During the financial analyst conference call concerning SAP’s Q2 and half-year 2019 financial results, CEO Bill McDermott sounded like he was in open water and desperately trying to keep afloat.
Only the highest praise, most powerful words and maximum optimism and enthusiasm seemed suitable for SAP’s tremendous success story of recent months – at least, that’s how McDermott saw it.
In CEO Bill McDermott’s opinion, it couldn’t be better. At first glance, the company’s Q2 figures seem fine – but looking closer, it becomes clear that SAP is struggling.
Hana and S/4 transformation still hasn’t caught on as much as SAP hoped it would. There are early adopters, but the majority of SAP customers are still more quiet observers than active contributors.
There are two main reasons for that. From a technological perspective, Hana is far from finished and still has some growing up to do. From a business perspective, S/4 doesn’t generate as much value as SAP has promised.
Silver lining for S/4 and Hana?
Bill McDermott knows this, as he actively tried to spin the story in his favor during the conference call. He praised SAP’s collaboration with Intel (who created Persistent Memory for Hana), and he mentioned Infosys as innovative partner (who is supposed to add value to S/4 landscapes).
Revolutionary or not, it still remains to be seen if Persistent Memory is able to convince customers of Hana benefits.
S/4 was only ever able to convince CFOs. Simple Finance is able to operate in real time – for finance departments, the solution is brilliant! However, the rest of S/4 is anything but. In CRM, SCM or application development, S/4 doesn’t add value to operations.
Maybe the necessary ERP revolution is just too challenging, even for mighty giant SAP. It isn’t for a lack of trying, though.
At the beginning of 2019, Bill McDermott announced partnerships with hyperscalers. If SAP’s CEO is to believe, the company is planning to work together with Infosys as well.
To make S/4 and Hana the landslide victory that Bill McDermott always reiterates as his goal, SAP has to accomplish two things: a technological Hana revolution with Intel and finding a way to add business value to S/4 with Infosys. If the company succeeds, there might be a silver lining on the horizon for Hana and S/4 transformation after all.