SAP is always the one who gets blamed if SAP implementations or customizing fail. Is it really responsible, though? “I’m not complicated, I’m a challenge”, the world’s best ERP software provider could answer.
However, there were a lot of SAP projects that had to be terminated prematurely in recent years. It might therefore be time to take a look at the challenge that is ERP.
SAP has become the world’s leading ERP provider through selling standard enterprise software. This success was never guaranteed.
Two factors were responsible for SAP’s success. First, the single point of truth, a central database. Second, the customizing of Abap tables (standard software). Both of these factors are a technological challenge, but SAP managed them gracefully in R/2, R/3, R/3 Enterprise, ERP/ECC 6.0, and Business Suite 7.
SAP has always concerned itself with enterprise and organizational topics. That’s why many customers often forget that SAP is a technology company. Primary concern was and is the enterprise, but SAP’s passion and expertise are technological in nature.
In brief, the IT guy learned a few business tricks and programmed them in Abap. For the half-done software to come to life, however, companies need skill, project know-how, change management, business process management, and so on.
The list of prerequisites for a successful SAP project is nearly endless. Again, it’s not complicated, it’s a challenge.
SAP will never able to tackle this challenge on its own. At its core, SAP is a tech company which will always be partly responsible – but never the only one to blame. That’s because SAP only creates half-done software.
Deceive and disguise
SAP drastically changed under Bill McDermott’s management. The programming club with some business opportunities has become a sales organization. SAP built up a reputation of an encompassing, omniscient company. SAP users can therefore be forgiven for thinking that SAP could never fail a customizing project.
Bill McDermott is sending the wrong message. Standard business software does not entail colorful apps, smartphones, and tablets, but a technological, organizational, and business challenge. ERP may not be complicated, but it sure is complex.