Expanding Section: Curiosities Regarding the Case Studies

The Number of Case Studies

SAP has really very few S/4HANA case studies as a percentage of all of the S/4HANA licenses that are in the hands of customers. ECC is one of the most widely implemented ERP systems, and therefore S/4HANA has a tremendous starting point in terms of the installed base that can be pitched S/4HANA. There are roughly several hundred S/4HANA implementations globally at the time of this study. Therefore it should not be surprising that the number of case studies for which there is much documentation is very The highest number of documented case studies, technically, is from SAP’s website.

However, most contain so little information and are so biased, they cannot contribute to knowledge as far as S/4HANA implementations.

Inconsistencies in the S/4HANA Case Studies

Many if not most of the public stories regarding S/4HANA implementations have holes in them. Either the companies that implemented S/4HANA are insubstantial, or the scope of workflows the company possessed do not cover the functionality that is proposed to be implemented, or other statements contain inaccuracies or impossibilities that call into question the validity of the other parts of the case studies. Considering the size of the holes, it is perplexing that there is not more open questioning of them in the IT media. Yet is it not at all surprising. This is for the simple reason that the IT media system is strongly tilted in SAP’s favor. How and why is explained in the article IT Media and the Fake News Debate. SAP employs a media model where because of the control over SAP consulting companies and the funding of IT media, it is able to control the storylines that it wants to as is covered in the article The SAP IT Media Model. This allows it to exert influence over the IT media landscape, that due to its extensive partner network is unparalleled in the enterprise software space.

  • In addition to receiving positive coverage on newly introduced applications and narratives, SAP is also able to minimize the negative media that would ordinarily be caused by applications that have either a poor uptake or do not work as advertised.
  • This is because no media entity or consulting company has any financial incentive to either investigate or disclose this information.
  • It is jarring how great the gap is between the positive coverage of S/4HANA and both the public and private case studies. The money is almost entirely on the side of companies that promote S/4HANA. This can come in the form of receiving a commission for selling S/4HANA, or from selling an S/4HANA implementation project (the motivation of the SAP consulting partners), or from receiving funding to agree with or repeat information that is first released by SAP marketing. There is very little money on the other side of SAP. That is there is virtually no way to monetize any entity publishing accurate information about S/4HANA. However a functioning market requires information, and this means entities that will publish accurate, rather than purely promotional information.

Inconsistencies Between Sources on the Case Studies

The details of the published S/4HANA implementations show no consistency with the private and anonymous S/4HANA implementations. Secondly, the private S/4HANA implementations are much closer to what one would expect from implementing a new and immature application (along with a new database). One of the notable differences between the public and the private case studies is not only that all of the public implementations went live (while most of the private implementations did not), but the duration was vastly different. The durations posted for the public case studies are so much faster than has been the history with the far more mature ECC application that the stretch credulity. Other case studies, such as with Binderholz Nordic that have an unrealistic but longer timeline, make no sense when the individual tasks are evaluated. The shorter timeline case studies, if published, would make even less sense. Durations are the most elementary of information related to IT implementation. Areas such as what functionality was implemented, or the use of the functionality if far more difficult to verify without being on the actual account. However, the public case studies were not even able to provide convincingly false information on something as verifiable as project