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

Executive Summary

  • How SAP Introduced S/4HANA and its Completeness
  • Becoming Increasingly Complete?
  • The Actual Story with S/4HANA’s Completeness
  • Our Coverage of S/4HANA’s Completeness Versus the Standard IT Media
  • The Attempt by SAP to Minimize the Issue with S/4HANA’s Completeness
  • Computer Weekly as a Passive Message Repeater of SAP
  • Jon Appleby Enters the Funhouse
  • What John Appleby Proposes
  • S/4HANA Finance Implemented by Itself

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.

Brightwork Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

This article and no other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle and SAP. Brightwork does offer competitive intelligence work to vendors as part of its business, but no published research or articles are written with any financial consideration. As part of Brightwork’s commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research, the company’s business model is driven by consulting services; no paid media placements are accepted.

HANA & S/4HANA Question Box

  • Have Questions About S/4HANA & HANA?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in S/4HANA and HANA without outside advice. And it is close to impossible 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://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

SAP’s S/4HANA Clause Restricting Installing Other Applications

Executive Summary

  • The unusual clause that restricts hardware.
  • SAP’s often deliberately obtuse clauses

Introduction

I recently had a colleague send me this quotation from the S/4HANA 1610 Simplification List. He was extremely surprised by this quotation and asked me to analyze it.

In this article, we will review this clause, what it most likely means and what it means for S/4HANA customers.

The Unusual Clause

“In addition, customers should be aware of the fact that only SAP S/4HANA packages (and no other software) shall be deployed on an SAP S/4HANA installation. Details are provided in the Software Use
Rights Document.”

“….For clarity the preceding sentence only applies to software licensed from SAP, its affiliates and or its authorized distributors and resellers.”

I don’t see how that clarifies anything except to say this is only for SAP software.

Also, the Software Use Rights Document does not clarify what this means. Therefore, SAP is telling customers to check another document for clarification, which does not do what SAP says it does.

I searched it for every appearance of the term S/4HANA, and there was no more information on this topic within the document at least concerning S/4HANA.

SAP is known to add clauses that are deliberately obtuse, and they come by later and say it meant XYZ and you signed the agreement.

SAP’s Often Deliberately Obtuse Clauses

If the customer reads this and then reads the supposed supporting document it is not clear what they are talking about in this quotation.

But that is the point.

If we take one possible interpretation, then no non-SAP system can be integrated to S/4HANA. That is not exactly what the clause sounds like. But at first, it was difficult to see what else the clause could be referring to. That is until I conferred with a resource with the first-hand experience on S/4HANA implementations. He had the following to say.

“They mean you cannot install non-SAP software on the S/4 platform. Nothing to do with IA or integration.

This is to avoid performance and conflict on resource issues. It also stops customers from doing this because if they do, SAP cannot see where data starts and stops…:)”

This is odd because, on all of the SAP projects I have been on, I don’t recall the topic of other software being installed on the ERP hardware being brought up. But with S/4HANA, apparently, customers spend so much money on S4 hardware that they have been running other applications on the hardware to manage their budget.

Conclusion

S/4HANA projects routinely underestimate their hardware size and therefore the eventual hardware cost. This has led some S/4HANA customers to try to save money by installing other applications on top of the S/4HANA hardware. This is why the clause was added to the Software Use Rights Document, where it was not there before.

Brightwork Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

This article and no other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle and SAP. Brightwork does offer competitive intelligence work to vendors as part of its business, but no published research or articles are written with any financial consideration. As part of Brightwork’s commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research, the company’s business model is driven by consulting services; no paid media placements are accepted.

HANA & S/4HANA Question Box

  • Have Questions About S/4HANA & HANA?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in S/4HANA and HANA without outside advice. And it is close to impossible 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

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

Why G2Crowd Has False Information on S4HANA

Executive Summary

  • G2Crowd pretends to be an objective rating website, but they are entirely funded by vendors which they do not disclose to readers. 
  • G2Crowd is filled with false information about S/4HANA, which we uncover in this article. 

Introduction

Many of our analyses into IT media entities begin with reading their output and figuring out something does not add up. In this article, we will review another such example, this time with G2Crowd.

G2Crowd and S/4HANA

Recently we were reviewing the rating for S/4HANA, finding it had 4.5 stars. As we read the reviews, we found the following false information.

We have listed and analyzed this information below, and it tells us something interesting about both G2Crowd and how information is promoted about SAP products. 

S/4HANA as Development Platform?

“S/4 HANA is not only a platform for development, but it is also a place where we can bring integrated designs with various other features of latest SAP platforms.”

Why is S/4HANA a development platform? It is an ERP system that will require customization, but that is a far cry from calling it a development platform.

Keeping SuccessFactors as Base?

This following quote is nonsensical and is listed under what business problems are solved by the product, and what benefits have been realized.

“Custom designs by keeping success factors as base.”

Its hard to even tell what this means.

SuccessFactors is not part of S/4HANA. This is the problem when there is no compensation for reviewers, although interestingly, the amount of detail and accuracy in the G2Crowd reviews is substantially below that of Amazon, which also does not pay for reviews.

System Performance Increased with S/4HANA?

“Implementing SAP S/4HANA 1605 enabled us to make our business processes better while increasing the system performance at the same time. It now provides us with faster insights and foresights.”

How did implementing a product that has less functionality than ECC enable “to make business processes better?”

Also, how is it that system performance increased?

The evidence from many data points at this point shows that the performance of S/4HANA using HANA is slower for all functions performed by the ERP system. This is covered in the article HANA as a Mismatch for S/4HANA and ERP.

S/4HANA Provides a Faster Year End Process?

“Benefits include faster month-end, year-end processes, higher performance throughput, Instant financial results and Better reporting capabilities.”

This is straight out of SAP’s marketing literature. Almost word for word. However, at Brightwork, we analyzed this claim in detail in the article An Analysis of S/4HANA 1608 Information.

We know this did not happen because it is not something that S/4HANA provides. The article explains in detail why.

HANA or S/4HANA is Great?

“HANA is great with all the different deployment options…all the customer’s information is in one single pane making it so easy to have all the information I need at my fingertips”

That is interesting, but the page is designed to show the reviews for S/4HANA. One might think that this reviewed simply wrote HANA as a typo, but the overall review is clearly about HANA, not S/4HANA.

So G2Crowd does not have the resources to ensure that the reviews are placed in the right category?

That is interesting, as G2Crowd raises millions from software vendors. And they don’t write any of the reviews. Now it appears that G2Crowd can’t be bothered to check if the reviews are assigned to the correct product. Why? Well actually hiring people at G2Crowd is not profit maximizing. Profits are highest if G2Crowd can get all of the content created by people that it does not have to pay.

Analytical and Transaction Processing

“The ability to run both analytical and transactional workloads in the same instance at the same time.”

This sentence does not make much sense. This was always possible. If it weren’t then the entire system would have to have the transactions paused while reports were run, which is never how SAP ERP worked.

The reviewer might mean that the S/4HANA allows both transactions and analytics to be run on the system efficiently or faster. If that is what the reviewer meant, that is also false. S/4HANA is slower in running transactions than its predecessor, which ran exclusively on a row-oriented database from Oracle, IBM or Microsoft.

This is covered in the article HANA as a Mismatch for S/4HANA and ERP.

Jump in Sooner to Realize the Value?

Interestingly, the same reviewer who stated..

“Some of the performance bugs that bog SAP products; hopefully they get resolved with subsequent patches/releases..”

Is telling prospective customers to..

“Jump in sooner to realize the value”

But if the application has these issues, why would there be a motivation to “jump in sooner?” This is not me stating that SAP has performance bugs (although we know it does) this is the reviewer themselves. This is an example of the reviewer contradicting themselves. This would be like saying that a particular computer has performance bugs, but other people should jump in to realize the value now. Seems like putting off that purchase a bit might be a better move.

Up to Minute Inventory Availability?

“We are able to get up-to-the minute data on inventory availability and have a better SLA for inventory turnaround.”

ERP systems have not calculated inventory position in a non-immediate way (called non-perpetual inventory systems) for decades. This is covered in the following article Whatever Happened to the Perpetual Inventory System?

This is a common issue, with SAP and SAP proponents stating that S/4HANA does things that the first version of R/3 already did. Some SAP literature points out that a benefit of S/4HANA is that it completely integrates supply chain with finance. Right….that is called an ERP system.

Fiori Application Integration?

This reviewed stated..

“Fiori application integration, ease of use and simple user interfaces”

Fiori is the UI; it is not involved in application integration. However, the second part of the sentence states there is an enhanced ease of use.

However, for how many workflows? Fiori only works for a narrow set of business processes. This is covered in the article, The Strange Changes with the Count of Fiori Apps.

This means that most of the time users will be in SAPGUI, not Fiori. The reviewed also reinforced this by stating.

“backend SAPGUI tcodes are hard to remember.”

Reduced Cost of Maintenance?

“..ease of use and simple application, reduce cost of maintenance.”

Really?

S/4HANA, which uses the very high overhead HANA database. Which is still not a completed product. Which is lacking many of the capabilities of ECC, such as IDOCs in a number of modules, which has to support two UIs rather than one and that breaks every single adapter and customization that was written for ECC has a reduced cost of maintenance versus ECC?

Very interesting.

S/4HANA to Put You Ahead of the Competition

“S/4HANA has the features to put your company steps ahead the competition… The fast adoption of customers and the flexibility of the product gives the confidence of choosing a product that is a game changer.”

As one can tell, this review was written by a consultant.

First, S/4HANA has had extremely low adoption for a product that is now several years old. This is covered in detail in our A Study into S/4HANA Implementations.

This consultant thinks is true because it is stated by Bill McDermott and others at SAP. However, it also brings up the question, why is this included in a review of the product?

The review is supposed to be the first-hand experiences of the reviewer with the application. That is not what this is.

S/4HANA Has Machine Learning and Other Strange Things?

“Innovation, real-time analytics, machine learning and IoT. We are deep diving into the Digital Transforamtion” (not mispelled by me, how this is spelled in the quote)

S/4HANA has innovation? Where is that innovation?

It’s not the database it uses, and according to independent studies into its code, it is 95% identical to ECC. And where is the machine learning in S/4HANA? IoT has nothing to do with ERP systems, which we cover in the article Why Leonardo Seems So Fake, and companies are not implementing IoT with S/4HANA.

Finally, Digital Transformation does not have any meaning as is covered in the article The Problem with Using Digital Transformation to Describe Modern IT Projects.

What is clear is that this reviewer is placing SAP marketing literature into a review of the product.

S/4HANA at 4.5 Stars?

This reviewer gave S/4HANA 4.5 stars but then stated.

“SAP S4HANA is great evolving tool. it has great potential.”

So is the 4.5 stars for a future version of S/4HANA or the current version? He goes on to say it has..

“frequent delivered patches. poor customer support”

Would that qualify a product to receive 4.5 stars? If so, how do you get less than 4.5 stars?

The Ability to Tap Into Benefits of HANA

“The ability to tap into the benefits provided by SAP HANA utilizing the latest technology built in S4.”

HANA does not provide benefits to ERP systems. At least not at this present state of HANA’s development. Once again, this is a projection of what SAP says HANA can do, rather than an authentic experience of the reviewer.

Again, this reviewer is a consultant.

This is similar to another reviewer (in this case, not a consultant) who gave S/4HANA 4 stars. He states the following:

“Its not simple! There is insufficient documentation.”

and..

“Not yet fully implemented”

If these things are what the reviewer thinks, what do you have to do as an application to rate a 2 or 3 stars? Lets review. Four stars should be a very good application. Four and a half stars should be excellent, and 5 stars should be flawless.

The Ease of Implementing Fiori

“The way the code has been rewritten and the ease of implementing Fiori.”

This is very obviously false. Fiori is both difficult to implement, and only a small number of Fiori apps install reasonably quickly. Again, another review from a consultant.

The Speed of Processing?

“Speed of processing and the fact that it is real inmemory computing.”

All computing is in memory!

That is what the memory of a computer is used for. Information is loaded into it.

HANA differs from Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft in that the entire database is loaded into memory. However, that is wasteful and unnecessary because it means that data that is not involved in the processing is loaded into memory.

Standardize our Business Processes Globally

“standardize our business processes globally.”

That would be odd, as this is not only what was promised by ECC, but by R/3 and in fact R/2. In fact, SAP ERP has long been run by global companies that have used it in multiple countries.

There is nothing that differentiates S/4HANA from ECC regarding the ability to standardize businesses processes globally.

Consultant Bias

The most inaccurate statements in the G2Crowd S/4HANA reviews came from consultants. And there was a preponderance of consultant’s who left reviews. We read through 26 reviews on the G2Crowd site for S/4HANA, and 11 of the 26 reviews were listed by those that self-identified as consultants. The way G2Crowd allows people to register means that many of the other reviewers may also be consultants, but aren’t explicitly listed this way. If the person lists their name, rather than enters an anonymous name, then their profession is not declared. The patterns I recognized in the reviews tells me that there are probably quite a few more out of the 26 reviewers that are consultants.

Obviously, if G2Crowd has no way of mitigating the effect of consultants, who have a financial motivation to promote their application specialty, then G2Crowd has a problem with the method they are using. Of course, this bias is exactly what G2Crowd’s funders like to see, so if few people notice then why would G2Crowd change it?

What is G2Crowd Really About?

G2Crowd seems more like a moneymaking operation and lead generator that a site concerned with the quality or accuracy of reviews. G2Crowd has virtually no content overhead and allows a large amount of low-quality reviews on their website. All of the reviews are unpaid and written by people not employed by G2Crowd. G2Crowd puts very little back into its overall reviews and editing and must have an enormous margin as they do close to nothing but maintain the technical aspects of the site, and of course their valuable relationships with the software vendors from where they receive their funding. 

While this may work for Amazon, in enterprise software there is considerable bias introduced using this type of system.

The owner of G2Crowd receives undeclared income from software vendors. Yet, there is not a single place on the site where the funding is declared. We were able to find out through a PR announcement where IBM declared they would increase their funding of G2Crowd as it is an excellent marketing channel for them. This demonstrates the low ethical standards of G2Crowd.

G2Crowd’s entire business model is to pretend to be a buyer-oriented site while being funded by vendors.

And this is supposed to be the anti-Gartner model!

Conclusion

This is not to say that all of the reviews contain inaccurate information. But many of the reviews have information that clearly indicates the reviewer has not used the system. Unsurprisingly a number of these inaccurate reviews are written by reviews who self-identify as consultants. And we know quite a bit about the incentives that SAP consultants have to promote SAP.

G2Crowd is just another in a long line of examples of an IT media system that is corrupt and does not follow well-established standards.

Brightwork Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

This article and no other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle and SAP. Brightwork does offer competitive intelligence work to vendors as part of its business, but no published research or articles are written with any financial consideration. As part of Brightwork’s commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research, the company’s business model is driven by consulting services; no paid media placements are accepted.

HANA & S/4HANA Question Box

  • Have Questions About S/4HANA & HANA?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in S/4HANA and HANA without outside advice. And it is close to impossible to get honest S/4HANA and HANA advice from large consulting companies. We offer remote unbiased multi-dimension S/4HANA and HANA support.

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

References

https://www.g2crowd.com/products/sap-s-4hana/

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

What SAP Moving to the SAP HANA Cloud Means

Executive Summary

  • SAP has been trying to move HANA to the cloud.
  • We will explain the implications of this movement.

Introduction to the HANA Cloud

There is a lot of information of questionable accuracy given out on the topic of HANA. Some of the information is difficult to verify as one does not either have access to the HANA application in question. Or in other cases, one cannot test the HANA system. This is because of a lack of skills, bandwidth, etc.. However, other information is easy to observe as incorrect because it is simply not logical or conflicts with other information.

This article will describe this second type of information.

Conversation on HANA

I was recently interacting with someone on who was proposing HANA for a client. At one point I brought up the expense and complexity of HANA as factors to consider. The person I was speaking with had two very strange responses.

  • His first response was that I should not be focusing on cost because HANA was so much better than everything in the market.
  • His second response was that complexity should not be a focus because SAP is going to move to the cloud.

Eliminating the on Premises HANA Instance?

I don’t understand this second comment at all, and in fact, I find it quite disturbing, because while SAP talks up its SAP HANA Cloud plans, very few native SAP implementations are actually in the cloud – the exceptions being for products that were already cloud products as they were acquisitions like Success Factors.

If we look at Success Factors or Hybris 0r Concur or Ariba or ByDesign or BusinessOne — SAP applications that are sold in the cloud, HANA would not do much for these applications requests as they are naturally low in processing usage and memory overhead.

ByDesign no longer sees development. BusinessOne, often thought to be a native to SAP, was acquired a long time ago, as was Ariba (both of which would be a waste to put on HANA). Four of these (not Ariba or Hybris) are low priced products and are not the core of SAP in any shape or form.

And most of the HANA applications that are sold are still marketed as on-premise.

So given all of this, let us look at the logic here for a moment of not working about the extra complexity of HANA because SAP is moving to the cloud.

  • If SAP is eventually moving to the cloud, why is anyone buying on premises HANA servers? So they can be decommissioned within a few years?
  • The idea that you can buy applications in the cloud argues against buying on premises HANA solution now.

SAP HANA Cloud vs. HANA Battle for SAP Marketing Message Supremacy

There is an apparent disconnect between SAP’s twin strategies of pushing HANA combined with putting out the vision of the cloud. This is because SAP is both telling customers that the backend is critical to be emphasized while promoting the idea of moving to the cloud, where the backend disappears into the background — or more correctly becomes a service managed by the software vendor or some infrastructure partner like Amazon Web Services.

How Hosted Solutions Work

SaaS/cloud solution providers work fundamentally differently from on-premises vendors. The arrangements change, and the model is subscription based so that the upfront costs are far lower.

Let me provide an example. I use a web host for this website. Occasionally I run into a performance issue. I communicate this issue to my web hosting company, and then they respond that something is out of date or some new software can be installed on the server. I typically don’t know they are talking about, but I approve the change/update, etc… and the performance improves and…well that is the end of the story. The boring story I know. But for me, it is boring in the best way possible because I have no interest in worrying about the infrastructure behind my website. I know just about zero about the web hosting technologies and want to keep it that way.

In a managed environment like I just described, all the customer has to know is that they are unhappy with the performance, and they want a change to occur to improve the performance. This is the same way that SaaS/cloud vendors operate. They take care of the details, and the customer gets to focus on getting value out of the application.

The Productivity Advantage

SaaS/cloud vendors have a huge advantage because they control and tune the environments for all of their customers and the hardware that is used per customer is smaller because of this efficiency.

There are all types of productivity benefits that come from the labor specialization of having on group control application for so many customers, instead of the decentralized model, called on-premises, where the individuals in the client’s IT department maintain substantially a single implementation of many different applications.

This is not discussed much in enterprise software because of economists, by in large, tend not to study enterprise software.(1) However, here is the short version of the benefits of labor specialization, and its relationship to SaaS.

A Primary Ingredient to Productivity

Job specialization is a primary reason for improved productivity in all parts of the economy — from plumbers to web designers to hair stylists. The reason for this is that the more someone can focus on being good in one area, the higher their productivity and their quality.

The SaaS/cloud application model just allows for a greater degree of labor specialization. This is because a team that manages many customers for a single application are far more efficient than the same sized team managing multiple applications for a single client.

All of this is why training your customers on all the infrastructure of your application, how it is differentiated, how you need to have HANA is just a distraction when one moves to a SaaS/cloud application model. 

SAP HANA Cloud in the Background?

In the article titled Has SAP’s Relentless HANA Push Paid Off?, I proposed that HANA should simply become an inherent property of the application, and it is difficult to see why users, functional consultants, and VPs of buying firms should need to go through the litany of details on infrastructure. This is how Tableau and Teradata market their applications (with the support available for discussion, but as a background topic), which I covered in this in the article How SAP HANA vs. Teradata and Tableau Market Backend Technology.

Placing the infrastructure ahead of the application, particularly for a company that is focused on selling applications is…well I think quite strange, and really can’t be successful.

SAP HANA Cloud Costs?

So let us discuss the costs of moving to the SAP HANA Cloud. We can discuss all types of options, but once the costs are included, things become much more clear as to what is feasible.

SAP has declared the total cost of ownership (TCO) of cloud costs, which are TCOs for HANA in the cloud. BlueFin Solutions provided estimates which I think are directly from SAP (through John Appleby who writes extensively on HANA).

The TCO for four years are the following:

  • $1 million for 1TB HANA Cloud Base
  • $2.7 million for 1TB for HANA Cloud Platform
  • $4.8 million for HANA Platform
  • $5.9 million for 1TB for HANA Enterprise.

So, it turns out SAP HANA Cloud is quite expensive. I have not compared these costs to the TCO for on-premises HANA because I don’t have the numbers handy.

Moving to the Cloud

SAP wants to move to the cloud, but there are two different areas of SAP that must be considered when analyzing this statement:

  1. The native SAP applications
  2. The acquired cloud-based applications

SAP is not moving HANA customers to the cloud, in fact, SAP is not moving any significant number of clients to HANA in the cloud or on-premises.

SAP may be in for a shock, but cloud applications don’t sell for the same price as on premises, and the majority of SAP’s applications have not been subject to SaaS competition.

This is touched on in this quotation by Vinnie Mirchandani in the book SAP Nation:

“When you compare how nicely IT costs via SaaS application…have dropped in the last few years, you have to ask why those in the SAP economy have not followed that trend.”

I have an answer to Vinnie’s question, or at least I think I do. It is because SAP is protected from marketplace pressures for the majority of the applications that it sells. However, if SAP continues to acquire SaaS applications, and SaaS makes up more of the portfolio, this will change.

Conclusion

I hope this article has successfully made the case that it is not so simple to say that.

“SAP wants to move to the cloud,”

..when we are referring to the native SAP applications. In many cases moving to the cloud is expensive for clients when HANA is involved.

When we are talking about applications that were already in the cloud when SAP purchased them, the story is entirely different. But the two stories cannot be commingled because they are very different situations. What I consider to be “real SAP” are the internally developed applications. I am not sure what to make of these newly acquired cloud-based applications yet, and SAP’s actions seem to demonstrate that they often don’t either.

However, let us circle back to the main point, and that is that the complexity of SAP HANA is still very much an issue that must be considered and evaluated independently for each application because while many options are often discussed during sales pursuits, most HANA is sold as on-premises.

Brightwork Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

This article and no other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle and SAP. Brightwork does offer competitive intelligence work to vendors as part of its business, but no published research or articles are written with any financial consideration. As part of Brightwork’s commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research, the company’s business model is driven by consulting services; no paid media placements are accepted.

HANA & S/4HANA Question Box

  • Have Questions About S/4HANA & HANA?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in S/4HANA and HANA without outside advice. And it is close to impossible 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

(1) Economists are very focused on financial features of the economy, but few of them investigate manufacturing history, technology, etc.. This is why, in my view, so many critical areas go without economic analysis.

Between Complex Licenses and the Cloud, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP Have Lots of Ways to Hike up Prices. Here is How to Fight Back. Infor would. Robert Scheier, Jan 13, 2014

*https://www.amazon.com/SAP-Nation-runaway-software-economy-ebook/dp/B00Q5MW21C

*https://blogs.saphana.com/2014/03/06/a-no-brainer-the-tco-of-hana-cloud-platform-vs-on-premise/

https://www.infoworld.com/article/2608228/techology-business/update–sap-sees-cloud-revenue-soar–software-sales-drop-in-q2.htmlhttps://www.infoworld.com/article/2608228/techology-business/update–sap-sees-cloud-revenue-soar–software-sales-drop-in-q2.html

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

Is the HANA Cloud Platform Designed for HANA Washing?

Executive Summary

  • What is HANA Washing?
  • What is HANA Cloud Platform?
  • How Does SAP Use HANA Cloud Platform to Perform HANA Washing?
  • Our Work on HANA

Introduction

In this article, I wanted to cover a major strategy that seems to come from SAP marketing. This is what lead the HANA Cloud Platform to have the word “HANA” in the name and how SAP has been using this development environment to HANA washing its other applications.

What is HANA Washing?

The industry term for presenting one’s revenues as more cloud-based than they are is called “cloud washing.” This is something that SAP does quite frequently. In a previous article, I explained how the HCP is explicitly designed for cloud washing. However, HCP is also intended for HANA washing. HANA washing is not a commonly used term, but it seems like a natural extension of cloud washing. So I am introducing it in this article and hope it catches on. This is because SAP is constantly trying to make its installations seem more “HANA” than they are. HCP is a big part of this HANA washing. In fact, its naming seems specifically designed for both cloud washing and HANA washing.

What is HANA Cloud Platform?

Some people incorrectly state that HANA is a both a database/development environment and application. This is not correct, and one of the reasons for this confusion is because HANA was, for marketing purposes, added to the name of SAP’s connective development environment.

  • HANA is a database
  • HCP is a development environment
  • Neither is an application
  • Neither is it a platform

The HANA Cloud Platform is a development environment, but one which is tied to SAP’s hosting and the use of SAP HANA Infrastructure Services (HIS). HIS is something else, so let us tackle one topic at a time. This article is about the HCP, not the HIS. If we follow SAP’s logic, we will only smush everything together and say everything is a database or a platform or a PaaS or an IaaS depending upon the flexible needs of SAP marketing and sales. This article is about the HCP, not the HIS.

Now a development environment allows you to code to create custom programs. Development environment needs to connect to things like databases. There are many development environments out there, and this is not something that SAP has historically offered.

And this tethering of the HCP to the HIS is a problem because it restricts what you can do with the development environment. The problem with using a development environment from SAP is that SAP wants to use the HCP to redirect the customer to make more SAP purchases and to cut down the options for the developer and the customer overall. SAP seeks to tether the application to the database, and then the development environment to the application provider. This constant tethering is designed to cut down the freedom of their customers and is textbook account control.

A development environment allows you to code to create custom programs. Development environment needs to connect to things like databases. There are many development environments out there, and this is not something that SAP has historically offered.

How Does SAP Use HANA Cloud Platform to Perform HANA Washing?

  1. There is absolutely no reason to put the term “HANA” in the HCP.
  2. HCP has absolutely nothing to do with HANA. HANA is a database, and HCP is a development environment that can connect to HANA, or 12c or any database for that manner.

The reason for SAP to call place HANA in the product name is very simply to confuse people as to whether or not HANA is deployed. This is an example of merely a trick of HANA washing by SAP. Now for some time into the future, HCP will be used as the term to confuse customers and Wall Street as to how much HANA is being used. SAP routinely states that “with the HANA Cloud Platform companies can” fill in the blank. SAP knows that people will read the words HANA in HCP and mistakenly think that the HCP has something to do with HANA. But their documentation and statements about the HCP go on to further confuse the issue. Here is a perfect example:

“With flexible subscription models and optional services for apps, database, and infrastructure, it provides instant access to the full power of SAP HANA.”

No, that is not true. One can access any of these things with any development environment. That is you can use the HCP or use another development environment and access all the same things. The “full power of SAP HANA” (which is no better and seems to perform worse than Oracle 12c) is available from any development environment that one decides to connect to SAP HANA.

Purposeful Confusion

This confusion will persist for quite some time. I am still speaking with people who are confusing S/4HANA with SAP HANA, which is easy to do because of SAP’s confusing naming.

Secondly, the HANA Cloud Platform is free, so there is no traceability possible as to how much SAP HANA is being used. When SAP HANA started performing very poorly in sales, SAP stopped breaking out SAP HANA as a revenue item under McDermott’s logic that “everything SAP does now connect to HANA.”

Conclusion

  • SAP’s naming of the HANA Cloud Platform and their discussion around HCP is deliberate and deceptive.
  • HANA Cloud Platform is an example of both cloud washing and HANA washing — all in one product.
  • Almost no one uses the HANA Cloud Platform, so SAP can say whatever they want to about it. They propose 20,000 “developers” using it, but I know several people who created and account and logged in and aren’t developing anything in it. Most of SAP’s numerical claims like the fact it has 3700 S/4 “customers” are always inflated.
  • The HANA Cloud Platform will be used in SAP’s marketing offensives to mislead companies. Both regarding how much SAP installations are cloud based and how much HANA is deployed.
  • If the HANA Cloud Platform never rises above even a tiny fraction of users, this will not stop SAP from telling customers and Wall Street that it is revolutionizing projects. And even better, its growth cannot be tracked because it is free and will not have any revenues to report. I see the HANA Cloud PlatformHCP being saddled up by SAP marketing to be ridden for a long time.

HANA & S/4HANA Question Box

  • Have Questions About S/4HANA & HANA?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in S/4HANA and HANA without outside advice. And it is close to impossible to get honest S/4HANA and HANA advice from large consulting companies. We offer remote unbiased multi-dimension S/4HANA and HANA support.

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

References

*https://www.amazon.com/SAP-Nation-runaway-software-economy-ebook/dp/B00Q5MW21C

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

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

Is the SAP HANA Cloud Platform Designed for Cloud Washing?

What This Article Covers

  • What is Cloud Washing?
  • What is the SAP HANA Cloud Platform?
  • How Does SAP Use HANA Cloud Platform to Perform Cloud Washing?
  • How Does SAP Use the SAP HANA Cloud Platform to Perform Cloud Washing?
  • Where Did the Previous Savior of Integration, XML Go?
  • Who Provides the Hosting Again?
  • Our Work on HANA

Introduction

In this article, I wanted to cover a major strategy that seems to come from SAP marketing. This is what leads the SAP HANA Cloud Platform to have the word “Cloud” in the name and how SAP has been using this development environment to cloud washing its other applications.

What is Cloud Washing?

The industry term for presenting one’s revenues as more cloud-based than they are is called “cloud washing.”

Vinnie Mirchandani, the author of SAP Nation, has explained that SAP presents itself as a cloud-based software vendor to Wall Street. But then eagerly sells on-premise software.

At this point, if a software vendor can, they want to present themselves and their applications as more cloud-based than they are. One of the ways that SAP, that has historically been an on-premises vendor is the following:

  1. Acquiring cloud software vendors
  2. Saying that applications that are primarily purchased as on-premises are available in the cloud.
  3. Adding cloud terms to the names of products.

What is the SAP HANA Cloud Platform?

Some people incorrectly state that HANA is both a database/development environment and application. This is not correct. One of the reasons for this confusion is because HANA was added to the name of SAP’s connective development environment. This was for marketing reasons. But it has caused people to become confused as to what part does what.

This is not correct. One of the reasons for this confusion is because HANA was added to the name of SAP’s connective development environment. This was for marketing reasons. But it has caused people to become confused as to what part does what.

One of the reasons for this confusion is because HANA was added to the name of SAP’s connective development environment. This was for marketing reasons. But it has caused people to become confused as to what part does what.

  • HANA is a database
  • HCP is a development environment
  • Neither is an application
  • Neither is it a platform

The SAP HANA Cloud Platform is a development environment and not a platform. A development environment allows you to code to create custom programs. Development environment needs to connect to things like databases. There are many development environments out there, and this is not something that SAP has historically offered.

Screenshot 2016-08-14 at 8.46.32 AM

This is a view of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. As you can see, the items that the SAP HANA Cloud Platform can be connected to are on the right. This includes databases.

Screenshot 2016-08-14 at 8.46.16 AM

This view shows the applications that the SAP HANA Cloud Platform can connect to. This is what development environments do.

Cloud9

This is Cloud9. It is another development environment that is in the cloud.

Just because a development environment is in the cloud, does not mean that everything the development environment connects to is based in the cloud. This is clearly misperception that SAP is trying to give its audience. Here are some examples of why this is misleading:

  • Almost all HANA instances are on-premises.
  • Almost all BW instances, the most common usage of HANA is on-premises.
  • S/4 is right now not a finished product (covered in detail in this article Why the S/4 Suite is Not Yet Released). However, most S/4 implementations are also on-premises.

What SAP would like people to think, customers and Wall Street alike, is that because customers use a cloud-based development environment to connect to on-premises installations (which HCP of course allows), that the overall installation is the cloud? If SAP is successful in doing this, it could potentially cloud wash many installations that have almost nothing to do with the cloud.

How Does SAP Use HANA Cloud Platform to Perform Cloud Washing?

SAP consistently uses the idea that companies can use the HANA Cloud Platform to do all manner of amazing things. The HCP required little work on the part of SAP. They created a development environment that can connect to other items. Talk about lazy.

And from this tiny amount of effort McDermott and will use it as a discussion point to talk about how cloud SAP is becoming. And the difference between how much HCP is discussed versus how much it is used is enormous.

  1. We still have no idea of the HCP will even become popular, but this will not stop SAP marketing from using it.
  2. Developers may continue to develop in whatever environment they presently use.
  3. Should SAP dictate the development environment that developers use? Especially when it adds nothing over what developers already use?

SAP uses the term cloud incorrectly in everything from its videos to its press releases. Much of this audience does not know what an actual cloud implementation is. So it’s easy for SAP to misleading them, and this is SAP’s primary goal.

SAP has this video about the HANA Cloud Platform.

How Does SAP Use the SAP HANA Cloud Platform to Perform Cloud Washing?

SAP consistently uses the idea that companies can use the SAP HANA Cloud Platform to do all manner of amazing things. The HCP required little work on the part of SAP. They created a development environment that can connect to other items. Talk about lazy. And from this tiny amount of effort McDermott and will use it as a discussion point to talk about how cloud SAP is becoming. And the difference between how much the SAP HANA Cloud Platform is discussed versus how much it is used is enormous. We still have no idea of SAP HANA Cloud Platform will even become popular. SAP may offer it for free. Developers may continue to develop in whatever environment they presently use.

Should SAP be dictating the development environment that developers use? Especially when it adds nothing over what developers already use?

SAP uses the term cloud incorrectly in everything from its videos to its press releases. Much of this audience does not know what an actual cloud implementation is. So it’s easy for SAP to misleading them, and this is SAP’s primary goal.

SAP has this video about the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

This video is completely misleading. SAP makes it sound as if the SAP HANA Cloud Platform can allow companies to magically connect to either SAP applications or nonSAP applications with the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. I have news for people. SAP is not giving companies anything they don’t already have.

Second, all of this is work. It is custom programming. SAP is simplifying things to a stupefying degree in these videos which will lead such projects to be considerably underestimated. They are showing electrical plugs going to applications and databases.

The script that goes with this image in SAP’s video is as follows:

“The SAP HANA Cloud Platform, the in-memory Platform-as-a-Service offering from SAP, enables customers and developers to build, extend, and run applications on SAP HANA in the cloud.”

This makes the SAP HANA Cloud Platform sound like a magic box. However, all SAP is offering is a development environment accessed from the cloud. This completely overstates what SAP customers that use SAP HANA Cloud Platform’s capabilities. We have gone through this so many times.

We have gone through this so many times.

  • There is no magic box for applications integration.
  • Applications integration has not been powered up by remote function calls, or by XML or by SOA (remember software oriented architecture) or any of these trendy things.

Where Did the Previous Savior of Integration, XML Go?

I can recall explaining to executives back in the late 1990s that what the salespeople told them, that XML would “take care of the integration” was untrue. XML is a document format, and after everyone got all bubbly about XML, you now barely hear about it. However, the salespeople I worked with told companies that XML would perform the complete application integration. I had to break the bad news to them that XML is only a document format.

Here once again talking about application integration as if it is something easy that is powered by some new trendy item. Every year since 2009, the number of APIs that support XML have declined.

Application integration operates through removing data from databases to where a flat file is created. This flat file is then imported back into the recipient database. Electrical plugs and magic don’t apply.

In this video, the presenter is making misleading statements throughout the video, and it is clearly directed towards people that know little about computers or software. Silly words like “Business Process APIs” and “Digital Applications” are used. It also repeats the incorrect assertion that Fiori is simply ready to use — when in fact, there is almost no one using Fiori presently, and it just a series of apps that every client must pick and choose.

This video is a continuation of SAP’s marketing material that presents a fantasy land to customers, prospective customers and Wall Street. I have been working on SAP projects since 1997, and this video has nothing do to with how things work on projects. One might as well watch Saturday morning cartoons.

The entire point of these videos is to make everything seem easier to accomplish than it is.

Who Provides the Hosting Again?

SAP states the following for everything connected to the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

All hosting services are provided by SAP

So because SAP is hosting the free SAP HANA Cloud Platform, that means that every resource, every database, every SAP application that the SAP HANA Cloud Platform interacts with will be hosted by SAP? I don’t think so. The hosting that is performed for SAP products is mostly carried out by third-party partners or AWS. Most customers will not choose to host with SAP because SAP’s hosting is not competitive. SAP also has a very little hosting capacity. If SAP truly intends to restrict the SAP HANA Cloud Platform to only SAP hosted applications and databases than the adoption of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform will be far lower than it ordinarily would have been. It also brings up the question of why the HCP is not open? That is why can’t the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, like all other development environments that I am familiar with, access any application or database wherever it is hosted.

Conclusion

  • SAP’s naming of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform and their discussion around SAP HANA Cloud Platform is deceptive.
  • Almost no one uses the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, so SAP can say whatever they want to about it.
  • The SAP HANA Cloud Platform will be used in SAP’s marketing offensives to mislead companies. Both regarding how much SAP installations are cloud-based and how much HANA is deployed.
  • If the SAP HANA Cloud Platform never rises above even a tiny fraction of users, this will not stop SAP from telling customers and Wall Street that it is revolutionizing projects. And even better, its growth cannot be tracked because it is free and will not have any revenues to report. I see the SAP HANA Cloud Platform being saddled up by SAP marketing to be ridden for a long time.

In the next article, I will cover why the term HANA was used in the name of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

Brightwork Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

This article and no other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle and SAP. Brightwork does offer competitive intelligence work to vendors as part of its business, but no published research or articles are written with any financial consideration. As part of Brightwork’s commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research, the company’s business model is driven by consulting services; no paid media placements are accepted.

HANA & S/4HANA Question Box

  • Have Questions About S/4HANA & HANA?

    It is difficult for most companies to make improvements in S/4HANA and HANA without outside advice. And it is close to impossible to get honest S/4HANA and HANA advice from large consulting companies. We offer remote unbiased multi-dimension S/4HANA and HANA support.

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

References

*https://www.amazon.com/SAP-Nation-runaway-software-economy-ebook/dp/B00Q5MW21C

https://www.sapstore.com/medias/SAP-HANA-Cloud-Platform-FAQ-Technical.pdf

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.

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