Experience matters was the motto of FKOM 2019. While that's true, there are other much more important things. [shutterstock: 633513077, Anton Gvozdikov]
SAP’s FKOM in Barcelona this year seemed to excite its employees and partners, but its customers not so much - and there is a good reason for that.
It’s true, everything can be justified somehow, but the exceptionality of language has its foundation in regular and coinciding actions, explained the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (from 1889 to 1951). And yes, not only remarkable products count, but also the experience, explained SAP board member Adaire Fox-Martin during the Field Kick-off Meeting (FKOM) in Barcelona this January.
At the beginning of every new year, SAP’s corporate employees and partners come together and listen to SAP tell them the revenue goals for the year ahead. However, year after year, SAP seems to disconnect further from the experience of its customers.
Ariba needs patience
One example of how it should not be is Ariba, SAP’s online e-commerce platform. Ariba is not new, hasn’t been for several years now. But again, a SAP-owned company failed to bill through Ariba. Because the turn of the year was nearing with unrelenting speed, the company called and pleaded with the customer to make the bill out to SAP directly. The sum total would be payed manually, without even mentioning Ariba.
A different story shows that Ariba does work – if you are patient and resolute. A SAP partner could finally transfer the sum total to its provider via Ariba after a full year of waiting.
There’s no shame in admitting that a complex ERP system still has bugs, flaws, and anomalies. But it’s a shame to boast about it and ignore the problems. The carefree world of SAP FKOM has nothing to do with the experience of the SAP community anymore. Adaire Fox-Martin should think about that sometime.
SAP customers sit at home and struggle to keep their ERP/CRM system alive while SAP is off talking about revenue goals and making false promises in Barcelona. It’s time for customers to put their foot down and demand what’s rightfully theirs – a bug-free, reliable experience.