SAP customer satisfaction [shutterstock: 1222442806, metamorworks]
[shutterstock: 1222442806, metamorworks]
Blog Editor-in-Chief

SAP Customers’ (Dis-)Satisfaction

SAP’s management has been the source of distrust and dissatisfaction. The employees are now expected to answer for the low levels of customer satisfaction. SAP is becoming a grassroots democracy.

It wasn’tjust the former deadline 2025 that had many customers dissatisfied with SAP’smanagement. In the past few years, executives also seemed to completely ignoreon prem. Cloud was supposedly the way to go, but many customers had reasonabledoubts.

SAPpromises it has seen reason. During FKOM (Field Kick-off Meeting) 2020, itproudly proclaimed: We are ERP! There were no over-the-top praises of Hana. Theonce ambitious cloud program Embrace has effectively been reduced to an exclusive contract with Microsoft. AWS as Embrace partner ispractically invisible. Google is still trying – most recently with a booth atthe 2020 DSAG Technology Days – but customer interest is low.

SAP’smanagement failed to recognize the sign of the times. As a result, customersatisfaction is at an all time low, indicated by e.g. its negative Net Promoter Score (meaning that for the first time, customerswould not recommend SAP’s software).

Who has toanswer for these catastrophic numbers? Not SAP’s management. SAP employees arenow eligible for bonuses and premiums based on how high or low customersatisfaction is. This grassroots activism is a good PR strategy: By prioritizingcustomers this way, SAP is listening to its customers again, right?

One step forward, three steps back

Anotherambivalent example of how SAP is listening to customers again: the new deadline2027/2030. To extend maintenance for Business Suite 7 with AnyDB as well as ASAbap, AS Java and the NetWeaver stack was the right decision – but who is goingto pay for that? Technical, organizational, personnel and licensing challengeslie ahead.

One swallowdoesn’t make a summer, and extended maintenance doesn’t solve all of customers’problems. Customer dissatisfaction roots in so many things: inconsistenton-prem and cloud APIs, confusing business partner definitions, half-bakedroadmaps as well as lack of integration.

Despite extended maintenance for Business Suite 7 until 2030, customer dissatisfaction still runs rampant because there are no clear, solid statements regarding AnyDB or NetWeaver, not to mention the compatibility packs.

Another construction site: SAP Lumira

The ERP companyseems a little misguided in general. Of course it’s the right decision to offercustomers a strategy for visualizing analyses and big data – Lumira enjoys high customer acceptance, after all. However, it’s the wrongdecision to cancel Lumira without a clear migration path to SAP AnalyticsCloud.

Askingcustomers for their opinion is the right thing to do but asking customers whatto do is another thing entirely. SAP needs to realize how big a role it playsin customers’ digital transformation. SAP is the ERP company, and customerslook to it for answers and solutions, not just products.

E-3 Magazine March 2020 (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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