How Accurate Was Hasso Plattner About SAP HANA Publications?

Executive Summary

  • At SAPPHIRE 2019, Hasso Plattner makes claims around academic publications supporting HANA.
  • We evaluate the accuracy of these claims by fact-checking the publications.

Introduction

This is the video of Hasso Plattner we will be reviewing for accuracy.

The Hasso Plattner SAPPHIRE 2019 Video on Peer Reviewed Publications for HANA

The 200+ Peer-Reviewed Articles on HANA?

This claim immediately struck as odd. Every other claim in this slide is also not true. But we will focus on the peer review claim.

We immediately suspected this claim, one reason being that Hasso tends to lie all the time, but also HANA is not a popular enough database to have so many publications that cover it as a topic. 

Hasso quickly transitions to S/4HANA in the next slide. Each of these claims is wildly false. 

  1. SAP report 11,000 customers, but these are license holders. S/4HANA has almost no real customers that are live on S/4HANA. This may seem shocking, but once you move past the customers that are SAP consulting companies that implemented the application for marketing reasons and use S/4HANA Cloud (which in most cases is not actually used by the consulting firm), it becomes very difficult to validate any live S/4HANA customers. Virtually every S/4HANA implementation up to this point has failed.
  2. S/4HANA performs slower in material planning than ECC on Oracle, as we covered in the article HANA as a Mismatch for S/4HANA and ERP. Therefore 20x performance is impossible.
  3. HANA will reduce a previous production database supporting ECC by roughly 30 to 35%. This has come from many data points reported to us from the field, as we covered in Is Hasso Plattner and SAP Correct About Database Aggregates?
  4. SAP would not have any idea if S/4HANA improves productivity, because almost no one is using S/4HANA outside of test systems.

But the problem here, and it is a hugely significant problem, is that Hasso makes it sound as if these assertions are the conclusion of the 200+ peer-reviewed papers on HANA. If our contradiction is wrong, then the 200+ studies will clearly show that these are the average values where this extensive and peer-reviewed measurement of HANA benefits was performed. According to Hasso, the assertions of both slides are supported by these 200+ academic/peer-reviewed publications.

So do they? Let’s find out.

Our Analysis of the Peer Reviewed Publications on HANA

The number of peer-reviewed publications can be found by using academic search engines. Using such engines will not capture all of the articles in an area, but it will normally catch most of them. These were the publications that we could find. We evaluated them by where the author’s worked and whether they supported the claims made by Hasso Plattner in his speech.

Publication #1: SAP HANA als Anwendungsplattform für Real-Time Business

  • Author(s): This publication was written by P. Prassolb.
  • Author Affiliation: P. Prassolb was employed by SAP at the time of this publication.
  • Does the Paper Support Hasso’s SAPPHIRE Assertions?: No. Nowhere does the paper support any of the information published in the two slides in Hasso’s presentation.
  • Can this be Counted as a Publications About HANA?: Yes

Publication #2: Managed Query Processing within the SAP HANA Database Platform

  • Author(s): Normal May, A. Bohm, M. Block and W. Lehner
  • Author Affiliation: P. the first three all worked for SAP at the time of publication. The employment of W. Lehner is unstated.
  • Does the Paper Support Hasso’s SAPPHIRE Assertions?: No. The paper has nothing to do with measuring the benefits of HANA or S/4HANA.
  • Can this be Counted as a Publications About HANA?: Yes

See the following quote from the publication.

“As a common abstraction layer for all these interfaces, we have defined the Core Data Services (CDS). In particular, the CDS is used for defining semantically rich domain data models which can be further enriched through annotations.”

This publication is not a research paper of any kind but is a more detailed version of an SAP marketing document. There is no hypothesis proposed and nothing tested. It is a listing of HANA’s technical offerings. It is unclear why this document was ever published in a journal.

Publication #3: Predictive Analytics in Marketing Mit Moderner Systemarchiteckture

  • Author(s): This publication was written by Jan Matthes.
  • Author Affiliation: Jan Matthes was employed by SAP at the time of publication.
  • Does the Paper Support Hasso’s SAPPHIRE Assertions?: No. Nothing Hasso states in the SAPPHIRE presentation is even discussed in the paper.
  • Can this be Counted as a Publications About HANA?: Yes

The paper’s synopsis includes the following description.

“This article addresses the in memory platform of SAP HANA. First it is being illustrated why SAP HANA is indeed a real platform. Subsequently, it is being explained to what extent SAP HANA can be seen as an innovative technology, what the differences to existing systems are and which opportunties are being offered to transform the technical capabilities of the platform into new business models and commerical success…the advantages of the in-memory technology compare to conventional disc-based databases are being examined. Furthermore column-based data storage, parallelization and the overcoming of the traditional separation of transactional and analytical data management are being discussed.”

These are all of the same claims made by SAP marketing, and also does not appear to be a research paper at all, but is a marketing document that was somehow pushed through a peer-reviewed journal.

Publication #4: Evaluation of in-memory storage engine for machine learning analysis of security events

  • Author(s): This publication was written by Andrey Sapegin, Marian Gawron, David Jaeger, Feng Cheng, and Christoph Meinel.
  • Author Affiliation: Andrey Sapegin worked at SAP at the Hasso Plattner Institute at the time of the publication. The employment affiliation of the other authors is not listed. But a later paper #12 in this list, lists all the authors (but one) as employed at the Hasso Plattner Institute.
  • Does the Paper Support Hasso’s SAPPHIRE Assertions?: No. The entire focus of this paper is security. Therefore, it cannot be the source of the information provided by Hasso Plattner in his 2019 SAPPHIRE presentation.
  • Can this be Counted as a Publications About HANA?: Yes

Publication #5: CancerLinQ Advancing Quickly

This is a one-page article in the Oncology Times. This appears to be some promotional insert. The only reference to HANA is the following.

“…CancerLinQ LLC, now has teamed with the software manufacturer SAP to use the SAP HANA platform to develop CancerlinQ.”

It is difficult to understand how this is a peer-reviewed article.

  • Can this be Counted as a Publications About HANA?: No

Publication #6: Design Thinking

  • Author(s): This publication was written by Christoph Meinel and Julian von Thienen.
  • Author Affiliation: Christoph Meinel and Julian von Thienen both work for the Hasso Plattner Institute.
  • Does the Paper Support Hasso’s SAPPHIRE Assertions?: No. HANA is barely mentioned in the article, and the article is about Design Thinking.
  • Can this be Counted as a Publications About HANA?: No

Publication #7: Big Data: Herausforderungen und Potenziale für deutsche Softwareunternehmen

  • Author(s): This publication was written by Dr. Stephan Fischer
  • Author Affiliation: Stephan Fischer worked at SAP at the time of the publication.
  • Does the Paper Support Hasso’s SAPPHIRE Assertions?: No. Hasso’s claims are unrelated to Big Data.
  • Can this be Counted as a Publications About HANA?: Yes

Publication #8: Graph Processing Using SAP HANA: A Teaching Case

  • Author(s): This publication was written by Mark Hwang.
  • Author Affiliation: Mark Hwang was employed at Central Michigan University at the time of publication.
  • Does the Paper Support Hasso’s SAPPHIRE Assertions?: No. This paper has to do with using HANA as a graph database, which in 3+ years of researching HANA is the first time this topic has come up. It is not a paper that has anything to do with Hasso’s claims.
  • Can this be Counted as a Publications About HANA?: Yes

The following quote is from this paper.

“The purpose of this teaching case is to develop a hands-on exercise on graph processing using a hybrid system. The paper provides a background on graph databases and how graph processing is supported in a hybrid system, SAP HANA. It also details step-by-step instructions on how to create, modify, and process a graph database using SAP HANA. The teaching case provides instructors with materials that can be readily implemented in classrooms.”

The paper contains false statements about HANA which have clearly have been copied and pasted from SAP marketing.

“In recent years SAP developed its proprietary in-memory database known as SAP HANA, which underpins a technology platform that supports real-time enterprise transactional and analytical processing.”

Publication #9: An In-Memory Approach to Sentiment Analysis Based on SAP HANA

  • Author(s): This publication was written by Karl Kurbel, Dawid Nowak, Florian Jätzold, and Pavlo Glushko.
  • Author Affiliation: None of the authors worked for SAP at the time of publication. Although the do thank Niraj Singh and Frank Finkbohner from SAP AG “for their support and assistance with this project.”
  • Does the Paper Support Hasso’s SAPPHIRE Assertions?: No. This paper has to do with a sentiment algorithm for analyzing social media. It is not a paper that has anything to do with Hasso’s claims.
  • Can this be Counted as a Publications About HANA?: Yes

Publication #10: Improving Business Intelligence Applications by Using New Generation of Web and Mobile Technologies

  • Author(s): This publication was written by Mihaela-Laura IVAN.
  • Author Affiliation: Mihaela-Laura IVAN was employed SAP at the time of the publication.
  • Does the Paper Support Hasso’s SAPPHIRE Assertions?: No. This paper is focused on showcasing HANA’s features. It is not a paper that has anything to do with Hasso’s claims.
  • Can this be Counted as a Publications About HANA?: Yes

This paper is also filled with SAP marketing claims.

“There are presented the many advantages of which the final user can benefit, such as: fast performance when querying a request, data modelled with the last database innovation of SAP, SAP HANA database, which brings the biggest feature which is in-memory processing. This in-memory computing of SAP HANA enables people to focus on innovation.In the third section are described two examples of web and mobile applications developed with these technologies.

SAP Fiori comes with modern design for a rediscovereduser experience. SAP Fiori user experience (UX) represents a personalized user experience formulti-devices, responsiveness interfaceand with deployment options.When combined with the power of the SAP HANA platform, SAP Fiori provides exclusive responsiveness. SAP Fiori UX is used for enterpriseappsacross the mostbusiness scenarios.”

The overall study is a marketing document made to look like a research paper.

Publication #11: Sap Hana And Its Performance Benefits

  • Author(s): This publication was written by Timur Mirzoev.
  • Author Affiliation: Timur Mirzoev is listed as both a professor at Georgia Southern University and a systems engineer at Lockeed Martin at the time of publication.
  • Does the Paper Support Hasso’s SAPPHIRE Assertions?: No. This paper has to do with when HANA can have its in-memory capabilities leveraged. It is not a paper that has anything to do with Hasso’s claims.
  • Can this be Counted as a Publications About HANA?: Yes

Publication #12: Towards a system for complex analysis of security events in large-scale networks

  • Author(s): This publication was written by Andrey Sapegin, David Jaeger, Feng Cheng, and Christoph Meinel.
  • Author Affiliation: This is nearly the same team of authors that wrote the 4rth paper on this list, and all of the authors worked for the Hasso Plattner Insitute at the time of this publication.
  • Does the Paper Support Hasso’s SAPPHIRE Assertions?: No. As with the previous paper by these authors, this paper has to do with security. It is not a paper that has anything to do with Hasso’s claims.
  • Can this be Counted as a Publications About HANA?: Yes

Conclusion

When Hasso Plattner made the statement about 200+ peer-reviewed publications, was lying about both the number of publications about HANA, as well as the content of those publications.

  • There are not 200+ publications on HANA, there are perhaps ten. (publication #5 is not a research paper but an insert, and publication 6 is not related to HANA, but to design thinking)
  • Not only do nothing in the HANA peer-reviewed publications support anything that Hasso asserted in the SAPPHIRE 2019 presentation, only around 1/2 of the publications even qualify as research.
  • Seven of the ten papers that qualify as actually about HANA were published by authors who work for either SAP or the Hasso Plattner Institute. This means the independence is reduced as to who authored peer-reviewed papers on HANA. The results of any paper written by an employee of SAP will naturally be positive. Furthermore, Hasso misrepresented the peer-reviewed papers that do exist (the ten) by saying that the Hasso Plattner Institute reviewed the papers published on HANA – clearly indicating that the publications were written by others unassociated with SAP. This would be like Brightwork Research & Analysis saying that we reviewed 150 papers which showed that the agreed with our views on subject XYZ, when we wrote most of the articles that we reference as “external articles,” and we simply reviewed our own articles. This is the absolute upper bar of deception.
  • And in addition to Hasso Plattner’s conclusions being entirely manufactured, it calls into question the legitimacy of the Hasso Plattner Institute, as they don’t appear to understand that for example, a published paper is supposed to include a hypothesis, not simply a listing of product features of an item that your employer would like to sell.

Hasso’s claims around his assertions being supported by 200+ peer-reviewed publications is why the Golden Pinnochio Award was created. And he gets one here. 

This presentation by Hasso Plattner is the continuation of a long-term pattern of attempting to the cloak marketing around HANA and S/4HANA in the legitimacy of academic research. Hasso Plattner misrepresents his honorary doctorate as a “real” doctorate as we covered in Does SAP’s Hasso Plattner Have a PhD? He has a ceremonial title as a fake professor of computer science at the Hasso Plattner Institute, which is as an academic impossibility as he has no degrees in computer science, much less a PhD in computer science. At SAPPHIRE 2019 Hasso graduated to referring to non-existent research, only exaggerating the number of peer-reviewed HANA papers by 190+, even the ten papers that exist not only don’t support his assertions at SAPPHIRE, but they are also not even related to his assertions. This was done in an attempt to sell more HANA and S/4HANA. All of this is thoroughly disreputable behaviour. But also completely unsurprising. None of Hasso Plattner’s numbers on any topic is reliable and he is willing to make up any number he needs to try to prove a point.

It is also encouraged by SAP and is ignored by nearly all SAP resources.

*Through the assistance of some people who reached out, more articles were added to the analysis than my initial search engine found.

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Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

HANA & S/4HANA Research Contact

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

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

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

References

https://www.informationweek.com/applications/sap-well-be-no-2-database-player-by-2015/d/d-id/1101825

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7eb0/7f30e0576f30096f5f50624ade31ee123d5b.pdf

https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1193337.pdf

TCO Book

 

TCO3

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

Getting to the Detail of TCO

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

The Mechanics of TCO

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

How Accurate is the Hasso Plattner Institute’s Course Explanation?

Executive Summary

  • The Hasso Plattner Insitute has curious course explanations.
  • We review the accuracy of these descriptions.

Introduction

The In Memory course offered by the Hasso Plattner Institute was recommended to us to understand in-memory computing. This was recommended to us even though we wrote the article How to Understand Why In-Memory Computing is a Myth and have observed and proven it is a deliberately misleading term.

In this article, we will analyze the accuracy of the description of the in-memory course offered by the Hasso Plattner Institute.

The Quotations

Course Description

“Week 1: The first week will give you an understanding of origins of enterprise computing. It is vital to know the historic development which lead to the emergence of current hardware as we know it now in order to understand the decisions made in the past. Many characteristics of current applications, like materialized aggregates and a reduction of detail in the stored information, have their roots in the past. While these measures were helpful in former systems, they form an obstacle which has to be overcome now in order to allow for new, dynamic applications.”

It is only the Hasso Plattner Institute that thinks this is true. An aggregate is a table of precalculated values. Hasso Plattner is very much opposed to aggregates. However, the reason he gives seems to be directed around making HANA seem to be less expensive than it is. This is because HANA is alone among databases being priced per GB. Aggregates take up space in the database, but they serve a valuable purpose. Without aggregates, constant recalculation is required. Hasso Plattner has stated that this is highly advantageous, but is it? What if those values very rarely change, such as a table of weight conversions? But this table must constantly be recalculated on the fly? If not some rule of excellence has been violated?

Hasso Plattner has stated compression values that have not born out to be true. This is covered in the article Articles that Exaggerate HANA’s Benefits.

Most HANA accounts can expect footprint reductions in the area of 30%. However, this is immaterial to companies as storage is extremely inexpensive, particularly disk storage. John Appleby, SAP proponent and head of an SAP consulting company, has made the statement that disks are a problem because they “take up a lot of space,” which is a claim we analyzed in the article What Was John Appleby’s Accuracy on Moving BW to HANA?

  • The long and short of it is that nothing Hasso Plattner has ever said about database aggregates has made any sense.
  • The focus on aggregates is a gimmick, designed to confuse the message receivers as to what is important in database management.
  • The entire aggregate discussion is a distraction.

“Week 2: Within the second week, the differences between a horizontal, row-oriented layout and a columnar layout are discussed. Concepts like compression and partitioning are introduced. Based on that, you will get an explanation of the internal steps performed inside the database to carry out the fundamental relational operations insert, update and delete. The week concludes with a fundamental difference of SanssouciDB to most other databases: the insert only approach. Following this concept, we circumvent several pitfalls concerning referential integrity and additionally gain the foundation for a gap-less time travel feature.”

This seems like good training.

“Week 3: The content of week 3 focuses on more advanced structures and operations within the database. The differential buffer, a means to prevent frequent resorting of the dictionaries and rewriting of the attribute vectors, is explained in further detail. Subsequently, also the merge process, which incorporates the changes from the differential buffer into the main store, is illustrated. The retrieval of information via the select statement, as well as related concepts like tuple reconstruction, early and late materialization, or a closer examination of the achieved scan speed, are also part of this week’s schedule. The description of the join operation, which is used to connect information from different tables, concludes this week.”

I have no comment on this section.

“Week 4: Week 4 is all about aggregation. Aggregations are the centerpiece of every business analytics application. Given that huge impact of aggregates on all parts of a business, it is of great importance to understand what aggregate functions are, why we remove all materialized aggregates and go for aggregation on the fly. You will further learn how to greatly reduce the costs of this on demand approach by using the aggregate cache and understand its connection to the differential buffer and the merge process. In the units concluding this week, you will see new prototype applications using the aggregate cache to deliver complex simulations in real time.”

With another week spent on aggregates, without any debate as to whether aggregate removal is a value-add, or worth the effort, this seems like a waste of time. Week 4 could be better spent on hiring a psychologist to analyze why Hasso Plattner is so obsessed with aggregate removal (or should we say reduction, as HANA does have aggregates, but does not call them aggregates).

Hasso Plattner either needs to come in to and speak to our Brightwork psychiatrist to get to the bottom of his aggregate obsession or he needs to admit the only reason he keeps talking about aggregates is that it is a gimmick to try to confuse and sell to customers who lack an understanding of databases.

“Week 5: Week 5 sheds light on some more inner mechanisms of the database. What happens in emergency situations, when for example the power is turned off? Logging and recovery are vital parts to know in order to understand why an in-memory database is as secure as a traditional disk based one. Further, the benefits of replicas are explained. We conclude the week with an outlook onto the implications that arise with the tremendously increased speed at hands.”

SAP promotes its HANA database which is not “in memory” but has more of the database’s tables loaded into memory. Therefore, SAP promoting the idea that a database with more tables loaded into memory is as secure as a traditional one is a marketing point. Therefore can anything that SAP says in this area be trusted?

HANA is far less stable than competing databases, although this is for different reasons. Are the reasons for HANA’s relative instability going to be explained in this course? Probably not.

“Week 6: Week 6 is centered on applications. The last conceptual unit is about data separation into active and passive. After that, we showcase several prototypes and sketch out potential fields to apply the technology, thereby also leaving the domain of pure enterprise solutions, by using main memory databases in weather simulations and medicine.”

Nothing objectionable there.

Conclusion

The purpose of the Hasso Plattner Institute is to educate and advocate as to why everyone should buy HANA. Its courses are to create devotes to SAP’s particular approach to databases. However, there is a problem. HANA is not what Hasso Plattner or SAP says that it is. SAP has presented no evidence that HANA can outperform competing databases. This means that for people taking this course, they are taking it from an institution that was started by a man who has made exaggerated and unsubstantiated claims about HANA.

  • HANA can’t meet the claims made for it by SAP. Will the course talk about that?
  • We receive emails from around the world which show SAP consulting companies providing false information about HANA to customers. Will the course cover that?
  • SAP has made so many false claims about databases that they have undermined rather than enhanced the understanding of databases generally.

So the question is why should the Hasso Plattner Institute be considered anything more than a propaganda apparatus for SAP?

SAP should spend more time trying to get HANA to meet its exaggerated claims versus trying to institutionalize or create a completely biased “HANA university” where receiving certifications or PhDs means agreeing with Hasso Plattner. It has been over six years since HANA was introduced, and the only thing HANA does well is speed data warehousing query performance, but only over previous versions of competitor’s databases.

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Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

HANA & S/4HANA Research Contact

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

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

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

References

https://open.hpi.de/courses/imdb2015?lipi=urn:li:page:d_flagship3_detail_base%3B7YmJ63B8S%2FaTlvIxFvm2mQ%3D%3

How Accurate was ComputerWorldUK on SAP Cofounder Hasso Plattner Defending S/4HANA?

Executive Summary

  • ComputerWorldUK covered Hasso Plattner covered S/4HANA.
  • How accurate was this article?

Introduction

On July 28, 2017 ComputerWorldUK wrote the article SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner defends S/4HANA cloud strategy, explains Leonardo and says Mark Hurd isn’t a “software guy”

In this article, we evaluate the accuracy of the article.

Article Quotations

On SAP Not Being a SaaS Competitor

“The cofounder of the German software giant SAP, Dr Hasso Plattner, took to the stage at the Sapphire conference this week to talk about the company’s latest Leonardo product and why he sees it’s next generation ERP S/4HANA’s future as residing in the cloud

Mark Hurd, the CEO of arch rival Oracle criticised SAP’s cloud strategy back in December. As reported by Diginomica he said: “Their cloud strategy, which is most often referred to by the term S4/HANA, is fundamentally a hosting strategy. It’s really taking their core ERP on-prem app and hosting it in a data centre. It’s really the physical movement of a computer from here to there..

“That’s not cloud. That’s not SaaS. So I’m not sure that we really think of them as a core SaaS competitor.”

Yes, that is actually true. This lack of multi-tenant capability and the fact that S/4HANA, as with ECC will require customization for the vast majority of companies that use it means that it will not be able to meet the technical definition of being cloud. It will be hosted. SAP uses the terminology “private cloud” to obscure this fact, but private cloud is simply hosted, and offering hosted ERP is not what Wall Street wants SAP to be moving to. This is covered in the article. Why S/4HANA is a Poor Fit for the Cloud.

Hasso Answers with a Personal Attack

“Plattner had earlier stated that “in the cloud is our version to aim for” when it comes to getting customers onto its next generation ERP solution S/4HANA, which works on top of the in-memory HANA database.

Later on, during a Q&A session, he responded to the criticism from Hurd by saying that Oracle is a competitor and that Hurd is “not a software guy”, before going into detail for how he sees SAP’s S/4HANA cloud strategy playing out now that the ERP system can be run on the three most popular public cloud providers (Google, AWS and Azure), as well as SAP’s own private Enterprise Cloud offering.”

So that is a personal attack rather than a counter-argument. What Mark Hurd said happens to be true.

Selling the Future

Now S/4HANA can be run on three popular could providers (although this contradicts SAP’s earlier strategy of competing and beating AWS and others), but that does not address the problem of what happens when the system requires customization. Will Google, AWS and Azure offer a hosted/private cloud for S/4HANA? If so, won’t the price have to increase?

This is a common strategy by SAP generally to describe what “can be done” rather than what is likely to be done, or what makes sense to do.

Hasso Making Excuses for Poor Cloud Uptake

“Plattner, who can only make strategic recommendations as chairman of the supervisory board at SAP, admits that the company is still in the process of adapting to the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. “For forty five years the customer has operated the system, large systems. We do it now together with the customers and SAP is learning how to operate and we are getting better and better and we are getting profitable now,” he said.

SAP’s total cloud subscriptions and support revenue grew 34 percent year-over-year to €905 million (£769 million) in its Q1 2017 results.”

Why is support revenue included in this number? SAP’s support revenue is far more than €905 per quarter. What is SAP’s subscription revenue, that is the relevant question here? Support revenues apply to both on premises as well as cloud sales, so quoting the support revenue is deliberately misleading.

Why Companies Will Use Hosted for S/4HANA

“Although Plattner says that SAP now gives customers the “full spectrum” of cloud ERP options, he naturally believes that running S/4 with SAP is the better option for customers. “HANA Enterprise Cloud has more traditional flexibility for the customer, in the HANA public cloud there are more restrictions,” he said.”

Right, most customers will need to customize S/4, so they will need to move to the HANA Enterprise Cloud. The HANA Public Cloud is only usable for companies that have no customizations. Isn’t this basically what Mark Hurd said at the beginning of this article?

SAP Leonardo

“Ever the engineer, Dr Plattner calls Leonardo a “bounding box”. He explained: “It is a box around a set of objects, so this is a box around a set of tools to build a system which then, with machine learning algorithms, finds insights which we can attach to transactions.”

Plattner reiterated that what makes SAP’s approach to AI and machine learning unique is that customisers have all of the important business data right there underneath them, in the SAP transactional systems, and they don’t have to ferry data outside of core systems to run algorithms out at the edge.

He said: “It is the age of AI but we do it inside, we do not run around with our valuable data and go from system to system.” Plattner added that keeping the data in one place is the best way to safeguard it.”

There is really no evidence that Leonardo is anywhere right now. This is covered in the article Why SAP’s Leonardo Seems so Fake. SAP has shown no evidence it is even in the game for AI or machine learning. And SAP may have a different approach to these things, but where is the evidence of any payoff?

Conclusion

This is a standard article by ComputerWorld, and its parent company IDG. It allows SAP to say anything they like, and they offer no filter. ComputerWorld simply serves as a repeating mechanism for SAP. They may be paid by SAP, but they also are compensated by online ads. This would not necessarily be a problem, but they don’t seem to put any effort into writing articles.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

S/4HANA Implementation Research

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

Select the description that best matches you.

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

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

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

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

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

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

Search Our Other S/4HANA Content

References

[S/4HANA: What does SAP’s next-generation ERP mean for customers? | Applications | Computerworld UK](https://www.computerworlduk.com/applications/s4-hana-what-does-saps-next-generation-erp-mean-for-customers-3596790/)

The Real Story on ERP Book

ERPThe Real Story Behind ERP: Separating Fiction From Reality

How This Book is Structured

This book combines a meta-analysis of all of the academic research on the benefits of ERP, coupled with on project experience.

ERP has had a remarkable impact on most companies that implemented it. Unplanned expenses for customization, failed implementations, integration, and applications to meet the business requirements that ERP could not–have added up to a higher Total Cost of Ownership for ERP were all unexpected, and account control, on the part of ERP vendors — is now a significant issue affecting IT performance.

Break the Bank for ERP?

Many companies that have broken the bank to implement ERP projects have seen their KPIs go down— but the question is why this is the case. Major consulting companies are some of the largest promoters of ERP systems, but given the massive profits they make on ERP implementations — can they be trusted to provide the real story on ERP? Probably not, however, written by the Managing Editor of SCM Focus, Shaun Snapp — an author with many years of experience with ERP system. A supply chain software expert and well known for providing authentic information on the topics he covers, you can trust this book to provide all the detail that no consulting firm will.

By reading this book you will:

  • Examine the high failure rates of ERP implementations.
  • Demystify the convincing arguments ERP vendors use to sell ERP.
  • See how ERP vendors take control of client accounts with ERP.
  • Understand why single-instance ERP is not typically feasible.
  • Calculate the total cost of ownership and return on investment for your ERP implementation.
  • Understand the alternatives to ERP.

Chapters

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to ERP Software
  • Chapter 2: The History of ERP
  • Chapter 3: Logical Fallacies and the Logics Used to Sell ERP
  • Chapter 4: The Best Practice Logic for ERP
  • Chapter 5: The Integration Benefits Logic for ERP
  • Chapter 6: Analyzing The Logic Used to Sell ERP
  • Chapter 7: The High TCO and Low ROI of ERP
  • Chapter 8: ERP and the Problem with Institutional Decision Making
  • Chapter 9: How ERP Creates Redundant Systems
  • Chapter 10: How ERP Distracts Companies from Implementing Better Functionality
  • Chapter 11: Alternatives to ERP or Adjusting the Current ERP System
  • Chapter 12: Conclusion

Did Hasso Plattner and His PhD Students Invent HANA?

Executive Summary

  • Hasso Plattner and SAP have put forth a false backstory for how HANA was developed.
  • We cover whether removing aggregates from HANA is the breakthrough it is proposed to be, where TREX and P*Time came from, the importance of “zero response time” from a database and the University of Korea connection.

Introduction

The story of HANA’s development looks more suspicious the closer one looks at it. Luckily for SAP, few people do. You will learn the most probable story for HANA’s origin, and how that story was changed by SAP to glorify Hasso Plattner and to help SAP make false innovation claims.

SAP’s Official Story on the Origin of HANA

Hasso Plattner has been widely credited with inventing HANA. The following quotation from Quora covers the common understanding of this.

“I think I am late to answer this, but I completely agree with Anuj. Vishal was the marketing guy or the idea guy but Hasso designed HANA. Both of them are geniuses and at SAP, Vishal will be always missed.”Quora

And here is the explanation of its genesis from Wikipedia.

“The first major demonstration of the platform was in 2008: teams from SAP SE, the Hasso Plattner Institute and Stanford University demonstrated an application architecture for real-time analytics and aggregation. Former SAP SE executive, Vishal Sikka, mentioned this architecture as “Hasso’s New Architecture”.”

In this article, we will analyze how HANA was invented and who invented it.

The Explanation Who Invented HANA

Hasso wrote four books on HANA. In one of the books The In-Memory Revolution: How SAP HANA Enables Business of the Future. In this books, Hasso Plattner explains the genesis of HANA.

“Its fall 2006: I, Hasso Plattner, am a professor for computer science at the HPI in Potsdam Germany. My chair has the focus on enterprise system architecture, and I have to find a new research area for my PhD candidates. Yes, they have to find the topic for their dissertation themselves, but I wanted to guide them towards something I was really familiar with, a concept for a new Enterprise Resource Planning system. All my professional life I have worked on such systems, and I ask myself, what would they look like if we could start from scratch?”

On a side note, it is interesting that Ph.D. candidates are being directed to work on something beneficial for SAP. So this is a strange university as it seems to be a research outfit for SAP rather than a university. That is how much will the Ph.D. candidates be paid to work on this?

SAP Exploiting Cheap Ph.D. Student Labor?

That is how much will the Ph.D. candidates be paid to work on this?

Let’s see the next quote from Hasso on HANA.

“Ever since we have been building such systems, first at IBM, and now at SAP, they were based on the idea what we know exactly what the users want to know. In order to answer their questions in a reasonable time frame, we maintained aggregated data in real time – meaning that whenever we recorded a business transaction we updated all impacted totals. Therefore, the system was ready to give answers to any foreseeable question, thus labeled a real time system. The new idea I come up with is to drop those totals completely, and to just compress the transaction data per day while keeping all additional data intact. It has not much , one piece of paper, but it is a start.

With this I went to my team of PhD candidates and educated them about data structures and data volumes in typical ERP systems. After a lengthy session on the whiteboard, one student asked me what the compression rate might be from the transaction data to the compression data. I did a calculation for a fictitious financial system, and after a while, came up with the answer.

The student wasn’t the least bit impressed, and said, “From an academic point of view, this compression rate is not very impressive.” My new idea, all that I had, was shattered. I took the eraser, wiped out the aggregates in the drawing on the whiteboard and replied, “Okay, no aggregates anymore.”

Why is the objective here to move to such compressed data? Storage is inexpensive.

Hasso Plattner’s Obsession with Compression

I have read many of Hasso’s writing on this topic of compression. What I can’t determine is if he has a serious mental block on this topic and is fixated on data compression, or if he believes data compression is a big deal. If I had to bet, I would bet that he knows it is not something worth focusing on, but that he does so because it so happens that column-oriented databases like HANA compress better and that he can trick senior executives into thinking it is an important advantage. Throughout HANA’s existence, SAP has been careful to bring the HANA message to the people highest in companies that know the least about databases. Hasso cannot debate and win against people that know databases.

Furthermore, Hasso has greatly overstated the compression that HANA is capable of (and which was subsequently repeated through SAP’s passive surrogate network) as is covered in the article Why John Appleby was So Wrong About his HANA Predictions.

This overall conversation is strange, and it implies that Hasso is making major changes to the design based on the input of a single Ph.D. candidate. And when told about his response Hasso says that “my new idea — was shattered” seems a bit melodramatic.

Is Removing Aggregates a Breakthrough?

“This was the breakthrough I was looking for. No one had ever built a financial system without materialized aggregates, whether updated in real time or through batch updates.”

Is “breakthrough” the correct description of was had occurred? Aggregates are precomputed tables, which allow fast retrieval of information. They take up space, but they are quite useful. Without them, the database must calculate everything that it uses on the fly every time the request is made.

Also, what is the benefit of dispensing with aggregates? The database will be smaller, but unless you price the database per its size, this is hardly an issue. And as it happens, HANA did end up becoming priced per GB/TB. There is an important reason why no one had built a financial system without aggregates. There is close to no benefit to doing so. Every year storage becomes less expensive.

Is This the Proper Research Question?

“Back on the offensive, I asked, “What if we assume the database always has zero response time, what would an ERP system look like? This was a proper research question, and the academic work could begin.”

First, why is this the proper research question? Who out in SAP’s client base was asking for a zero response time database for ERP? I ask because I know that SAP customers have been asking for a lot of things, better customer support, better maturity before releasing products, lower costs, etc..Why weren’t those things the proper research question. Second, who cares? ERP systems don’t require zero response time. ERP systems record transactions and they do it quite quickly already. ERP systems can run into issues when it comes to processing. For instance, performing a procedure like MRP.

But MRP can be sped by adding memory and CPU capacity to the machine, or by doing things like removing the invalid product location combinations run through the system. Database performance is a bottleneck for analytics, but not ERP systems. This is not to say that it can’t be. Furthermore, even if it were true, there is no evidence that HANA is faster than alternatives, and this is particularly true for HANA with ERP, as is covered in the article What is the Actual Performance of SAP HANA.  On the contrary, HANA is not only slower than the alternatives, but it is less stable and the highest maintenance database of the other options.

The Importance of a Zero Response Time Database?

“But how about some experimental work? Shouldn’t we check for a database that could come close to this ideal? Was this, in the end, possible at all? This is the wonderful part of doing research at a university. At SAP, ideas such as zero response time database would not have been widely accepted. At a university you can dream, at least for a while. As long as you can produce meaningful papers, things are basically alright.”

Perhaps, but in the industry, a zero response database would have been less accepted because the benefits versus the costs aren’t there, particularly for ERP systems. Ph.D. students will be more willing to work on things that tend to be less practical. In some cases, this can be a good thing. But in this case, Hasso lead his students on a wild goose chase because databases are already quite sufficiently fast to support what companies want to do.

“We asked SAP whether we could have access to the technologies behind their databases; TREX, an in memory database with columnar storage, P*Time, an in memory database with row storage, and MaxDB, SAP’s relational database. My PhD candidates started playing with these systems, and it became clear in a very short time that building a new ERP system was, by far, not as interesting as building a new database. In the end, they were all computer scientists — accounting, sales ,purchasing, or human resource management are more than the scope of a business school student.”

Is This a Believable Story?

So HANA exists because Hasso’s Ph.D. students found it more interesting to create a new database? It is too bad I was not invited to this little soiree because I could have communicated to Hasso and Hasso’s Ph.D.s that this is a poor use of time. SAP has many problems with their customers. And database speed is not even in the top ten list of problems.

“The compromise was that we build a database prototype from scratch, and all the application scenarios with which we were going to verify the concept of a super fast database had to match those of real enterprise systems.”

Hasso set upon his Ph.D. candidates to build a new ERP system? Is that wise? ERP systems are massive combinations of functionality that should probably be undertaken by SAP development. This is not a good subject for a dissertation.

If Ph.D. candidates are developing a new ERP system for Hasso Plattner, this seems quite exploitive (were they getting stock options), and some Ph.D. candidates aren’t the right people to do it.

Where Did TREX and P*Time Come From?

Hasso states that they “asked SAP” if they could have access to TREX and P*TIME. First, that is unlikely that anyone at SAP would deny Hasso this. It is well-known that McDermott is a puppet and Hasso still runs SAP. So imagine Larry Ellison asking to use an Oracle database for a research project and that request being rejected by Mark Hurd. Would that conceivably happen?

But secondly, there is some information missing in the story presented by Hasso regarding the origin of P*TIME.

Now let us look at the timeline of HANA and its component technologies.

Why does Hasso describe P*TIME as SAP products without bringing up the point that it was recently acquired by SAP in 2005?

Also, this timing looks peculiar. Hasso tasks his Ph.D. students with developing HANA less than a year after purchasing a critical technology to HANA. Hasso was not aware he was going to use P*TIME for something like this at the time he acquired it in 2005? 

Let us look into where P*TIME was acquired.

Sang Kyun Cha, the University of Korea Professor

P*TIME was purchased from the professor Sang Kyun Cha, of the University of Korea. Let us review Sang Kyun Cha’s bio on his webpage.

“SAP HANA – My third generation in-memory database engine (SAP HANA – Wikipedia, Article (Korean))

P*TIME – Founded Transact In Memory, Inc. in Silicon Valley in 2002 (also its wholly-owned subsidiary TIM System in Korea in 2000) to fund the development of the next-generation in-memory DBMS and has led it to the successful acquisition by SAP (the #1 global business software company) in 2005. SAP transformed TIM System to SAP Labs Korea and made an official announcement in March 2008.

Sang Kyun Cha is a professor, an innovator, and an entrepreneur. He worked on three generations of commercialized in-memory database technology since he joined Seoul National University in 1992. In 2000, he founded Transact In Memory, Inc. with his vision of developing an enterprise in-memory database system called P*TIME (Parallel* Transact-In-Memory Engine). The company was quietly acquired by SAP in late 2005.

By SAP’s request, Prof. Cha led SAP’s Korean HANA development.

By early 2006, Prof. Cha’s team completed P*TIME development with an innovative OLTP scalability architecture. With SAP’s in-house column store TREX, P*TIME served as a corner stone of developing SAP HANA, the first distributed enterprise in-memory database system enabling real-time analytics over transactionally integrated row and column stores. Today, SAP and many other companies run ERP, CRM, business warehouse on HANA. By SAP’s request, Prof. Cha led SAP’s Korean HANA development.”

Where is Hasso’s recounting of what Prof Cha was doing at that time? Hasso is proposing that HANA was wholly original, but he would have approved and perhaps driven the purchase of P*TIME.

Conclusion

The story of HANA’s origins as presented by Hasso appears fishy. It has the look of a story that minimizes the inputs that were pre-existing before Hasso even entered the scene with column-oriented databases, and through a very small “addition” allows Hasso to take credit for the work of others.

Hasso seems to imply that TREX and P*TIME were just sort of “sitting around” until he and his Ph.D. candidates used them to create HANA. The story presented by Hasso in his book The In-Memory Revolution seems to minimize the technologies that they relied upon and to propose the idea in a way came out of nowhere and was a lightning bolt of creativity developed by Hasso Plattner. And this is the way in which people who are worth a lot of money (and Hasso is worth north of $20 billion) can manufacture history to position themselves as the inventors of things. A perfect example of this is Thomas Edison. Thomas Edison was a terrible scientist according to Nikola Tesla. And who initially credited Thomas Edison with this invention? It was Thomas Edison himself!

How Hasso Plattner Has Channeled Thomas Edison

A person seeking to do this follows an important pattern. They do not attribute work done before their own. Thomas Edison was famous for doing this exact thing. Column oriented databases have been in existence as long as relational databases. Hasso asserts that because he came up with the idea of not using aggregates — which is simply a switch of a pre-calculated table read for recalculation, that he created something entirely new. However, upon analysis, I can’t see anything of substance added by Hasso. And the one idea Hasso seems to have come up with — dropping aggregates is not a good idea. If you approach an area with a well-developed body of work and with functional commercial products (many column oriented databases were being sold at this time) and you add one minor idea, and that is not even a good idea, you did not invent anything. It’s not innovation, its claim jumping.

What is more apparent that Hasso pushed the idea of column oriented databases — but that is the promotion. Like Thomas Edison, Hasso is a great promoter. But a major contributor to databases? Hasso and his Ph.D.’s did not accomplish this.

The Cover Story

The story presented by Hasso in his book The In-Memory Revolution minimizes the technologies that they relied upon, and to propose the idea in a way came out of nowhere. After HANA was introduced, more inaccurate stories were told by Hasso about the supposed benefits of HANA, and those benefits — particularly vis a vis the competition have been debunked by Brightwork. (see the articles on this site for which areas of SAP’s claims about HANA’s superiority have been debunked)

It seems that not only were the proposed benefits of HANA exaggerated and inaccurate but now the origin of HANA was engineered to make it appear as if HANA was primarily Hasso’s idea. And this has filtered through to become the accepted view. This is commonly proposed by both IT media entities and SAP consulting companies who aggressively bow to anything that SAP asserts. However, how can something that had already been around before HANA was developed be an original idea?

This is a constant problem with SAP where they pose to have innovated things that they never did.

Interesting Questions on HANA’s Development

From this case study, some interesting questions arise.

  • Why did SAP purchase some of the primary components of HANA less than a year before Hasso “invented” HANA?
  • Why was Professor Cha asked to lead the Korean development of HANA?
  • On Professor Cha’s website, he states that his company was “quietly” purchased by SAP. Why was the purchase “quiet?” Was this because SAP planned to take more credit for HANA being internally developed that it was?
  • Why is it that we don’t even hear about Professor Cha in the story told by Hasso about HANA? Was Hasso unfamiliar with Professor Cha’s work, that is unfamiliar with the work of a professor that developed a company that SAP purchased?
  • Did any of the IT media look into this story, or did they simply accept the storyline that HANA and the important component technologies were the inventions of Hasso Plattner?

Search Our Other HANA Content

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

HANA & S/4HANA Research Contact

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

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

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

References

https://kdb.snu.ac.kr/chask/

[P*TIME](https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1316778)

[The In-Memory Revolution: How SAP HANA Enables Business of the Future:Amazon:Books](https://www.amazon.com/Memory-Revolution-Enables-Business-Future/dp/3319166727)

[Is Vishal Sikka really the father of HANA? – Quora](https://www.quora.com/Is-Vishal-Sikka-really-the-father-of-HANA)

[TREX search engine – Wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TREX_search_engine)

https://sites.computer.org/debull/A12mar/hana.pdf

How Accurate Was Hasso Plattner and Fortune on HANA?

Executive Summary

  • Hasso Plattner makes some incredible claims about HANA, but how many of these claims are true?
  • Why it is not possible for HANA to be the fastest growing product in SAP’s history.

Introduction

On Jan 31, 2013, Fortune published an article titled Meet HANA; she’s SAP’s new goldmine.

In this article, we will evaluate how accurate Hasso Plattner’s statements and Fortune’s coverage turned out to be.

Article Quotations

FORTUNE — “The fastest-growing product in SAP’s 40-year history isn’t a business software application, and it wasn’t invented within the German company’s massive research and development labs at the request of its co-CEOs. Rather, HANA, a new in-memory database technology capable of speeding up complex computations, was developed by a handful of university students and spearheaded by none other than SAP’s 69-year-old co-founder and chairman, Hasso Plattner. In the early days, HANA was known as “Hasso’s New Architecture”.”

HANA as the Fastest Growing SAP Product of All Time?

This is a story that SAP has been pushing, but it is inaccurate. The math behind why HANA could not be the fastest growing product in SAP’s history is covered in the article How Popular is HANA?

“A number of SAP’s (SAP, -0.61%) core business applications have already been rewritten to run on HANA. But Plattner, whose father was a doctor, is particularly excited about HANA’s prospects in the healthcare industry. Earlier this week, at a personalized medicine conference in Silicon Valley, he touted HANA’s abilities to quickly churn through massive amounts of medical information, like genomic data, in order to identify the best therapy for a patient. According to Plattner, SAP will launch a HANA-based healthcare platform in the “next few months.””

“Doctors are instant decision makers,” Plattner told the audience.” “And therefore the system has to be extremely fast.”

SAP’s Mystery Health System

This never occurred. If SAP ever released SAP Medical Research Insights, which we covered in the article How Accurate was Vishal Sikkas on the Future of HANA? 

Also, why does Hasso believe that doctors are instant decision makers? Is that actually how health care is delivered, through doctors who make instant decisions? Is Hasso speaking of the emergency room physicians or physicians overall? Furthermore, as we cover in the article Why HANA is a Mismatch for ERP and S/4HANA and What is the Actual Performance of HANA?, HANA has not been shown to have better performance than the competing offerings from other database vendors. Therefore, even if Hasso Plattner’s statement were true, which it isn’t, the point would be moot, as that performance benefit is better obtained from non-SAP databases.

Bill McDermott’s Predictions on HANA’s Uptake

“HANA has quickly grown into a 392 million euro business for SAP, though it still comprises a relatively small percentage of the company’s total revenue. But SAP is already touting the uber-fast technology as a big success story. “You can see the acceleration,” co-CEO Bill McDermott told Fortune after the company announced its latest earnings report last week, adding that about half of HANA’s 2012 revenue came in the fourth quarter of last year. “It’s becoming a real brand, and a well-known solution. And guess what, we’re just getting started.””

Hasso’s Predictions on HANA’s Becoming 20% of SAP’s Revenues

Four and a half years later, HANA’s sales have been disappointing. Rather than push out Oracle, SAP has extended their partnership with Oracle into the foreseeable future as is covered in the article SAP’s Change in Policy on HANA and Oracle. 

“SAP expects sales of HANA to reach upwards of 700 million euros in 2013. Though the technology is promising, it requires companies—including SAP—to rewrite applications for the new platform, a time-consuming task. But Plattner says all of SAP’s current and future applications will be “HANA-rized,” and that the technology will someday soon make up at least 20% of SAP’s revenue.”

Four and a half years later HANA is nowhere near 20% of revenues. SAP is a $20 billion a year company, so to do what Hasso proposed would mean HANA would have to have become a $4 billion business. According to DB-Engines, HANA currently sits as the 19th most popular database.

Larry Ellison’s Prediction on HANA

“Of course, Larry Ellison, CEO of database leader Oracle (ORCL, -0.18%), has a different take on HANA’s prospects. Last year he suggested Plattner must be on drugs to think he can compete with Oracle, saying his company has been working on in-memory technology for a decade.”

Larry turned out to be right.

“Plattner’s response: “I never took drugs in my life,” he said in an interview with Fortune earlier this week.”

SAP’s Growth into Health Care and Comparisons to Watson

“But SAP doesn’t have just Oracle to contend with. IBM (IBM, +0.02%) has already made a big push into healthcare with its Watson supercomputer, which relies on similar underlying technologies (like parallel processing) but also uses artificial intelligence to suggest diagnoses and therapies to doctors. Both technologies aim to comb through medical data much faster than a human physician can.”

HANA does not rely upon the parallel process. It relies on a combination of large amounts of memory in SSD and RAM combined with column-oriented table design, as covered in the article How HANA is Such a Fast Database (for Anaytics).

Secondly, IBM’s Watson has been the subject of a major marketing campaign on the part of SAP, but it has not been a successful product for IBM.

Hasso on HANA’s Performance

“The major message is we can do things faster,” says Plattner. “Faster is better.”

SAP has lost benchmarks against Oracle 12c on performance versus HANA. This is covered in the article What is the Actual Performance of HANA? 

Conclusion

Both Fortune and Hasso receive a score of 1 out of 10 on the Fortune article. The article is filled with inaccuracies and nothing that Hasso Plattner or Bill McDermott said turned out to be true. The only accurate part of the article was Larry Ellison, who was criticizing SAP’s plans.

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Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

HANA & S/4HANA Research Contact

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

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

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

References

https://fortune.com/2013/01/31/meet-hana-shes-saps-new-goldmine/

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

Is SAP S/4 HANA a New Application Architecture?

Executive Summary

  • Hasso Plattner provides a summary of the benefits of S/4HANA’s new application architecture. However, Hasso’s proposals are all false.
  • We cover these false benefits in this article.

App Arch

Introduction

Hasso Plattner has written a great deal of promotional literature about S/4HANA. One of his proposals is that S/4HANA is a new application architecture. In this article, we will cover this topic and analyze the legitimacy of the claim.

Hasso on S/4 HANA as a New Application Architecture

“The in-memory database SAP HANA allows for a radically different application architecture and a new philosophy with regards to the data model simplicity. While most of the business functionality of the business suite will be  carried over to SAP S/4 HANA, new workflows, larger transaction volumes, real time analytics on  transactional data, unmatched flexibility when changing reporting structures and even real time  simulation of business scenarios are possible. And all this comes with a completely new UI and a new framework for modifications and extensions. SAP S/4 HANA will continue to be developed at a different speed in order to match the new requirements of the digital age.”

Hasso does not explain why “in-memory database” allows for a radically different “application architecture.” According to Wikipedia, the definition of application design is the following:

“Applications architecture is the science and art of ensuring the suite of applications being used by an organization to create the composite architecture is scalable, reliable, available and manageable.”

Interpretation

I don’t think Hasso’s claim here holds true. He may be able to propose that that HANA creates more scalability — although that could be easily debated. I see no reason why HANA makes S/4HANA or ERP functionality more reliable, available or manageable. SAP ECC is already quite reliable; it is available. It ‘s hard to maintain, but that is only in a small way related to its database. Much more of the difficulty in maintaining ECC has to do with its user interface, learning curve, issues with maintaining master data and other non-database related issues.

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

Conclusions

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

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

S/4HANA Implementation Research

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

Select the description that best matches you.

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

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

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

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

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

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

Search Our Other S/4HANA Content

References

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 S/4HANA Actually Designed for the Cloud?

Executive Summary

  • Hasso provides a summary of the benefits of S/4HANA.
  • We review the accuracy of these benefits.

Introduction

One of the common areas of confusion is S4HANA cloud. That is the deployment of S/4HANA in the cloud. S4HANA cloud is the concept, often presented by SAP S/4HANA is somehow explicitly designed for the cloud.

There has been a great motivation of SAP to commingle both HANA and S/4HANA with the cloud. In this article, we will review how legitimate this is.

Hasso on S/4HANA Deployment in the Cloud

Hasso Plattner had the following to say on S/4HANA Cloud deployment.

‘There are many advantages to deploy the system in the cloud, but if regional preferences call for an implementation on premise — no problem, it might be just a different cost factor. It has to be understood that the deployment in the cloud has a principal advantage when it comes to the implementation of new functionality. Just take the new online sales scenarios with different revenue creation and recognition practices. Most companies will be in need of these features pretty soon and only with SAP S/4HANA can really accelerate the adoption. SAP offers a test migration of SAP ECC 6.0 systems in the cloud and the customer can later decide where to run the production system.”

Implementing in the Cloud?: Implementing HANA (the database) in the cloud is quite expensive, as I cover in What SAP Moving to the Cloud Means for Current HANA On-Premises Purchases.

Hasso may want to explain why, so few HANA purchases are sold in the cloud. The latter part of this paragraph seems to have some logical connection problems. However, SAP S/4HANA is simply ECC ported to HANA. So it does not make sense to say that it will

“actually accelerate the adoption”

..of something.

And again, Hasso seems to be relying on the assumption that SAP S/4HANA is going to be sold in the cloud quite a bit, which remains to be seen.

But if the software is sold in the cloud or is installed on premises, this does say things about functionality. Cloud applications do tend to be more distributed than on-premises applications — so cloud may say something about access — but it does not relate to the functionality — such as the sales scenarios, revenue creation, and recognition practices.

Analysis of Hasso’s Statements

HANA has nothing really to do with the cloud. HANA can be placed in the cloud, just like other databases, but up until this point, there have been few cloud-based implementations of HANA.

S4HANA cloud is a term that sounds new and different, but in fact, S/4HANA is not particularly cloud-centric or cloud ready. As so few SAP ERP instances lack customization, it is unlikely that..

“S4HANA cloud”

will be much of a factor into the future.

But what Hasso is describing here is nonsense. It is merely a series of words strung together designed to make an impact, but upon review, the concepts explained here by Hasso by not correct.

Now let us look at the significant points one by one.

SAP’s New Customer Facing Applications?

“With New Customer Facing Applications Like Those From Hybris. Success Factors, Ariba, Field Glass, Concur and the Internet of Things projects with SAP HANA Vora.” 

This is similar to Hasso’s argument regarding Hadoop that I have been pointing out.

None of these items that Hasso is referring to have anything to do with S/4HANA. It is not a “unique offering” it is a particular offering based upon some somewhat foreign acquisitions that SAP has engaged in to get the analysts thinking that SAP is becoming a cloud company so that it will get the stock price up.

SAP Offers a Unique Suite of Products?

“SAP Offers a Unique Suite of Products, which Can be Installed and Activated Quickly.”

Well, the acquired products — which are cloud-based do install quickly. But if we are talking about S/4, there is no reason to think that S/4HANA will install (or be implemented is what Hasso must mean, as installation does not take you live) quickly. S/4 will be a tough installation.

So Hasso seems to be trying to commingle the implementation ease of say Success Factors with S/4, and the two applications have nothing to with one another.

SAP HANA Cloud Platform Allows for Easy Implementation and Extension?

“The SAP HANA Cloud Platform Allows for Easy Implementations of Extensions to Integrate other Software Products or Bespoke applications.”

SAP has followed a multi-decade strategy of making itself difficult to integrate to so that other software vendors would be at a disadvantage against them.

SAP’s strategy was to capture the ERP system, and then push into other application areas using the argument that integrating with other vendors was risky. Why SAP would reverse, this decade’s long strategy, that has turned them into the largest enterprise software company in the world is difficult to swallow.

Did SAP See a Dramatic Increase in SAP S/4HANA in the Third Quarter?

“SAP Saw a Dramatic Increase in SAP S/4HANA Projects in the Third Quarter.”

We don’t know if this is true, as SAP has even stopped breaking out HANA license purchases. The dramatic increase, if it occurred would be on a minuscule base of S/4 projects. However years after this statement (July 2018, S4HANA has continued to have few implementations with SAP’s June 2018 estimates of 1500 live S4HANA implementations false)

A Lack of Information or Overly Conservative Attitude Hinders Companies to Move to S/4HANA?

“It Would be a Shame if Lack of Information or an Overly Conservative Attitude Hinders Companies… to Make the Move to SAP S/4HANA.”

SAP customers have been bombarded by HANA information. HANA has been SAP major marketing tentpole for over 4.5 years as I covered in Has SAP’s Relentless HANA Push Paid Off? 

So a lack of information cannot be blamed for hindering companies from moving to S/4HANA.

I am in contact with some businesses and what is blocking enterprises in this regards is that S/4 is too expensive, it is too risky, it dictates to the customer too much, and furthermore many previous promises regarding how SAP’s products would benefit them have not paid off. That is the truth.

See our The S/4HANA Implementation Study for real story and details on actual S4HANA implementations.

The Wall Street Journal’s Cloud Confusion

I have recently forwarded an article by a cloud vendor from the Wall Street Journal blog. One quotation caught my eye.

“In the process, she’s pitted Kenandy against both software giants like SAP and Oracle and older manufacturing software companies like QAD, all of which are racing to redesign their software for the cloud.”

That is interesting, because the ability to offer applications by cloud has existed for some time, and the only SAP product that is I can think of that is cloud-based is SAP’s product offered through Amazon’s AWS service, which represents some minuscule percentage of SAP’s global revenue. Secondly, the article does not seem to consider that enterprise cloud is the opposite of SAP’s business model, and cloud represents one the most significant challenges to how SAP does business. To highlight this, let’s discuss what cloud is.

Cloud is where a hosted solution, which is already up and running at a software vendor (typically), allows a client to access its services in return for a monthly fee. The features of cloud are the following:

  1. Cloud solutions implement very quickly, because the installation is already complete, and it is a matter of configuring a running application.
  2. Cloud solutions have the highest value in the enterprise software space. The total cost of ownership of cloud solutions tends to be low compared to the on-premises model.
  3. Cloud solutions provide tend to have a lower sales orientation and offer online trials of their software, which means that clients have a better idea of what they are buying than on-premises implementations. I cover in this article and the book Supply Chain Forecasting Software. That most companies select the wrong forecasting applications for a variety of reasons, but major ones being that they generally don’t understand the software they are buying very well, and are misled by large consulting companies and companies like SAP and Oracle into buying weak applications due to the tremendous marketing muscle of the significant monopoly vendors.
  4. Cloud solutions do not tend to follow the standard enterprise sales model that is controlled and distorted by corrupt consulting companies intent on recommending software, like SAP, that maximizes their revenues at the cost of their client’s interests.
  5. Cloud vendors provide a high degree of flexibility to their clients, and companies can much more easily switch between cloud providers as the fees are monthly. Cloud solution providers are very much about providing value to clients rather than locking them in. SAP, Oracle, and IBM are about locking their clients in solutions.

Monopoly Power

SAP is a monopoly vendor, much like Microsoft, that puts out uncompetitive software that is propped up by relationships that restrict the choice of consumers in the marketplace. In the case of Microsoft, they have relationships with retailers and computer OEMs. SAP has relationships with the advisory companies that recommend software in the enterprise space. Neither SAP nor Microsoft can win anywhere near as much as they do in a competitive market. Both vendors also very much have a strategy based on “lock-in.” Companies are very hesitant to move to a new solution once they invest so much money in SAP. This is true even if the results are poor. However, cloud allows clients to leave as the contracts are month to month freely. SAP has no interest in this business model. Cloud is the exact opposite of how SAP, Oracle, and IBM have made their money and become highly successful organizations.

Can Cloud Fight Monopoly Power in Enterprise Software?

Cloud has the potential one of the few industry trends that have the potential to undermine the monopoly power of the companies. The author states in the article that was forwarded to me that SAP and Oracle at least are “racing to redesign their software for the cloud”? How did this author “learn” that SAP is racing to cloud-enable their applications? Did they hear this from an SAP representative and then retype the statement.

Conclusion

There is not much to take away from this section of the paper by Hasso Plattner. The statements are not substantiated and once against Hasso Plattner can’t seem to get through more than a few sentences without unleashing some falsehood. In July 2018 (when this article was last updated) S/4HANA still has less than 100 S/4HANA Cloud customers live. And the customer that are live looks suspicious as the following graphic shows.

Almost every company on this list of S4HANA customers is an SAP consulting partner. However, these are not real customers. They implemented S4HANA Cloud to build skills to resell S4HANA consulting projects. No professional services company needs an ERP system; they only need HR and finance functionality. All of these companies would have been far better off implementing Workday. 

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

S/4HANA Implementation Research

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

Select the description that best matches you.

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

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

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

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

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

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

Search Our Other S/4HANA Content

References

https://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/05/04/silicon-valley-pioneer-kurtzig-goes-after-sap-oracle/?mod=google_news_blog

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

How to Understand SAP HANA and Hadoop

Executive Summary

  • SAP proposes that HANA is strongly supportive of Hadoop.
  • We evaluate the accuracy of SAP’s proposals.

Introduction

Some of the SAP Hadoop, Hadoop SAP or SAP HANA Hadoop commentary by SAP deserves from analysis. In this article, we will review a statement by SAP on Hadoop and what we think it means.

Hasso Plattner on Connecting HANA to Other Databases

“SAP HANA allows the access of other databases, e.g., SAP HANA Vora or Hadoop, which helps to integrate with IoT scenarios, or data for weather, geography, statistical information, without copying the data into the ERP system.  SAP just announced a host of innovations for SAP S/4 HANA in Barcelona, including the new logistics components, business planning and the reintegration of some sales management functions.”

Vora is a new SAP HANA related application that at this point very little is known about. SAP is communicating to its customers that it is up on the latest things but invoking Hadoop and IoT or the Internet of Things. Hadoop happens to be growing very rapidly, and Hadoop is a low-cost application. SAP HANA is a premium priced application. Therefore companies have Hadoop on the mind, and so Plattner is leveraging this fact as it is marketing SAP HANA.

Plattner uses the “HANA as part of a balanced breakfast” argument to sell SAP HANA. For those unfamiliar with this case, it is taken from breakfast cereal that while unhealthy, can be said to be healthy if it is part of other things. That is the item is not competing on its own merits but on the substance of what is connected to or used with. SAP HANA is not a worthy purchase because it can be attached to Vora or Hadoop or integrating to IoT. Any other database can connect to these things as well.

Let us discuss Hasso’s summary.

Hasso’s Summary

“SAP S/4 HANA is by far the best ERP system SAP has ever offered to the market. In combination  with the new customer-facing applications like those from hybris, the SaaS applications from Success Factors,  Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur and the Internet of Things projects with SAP HANA Vora,”

Interpretation

This quotation is mostly incorrect and is misleading. SAP is attempting to correlate their own competitive HANA product, with the highly successful Hadoop. Terms like SAP HANA Hadoop, Hadoop SAP and SAP Hadoop sound interesting, but Hadoop does not need HANA to add its value. Also contrary to what SAP proposes, HANA does not really have anything to do with Hadoop. Any database can be connected to any other database. But Hadoop is a high-value database that is growing rapidly. HANA is the opposite.

Any database can be connected to any other database. But Hadoop is a high-value database that is growing rapidly. HANA is the opposite.

Conclusions

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

We give Hasso Plattner a 2.5 out of 10 for accuracy.

Search Our Other HANA Content

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

HANA & S/4HANA Research Contact

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

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

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

References

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

How to Understand SAP S/4 HANA and SAP Customization

Executive Summary

  • Hasso Plattner provides a summary of the benefits of SAP S/4 HANA
  • We review this summary for accuracy.

Introduction to S/4HANA and Customization

S/4HANA has a very high customization adjustment overhead. In this article, you will learn about the reality of the S/4HANA customization overhead versus what SAP proposes.

SAP’s Presentation on S/4HANA Customization

Hasso Plattner has taken an interesting step in describing what would happen to a SAP customization or SAP enhancement that has been added to an existing ECC system. This is of particular importance as 92% of SAP implementation has a moderate to high level of SAP customization or SAP enhancement.

Hasso on SAP S/4HANA Allowing the Dropping of SAP Customization or SAP Enhancement

“It is interesting to see regional differences in the speed of adoption. It is similar to the introduction SAP R/3 in 1992/3. The SAP R/3 system was meant to be for smaller companies and who jumped on it first? The large and super large ones. I am absolutely convinced that smaller and midsize companies will now benefit even more, since they might be able to drop most of their modifications, as a consequence reduce the TCO, and have significantly more productive users, who will gain business insights like never before.”

…Smaller and Midsized Companies Will Now Benefit Even More, Since They Might be Able to Drop Most of their Modifications:

Really?

How can using the same functionality in ECC allow any company, regardless of its size to drop its modifications?

The vast majority of changes that exist in SAP customers are because of gaps in functionality.

Mitigating Deficiencies for S/4HANA or SAP Marketing Instructions?

These deficiencies are not altered because S/4 does not provide more or different functionality than ECC. In fact, most of the modifications that companies have made to ECC will never be addressed by future versions of SAP’s ERP systems because they are unique to the company’s requirements.

Without additional functionality, no modifications should be expected to be dropped. In fact, these changes will need to be rewritten.

Our Interpretation

It took me so much time to complete this article. I understand that Hasso wants the customer to buy S/4 licenses, but customers should look at how many statements that are said about S/4 HANA are true or where they cannot be determined if they are true if they are likely to be true.

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

The Ridiculous Quotation from Deloitte

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

Moving From ECC to S/4HANA

As S/4HANA uses a different database schema from ECC, S/4HANA is the first ERP system that will break all integrations and customizations that customers added to ECC. SAP has released confusing information on these topics would prefer to keep them hidden and obscure as it would negatively impact S/4HANA purchases. SAP has instead changed the topic and has said that S/4HANA represents an “opportunity” to SAP customers to evaluate all current customizations and to remove them. SAP appears silent on the topic of integrations that will break and will need to be rewritten when S/4HANA is implemented. SAP is currently deceiving customers on this point and instead of telling them that S/4HANA provides an opportunity to evaluate all customizations and to eliminate them.

Deloitte’s 33,000 Customizations

In a press release that was supposed to promote S/4HANA, Deloitte admitted that it performed 33,000 customizations when it implemented a very narrow area of functionality in ECC. 

“Deloitte was an early adopter of SAP’s R/3 ERP system back in 1995 despite it “not really being designed to be used by a professional services firm,” Bray said. “So guess what? We customised the hell out of it,” he added, with more than 33,000 SAP finance customisations made over 20 years.

Over the years Deloitte has adopted some of the professional services-specific editions of SAP software, but was still facing the typical challenges of having an ageing system. Namely, long run times, maintenance issues, little flexibility due to the number of customisations, and outages. Now it is looking to fully upgrade to the next-generation S/4HANA suite, which is built on the software vendor’s in-memory HANA database.”

It is difficult to see how Deloitte, that after all just does consulting, accounting services and outsourcing would need so many customizations. The vast majority of SAP customers will not have anywhere close to that many customizations. Again, if you have that many customizations a few questions naturally arise. 

  1. Did we choose the right application?
  2. Do we even fit into the category of a packaged application?

Deloitte’s Misstep in Releasing Truthful Information on S/4HANA

Maybe the company with 33,000 customizations simply needs a custom built application. Also, it boggles the mind that business as simple as Deloitte would need that many. Furthermore, Deloitte did not realize it, but they are directly contradicting SAP by admitting they had to make so many customizations. According to SAP, you should not need customizations because all best practices are already contained in their applications. If even one of their top consulting partners needed to perform so many customizations, then what hope do customers have to stay away from them. 

Deloitte may not remember the marketing material and what they present to their clients, but SAP contains all the best practices in the universe within the application. SAP is extremely clear in its messaging that most of the customizations that clients make to their software — which remember contains all best practices — are unnecessary.

It is still amazing to me that Deloitte even admitted this. They are supposed to get this stuff approved by SAP before its released as a complete story for ComputerWorld to reprint. It is incredible that some people don’t even know the implications of what they are saying. SAP marketing is going to ream them out big time. And from what SAP partners who are vendors tell me, it is not a pleasant experience. I heard what SAP did to Gartner over S/4HANA, and it was very humbling for Gartner. That information related to customizations may get retracted in a day or so. But it’s too late, I have taken a copy of the article to my Evernote. I may write an article on this; it is too humorous to pass up.

Comments by Sam Graham

In a discussion on this topic on LinkedIn, the following comment was made by Sam Graham

“So, Deloitte, who earn hundreds of millions of dollars every year from implementing SAP are going to revolutionize their business by moving to, guess what?. SAP! What a surprise! And I wonder of all of the companies who implemented R/3, under advice from Deloitte, realized what a low opinion Deloitte had of R/3? What was that phrase, “We customized the hell out of it”? At whose cost; I wonder? And will they also ‘customize the hell’ out of S4/HANA? And, having spent millions or tens of millions on S/4HANA, following Deloitte’s recommendation, will their customers be paying millions more for the customization that Deloitte recommends?”

Customizations Not a Good Measure of Fit of an Application?

In the LinkedIn interaction, Pete Chapman stated the following:

“Gosh everyone is a cynic 😉 The conclusion most large enterprises come to involves a mix of COTS products with mods where possible, custom build where it offers a competitive advantage and messy integration. Who wants to build their own finance package from scratch? Horses for courses. I’m sure there’s a better way out there, let me know when you find it…”

Shaun Snapp’s Comment

“I can’t speak to what everyone wrote on this thread, but my proposal was simply that S/4HANA Finance was not a good choice for Deloitte and that Deloitte did not select S/4HANA for its match to business requirements, but for marketing and skill development reasons. Deloitte would be better served with a financial best of breed combined with an HR solution. I did not propose building a finance application from scratch but instead proposed a best of breed financial application that was not part of an ERP suite. On the topic of messy integrations, customizing applications is not any less messy. It’s coding. Its development hours, etc.. I don’t think going with a 100% internally developed application is preferable, though in some areas there is no packaged solution that meets the requirements (some forms of production planning and scheduling are a perfect example of this) if you have 33,000 customizations in mostly a single module, then how much of the standard functionality was used?”

Sam Graham’s Comment

“Pete; can you justify 33,000 modifications to a system that most customers have paid many million of dollars for? How many ERP systems have an implementation consultant who advises that a customer should make 33.000 modifications? Are you saying that Deloitte are irresponsible or just incompetent? If customers haven’t paid for these 33,000 modifications that a SAP implementation partner deems necessary; are they using an inferior system? Can you explain?”

Pete Chapman’s Comment

Without commenting on a specific case global implementations accumulate a lot of custom code after 20 years of business change – some of it technical debt. You know it: Workflows. Reports. Interfaces. Conversions. Enhancements. Forms. Authorisations. Plus entirely new transactions. 33,000 is meaningless without proper context. Ideally changes are justified by commensurate benefits – although good governance is under appreciated. Major ICT transformation programmes can now cost hundreds of millions of dollars with benefits measured in billions. Context matters. I’d rather build a well-tailored experience on COTS services than train 50,000 users on generic screens.

Shaun Snapp’s Comment

“I learned something really amazing from these comments Paul. The number of customizations, even after Deloitte pointed out the heavy maintenance of ECC is absolutely meaningless. The decision that Deloitte made was fantastic. And if you disagree with mass idiocy, you may be a cynic. As long as we have financial bias promoting analysis, one will always come to ludicrous conclusions.”

Paul Coester Comment

“Cold facts are though that SAP is not quite as adept at the end to end stuff as the hype says it is. Forget DTT, even now today that is true. Case in point…Not one of the EAM Fiori apps work…But SAP flog them into the customer base like it’s THE thing…”

Pete Chapman Comment

“Paul Ever since ITS I’ve wished they would publish some light services with templates in popular web technologies. As long as business data and logic doesn’t leak from the application side the UX would almost be “disposable”. 

Conclusions

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

As for Deloitte, this is what happens when a person who knows nothing about system implementation makes statements that he does not realize can be triangulated to determine that SAP made an enormous error in selecting SAP ECC. But for course, this could also have been determined by simply analyzing Deloitte’s business and understanding ECC. However, the match was unimportant to Deloitte. Deloitte wanted to implement SAP for marketing and skill development reasons.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

S/4HANA Implementation Research

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

Select the description that best matches you.

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

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

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

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

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

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

Search Our Other S/4HANA Content

References

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

How Accurate Was Hasso Plattner on SAP S/4 HANA?

Executive Summary

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

Risk Adverse HANA

Introduction

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

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

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

Let us begin at the end of the article.

Slow MRP

Hasso’s Introduction

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

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

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

Interpretation

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

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

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

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

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

Hasso on The Reduction in Complexity from S/4 HANA

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

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

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

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

Interpretation

This quotation is mostly incorrect.

Hasso Plattner on How Disruptive is SAP S/4 HANA

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

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

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

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

Interpretation

This quotation is mostly incorrect.

Hasso on How Complete SAP S/4 HANA Is

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

Interpretation

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

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

HANA Disruptive

Hasso Plattner on How Disruptive is SAP S/4 HANA

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

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

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

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

Interpretation

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

S_4 HANA New

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

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

Interpretation

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

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

Conclusions

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

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References

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

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