Despite most of the stereotypes about Germans – how punctual and strict and diligent they are – the Deutsche Bahn, a German railway company, is often the opposite of that. So often, in fact, that most Germans have already come to associate the company with delays, wrong schedules, and unpleasantness.
Here’s an amusing example which happened on a train from Munich (Germany) to Salzburg (Austria).
The conductor made an announcement, “Due to technical problems, this train is currently 25 minutes behind schedule. We expect further delays due to construction work.” There was a short break, then the conductor made another announcement, “Due to construction work, we adopted a different timetable. Now, we are only five minutes behind schedule.”
If anyone’s wondering: yes, by the time the train arrived at its destination, the schedule was tweaked in such a way that it was “punctual” after all!
Dynamic Hana timetables
Deutsche Bahn almost deserves an innovation award for its dynamic adaptation of timetables during a train ride to accommodate delays flexibly.
SAP could adopt this business process as well for its own roadmaps and prevent all of the stress and dread customers are feeling. The deadline 2025 would then only be a mere recommendation instead of a looming threat hanging over their heads.
SAP adapts the schedule as needed and the deadline 2025 will just be pushed back to 2030, right?
Well, it’s not that easy
SAP can’t just copy what Deutsche Bahn did. The Hana roadmap is a little more complex than the timetable of one train.
SAP has already set a fixed deadline for the end of support for databases from IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft. It’s like Brexit: the leaving date for AnyDB has been set in stone for a long time.
It seems unreasonable to expect SAP CEO Bill McDermott to ask his three partners for an extension. He will not want to lose face. It might be unreasonable, but it sure would be amusing if McDermott and Hasso Plattner would decide to knock on Larry Ellison’s door and beg for a delay of the AnyDBexit.
No, Bill McDermott would never do that. Lucky for him, he has someone who he can delegate unpleasant tasks to: SAP Chief Operating Officer Christian Klein.
This young executive is already tasked with the highly complex integration of all cloud acquisitions in ERP. So, why not let him try to solve AnyDBexit? In the spirit of Deutsche Bahn’s announcement, it would go something like this, “It’s currently the year 2030, and I am excited to tell you that thanks to SAP’s dynamic roadmap, we were able to stay on schedule with our deadline 2025.”
Risky predictions about Hana
Of course, it’s very risky to try to predict anything about SAP’s database Hana. In the course of the layoff, SAP let numerous Hana and Abap specialists as well as programmers go.
Bill McDermott obviously didn’t think about the future when he made that decision. Who will now take care of Hana’s anomalies and provide emergency patches for customers?
Well, if all else fails, Bill McDermott can still try and get advice from Deutsche Bahn.