S/4 and Hana have been around for some time. SAP wants customers to create value by combining them; customers want SAP to give them more information instead of arbitrary deadlines.
Creating value is one of the most important aspects of enterprise software, and S/4 looks promising in that regard. S/4 is supposed to be a new, lean, better ECC 6.0. SAP partners have no problem adapting their on-prem add-ons to S/4.
SAP’s new software generation certainly will be a value-adding component in any system environment. However, customers are still hesitant to follow through with S/4 transformations, and SAP has nobody to blame but itself.
SAP wants customers to move to S/4, but instead of educating and informing them, it imposes an arbitrary deadline. If holistic S/4 transformation until 2025 is supposed to work, SAP will have to openly communicate with customers and partners. Marketing ploys and silencing every form of criticism are not viable ways forward.
S/4 transformation won’t happen without communication
Customers cannot be expected to blindly trust SAP if the company has done nothing to earn it in recent years. SAP has to explain why S/4 transformation is crucial, why it chose to go down that route, why it chose to impose a deadline on it. The company has to gain back customers’ trust and ease their justified fears and concerns, for example concerning intellectual property and open source.
It wasn’t always like this, and it didn’t have to be like this, either. It could have been so easy, but greed and impatience ruined it for everyone. How can customers follow a roadmap clearly not designed with their best interests at heart?
Simple Finance and Simple Logistics are good reasons to migrate to S/4. However, as long as SAP will continue down the path of marketing catchphrases, empty promises and forced deadlines, customers won’t ever trust it again.