SAP customers know the challenges of a release change and the discussion about the added value. Ultimately, it’s about better orchestration, synchronization, and efficiency of the ERP. For SAP’s existing customers, it is an arduous journey – but SAP earns very well from it.
The many release upgrades are based on a simple trick: The standard performance of the software is continuously reduced, so that customers have to purchase new add-on products with every upgrade to achieve the same functionality they enjoyed before the upgrade. Even during the reign of former SAP CEO Professor Henning Kagermann, customers had to dig deep into their wallets for every release upgrade. This relaunch especially hurts, and yet the S/4 Hana installation figures are steadily on the rise.
Many SAP customers currently have no choice but to surrender to SAP’s will. They have to move in the direction of S/4. The old ERP/ECC 6.0 system will fall out of maintenance soon, and the new system is necessary to make cloud computing work better. Against their better judgment, users are embarking on the S/4 path – much like the Italian mathematician, physicist, and philosopher Galileo Galilei once recanted when he saw the torture instruments of the Inquisition. He renounced the heliocentric world view, also known as the Copernican world view, and accepted the doctrine prescribed by the Catholic Church, the geocentric world view.
Many SAP customers are leaving the ECC path. Options like RISE, cloud, and FUE cost a lot of money and time. SAP has secured the path until 2040. What comes after that, however, lies in the dark.
However set in stone the path seems, there are alternatives, and courageous customers have already begun looking for them. Even Galileo Galilei continued to believe in the heliocentric view of the world and later quietly said “And yet it moves” – referring to the earth orbiting around the sun. SAP is probably part of an expiring IT age, and sometime in the future, the SAP community will also realize that the geocentric world view, with SAP at the center of everything, is not necessarily correct.