Analysis of Mark Chalfen’s Article on S/4HANA Maturity

Executive Summary

  • Bluefin Solutions has been a constant provider of false information on HANA and S/4HANA, as well as many other SAP topics.
  • Mark Chalfen stated that he implemented S/4HANA at a time when S/4HANA could not be implemented. Did Mark Chalfen and Bluefin Solutions lie about this to attain more S/4HANA implementation business?

Introduction

In this article, I will review quotes from Mark Chalfen of Bluefin Solutions, that has been one of the greatest promoters of S/4HANA and HANA.

The Quotations

The Number of Live Customers on S/4HANA

“There is no one-size-fits-all answer here I am afraid. SAP S/4HANA has been around for just under two years. Over 150 customers are using the tool in a productive manner and there are a number of other productive projects in flight in addition to Proof of Concepts. I would expect this to increase to over 500 live customers by the end of 2016. However, when talking about SAP S/4HANA, you need to be precise around the version and the solution scope that is being deployed.”

It is 1/3 of the way through 2017 and even according to ASUS there are only 350 customers live on S/4HANA. But that is far too generous as ASUG counts customers that are really barely using the application.

S/4HANA Simplification?

“SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management is approximately six months old. This has a similar functional scope to SAP S/4HANA Finance, however the solution has been significantly simplified and further functionality has been added. Furthermore, a number of modules that were available in core SAP ECC are no longer available due to the ‘principle of one’.”

Incorrect. S/4HANA has had some functionality removed, but it has not been simplified.

First S/4HANA is a much more difficult implementation than ECC was because S/4HANA is still so immature and because of all the changes. The entire proposal of S/4HANA being simpler is deconstructed in the article Does S/4HANA Have a Simpler Data Model?

S/4HANA Finance is a Mature Product?

“The SAP S/4HANA Finance version is a mature product, based upon the number of productive customers utilising it and the duration it has been around. SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management is approaching maturity. Since its release in November 2015, there has been one Feature Pack Support released in February 2016 with another due in May 2016. These packs contain fixes to the solution that was delivered and add small chunks of new functionality.”

This is some wordsmithing in the extreme. “Approaching maturity” means it is immature. Why won’t Mark simply say it is immature? (that is easy, Mark makes his money in part by promoting S/4HANA, so may as well work for SAP sales)

Why dance around a very basic question of the state of S/4HANA? Secondly, those who have worked with S/4HANA finance debate its maturity at the time this article was written by Mark.

In April of 2016 Dennis Howlett of Diginomica has the following to say about the state of S/4HANA.

“The free S/4 HANA trials are available, I’ve tried some of the cloud modules but if I’m candid, they’re a tad anemic and barely qualify as modern. I poked around in the financials and the marketing module the last day or so and found that while holding promise, SAP hasn’t taken advantage of modern idioms to present a truly compelling offering. Asking me to select a company by its number and not its name for instance seems arcane. Asking me to name product segments with underscores between names is geeky and requires extra thinking.

Taken together, S/4 HANA must be viewed as a work in progress. On the upcoming earnings call, I am hoping that SAP will provide some clarity around S/4 HANA beyond the customer counts.”

This was interesting, because according to Dennis Howlett, even in April 2016, S/4HANA “does not appear to be a complete product.” However, SAP originally communicated a release in 2014 (the month unspecified) but the proposal here by Dennis Howlett is that over two years later S/4HANA Finance is still not complete.

Did Mark Chalfen Really Take a Client Live in 2016 on S/4HANA EM?

“I am lucky to be working on a system conversion project to SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management with a go-live of December 2016. The project utilises the latest functionality and scope for their conversion, with the assumption that the release in May will have further maturity.”

One would assume that as time passes an application that is being developed will have “further maturity,” but Mark is vigorously dancing around the topic of whether S/4HANA EM is complete. It isn’t. Furthermore, it is very likely that given the maturity of S/4HANA EM in 2016 that Mark Chalfen did not take this client live.

S/4HANA Moving Toward a More Mature Product?

“Given the number of releases scheduled, any organization looking at an SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management implementation with a go-live date of 2017 can feel comfortable in the knowledge that it will be moving to a more mature and well-supported product. SAP supports the first tranche of customers via the Customer Care program and RIG Program – Regional Implementation Group. It provides a free service for a small group of customers to ensure they have the latest product information.”

This is a strange statement. One does not “feel comfortable” with the knowledge that an application will become “more mature.” One feels comfortable when one is implementing an application that is complete. I should not have to explain this, but if an application is not completed, it normally is not implemented. When I worked for i2 Technologies we brought out a bunch of new products that mostly all bombed. The only way that i2 Technologies was able to push so many incomplete products out into the market was through salespeople lying about how complete these applications were. This is happening now with S/4HANA. But it is not only SAP that is lying about the state of S/4HANA, but their very large number of consulting partners that are in on misleading customers in order to get the most possible money for themselves.

Typically Large ECC Expenses Necessarily Further Increase with S/4HANA

ECC implementations have been extraordinarily expensive even when that product was quite mature.

“There are currently less than 300 SAP S/4HANA Fiori apps. I would expect this figure to double within a year, so if you are expecting or looking for a pure SAP Fiori ERP system, S/4HANA is not ready just yet.”

True. Fiori apps have now grown to over 8,000 (but SAP got caught classifying Fiori colored SAPGUI screens as Fiori). There are still very few people anywhere using Fiori. There would be more, but SAP made the decision to mostly restrict Fiori to HANA.

“There is no simple answer around the maturity of SAP S/4HANA. It is clear that it is “maturing”. For a high proportion of customers, significant benefits can be achieved with the current version of SAP S/4HANA (Finance and Enterprise Management).”

Repeating What SAP Wants Customers to Think About S/4HANA?

Actually, if you are not a pawn of SAP and part of their partner network and therefore have your speech controlled and have projects dangled in front of you in exchange for how much you kowtow to SAP, there is a very simple answer to the maturity of S/4HANA. It is not a completed product. But you can only point out that obvious fact if you are independent of SAP.

If you aren’t, the topic becomes very “complex.”

“Those customers I am talking to now who are considering SAP S/4HANA or working on a business case will find it to be a pretty mature solution come implementation. For those favouring a system conversion, looking at the solution as it is today, the jump is achievable. However, the further the product grows and matures, the bigger that jump will become and new installations will become even more popular.”

This entire paragraph can be translated into

“I am actively covering up the maturing of S/4HANA so that I can trick you into going ahead with a S/4HANA implementation.”

Consulting

This article is a testament to the corruption in the IT industry. Bluefin Solutions wants to make money implementing S/4HANA and so they will say anything to sell more S/4HANA, and Mark Chalfen replaced the highly inaccurate John Appleby (who as we have tracked was wrong in just about every one of his statements about HANA) as the primary hype man for HANA and S/4HANA, and Mark has continued in his footsteps providing a constant stream of false information about HANA and S/4HANA. This article is undifferentiated from Soviet-era propaganda or propaganda that comes out of Madison Avenue for selling toothpaste. But really all of the articles on Bluefin Solutions website are similar in nature. They have no directive to inform, but are mindless sales pieces.

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

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

Fact-Checking SAP Information on S/4HANA

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

SAP Video Accuracy Mesurement

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

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

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

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

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

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

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

S/4HANA Implementation Research

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

Select the description that best matches you.

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

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

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

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

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

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

Search Our SAP S/4HANA Maturity Content

References

https://www.bluefinsolutions.com/blogs/mark-chalfen/april-2016/how-mature-is-sap-s-4hana-is-it-business-ready

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

The Evidence That The S/4HANA Suite Missed Its Release Deadlines

Executive Summary

  • SAP missed their deadlines no S/4HANA releases.
  • We provide the evidence for this missed deadline.

Introduction

During the review process for the S/4HANA implementation research, the topic was brought up that if SAP did not have clear dates on the release of the overall EM suite, how can it be proposed that S/4HANA missed its deadlines.

SAP S/4Roadmap

Here is a published roadmap from SAP on S/4HANA from the publication SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management Introduction and Innovations for extended Supply Chain.

In this slide from SAP, it shows Simple Finance (now Finance) was to be released in 2014, but that deadline appears to have slipped and Finance was released and generally discussed in February 2015. In fact, the official release date is a bit hazy. The is a SAP article on SAP’s site (which I have footnoted) that show S/4HANA was released in early February. There is an article about S/4HANA being “launched” in June 2014 at SAPPHIRE, but that is not necessarily the same thing as being released. Most likely that was a convenient time to give people an advanced view of S/4HANA. Certainly, in 2014 there would have been almost no S/4HANA Finance implementations. 

However, in this slide, SAP is predicting S/4HANA as a suite will be released in 2015. The plan was always to introduce the Finance module first, and for the rest of the suite to follow shortly after. This is the message that was delivered to account after account, telling customers that they should jump on Finance, and by the time they had implemented Finance, the entire suite would be ready to implement. It is now 1/3 of the way through 2017 and S/4HANA is still not a complete product. 

This is the message that was delivered to account after account, telling customers that they should jump on Finance, and by the time they had implemented Finance, the entire suite would be ready to implement. It is now 1/3 of the way through 2017 and S/4HANA is still not a complete product.

The question here is how great is SAP’s forecast inaccuracy.

How different was what occurred from what SAP said would happen?

Well, if S/4HANA was to be introduced in 2015, and S/4HANA is still not complete two years later, then we can’t say by how large of a margin SAP missed its deadlines.

It can only be said when S/4HANA as a suite is a complete. SAP is misleading customers by stating that S/4HANA is becoming incrementally more complete with each release, but obviously, that makes no sense. Completion is when the functionality within each of the modules is complete. It is quite possible that SAP could have completed another module of S/4HANA by now, or in the past if it had applied its development resources to just that module. However, SAP has chosen to develop all the modules incrementally.

Furthermore, it must be considered that SAP never stated that S/4HANA would be developed incrementally (as S/4HANA is currently being developed). Currently, we are awash in things like Simplification Lists, and various versions of S/4HANA that are incrementally developed versions of S/4HANA. But that was not SAP’s messaging in 2014. The proposal of SAP was that the new ERP system would be introduced int two phases. Finance in 2014 (in a complete form) and then the rest of the suite in 2015 in a complete form.

State of S/4HANA Finance

In April of 2016 Dennis Howlett of Diginomica has the following to say about the state of S/4HANA.

“The free S/4 HANA trials are available, I’ve tried some of the cloud modules but if I’m candid, they’re a tad anemic and barely qualify as modern. I poked around in the financials and the marketing module the last day or so and found that while holding promise, SAP hasn’t taken advantage of modern idioms to present a truly compelling offering. Asking me to select a company by its number and not its name for instance seems arcane. Asking me to name product segments with underscores between names is geeky and requires extra thinking.

Taken together, S/4 HANA must be viewed as a work in progress. On the upcoming earnings call, I am hoping that SAP will provide some clarity around S/4 HANA beyond the customer counts.”

This was interesting, because according to Dennis Howlett, even in April 2016, S/4HANA does not appear to be a complete product. However, SAP originally communicated a release in 2014 (the month unspecified) but the proposal here by Dennis Howlett is that over two years later S/4HANA Finance is still not complete.

Fact of the Matter with S/4HANA Finance Customers

The fact is that companies that implemented S/4HANA Finance do not have a complete ERP suite to connect to. That is a new development in the history of SAP’s ERP system. For a number of the companies on the S/4HANA list of implementations, the public case studies, these companies are only financing entities, and therefore they do not need the rest of the ERP suite. But for customers that intended to connect to the rest of the ERP suite, one has to wonder what their state of mind is now that the have invested in S/4HANA Finance.

The Media Coverage of the Missed Deadlines

This would seem to be a pertinent fact that would be reported by media entities that cover IT. However, I cannot find anyone covering this topic. Media entities like ComputerWeekly will report when SAP produces a press release, and also takes advertising from SAP. but in terms of checking whether previous statements/predictions actually came true, there is literally no coverage of the topic. A media entity in the IT space cannot expect to receive advertising if they spend time verifying vendor and consulting company statements. Therefore, the model seems to be to simply publish announcements by software vendors and consulting companies, and the more advertising they pay to these media entities, they more coverage the software vendors and consulting companies receive.

This specific topic was covered in more detail in the following article IT Media Output and the Fake News Debate.

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

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

S/4HANA Implementation Research

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

Select the description that best matches you.

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

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

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

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

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

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

Search Our SAP S/4HANA Maturity Content

References

https://blogs.sap.com/2014/06/04/sap-simple-finance-launched-at-sapphire-now-2014/

https://news.sap.com/partner-quote-sheet-sap-unveils-next-generation-enterprise-software-new-business-suite-sap-s4hana/

https://www.sap-sbn.no/en/download/369

https://diginomica.com/2016/04/11/sap-pre-announces-a-miss-for-revenue-in-q1-fy2016-maintains-full-year-guidance-an-analysis/

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

How Accurate was SAP and Sven Denecken on S/4HANA 1610?

Executive Summary

  • How accurate is the information communicated on S/4 ranging from real-time consolidation to Fiori to EWN and S/4, to PLM and EWM, data governance?

Introduction

I spent time analyzing the SAP document SAP S/4HANA 1610 Release Highlights. 1610 is the most recent release of S/4HANA.

Here are some of the quotes I found noteworthy and I have provided analysis of these statements.

On Real Time Consolidation

“Take advantage of instant access to transactional and master data in SAP S/4HANA for real-time consolidation. You can easily trace back to source data in SAP S/4HANA and other legacy source systems for the finest granularity and confidence.” – SAP

I have performed research on this topic of consolidation. This has been a primary marketing point for SAP. They have repeatedly stated that companies that use S/4 will save hundreds of hours in their end of period closing. SAP ties this to HANA’s superior speed as allowing this real-time consolidation to occur.

The inaccuracy in SAP’s statement is that consolidation is not entirely a systematic processing issue. Many judgments must be made, and they are human, and therefore real-time consolidation does not make a lot of sense.

SAP Applications to Connect to S/4

“Connect to business networks like never before. Finance can now take advantage of additional integrations with the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll solution and learning map, buyer-side Ariba® Invoice Management and Ariba Discount Management solutions, Concur® solutions, and SAP Fieldglass solutions.”

The SAP S/4HANA 1610 release simplifies human resources for both IT and business users. You can now simplify your IT environment with streamlined integration between SAP S/4HANA and SAP SuccessFactors solutions to support end-to-end business processes. Business users can now utilize object pages to present worker-related data for both employees and contingent labor forces.

Reduce procurement hassle with catalog buying for self-service requisitioning processes and increased integration with business networks, such as the creation of sourcing requests in SAP Ariba solutions directly from SAP S/4HANA. Sourcing managers can enjoy increased visibility into supplier performance, purchasing spend, and business events with the new procurement overview page.” – SAP

All of this is marketing to get companies to buy other SAP solutions, namely Concur, Fieldglass, SuccessFactors, and Ariba. All of these are acquisitions. None of them have anything to do with S/4 except they have integration (with adapters in various stages of development). On the other hand, you can use other applications that are competitors to these SAP applications. In most to many cases, companies may want to because the SAP product may be a poor fit or may not be cost effective.

S/4HANA Fiori

“New SAP Fiori apps enable increased productivity for all users across collaborative sourcing, contract management, and supplier management functions. Daily activities such as managing purchasing info cards, contracts, sources of supply, and requests for quotes take full advantage of the award-winning SAP Fiori user experience (UX) – SAP

Increase sales productivity with new SAP Fiori apps that make it easier than ever to create, modify, and display sales orders on any device. Contextual information helps ensure your sales and sales-support teams have a comprehensive view of the customer to maximize satisfaction, including resolution of issues, at every step of the buying process.”

SAP continues the charade of presenting S/4HANA Fiori as if it is a complete user interface for S/4 when in fact it is just there to provide an assist. S/4HANA Fiori will have to be used alongside the SAPGUI to work correctly. S/4HANA Fiori how has 7671 “apps” (which aren’t apps in fact, but is another topic). This is a big change for S/4HANA Fiori. Up until very recently S/4HANA Fiori had less than 1200 apps and was growing at around 15 apps per month. How these new apps were added is something I need to analyze and will write about in a future article. There is something bizarre going on with the counting of the S/4HANA Fiori app number.

Any S/4 implementation will primarily use SAPGUI. I explain why in the following post.

The characterization of Fiori presented by SAP in its marketing literature is once again wholly inaccurate.

Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling

“Production planning and detailed scheduling have been integrated with SAP S/4HANA, allowing you to create production plans without relying on a separate planning instance. You can now optimize and plan resource schedules directly in the digital core, taking into account bottlenecks and other production challenges.”

“Material requirement planning (MRP) includes embedded production planning and detailed scheduling (PPDS) natively deployed without the need for complex integration and data maintenance to help drive accelerated MRP processing times from hours to potentially minutes and enable intelligent constraint-based planning and scheduling.”SAP Press Release

I have implemented PP/DS myself and can vouch for the fact that PP/DS is a lagging application in the space that is sold exclusively to SAP customers and it has a very poor implementation history. So the fact that PP/DS is now part of S/4HANA is not a good thing, and PP/DS will not meet the needs of the vast majority of customers. For this, a bold on will be required.

EWM

“Experience the power of the SAP Extended Warehouse Management application built into SAP S/4HANA, and unlock greater productivity throughout your warehouse. This means your warehouse clerks and operations personnel can enjoy increased access to real-time data, while IT can embrace a simplified technical landscape. Your entire organization benefits from reduced data duplication and replication to increase accuracy and decrease cost.”

As with PP/DS SAP is leveraging APO to jazz up S/4. EWM is a warehouse management module in APO. It was built at CAT logistics and is unsuitable for most shippers. But SAP tries to sell it into shippers anyway. EWM is a weak application with enormous complexity that is entirely uncompetitive with warehouse management applications. So again, the fact that EWM can be made to connect to S/4 is not much of an advantage as EWM is such a poor application.

PLM

“Manage embedded software versions with the SAP Product Lifecycle Management application in SAP S/4HANA. Maintain compatibility information and check product compatibility for easy deployment of embedded software across projects and products.

Take an integrated approach to accelerated product design with a tool that integrates SAP software for product lifecycle management with multiple CAD authoring tools. Provide a 360-degree product view, with total transparency across engineering disciplines, through a harmonized and intuitive user experience. Synchronize product metadata, structures, access, and file handling to bridge design data with business data for a comprehensive product description.” – SAP

This is recycled marketing puff from SAP’s many other attempts to penetrate the PLM market. I have read very close to the same thing at least eight times over the past nine years from SAP as SAP continually tried to gain a foothold in the PLM market.

Data Governance

“Help ensure a single source of truth with enterprise-wide governance using the SAP Master Data Governance application embedded within SAP S/4HANA. A new approach unifies industry materials and retail articles while using simplified master data to provide an easily managed corporate taxonomy. You can deploy user-friendly master-data-quality worklists for consistent, accurate data across the enterprise.”

There is no single source of truth. A single source of truth is fool’s gold. There are systems of record, but no single system of record. This is merely meaningless marketing speak.

For instance, S/4 cannot be the source of truth for all the other systems that a company uses unless S/4 is the only software that a company uses. I have read through several far more detailed documents on 1610, and I can’t find any evidence of this capability. I am quite suspicious of this proposal because SAP claimed something very similar for MDM and then MDG, and those applications never had many implementations.

There is no single source of truth. A single source of truth is fool’s gold. There are systems of record, but no single system of record. This is merely meaningless marketing speak. “Single source of truth” is the kind of information that once it is stated, the listener knows less than before they listened to it.

For instance, S/4 cannot be the source of truth for all the other systems that a company uses unless S/4 is the only software that a company uses. I have read through several far more detailed documents on 1610, and I can’t find any evidence of this capability. I am quite suspicious of this proposal because SAP claimed something very similar for MDM and then MDG, and those applications never had many implementations.

Is S/4HANA Fully Fiori-zed?

“ASUG members can now think of S/4HANA as being fully “Fiori-ized” to prove a consistent user experience across the business suite.” – Sven Denecken

No that is untrue, and Sven Denecken knew this the moment he said it. Fiori only **covers** parts of S/4HANA, not all of S/4HANA. Actually, this is relatively easily verified.

This is covered in the article.

What is Actually in the Fiori Box? – Brightwork | SAP HANA

“We have covered the entire 1610 suite with Fiori now,” says Sven Denecken, SAP SVP for product management. While previously if users were savvy enough they could find some Web GUI in S/4HANA 1511, that’s nearly impossible in 1610.” – Sven Denecken

This is an easily verifiable inaccuracy. It is quite easy to find areas of S/4HANA with no Fiori coverage.

Are S/4HANA Live Customers?

“Of the more than 4,100 SAP customers who to date have licensed S/4HANA, 8.5 percent or 350 customers are live on the suite. These live customers are either running S/4HANA on-premise or via managed cloud. A handful of organizations have signed up for or are using S/4HANA public cloud edition, but SAP plans a formal launch of the product early next year.” – Sven Denecken

One might ask why so few customers are live on S/4HANA and if SAP has exaggerated the S/4HANA customer number through discounts. We know that the vast majority of S/4HANA implementations are on premises. SAP only has small companies that do not require customization on their S/4HANA public cloud.

Full Scope S/4HANA?

“Speaking on the vendor’s third-quarter fiscal 2016 conference call, Rob Enslin, SAP’s customer chief, said that over 50 percent of the S/4HANA live customers are implementing “full ERP scope”—which essentially means S/4HANA 1511 or 1610.” – Sven Denecken

Rob Enslin is a highly unreliable source of information about SAP. In nearly every case we have analyzed of Rob Enslin’s previous comments they have turned out to be false.

Also, this could be in any stage of implementation, but if they are implementing full scope S/4HANA this could also mean a very selective portion of the overall ECC functionality (which is far higher than the S/4 functionality.

Is S/4HANA at Feature Function Parity?

“1511 was already at feature function parity with ECC,” says Denecken. “We think this release, 1610, will definitely prove that and get that question out of the way.” Can customers do all the same things with S/4HANA that they did with ECC? “No, that was never our intention,” he adds. “We’ve carefully built a new product.” – Sven Denecken

If release 1511 was already at feature function parity with ECC, then was can’t customers do all the same things with S/4HANA that they do with ECC? Isn’t that what the word parity means?

Not only was 1511 not at parity with ECC, 1610 was not either. In fact, the overall suite is not yet released, as is covered in the article How the Overall SAP S/4 HANA Suite is Not Yet Released – Brightwork | SAP

And the second part of this quotation is confusing. It seems to contradict the first part of the quotation. If feature function parity was reached then why can’t you do the same things with S/4HANA? SAP’s response may be that there is simplification involved, but it may also simply be an excuse to contradict the first statement which is incorrect.

Broadening S/4HANA?

“S/4HANA 1610 also adds in all the features of S/4HANA Finance and all future innovation on finance will concentrate on the suite, not a stand-alone finance offering. “We believe the rationale for starting with finance stand-alone will go down,” Denecken says. “We’re not saying it will go away.” – Sven Denecken

Well, when S/4HANA was first released there was nothing but finance functionality. So now there is functionality outside of finance available. But it is not as mature or anywhere near as complete as the functionality in finance. So, of course, there may be more opportunity to implement more of the suite, but the suite is still highly incomplete.

SAP’s List of Fiori Coverage

  • * “Fiori 1.0 for Customer Activity & Retail
  • * SAP Fiori EHS Management
  • * SAP Fiori ERP
  • * SAP Fiori ERP HCM
  • * SAP Fiori Fashion Management
  • * SAP Fiori Hybris Marketing
  • * SAP Fiori Information Lifecycle Management
  • * SAP Fiori Master Data Governance
  • * SAP Fiori Portfolio and Project Management
  • * SAP Fiori Solutions for GRC
  • * SAP Fiori SRM
  • * SAP Fiori Request for Approvals
  • * SAP Fiori S/4HANA Finance 1605
  • * SAP Fiori for SAP Simple Finance add-on
  • * SAP Fiori front -end server
  • * SAP Fiori principle apps 1.0 for SAP ERP
  • * SAP Fiori principle apps 1.0 for SAP SRM

This list seems like stuffing the bill of materials to make Fiori look larger than it is.

Let us take one category, Fiori for Master Data Governance. If we look at the Fiori Apps Library and filter by Master Data Specialists and Master Data Stewarts – we find the following “apps.”

  1. Master Supplier Master Data: Manages suppliers master data for all consuming departments.
  2. Master Data Governance Consolidation: (Very little documentation exists on this)
  3. Master Data Governance Consolidation:
  4. Master Data Governance: Mass Processing:
  5. Customer:
  6. Customer Master FactSheets:
  7. Manage Customer Master Data:
  8. Site:
  9. Article:
  10. Manage Product Master
  11. Material
  12. Material Master
  13. Approve Master Data
  14. Approve Master Data – Extended
  15. MDG Address Library to Approve Customer/Suppliers:
  16. Master Data Quality Wordlist: This is a list view.

* Another example is Fiori for Hybris. By selecting for Marketing Manager and Marketing Expert, which would use Hybris, no apps were found.
* The same issue was found looking for Fiori for Fashion Management

Of these total 74 Fiori innovations, 17 Fiori innovations are identified for HANA Release 1511

10 additional Fiori Innovations are associated with 1605 and 1610.

SAP point to delivery Fiori apps numbering above 1000 as of August 2016. Yet, this is not an accurate number. SAP has numbered any “workflow” as an app. In a count that was made of non-HANA or AnyDB apps, for the 188 apps, these were categorized into 49 “actual apps.”

Conclusion

SAP’s literature in 1610 is filled with inaccuracies. Many of these claims on S/4 are not new for SAP. Most of these same arguments have been used in the past by SAP to describe either ECC or the other products mentioned above. However, they never came true previously.

SAP does the following:

  • Lying Through Omission: Leaves out important details (such as the fact that SAPGUI is critical to S/4HANA Fiori will only be incidental in use)
  • Non-Stop “SAP Universe” Selling: SAP talks up other SAP applications that don’t have anything to do with S/4 but can be connected to S/4. If the topic of the paper is S/4, then why does SAP spend so much coverage on items that are not part of S/4? Some of the audience that does not know may think that the products mentioned such as Concur, and SuccessFactors are part of S/4. It also does not follow that just because SAP has an offering that the offering is right for the SAP customer. Of each product mentioned, there are many competitors. If we look at SuccessFactors, sort of SAP’s showcase acquired product, it is known that there are some things it does well and others it doesn’t. SAP does not have the overall space of HR covered simply because they acquired SuccessFactors.
  • Understating Integration Efforts: SAP will have an advantage over other firms for integration because the data model from S/4 has changed. This will break the adapters that have been written for ECC. On the other hand, many of SAP’s new acquisitions face the same problem as third-party applications are not entirely integrated to S/4. Therefore, just because SAP mentions that “S/4 can be connected to XYZ SAP product” does not mean that the integration to the product is ready, or is not in some half-finished state. I hear of lots of integration problems on projects where the acquired products have been implemented. More than any previous SAP ERP version, (and since so many of the products mentioned in the SAP information are acquisitions), SAP customers must very thoroughly check how much integration they are obtaining from a purchase of these non-S/4 products. SAP and consulting partners will do everything in their power to provide the inaccuracy that every SAP application has a completed integration adapter to S/4.
  • Wishful Thinking: SAP proposes, and would like the user to assume, a lot of competence in application areas like production planning and scheduling and PLM. However, SAP has never had useful products in these areas. Production scheduling and PLM are a problem on every single SAP account currently. And it’s unlikely much will have changed merely because SAP is now introducing it under S/4. I could do the same thing. Say that I will win a Nobel Prize, compete in the Olympics or become a fashion model. But if I don’t have any history of being good in any of these things why anyone would believe me?
  • Hiding The Readiness of S/4: SAP does not let on for a second that the S/4 suite is not a finished product. SAP has continued to present this falsehood for several years. S/4 1610, as with the S/4 versions before it comes with a “simplification list.” This is the list of the changes made to S/4. The list is 408 pages long and takes a serious commitment of time to read. And in the next few months, there will be a new simplification list, of similar length that will also have to be digested. Since it is an expensive resource who could make sense of this document, this means researching the simplifications list is expensive (relatively speaking) to fund. Companies will fund a database administrator position or someone who they can trace some concrete output, but they dislike financing background research like this. I can see many companies skipping this detailed analysis in the beginning and finding out the details during the implementation.

SAP could publish a much easier to understand the document that shows the percentage of functionality in each area that is complete, the percentage that has changed, the portion that has been disappeared. However, they do not do that. There is no documentation for the marketing information I have quoted above and the detailed simplification list which is only readable by far smaller audience and which requires its detailed analysis.

Overall this SAP literature is unreliable and is not useful for much more than criticism or humor. It is amazing to me that the information in this SAP document will be read or used by anyone to decide on S/4.

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

Fact-Checking SAP Information on S/4HANA

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

SAP Video Accuracy Mesurement

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

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

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

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

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

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

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

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

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References

https://www.sap.com/documents/2016/10/9e49aa81-927c-0010-82c7-eda71af511fa.html#https://news.sap.com/sap-s4hana-enhancements-accelerate-digital-transformation/

https://www.asugnews.com/article/with-s-4hana-1610-sap-focuses-on-extending-on-premise-core-improving-ux

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