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

Executive Summary

  • SAP’s often deliberately obtuse clauses that confused customers, and this clause restricts what customers can do with installing applications with S/4HANA.

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.

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 Simplification List Content

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.”

It is 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 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!

G2Crowd as a Puppet for Software Vendors

G2Crowd was always designed to be nothing more than a puppet for software vendors. All of their funding comes from software vendors, and G2Crowd discloses none of this to readers. G2Crowd’s only objective is to make money. People think that is just great. But is it great? And great for whom?

A comment was made that G2Crowd’s application reviews have been “gamed” as the following quotations attest.

“Any unmoderated peer review site, from TripAdvisor upwards, will inevitably be gamed by those who gain by doing so.”

But this implies that G2Crowd does not want to publish low quality and false reviews. That would imply that the G2Crowd reviews are “gamed.” But G2Crowd does want low-quality reviews if they are positive. G2Crowd could easily eliminate obviously fake reviews, but they choose not to.

So their ratings are not very difficult to game if they don’t moderate the comments. Therefore this would be like saying that one “gamed” a car wash by driving their car through the car wash and ending up with a clean car. That is not gaming a car wash, that is the design of a car wash. G2Crowd wants the highest possible ratings without seeming fake, as this is what their funders (the software vendors) want.

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.

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.

Search Our Other SAP S/4HANA Messaging Content

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.

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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.

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.

Search Our Other SAP Cloud Content

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.html

https://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.

Is the HANA Cloud Platform Designed for HANA Washing?

Executive Summary

  • SAP introduced the HANA Cloud Platform and immediately began using it for HANA washing.
  • This makes it appear that everything related to the HCP is also related to 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.

The HCP Relaunch

It has been proposed that the SAP HANA Cloud Platform has been relaunched as the SAP Cloud Platform. Should customers be excited by this development? In this article, we will analyze this question.

False Information on the SAP Cloud Platform Website

The problem is that the SAP Cloud Platform has some false things published on its website.

For example:

Leonardo for the SAP Cloud Platform?

Leonardo is not anything, so it is not true that the SAP Cloud Platform will benefit from Leonardo. But the website states that Leonardo is a major benefit of moving to the cloud.

1300 Cloud Apps for the SAP Cloud Platform?

The 1300 cloud apps that are listed have very light usage.

I already analyzed this previously. Some vendors have complained to me about the effort to create an app for SAP, and how little they get back from creating an app for SAP. On SAP projects no one is talking about “heading out to the SAP App Center,” and after checking the web traffic, the SAP App Center gets roughly 22,000 page views per month, which is low. That means that the SAP app center gets less than 1/2 the page views of the Brightwork website.

Are These Really Apps?

Plus, once one needs to use more than the intro functionality, you go back through the normal process to acquire the application. Therefore, they aren’t “apps.” They are tiny portions of vendors functionality that can’t be used by itself outside of demos. SAP has repeatedly perverted the term “app”. Further evidence is found in SAP calling every workflow in Fiori an “app.” (not an app, a workflow)

The main page of the SAP Cloud Platform website has an alphabet soup of trendy items (IoT, Machine Learning, cloud integration services), all things that SAP has nothing to do with. So lies basically. Looking at this I have been considering adding things I have nothing to do with to my website — breakdancing, quantum physics, high altitude balloon racing. I never thought about lying on the Brightwork website, but SAP has opened my mind to the possibilities.

The Previous SAP HANA Cloud Platform

Reviewing the new incarnation now, it does not look like much different, except the name has been changed and a few things like “apps” have been integrated. Secondly, a consistent problem I have with using HCP or SAP Cloud is that SAP intends to dictate the IDE for development and the languages used. You don’t want this. Again, AWS offers open development languages. SAP’s development advice leads to high expense and low development productivity. This is another reason to steer clear from SAP’s Cloud as they are trying to take their flawed development to the cloud.

SAP has no idea how to develop for the cloud, neither Fiori, oData, etc.. has seen uptake or are respected technically. SAP does not have a single successful cloud product that was not acquired and therefore already cloud.

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of SAP

There are two fundamental problems around SAP. The first is the exaggeration of SAP, which means that companies that purchased SAP 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 SAP

We can provide feedback from multiple SAP accounts that provide realistic information around SAP products — 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. 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.

Search Our Other SAP Cloud Content

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?

Executive Summary

  • SAP introduced the HANA Cloud Platform and immediately began using it for Cloud washing.
  • This makes it appear that everything related to the HCP is also related to the cloud.

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.

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of SAP

There are two fundamental problems around SAP. The first is the exaggeration of SAP, which means that companies that purchased SAP 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 SAP

We can provide feedback from multiple SAP accounts that provide realistic information around SAP products — 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. 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.

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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.

project_software_risk