How Accurate Was SAP on PLM?

Executive Summary

  • For years SAP has said that PLM was a highly effective product live cycle application.
  • In this article, we review the accuracy of this claim. 

What SAP Said About SAP PLM

This is not an analysis of any particular statement or prediction, but of the overall predictions of SAP PLM. SAP PLM has gone through multiple changes and acquisitions since its introduction. However, it is extremely rare to see SAP PLM on SAP projects. It is well known among experienced sales and pre-sales resources in SAP not to push PLM. We analyzed SAP’s PLM solution back in 2006 and questioned what was actually there. At that time it was vaporware. It leveraged SAP’s Material Master but was more of a “template” on ECC than a real application.

Did we write an article questioning this publicly in 2009 titled Is SAP PLM for Real?

This article was written before SAP acquired some vendors that actually did not offer PLM, but offered applications associated with PLM. SAP seemed to think that everything associated with PLM is also PLM, so they should buy that. CAD/CAM, for instance, is not PLM, it is its own software category that connects to PLM.

What Actually Happened with SAP PLM?

We have assigned a low fraction to account for how much of SAP’s proposals about how their PLM product would be used came true.

Since this time SAP PLM as gone through multiple reboots, relaunches, and acquisitions of things like a CAD/CAM vendor, and a 3D visualization vendor that will “perfectly integrate” into SAP PLM. But it has never become a solution that you see implemented on SAP projects. We compared trying to manage the BOM in SAP ECC versus using a specific PLM solution in the book The Bill of Materials in Excel, Planning, ERP and PLM/BMMS Software.

Conclusion and Calculation

SAP receives a 10% accuracy rating on SAP PLM. This is because while virtually nothing that SAP said about PLM came true and the initial product was vaporware, they have made some investments in the area.

Link to the Parent Article

This is one of many research articles into a specific topic, that supports a larger research calculation. For the overview of the research calculation for all of the SAP topics that were part of the study, see the following primary research A Study into SAP’s Accuracy.

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