The Price Of Progress
Blog Editor-in-Chief

The Price Of Progress

Every new technology is a step back. It’s never as perfectly implemented and evaluated as the old one. The new technology naturally will be better than the old one - it just takes time. Time that SAP is not willing to grant its customers.

Someday, SAP Hana could not only be the fastest, but also the most robust and reliable ERP/CRM database worldwide. Good things take time – if Hana will already be a perfect database platform in 2025 remains to be seen. Although SAP is working day and night to fix bugs and anomalies, technological progress just needs its time.

Making phone calls via ISDN worked perfectly well. From the user perspective, there was no reason to change the system from circuit-switched to packet-switched transmission. The ISDN wire could be plugged into almost any ISDN phone and was ready to make a call. VoIP (Voice over IP) was nothing but a nuisance at first. Except for the big ether wire, nothing seemed to work without external power supply. So, the first challenge was to find a socket! Then came the configuration, because a simple extension number was not enough. Is the IP address automatically assigned via DHCP or do users have to manually type in the number?

Five years ago, the installation of a VoIP phone was a significant challenge. Today, it’s simple and fast: voice packages and power comes from one and the same ether wire. The configuration is usually done automatically through the digital phone system. VoIP has prevailed because it is better than ISDN in many aspects: it’s more flexible and cost-efficient. Many customers want the same from Hana, S/4, BW/4, C/4, and all of the upcoming products.

The price of progress

Some time ago, IBM was made fun of for only making half-done operating systems. OS/2 was better than Microsoft Windows in many ways – and still failed. Now, Hana is full of bugs and anomalies, and the ERP/ECC 6.0 successor has a quarter of the performance of SAP Business Suite 7 on Oracle databases, at best. But this will pass. After 2025, S/4 Hana will be as successful as R/3 with IBM DB2, Oracle and MS SQL server.

SAP just needs to give its customers time to find their way through bugs and challenges. The price of progress should not be paid by SAP customers alone just because SAP has randomly decided on the deadline 2025. There is no whitepaper, no roadmap, no technical evaluation, no nothing that proves that 2025 is the only viable deadline. It’s just a product of SAP’s randomness, and SAP customers should be very critical of it. Especially user groups, mentors and SAP partners should back SAP customers up and call for time and measurement.

At the S/4 Hana presentation in New York (2015), there was a somewhat ironic situation. Besides the SAP CEO, there was one of the most famous and biggest SAP customers on stage. The CFO of Bayer reported that after ten years, they had now successfully implemented R/3 globally at their company. He was excited about SAP’s products – he had to be, otherwise he wouldn’t have talked at the S/4 presentation.

After R/3 comes ERP/ECC 6.0, SAP Business Suite 7, Business Warehouse 7.4, and NetWeaver and SolMan. So, going by what Bayer’s CEO said, at the very least, Bayer will need another ten years to be able to talk about the successful implementation of S/4.

The progress of ERP is unstoppable. Nothing SAP says or predicts has to be wrong. But the deadline 2025 is slowly poisoning the SAP community.

E-3 Magazine February 2019 (German)

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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