How Consulting Companies Work Against non-SAP Vendors

What This Article Covers

  • The Relationship Between the Major Consulting Companies and SAP
  • What This Loyalty from the Big Consulting Companies Means
  • How Consulting Companies Have SAP’s Back


SAP’s relationship with its consulting partners is the core of SAP’s success going back decades. In this article, we will cover why this partnership is so effective in blocking out other software vendors.

The Relationship Between the Major Consulting Companies and SAP

SAP is the preferred vendor for all the major consulting companies and many smaller ones. Deloitte, Accenture, IBM, Infosys, CapGemini, etc.. The list of consulting companies with significant SAP practices goes on and on. SAP consulting companies have several 100,000 consultants. Nearly all of them serving as blind supporters of SAP.  Whatever SAP has, “that is what the company should use.”

The reason for this is simple. SAP is one of the few software vendors to outsource virtually all of its consulting. Secondly, SAP, through its complexity and long implementation durations, provides by far the highest number of billable hours for any software vendor. Therefore, for consulting companies, the decision is obvious. Consulting companies, which have the option, will prefer to recommend SAP.

How Consulting Companies Have SAP’s Back

This preference extends to many areas:

  • Message Repeaters: Consulting companies serve as repeaters for SAP marketing’s messaging. This creates an echo chamber, increasing the credibility of SAP’s claims.
  • Rigged Requirements Gathering: Consulting companies adjust or “rig” requirements gathering projects in favor of SAP. This means that the requirements in the RFQ are written in a way that preferences SAP without the customer realizing this is being done.
  • Managing Oversold Engagements: SAP’s actual capabilities are always far lower than the consulting company lets on. When the project begins and this becomes apparent, the consulting company will normally either point to SAP containing best practices, or to performing customization to make up the gap, which adds more implementation monies for the consulting company.
  • SAP Promotion: Consulting companies continually talk up SAP’s software when on a project, both in the pre-implementation phase and during the implementation. Even after implementation, failures of SAP implementations are most often blamed upon factors outside of SAP’s software.

What This Loyalty from the Big Consulting Companies Means

Consulting companies compete with one another to ingratiate themselves to SAP. In the event of a lawsuit against a consulting company, the consulting company will be careful never to blame SAP. Therefore,

Therefore, while these consulting companies pose as independent from SAP, in reality, they are simply extensions of SAP. They offer advice to clients, but that advice always has a pro-SAP bias.


SAP provides a story that can be undermined if one has the correct facts. And these facts change greatly depending upon the application in question.

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