Blog Editor-in-Chief

Industry Solution Healthcare

A few years ago, ex-SAP CEO Bill McDermott promised a stronger commitment to healthcare. But now current CEO Christian Klein has decided to discontinue IS-H, SAP’s healthcare management solution.

Health and Wellbeing

The Hasso Plattner Institute, an IT institute owned by one of the original SAP founders, has a Digital Health section that brings together scientists from the fields of health and life sciences, data science, and digital engineering with the common goal of improving the health and well-being of our society. With Professor Dr. Lothar H. Wieler, HPI’s Digital Health division gains valuable scientific expertise in the field of medicine and public health, as well as practical experience with digital transformation.

Professor Wieler is a world-renowned scientist in the fields of microbiology and infectious diseases, as well as an expert in public health. As President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), he has consistently championed data-driven science and accelerated the implementation of the RKI’s digital transformation.

Digital Health vs. IS-H

It now seems contradictory that SAP is discontinuing the industry solution for healthcare instead of rolling it out globally, while the Hasso Plattner Institute is expanding massively precisely in that area. Who is in the right?

IS-H, Industry Solution Healthcare, should continue to be maintained and possibly further developed by an SAP partner. Currently, IS-H plays only a minor role in the SAP orchestra because it is mainly used in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. In the alpine region, however, IS-H is so successful that more than 90 percent of hospital beds are managed with the SAP software.

Global versus Oracle/Cerner

Christian Klein’s decision to now discontinue IS-H weighs heavily on hospitals; many of the medical institutions in the German-speaking region are now reevaluating the S/4 release change. Without IS-H, hospitals have no need for Hana and S/4. Instead of using its experience with IS-H to start a global rollout and counter Oracle/Cerner, SAP is washing its hands of this market altogether. A year ago, Oracle acquired the hospital service provider Cerner for about 28 billion EUR because Oracle CEO Larry Ellison believes in success within the healthcare industry.

Too complex for SAP

The Hasso Plattner Institute is internationally renowned for outstanding digital research, especially in areas where modern computer science is used to improve the understanding of complex relationships in big data. One of these areas is Digital Health, which was established back in 2017 with the creation of the Digital Health Center (DHC) to combine research and teaching and enable scientists from the fields of medicine and IT to conduct interdisciplinary research. The pandemic made the fundamental importance of this work even more visible to everyone.

For this reason, the Hasso Plattner Foundation decided to further strengthen and expand this area. The Hasso Plattner Institute has now been able to recruit an outstanding spokesperson for the new cluster in Professor Dr. Lothar H. Wieler, one of the most recognized scientists in the field of public health.

Learning from Plattner

Even though Professor Hasso Plattner is now entering his final year on the SAP Supervisory Board, SAP CEO Christian Klein could still learn a good deal from him. It may well be that the current contribution margins of CRM and IS-H do not meet the SAP board’s expectations, but it seems quite near-sighted to dispose of both solutions only because of that. Giving in to Salesforce with CRM and to Oracle/Cerner with IS-H could prove to be a fatal mistake. SAP could stand to show a bit more courage. In contrast, Plattner still demonstrates he has his finger on the pulse of the tech industry.

Any questions, comments, or concerns? Please feel free to let us know in a comment down below.

About the author

Peter M. Färbinger, Editor-in-Chief

Peter M. Färbinger is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher at E-3 Magazine, AG, Munich, Germany. He can be reached at

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