How to Understand Why There are So Many SAP Fiori Books?

Executive Summary

  • 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.

Introduction

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.

Conclusion

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 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

The Risk Estimation Book

Rethinking 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 Why There are So Many SAP S/4HANA Books?

Executive Summary

  • SAP Press is a publisher that poses as if it is independent of SAP when it is just another controlled and censored marketing outlet for SAP.
  • SAP Press has published a large number of S/4HANA books even though the application is immature.
  • The SAP Press books are written by consultants that give a deliberately misleading impression of how ready S/4HANA is to implement.

Introduction

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. A book by SAP Press is designed to make SAP look good, rather than be an accurate reflection of the SAP product.

Many of these books are simply designed to build up excitement around an area that SAP is introducing. This is why there are so many SAP books for products that never went anywhere. A book like this one will be material that SAP would like customers to think is true.

People reading an SAP Press book may think they are getting real information. 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 usually is 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.

Book Review of S/4HANA Books

Let us review the books written about S/4HANA. Thirteen of the sixteen were published by SAP Press, and three were published by another publishing company.

How Many S/4HANA Books Versus S/4HANA Go Lives?

Theis is quite interesting because as per 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, this means that there are actually many S/4HANA books given the number of go-lives.

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 have greatly preceded the publication of the books on S/4HANA. This is also a bit of a problem because S/4HANA will change as it will have frequent changes that are rolled into it (again due to its immaturity).

Advice on Enjoying the S/4HANA Quiz

To see the full screen just select the lower right-hand corner and expand. Trust us, expanding makes the experience a whole lot more fun.

 

Conclusion

SAP, through SAP Press, has flooded the market with S/4HANA books. The existence of these books gives the impression that S/4HANA is more ready than it is. SAP, as well as SAP consulting companies, greatly misrepresent the state of 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.

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.

The Necessity of Fact Checking

We ask a question that anyone working in enterprise software should ask.

Should decisions be made based on sales information from 100% financially biased parties like consulting firms, IT analysts, and vendors to companies that do not specialize in fact-checking?

If the answer is “No,” then perhaps there should be a change to the present approach to IT decision making.

In a market where inaccurate information is commonplace, our conclusion from our research is that software project problems and failures correlate to a lack of fact checking of the claims made by vendors and consulting firms. If you are worried that you don’t have the real story from your current sources, we offer the solution.

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 SAP S/4HANA Messaging Content

References

I cover Gartner in depth in the following book.

The Gartner Book

 

GARTNER-1Gartner and the Magic Quadrant: A Guide for Buyers, Vendors, and Investors

How to Figure Out How to Effectively User Gartner

Whether you are a software buyer, a large or small vendor, or are wondering how Gartner can help you make better investment decisions, this book will give you new insights to Gartner’s research. By studying the methodology behind such popular analytical tools like the Magic Quadrant, you will understand how a vendor earned its rating and whether or not the ratings are justified!

Understanding Gartner, It’s History, and It’s Incentives

Starting with the history of Gartner and how it compares to other IT analyst firms, this book gives a realistic assessment of the value of Gartner research to a company and provides ideas about other resources that could complement Gartner’s analysis. You will also have the tools to level the playing field between large, medium and small vendors when using Gartner’s analysis in selecting software.

Chapters

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: An Overview of Gartner
  • Chapter 3: How Gartner Makes Money
  • Chapter 4: Comparing Gartner to Consumer Reports, the RAND Corporation, and Academic Research
  • Chapter 5: The Magic Quadrant
  • Chapter 6: Other Analytical Products Offered by Gartner
  • Chapter 7: Gartner’s Future and Cloud Computing
  • Chapter 8: Adjusting the Magic Quadrant
  • Chapter 9: Is Gartner Worth the Investment?
  • Chapter 10: Conclusion
  • Appendix a: How to Use Independent Consultants for Software Selection
  • Appendix b: What Does the History of Media Tell Us About This Topic
  • Appendix c: Disclosure Statements and Code of Ethics

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