Expanding Section: The Research Method

The Brightwork Research & Analysis method was to reach out to as many of our contacts as possible to find case studies on SAP.

These are the critical features of this research.

The Necessity of Using Anonymous Sources

It is preferable to be able to use actual customer names where S/4HANA implementations occurred. The problem is that this is not realistic given the constraints of the market. SAP customers do not like publishing the details of their implementation outside of glossy generalizations of project success. The only time the problems on projects are published is when an implementation went so poorly, that the customer decides to sue the implementing company or SAP. Outside of those occurrences, all SAP projects are presented as successes outwardly. As a long time consultant and author, I have published many articles that described the reality of SAP functionality as implemented in companies. However, I would never have been able to write what I covered if I had not anonymized the sources. Therefore, the only way to obtain any information on S/4HANA is to rely on anonymous sources for those sources that are original research.

Special Circumstances of Anonymous Sources

Using anonymous sources has been one of the only ways that Brightwork has been able to publish information that is true but not flattering. However, we ran into something unusual when performing this research. And that is sources who have spent so much money on S/4HANA that they did not want any of the details to be used even when provided by anonymity.

The Available Data Points on S/4HANA Implementations

The study does not have the luxury of obtaining all of the S/4HANA implementation data points. The only entity that has this information is SAP, and SAP only releases information that makes S/4HANA look successful. Companies are under no obligation to participate in the study, and in fact companies and individuals within these companies were under a disincentive to participate. The reason why become clear as we began to review the results of the case studies.