, so they want to implement Suite on HANA, which will work well enough to do the new revenue recognition.”

Notice that Appleby accomplishes several things with this quote. First, he takes a dig at Oracle. He does this because Appleby’s company, Bluefin Solutions primarily implements SAP. Curiously, Appleby seems to be supporting the solution for which his company can make the most money. How surprising.

What John Appleby Proposes

Appleby is proposing that companies purchase and implement an application that is not ready to be implemented, and that they simply push off the parts of S/4HANA that are not ready to later parts of the project.

However, first, what will the completed parts of the S/4HANA application connect to? Secondly, how does anyone know when S/4HANA will be complete. SAP badly missed its deadlines up to this point.

And why is Appleby recommending this? Did ComputerWeekly think for a minute that perhaps Jon Appleby has a financial bias in getting companies to use his services to implement S/4HANA?

He goes on to say.

“And what about SAP S/4HANA? “They’re saying, ‘We’ll deal with S/4HANA sometime later.”

So what Appleby is proposing is that customers implement the revenue recognition module first. Then S/4HANA later. But why does revenue recognition have to be implemented at all? Revenue recognition is supposed to be functionality within the ECC FI/CO module. ECC can be updated to the most current version, so why isn’t the latest revenue recognition logic included in this update?

“For a lot of customers who haven’t done a fast close, it’s a quick win. If your finance processes are a little outdated, you can get your finance enhancements all in one go,” Appleby said.

S/4HANA Finance Implemented by Itself

If S/4HANA Finance is implemented without the rest of S/4HANA, expensive adapters must be written back to ECC, as well as parts of ECC deactivated and S/4HANA activated. Why does this give financial enhancement “all in one go?”

Appleby finishes off with a final touch.

So does it matter if SAP S/4HANA is functionally complete? Not necessarily, Appleby said, because each roadmap is unique. “They are all different because every company has different priorities.”

Interesting, so if software that was promised in 2015 is still not ready, then it is not necessarily a negative, because companies have “unique requirements.”

Conclusion

This is the type of article that gets published when media entity conspires with the software vendors, that is a major funder of the entity. Every single source in this article is biased in favor of SAP, and were indeed selected by SAP to be interviewed by ComputerWeekly.

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?

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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://searchsap.techtarget.com/feature/SAP-S-4HANA-functional-completeness-in-eye-of-the-beholder

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

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

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 Deflect That You Were Wrong About HANA

Executive Summary

  • SAP and SAP consulting firms have made a large number of false claims around HANA.
  • When confronted with these claims, HANA proponents continually change the topic and deflect to other claims about HANA that are also false.

Introduction to Deflection of HANA Claims

There is a popular trend afoot in the HANA community that comes from either HANA defenders in SAP or HANA defenders in the SAP partner community. I call this pretending you weren’t wrong about HANA. SAP and its partner community have proliferated so much false information about HANA over the past five years. Once called out on it, they need to respond not to be seen as either unknowledgeable or dishonest. There are important principles at work here. Let us take a minute to review them.

  • There is HANA software to be sold!
  • There are HANA services to be sold!
  • It is imperative to be able to continue to mislead customers in an unmolested fashion!

In this article, I will describe the essential tactics that they employ.

First Some Background on the HANA DB

HANA DB was at some point around 2011 approved as the primary marketing tentpole for SAP. Since 2011 Dr. Hasso Plattner has written four books on HANA DB related topics. SAP marketing and sales have released a torrent of information about HANA. My research shows that this information has in just about ever case been either inaccurate or exaggerated. Dr. Hasso Plattner seems to be a true believer in HANA. Somewhere along the way, he seems to have become obsessed with HANA DB technology. People at SAP did not stand up to him and tell him he is overemphasizing on one topic (to the detriment of other important topics). I have brought up on many occasions that processing speed is not even among the top ten items that plague SAP projects. And if you work on SAP projects, it is hard to propose the opposite.

Fear of Confronting Hasso

Instead of having anyone push back on Hasso, SAP went all in on HANA. The problem is that Hasso is not a reliable source of information on computer topics. I have concluded that Hasso Plattner makes up things about as much as Donald Trump. The major difference is that Hasso Plattner is considerably smarter. And he covers topics that are far more sophisticated than the subjects covered by Donald Trump. Thus his deceptions are much harder to ascertain. But if you study Hasso Plattner’s writing and speeches long enough, a pattern of premeditated deception becomes impossible to ignore. The comments he made about a Chinese company that had an MRP run time of 24 hours, which SAP reduced with S4 running on HANA, many months before S4’s production planning module had even been developed is symptomatic of provably false statements made by him. (I have a future example of a very long MRP runtime, but alas the conclusion is not purchasing HANA DB.)

Hasso is much like most of the partners at large consulting companies that I have met. They simply do not care what happens. What they care about is what they can pull over on other people. This is not idle criticism but is based upon quite a few conversations with partners at major consulting companies. What they care about the perception rather than the reality. And they have in fact told me that this is the right way to think.

Follow that Money that Supports False Claims Around the HANA DB

As is usually the case the vast majority of money resides on the side of those that make exaggerated claims. The money is squarely on the side of exaggerating expectations, not on telling people the truth. The truth us much less exciting and does not appeal to the desires of the audience. The audience wants to hear that the thing they purchase will have incredible performance. That everyone who uses it loves it, that it is leading edge, has a low TCO, which it will result in being able to cut overhead, etc..

Things have not changed much since the traveling medicine show salesman. Wall Street wants to hear that SAP is all about both driving innovations through HANA as well as delivering more and more applications through the cloud. Therefore, regardless of what is true, the data will be gerrymandered to give this impression. Quotas must be met, and stock options must be exercised. SAP can choose from an unlimited number of type people who will tell any lie SAP wants in any language it wants in return for money.

For this reason, people in conferences and private visits compete with each other to misrepresent reality.

And the competition is fierce.

SAP Conferences as BS Mills

Conferences like SAPPHIRE and ASUG are filled with false information. Lies were emanating not only from SAP and their partners but employees within customers. They compete in giving mis-impressions on how much progress they have made with SAP’s newest applications. In interviewing companies that interact with SAP and SAP partners and I observe the information that is provided to these enterprises. I find one misleading statement after another. I should not be surprised. The lying in the documentation is simply repeated in the actual sales process.

There is all manner of problems with this overemphasis on HANA DB. But one easy item to point out is that the overall performance of the system does not match the database speed of the system. That is just because you can make the database run faster by say 100 points of measurement does not mean that this 100 point translates to 100 points in application performance. And whatever the improvement in application performance does not translate to business value.

False Performance Enhancements Applied Generally

Think about a Lamborghini Veneno. This $400,000 car has a 750 horsepower engine.

A Honda sedan may have a 100 horsepower engine. Does the Veneno get you around town 7.5 times faster? Of course not. The reason you can’t convince people to sell their house to buy a Veneno is that everyone drives and so they can’t be tricked into thinking their commute will drop to 2 minutes if they buy a Veneno. But not everyone has years of database experience. Thus it is easier to trick them into thinking that HANA might have such incredible benefits. But if they didn’t, and I was unethical, I could simply do the math that 750 hp is 7.5 times more than 100. I would then contend that people that have a 15-minute commute could have a 2-minute commute. That is 13 minutes saved each way, which is 26 minutes a day in extra time saved!

Imagine what you could do with that time back.

Hasso Plattner’s Falsehoods on In Memory and the HANA DB

In Dr. Hasso Plattner’s writings, he seems to propose a direct proportional benefit from database speed to a host of other benefits. This has lead SAP to exaggerate the benefits of HANA. And the primary reason for this is to penetrate into the database layer.That is SAP is willing to mislead as many people as necessary to meet the sales quotas on HANA. People that buy HANA often don’t see the second act coming.

Here is the second act. SAP has some other databases and applications that it wants to sell as a follow-on to HANA. And of course, none of these things will work well with “other databases.” HANA is the wedge to all sort of related items it wants to sell you.

All of this fanciful talk about a brave new world with in-memory computing is part of a campaign to tie companies into a closed system. A system that will benefit SAP. I have seen many companies now with HANA on BW.

Putting HANA on BW

BW is probably the SAP application with the most predicted benefit from HANA. It has not changed things at these companies much at all. In most cases, the business continues to use Excel while the queue of reports that the BW/BI team has to work on continues to grow. This is because new technology was added without asking the fundamental questions about the problems with BW/BI productivity and report usability.

What this means is that software salespeople and those with a sales quota at most IT consulting companies feel perfectly fine in telling a constant stream of lies to customers. Every inaccurate statement is an arrow in their quiver. Even statements that have been proven quite some time ago to be incorrect.

SAP’s HANA DB Claims

The following are good examples of the items that are exaggerated claims by either SAP or SAP partners.

  1. No aggregates EVER!!!
  2. Extreme OLTP performance as well as extreme OLAP performance
  3. Need little RAM as we compress EVERYTHING to very small…
  4. A whole new user interfaces in Fiori.
  5. HANA will lead to business process simplification when used with S4 because the data model has been simplified.
  6. Updates are superfast as we update only one field instead of the whole record
  7. Making use of CPU/RAM at the hardware level.

Every one of these proposals by SAP or by those that have some HANA quota to fill is false.

False Claims About HANA

  1. HANA DB still uses aggregates. There are in fact many good reasons for maintaining aggregates. Reference tables are aggregates.
  2. SAP is not releasing benchmarks on HANA DB for OLTP because as per HANA’s design these benchmarks are likely to be disappointing. But this does not stop SAP from claiming that HANA DB is equally effective at OLTP and OLAP (transactions and reports — excuse me “analytics”)
  3. SAP’s compression estimations are greatly exaggerated and require heavy archival (a cost) and will result in companies having to go back to SAP after the fact to purchase more HANA license GBs.
  4. Fiori is not a complete UI for S4. Instead, Fiori is a niche set of apps. A set of apps has yet to be demonstrated to work any better than the parts of SAPGUI they are replacing. And a set of apps that in 98% percent of cases will only work with applications that sit on top of HANA DB.
  5. S4’s data models are not simplified. There are more tables than ever with a column-oriented database as many of the columns have become their tables. Indexes are eliminated with column-oriented databases. That is a reduction in complexity. But other areas increase in complexity, including the need to rewrite every single adapter that connected to ECC. Simplification of data models (even if true) does not lead to simplified business processes (which is the SAP claim).
  6. SAP never mentions the need to update 20 fields in one record; we end up with 20 updates instead of one update on row-based databases.
  7. The CPU and the RAM are the hardware level. You cannot benefit from using something at a level if it is already used at that level. This would be like saying “you will be able to use the steering wheel at the automobile level.” There is no another way to interpret this except it is a purposely redundant statement that is supposed to sound technical and esoteric. It is designed to impress people who don’t know how software works.

Selling Nonsense

If you sell nonsense for a living, you are not going to stop just because I call you out on it. You need to obscure the issue so you can keep selling nonsense. From financial advising to medicine to IT consulting and strategy consulting, nonsense is a great thing to sell. It is great for your career and your pocketbook. It is about impossible to meet a quota without it.

 Saving that Face

Face-saving. As I learned when I worked in Asia, face-saving is big in Asian culture. And the term was used a lot when I worked there. But while I don’t support mean-spiritedness, people that make big claims that turn out to be the false need to own up to it and be exposed for being wrong. If not we would not have science. We would be more concerned about embarrassing people who were wrong and never make progress. So to protect Stan’s face, we would continue to agree that the moon is made of green cheese.

This is presently a big problem in IT and IT forecasting. I like to say that the only thing anyone is held accountable for regarding prediction is meeting their sales quota. Gartner has quite a poor accuracy level in their forecasts.

  • They were responsible for priming the ERP bubble in the eighties.
  • The marketplace bubble in the late nineties.
  • They are currently pumping up the Big Data and analytics bubble as well as the IoT bubble.

But do you see Gartner paying a financial penalty for being the Helen Keller of IT forecasting? No, they are richer, more powerful and more influential than ever.

Unfortunately, there is no entity that calls out individuals or companies that knowingly distribute false information on IT topics. And this has lead to a bubble in buffoonery.

Diverting Attention from Previous False Statements

I have spent a good deal of time investigating the performance claims and many other claims on HANA DB. Here is what I have found.

  • The uniqueness of HANA’s performance has been explained in my previous articles as entirely manufactured by SAP. There was never any truth to it. The people that proposed this are diminished in my eyes for the lies that they told. At the tip of the lying spear is Dr. Hasso Plattner, but there are plenty of other culprits.
  • SAP has proposed that end of period close, and MRP use is held back by not having a database like HANA. This is false as neither process is a bottleneck at the vast majority of companies. If as a company you have a system processing constraint with either of these processes, you are in the distinct minority. Instead of moving to HANA, you should try to find lower cost ways of figuring out what the problem is. As soon as a person raises either of these issues, I know that one of two things must be true. Either they know its incorrect but are willingly stating that these things are the case. Or secondly, and perhaps what can be more forgiven, they are simply repeating what the read in some SAP marketing material. Let us discuss reasonable expectations. One should not expect account managers or partners who have never touched SAP in 10 years or been on an SAP project to be reliable sources of information on technology topics.

Backflushing is Performed Because of a Lack of Database Speed?

Recently SAP proposed that even backflushing is performed because of a lack of database speed. And that HANA was going to come to the rescue to all these poor companies that have had to perform backflushing because their ECC systems cannot perform goods issue due to system performance problems. This is truly farcical as backflushing moves the goods issue processing from real-time to be run in batch. Can SAP seriously think they can convince people that ECC sitting on a non-HANA database lacks the processing capability to perform something as simple as a goods issue in real time??

Backflushing has never been done (at least in the modern era) because of performance limitations. Backflushing is performed because the company wanted to carry out the activity first and record the issues after the fact. Backflushing is very common in process industry manufacturing. This is because it can often be unclear how much material will be consumed in a manufacturing process.

Diverting Attention

HANA proponents enjoy diverting the attention from the original topic. They gain the high ground by claiming other benefits that come from these other areas of “improvement.” The deflection mechanism is the consistent approach by those who have been consistently wrong on HANA. The algorithm looks like this:

  1. Standard HANA DB Pitch: If you find an uninitiated audience, give the standard line about how HANA is revolutionary due to its speed. Hide the fact that other database vendors have the same technology. Pretend that you invented the idea that data can be stored in an SSD.
  2. Dealing with Hecklers, Malcontents & People that Won’t Accept the Sales BS: If (on the rare occasion) you find an individual who knows this is not true, respond that HANA is much more than a database and about “much more than speed.” Do this even though you know that each of the items that are “not just a database” actually has their names like HANA Studio, HCP. And that these products have no logical reason to have the term HANA in their product name. And further, ignore that SAP’s first promotion of HANA DB has been based upon database speed.
  3. Misdirection: Having regained the argumentative high ground, now make false claims, but now in different areas. I call this maneuver the “Hasso Plattner.” Make so many claims in so many different areas that the person you are speaking to may not feel comfortable addressing them all. Force the respondent to perform research in many different areas to respond to your proposals. But you conduct no research at all! Simply repeat false statements provided to you by SAP marketing.
  4. Use Project “Proof”: Bring up illusory benefits that you have seen at all these clients you have visited. Where HANA is just transforming, the way companies do business. This will also communicate to the LinkedIn community that you are a real expert in HANA. Don’t bring up any complications of HANA. And never discuss costs.
  5. Employ the Concept of Universal Virtue: Talk about how you are all about improvements. And that these things are necessary to make these improvements. Promote the concept that both you and SAP are all about “client value.” I had one commenter state that SAP should be allowed “maximum forgiveness” for any false statements that it made. The reason? Because it was all about moving companies to a “fill in the blank” (digital economy), (memory resident future), (IoT), (running simple),(integrated solutions).

Massive Exaggerations

If SAP has massively exaggerated the issue of HANA DB performance. Both of the perspective of the performance itself as well as the application or business case for that performance. Then that is a problem. It is not an adequate or honest response to respond to this particular criticism with a comment related to how HANA DB is “more than a database.”

That only starts up another discussion. It may or may not be, but the statement I made is regarding HANA’s performance and value. That statement needs to be answered without diverting into other areas because one can’t respond to the actual question with convincing evidence.

When faced with the inaccuracies from SAP a few SAP consultants moved to a new approach to divert attention from HANA’s false claims. This was to declare that it was not relevant because the database was after all “not that important.” 

SAP’s Official Position the Database

SAP’s official position is that HANA is a massive differentiator. So if SAP says something and it turns out to be false, then that is relevant.

Since HANA’s introduction, it has been a steady drumbeat from SAP as to why the database is critical and why customers need to switch as soon as possible to HANA. ASUG’s position is that as SAP is the strategic vendor, those companies need to migrate to S/4HANA. There is no backing off of the emphasis that SAP has placed on the database since HANA was introduced in 2011.

The Logic for Limiting S/4HANA to HANA

Let us also remember the logic for limiting S/4HANA to HANA — that no other database vendor can keep up with SAP’s innovation. SAP is restricting choice and doing so for purely commercial reasons, all while telling people it is for technical reasons. This entire storyline is false and is provable as false.

SAP’s Credibility Hit Due to HANA’s Claims Being Found to be False

If what is true is important than this is a problem not only for this specific subject but for companies that intend to listen to advice from either SAP or SAP consulting companies on other subjects.

HANA’s Predicted TCO

Second, our research predicts that HANA will have a greater than 2x TCO versus competing databases. Again, SAP stated that HANA’s TCO would be lower — lower even than when HANA replaces an existing database and will implement faster than an already implemented database. The second sentence is impossible, and it should be obvious why. You don’t have to pay this extra TCO, but disrupting the database layer for what turn out to be negative reasons (that is you are worse off as a company after you do it) but the customers do have to deal with this wasteful disruption. This means that SAP has been and will continue to misdirect IT budgets into HANA.

HANA’s Performance Problems with S/4HANA

A final reason to care about HANA even within the context you mention is that HANA has performance problems in supporting ERP as we covered in the article The Mismatch Between HANA and S/4HANA and ERP. 

This fact alone means that S/4HANA’s value proposition is compromised. But once you include S/4HANA’s implementation history, how S/4HANA’s risk is so high, its difficult to find a major application with higher risk right now.

The Issue with the Perceived “Importance” of the DB

We all tend to think that the “important thing” is whatever we happen to work in. I focus more on the application area myself. However, I am personally amazed by what databases can do. Databases are an amazing intellectual achievement. Once you spend time with a database person or developer who takes you through what is possible, they seem like magic. Non-database people tend to think terms of spreadsheet tables with the tables just pointing to each other (as the ERD diagram).

However, that is a vastly oversimplified construct.

Many application people tend to see development as something not to focus attention. They may say “just give me the app.” I used to think that way myself. Better understanding development as I have in the past year or so leads one to question application design rather than accepting what is available. The current applications we have are just what someone thought made sense. They are not necessarily right or the best way to do things, and with development capability, you can make whatever you want, not what someone else thinks is right.

Taking Things for Granted

It is also easy to take things for granted once they have been mastered. Databases run far more smoothly than applications at this point, so it is easy to think that they are not as important.

Its a bit like how often you think about your feet is how directly proportional to how good your shoes are. If you have good shoes, you do not really think about your feet.

Understanding Pivot

It seems like there is a pattern that is established. It goes like this…

  1. The first position is that SAP is 100% correct and this is the future. The early presentations were that SAP had the best database in the world with HANA, and everyone who did not switch to HANA was an idiot. Hasso Plattner had a well-known blog post where he said those who question HANA’s value “just don’t get it.”
  2. When faced with evidence that undermines SAP’s claim, there is a transition to saying that there are some “misunderstandings” about SAP.
  3. When SAP is proven entirely wrong, and or to have deliberately misled people, that the topic area is not important anyway. Then the pivot happens to another topic, and new claims are made that once investigated are also false.

Using this strategy means that SAP is never held accountable for what they say.

Conclusion

Getting quality IT information is a tricky business. There are a lot of overconfident and dishonest people out there who will unthinkingly repeat false information and then defend their positions if questioned. They will try to sell the future. They will pretend they have seen benefits where they haven’t. They will use unproven arguments like a new application that no one has performed a TCO calculation on automatically lowers TCO. They will use ad-hominem attacks. They will rely on concepts that have been long ago disproven (best practices, preconfigured solutions, rapid deployment solutions).

They will even stoop to proposing that the database is not that important anyway.

The one thing they all have in common is never admitting they were wrong.

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References

I cover Gartner in depth in the following book.

The Gartner Book

 

GARTNER-1Gartner and the Magic Quadrant: A Guide for Buyers, Vendors, and Investors

How to Figure Out How to Effectively User Gartner

Whether you are a software buyer, a large or small vendor, or are wondering how Gartner can help you make better investment decisions, this book will give you new insights to Gartner’s research. By studying the methodology behind such popular analytical tools like the Magic Quadrant, you will understand how a vendor earned its rating and whether or not the ratings are justified!

Understanding Gartner, It’s History, and It’s Incentives

Starting with the history of Gartner and how it compares to other IT analyst firms, this book gives a realistic assessment of the value of Gartner research to a company and provides ideas about other resources that could complement Gartner’s analysis. You will also have the tools to level the playing field between large, medium and small vendors when using Gartner’s analysis in selecting software.

Chapters

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: An Overview of Gartner
  • Chapter 3: How Gartner Makes Money
  • Chapter 4: Comparing Gartner to Consumer Reports, the RAND Corporation, and Academic Research
  • Chapter 5: The Magic Quadrant
  • Chapter 6: Other Analytical Products Offered by Gartner
  • Chapter 7: Gartner’s Future and Cloud Computing
  • Chapter 8: Adjusting the Magic Quadrant
  • Chapter 9: Is Gartner Worth the Investment?
  • Chapter 10: Conclusion
  • Appendix a: How to Use Independent Consultants for Software Selection
  • Appendix b: What Does the History of Media Tell Us About This Topic
  • Appendix c: Disclosure Statements and Code of Ethics

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