How to Understand Brightwork S/4HANA and HANA Consulting

Executive Summary

  • SAP has, for years, been making false and exaggerated claims around HANA and S/4HANA. Brightwork Research & Analysis is one of the only entities to contradict SAP.
  • We combine global data points from implementations, as well as technical research into HANA and S/4HANA.

Introduction to HANA and S/4HANA

HANA and S/4HANA have been major marketing tentpoles for SAP since transitioning from Netweaver as the primary marketing focus. SAP uses HANA and S/4HANA to make huge claims around performance, TCO, usability (with Fiori for S/4HANA), etc..

In this article, we will describe our research in this area, the general quality level of information on S/4HANA and HANA, and our S/4HANA and HANA consulting services.

In SAP’s haste to create an “event” around HANA and S/4HANA, SAP has taken a lot of liberties with the truth and has made a lot of exaggerations.

SAP’s HANA & S/4HANA Exaggerations

SAP has made so many exaggerated statements about S/4HANA and HANA that when we have confronted SAP proponents with them, they are quick to change the subject. Over several years this became so pronounced that we documented this strategy in the article How to Deflect You Were Wrong About HANA.

  • Of all publishing entities, Brightwork Research & Analysis has published the most in-depth analysis of both S/4HANA and HANA.
  • After doing all of this research, we opened a S/4HANA and HANA consulting service to answer questions for SAP customers and vendors that compete with SAP. We do not implement S/4HANA or HANA. We provide research and explanation as to these two items.

Our Track Record on HANA and S/4HANA

We were the only entity to predict SAP HANA correctly as we compared to other entities in the article Who Was Right and Who Was Wrong on HANA, and we have led the industry in accurate HANA coverage since 2016.

We are focused on measuring accuracy, as you can see in the article A Study of SAP Accuracy. And in the article A Study into John Appleby’s HANA Accuracy. And what we find is that the typical accuracy of SAP and Oracle, Gartner and Forrester, and all the SAP and Oracle consulting firms, as well as the IT media, is extremely low.

The Information Available for S/4HANA and HANA

The information available around S/4HANA and HANA is of inferior quality.

In most cases, the information that flows to customers and vendors about HANA or S/4HANA originates from either high-level executives (often from presentations at conferences like SAPPHIRE, or through paid placements in media entities like ComputerWeekly or Forbes), or through sales reps. In both cases, these individuals either don’t know the technical details of HANA and S/4HANA or don’t care what is true or not accurate. They are there to pitch a storyline about HANA and S/4HANA that will maximize the likelihood of people buying HANA and S/4HANA and implementation services.

There is no alternative for them.

Examples of Poor Information on S/4HANA and HANA

  • SAP has stated that HANA has a lower TCO than Oracle and DB2. (This is impossible because HANA is both a higher priced product than Oracle and it far less mature than Oracle.) SAP paid Forrester to declare this was true, as we cover in the article Forrester’s TCO Study on SAP HANA. Forrester was also paid by SAP to state that a typical S/4HANA implementation is $877,000, as we cover in the article Forrester’s Fake S/4HANA TCO Study.
  • SAP has stated that S/4HANA is utterly different from ECC. (Independent review of the code of S/4HANA shows that it is roughly 93% the same as ECC). However, SAP and consulting partners have both overstated the degree to which S/4HANA is new and understated realities of S/4HANA implementations as we cover in the article SAP’s Advice on S/4HANA Code Remediation.
  • SAP has stated that HANA has zero latency and that the entire database is column-oriented (Later in the SAP technical documentation, it is declared that HANA uses both rows and column-oriented tables.) We cover the inaccuracy of this claim in the article How to Understand the In-Memory Myth.

Why Should The First Option for Information on S/4HANA and HANA be the Last Resort?

The last place to go for the real story on S/4HANA or HANA is SAP sales reps or SAP consulting partners. This is because virtually all the money in the market is for promoting S/4HANA and HANA rather than evaluating and research SAP’s claims.

Getting The Real Story

All of this leaves companies that want to find out the real story about these products out in the cold.

We have no relationship with SAP and have the most significant research database on these topics. We are paid by customers that want to find out the truth about HANA and S/4HANA.

SAP’s Inaccurate Messaging on HANA as Communicated in SAP Videos

Fact-Checking SAP’s HANA Information

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

SAP Video Accuracy Measurement

SAP's Statement
Brightwork Fact Check
Link to Analysis Article
HANA is a Platform
HANA is not a platform, it is a database.How to Deflect You Were Wrong About HANA
HANA runs more "in-memory" than other databases.
HANA uses a lot of memory, but the entire database is not loaded into memory.How to Understand the In-Memory Myth
S/4HANA Simplifies the Data Model
HANA does not simplify the data model from ECC. There are significant questions as to the benefit of the S/4HANA data model over ECC.Does HANA Have a Simplified Data Model?
Databases that are not HANA are legacy.
There is zero basis for SAP to call all databases that are not HANA legacy.SAP Calling All Non-HANA DBs Legacy.
Aggregates should be removed and replaced with real time recalculation.
Aggregates are very valuable, and all RDBMS have them (including HANA) and they should not be removed or minimized in importance.Is Hasso Plattner Correct on Database Aggregates?
Reducing the number of tables reduces database complexity.
Reducing the number of tables does not necessarily decrease the complexity of a database. The fewer tables in HANA are more complicated than the larger number of tables pre-HANA.Why Pressure SAP to Port S/4HANA to AnyDB?
HANA is 100% columnar tables.
HANA does not run entirely with columnar tables. HANA has many row-oriented tables, as much as 1/3 of the database.Why Pressure SAP to Port S/4HANA to AnyDB?
S/4HANA eliminates reconciliation.
S/4HANA does not eliminate reconciliation or reduce the time to perform reconciliation to any significant degree.Does HANA Have a Simplified Data Model and Faster Reconciliation?
HANA outperforms all other databases.
Our research shows that not only can competing databases do more than HANA, but they are also a better fit for ERP systems.How to Understand the Mismatch Between HANA and S/4HANA and ECC.

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of HANA

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

The major problem with companies that bought HANA is that they invested without seeking any entity independent of 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.

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