The idea was not the worst. After many years of experimentation and numerous acquisitions, a consolidation was bound to happen. The result was to be a CRM suite dwarfing all other offers. A good and necessary idea, but unfortunately a couple of years too late.
SAP’s CEO Bill McDermott has made a fundamental mistake over the last couple of years. As a non-technician, he hoped to create a successful future for SAP with technological solutions like cloud computing, Hana and now C/4 Hana.
Cobbler, stick to your last! As a renowned and successful salesman, Bill McDermott should have talked to his customers to understand and satisfy their needs and wishes.
The SAP community still values functionality and business processes more than it does technology. Cloud computing is a technical functionality like virtualization, client/server computing and mainframes before it.
SAP did not try to get involved with these technical developments but rather utilized the know-how of its partners. Without Hewlett-Packard no R/3, without VMware no successful virtualization of ERP/ECC 6.0. Many more examples are just waiting to be listed.
C/4 is the next of SAP’s predicaments.
The planned CRM suite has a real core! Users wish for it to be filled with consistent, consolidated and verified end-to-end business processes. SAP has done it before with R/3, ERP/ECC 6.0 and SAP Business Suite 7 – now, customers want to see the same in the CRM area!
However, SAP has disregarded the topic CRM for too long – not unlike the topic internet around the year 2000. Now, it is trying to build a CRM suite with its existing CRM software of SAP Business Suite 7 and numerous acquisitions, including Hybris.
It could actually work, but it will eat up a lot of time and resources. The finished product would then have to be tested and customized for SAP customers. C/4 would have to be integrated into existing operation systems. End-to-end processes would have to be synchronized. Customers can expect a “finished” C/4 Hana in 2025 at the earliest.
Salesforce’s CRM suite works perfectly well with SAP Business Suite. Why not use that? C/4 Hana will be dead on arrival. Other companies are already too far ahead for SAP to catch up and gain a unique selling point with CRM. C/4 will be a nicely dressed corpse.