SAP might have to slow down on the road to Hana: Many customers are not ready yet. [shutterstock: 578129887, TutuIonatan]
SAP has a long-known character flaw: impatience. The very moment a new idea is thought of, existing SAP customers are expected to pay for licenses. Corrections and troubleshooting only happen once the idea has already been put into practice.
Existing SAP customers are slowly realizing the full extent of the S/4 disaster, but ERP relics have not yet been cleaned up, consolidated or disposed of – not by a long shot. As far as the eye can see, there are Proofs of Concept for Hana.
The in-memory computing data base is fun and challenging, but beware of using it in day-to-day operations. There are still anomalies and bugs in the programming code of Hana; after Hana, Hana 2 is an immense improvement. The retreading is not finished, however. Whoever can wait for Hana 3 in 2020 should do so.
SAP seems to not care about stability in operation, but only about urging their customers to pay for additional licenses. The world leader in ERP from Walldorf, Germany needs revenue growth to be able to manage its cloud investments and its IoT and AI innovations. What was the final remark at SAP’s FKOM 2018 in Barcelona again? “S/4Hana growth is strong, but start to position yourselves and sell Leonardo now!“
For several years now, existing SAP customers have been enjoying a stable Netweaver stack. Version 7.2 of SolMan has only hit puberty and has yet to mature. SuccessFactors is no real option as HR solution for the majority of customers. The SAP community still has to work for an on-premise HCM. There’s a lot to do.
The constant urging and pushing towards Hana, S/4, Blockchain, IoT, Machine Learning and Leonardo from SAP is therefore counterproductive. SAP’s impatience is creating only half-done solutions and bad software quality.
Right direction, wrong approach
Well, at least the direction is right: in-memory, mobile, and cloud computing will tackle a lot of challenges. Still, what customers need first and foremost is a stable base, a perspective and a roadmap – without SAP’s usual pleasure taken in speeding.
Undoubtedly, the offers – the menu, if you will – from SAP headquarters in Walldorf will be consumed – but everything in due time. During the first course, nobody thinks about dessert. Maybe one thinks about the main course, but not further ahead. Well, except maybe if customers know the dessert is exceptionally delicious – unfortuntely, this is not the case with SAP’s offers.
SAP’s impatience is somewhat of a tradition by now. Already in 2007, former SAP CEO Henning Kagermann complained about the slow development of existing customers. Roadmaps were already offered back then, and the users knew that all roads lead to Walldorf, but they were in no haste to get there. Existing SAP customers really do not like to be urged, pushed, or even forced.
Not only Henning Kagermann, but also Bill McDermott will have to wait until customers can stomach Hana, SolMan, BusinessObjects and many more of SAP’s add-ons. It is only then that users are ready for new challenges. Digital transformation will serve as motivation for the whole community.
After all, nothing is eaten as hot as it is cooked. Therefore, SAP customers will take their time letting their menu cool down before they take a bite. Bill McDermott has to control his impatience and stop taking so much pleasure in speeding on the road to Hana.