- SAP Press functions to overpublish books in the SAP space, even for products with little following.
- This is illustrated very well in the books for Fiori.
SAP Press has published 16 books at the time of this article’s publication on the topic of S/4HANA. However, there is an interesting backstory to these books and how SAP Press operates. In this article, we will cover both of these topics.
What is the Real Story About SAP Press?
SAP has a relationship with a publishing company called SAP Press. SAP does not outright own SAP Press, but they remotely control them. When SAP is trying to push a new application or concept, they rely upon SAP Press to publish a book in the area. Some of these books are written by outside consultants. For example, I wrote a book for SAP Press. Others are written by SAP employees.
Now the SAP consultant or SAP employee will ordinarily not care if anything in an SAP Press book is true. Many of these books are simply designed to get excitement around an area that SAP is introducing. A book like this one will be basically material that SAP would like customers to think is true. People reading an SAP Press book may think they are getting real information, but they aren’t. They are getting information that SAP approves of being published. Much of it is straight from SAP marketing.
Curiously, with SAP Press books buyers actually pay what is normally around $70 for the right to be propagandized.
- How to Read an SAP Press Book: I have read many SAP Press books in my life. I read them more as media criticism.
- How Much is True?: Some of the things in them are true, but any unflattering information or information that contradicts the official SAP position would never be published in a book by SAP Press. They are a combination of true information with marketing or promotional information.
Let us review the books written about Fiori. Four of the eight were published by SAP Press, and four were published by another publishing company.
How Many Fiori Books Exist Versus Fiori Implementation and Usage?
Fiori can be used with other applications aside from S/4HANA. However, most Fiori apps are for S/4HANA. Therefore, the uptake of Fiori is to a great degree dependent upon S/4HANA. In fact, except for a very few Fiori apps developed in the earliest stages of Fiori, almost none of the Fiori apps can be used with ECC unless ECC is running on HANA. And it is quite rare for ECC accounts to use Fiori.
Yet our Brightwork research into the number of go-lives of S/4HANA, A Study into S/4HANA Implementations, there are actually few S/4HANA go-lives. Given the number of S/4HANA go-lives and therefore Fiori usage, this means that there are actually many Fiori books given the number of go-lives. Furthermore, given the issues with Fiori as well as the long-term problems SAP has had introducing a new UI, we have predicted that Fiori will not survive. Our forecast is that it will be replaced with another “new” user interface.
Why so many books?
Well, S/4HANA is eventually planned to replaced ECC. The idea is that at some point this will be a major amount of consulting work and as well as internal work within ECC accounts. However, because S/4HANA is such an immature product, the books of S/4HANA, as well as associative items like Fiori, have greatly preceded the publication of the implementations on S/4HANA.
SAP, through SAP Press, has flooded the market with Fiori books. The existence of these books gives the impression that S/4HANA, as well as Fiori, is more ready than it is. SAP, as well as SAP consulting companies, greatly misrepresent the state of Fiori as well as S/4HANA to prospects. What many SAP customers don’t realize is that S/4HANA is currently one of the riskiest implementations that any company can perform.
SAP Press is part of SAP’s media system that makes customers think that things SAP introduces are more popular or more mature than they actually are.
The Problem: SAP’s Changed Strategy on Fiori
SAP has changed its strategy on Fiori, from one of charging for the SAP Fiori Apps to making Fiori as part of a packaged deal — that is packaged with HANA.
This is what is known as a Faustian bargain. It does not allow the SAP Fiori Apps to succeed on its own merits, but instead unnecessarily ties Fiori to HANA. However, there is no technical reason for this to be the case. SAP has put a significant amount of effort into Fiori, but Fiori has a very poor future if SAP continues to limit the use of Fiori apps to customers that are running HANA.
Overall, SAP is presenting customers with a risky product in Fiori. I cover the topic of enterprise software risk in great detail in the book Rethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects, and the fact that Fiori is offered by a large software vendor like SAP does not change these risks.
Fiori is much more involved than is commonly presented. SAP and their surrogates want to make the use of Fiori sound as painless as possible, but because Fiori is not technically baked and because it is used to drive customers to HANA, it is often presented under pretenses.
Being Part of the Solution: Our Predictions on Fiori
The information coming out about Fiori from SAP and from the SAP consulting companies has been largely false. Fundamental inaccuracies have been provided to customers, such as overestimating Fiori’s uptake, as well as how much functionality Fiori covers in S/4HANA.
After 4.5+ years after Fiori has been introduced, and there are extremely few customers that use Fiori. Brightwork Research & Analysis called out the problems with Fiori repeatedly while SAP consulting firms have been providing bad information. The amazing topic is that companies continue to rely on SAP consulting firms for what is true about SAP. We beat every single entity that covered Fiori. All SAP customers had to do to not wasted money on Fiori was contact us. The Fiori story never made any sense to us.
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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The Risk Estimation Book
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.
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