dsag asug s4 hana [shutterstock: 555123637, turbodesign]
[shutterstock: 555123637, turbodesign]
Press Release SOH and S/4

DSAG And ASUG: S/4 Hana Is Gaining Momentum

ASUG and German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG) have, for the first time, conducted joint research among their members about their experiences with SAP in the context of S/4 Hana.

According to the survey, the majority of DSAG members (70 percent) and ASUG members (55 percent) are in the process of implementing S/4 Hana or planning to do so in the future, while 12 percent (DSAG) and 16 percent (ASUG) are already live.

Among ASUG members, the reasons why they have not yet taken on an S/4 Hana project are costs, the lack of a business case and ongoing SAP ECC projects. Among DSAG members, the lack of the need for an ERP change, uncertainty about the functionalities and, in third place, a missing business case are the reasons why they are not adopting S/4 Hana.


The most commonly used solution among members of both SAP user groups is still SAP ECC for 84 percent of DSAG respondents and 78 percent of ASUG respondents. But S/4 use is on the rise everywhere. It has a firm place in customers’ plans, with 69 percent of DSAG members and 57 percent of ASUG members saying they are considering using it in the future.

The results on SAP Fiori are also interesting. Around half of ASUG (57 percent) and DSAG (47 percent) members already use the app solution. Another 44 percent of DSAG members are considering it for future use, compared with 22 percent of ASUG members.

Interest in SAP Analytics Cloud

By contrast, interest in SAP Analytics Cloud is largely uniform between the two user groups, with 36 percent of DSAG members and 34 percent of ASUG members considering it for the future. On the other hand, 13 percent of DSAG members are already using SAP Integrated Business Planning (ASUG: 20 percent) and 32 percent of DSAG members are almost twice as interested in it as ASUG members (17 percent).


Acquired products show differences in demand

The largest differences arose when comparing use of the acquired products Concur, SuccessFactors and Ariba. While 58 percent of ASUG members already rely on Concur, this figure is only 17 percent among DSAG members. For SuccessFactors, the figures for current use are 46 percent of ASUG and 23 percent of DSAG respondents. And Ariba is already used by 32 percent of ASUG members but only 11 percent of DSAG members.


This result is not surprising, because these solutions were all developed in the United States before SAP acquired them. But what is interesting in this context is that only 12 percent of ASUG members who do not yet use SuccessFactors are considering the solution in the future, less than half as many of the DSAG members who responded (30 percent).

When asked how customers view SAP after an implementation project, a uniform picture emerges. The perception of SAP after implementing S/4 improved a lot for 13 percent of ASUG members and for 14 percent of DSAG members. Minor improvements were noted here by 33 percent of ASUG members after their implementations, but only 26 percent of DSAG members. Overall, 11 percent of DSAG members (ASUG: 17 percent) rate their impressions of the ERP system as very positive and 40 percent of DSAG members (ASUG: 41 percent) have an impression of the system that is somewhat positive.

Better customer experience

When asked how SAP can improve the customer experience, ASUG members rank improved support consistency and availability first, followed by more in-depth training and materials, and a more user-friendly experience. DSAG members, on the other hand, are primarily looking for a better product experience, better integration, and a better information and communication strategy from SAP.

When asked what SAP customers can do to improve their own experience, the respondents from both user groups agreed that reducing customizations in your SAP systems leads to more business agility, easier management, and lower costs. This, in turn, means that ASUG and DSAG members are benefitting from a move to standard in their SAP systems.

Improved integration capability

The ability of S/4 Hana to integrate with third-party applications was rated “extremely well” by only 3 percent of DSAG members and 7 percent of ASUG members. There were differences between the two user groups, however, when it comes to integrations with other SAP solutions. While 27 percent of ASUG members said that integrations between S/4 Hana and other SAP systems rated “extremely well,” only 6 percent of DSAG members had the same experience.


A full 92 percent of DSAG members who have already decided in favor of adopting S/4 are planning their projects within the next five years. For ASUG members, 98 percent say they will adopt S/4 Hana within the next five years. This confirms DSAG’s statement that S/4 Hana seems to have arrived at SAP customer companies.

Highest-priority business areas for S/4 Hana

Among the business areas that customers are prioritizing to include in their  S/4 Hana implementations, the financial area is in first place for 76 percent of DSAG participants and 80 percent of ASUG participants, followed by sales and distribution for 54 percent of DSAG participants and 52 percent of ASUG participants. The biggest discrepancy is in supply chain management. This business area is a priority for 50 percent of ASUG members, but only for 39 percent of DSAG members.

More than half (59 percent) of ASUG members believe that the introduction of S/4 will not affect existing business processes, but only 13 percent of DSAG members say the same. On the other hand, 74 percent of DSAG members and 13 percent of ASUG members believe that the introduction will have an impact on business processes; standardization and change management were mentioned in this context.


Benefits expected through performance and set-up

In terms of concrete benefits, those who are already using S/4 Hana in both user groups are experiencing better performance than with their previous systems, as well as a better set-up for faster innovations. The optimization of existing business processes is the top benefit experienced by 63 percent of DSAG members who are live on S/4, while it ranks as the fourth most-reported benefit for 38 percent of ASUG members. The picture is similar when it comes to the removal of unnecessary code. Only 19 percent of ASUG members noted this as a benefit of adopting S/4, while 41 percent of DSAG members identified it as a benefit — the second most-reported benefit for DSAG members after optimizing their business processes.


But where light falls through an S/4 Hana project, there is also a shadow, as indicated by the challenges SAP customers said they faced during their implementations. Nearly half (48 percent) of both the ASUG and DSAG members who have already implemented S/4 found the process more complex than expected, which was the top challenge they reported. DSAG and ASUG members experienced nearly the same challenges with one exception: a lack of functionality. In this case, 37 percent of DSAG members identified this as an issue versus 18 percent of ASUG members.

Fewer problems than expected

There were some interesting differences between the expected problems and what customers ultimately encountered when moving to S/4 Hana. Of the DSAG members who participated in the survey, 50 percent had expected to encounter problems with cleaning the user-defined code during their implementation, but only 26 percent actually experienced this. Similarly, 61 percent of ASUG members expected problems with custom code, while only 24 percent actually experienced them. In addition, 48 percent of DSAG members (ASUG: 36 percent) feared that they would exceed their budget, but this only occurred in 19 percent of cases for DSAG members and for 23 percent of ASUG members.  

Overall, it is clear that S/4 Hana projects are increasingly being planned and implemented both at DSAG and ASUG. In contrast, some interesting differences can be observed between DSAG and ASUG members in the demand for and use of the cloud-based products that SAP acquired. On the other hand, the survey participants agree that the topic of integration with third-party applications from SAP still requires further work.


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