Short-term thinking, witty tweets and pseudo-visionary Powerpoint presentations are all the rage in politics and the economy right now. It seems as though hardly anybody still bothers with serious, reasonable, factual decisions or strategies. SAP is no exception.
Twitter, Youtube and Facebook can be important communication tools, but are reduced to a fun pastime without the necessary groundwork. Buzzwords like ‘Intelligent Enterprise’ are counterproductive without the necessary groundwork. A few colorful Powerpoint slides and one-year roadmaps aren’t proof of a comprehensive ERP strategy without the necessary groundwork. SAP’s extension of the end-of-maintenance deadline for Business Suite 7 (and AnyDB?) is important but doesn’t replace the necessary groundwork.
Even if SAP customers know that they can still operate Suite 7 with AnyDB, Abap and Java until 2030 if push comes to shove, they still have to lay the necessary (planning) groundwork by presenting management with an annual IT budget to guarantee functional ERP systems. While SAP tried so very hard to establish the concept of an ‘Intelligent Enterprise’, it let the innovation concept Leonardo die, later raising it from the dead under the pseudonym ‘Intelligent Technologies’. The ERP company talks about new sales opportunities, better and more transparent customer relationships, optimal service and support, but its own CRM suite, C/4 Hana, seems to have been abandoned.
If you laid the necessary groundwork for implementing SAP Data Hub, you’re out of luck: The concept consists mostly of buzzwords and white papers. Obviously, SAP never really bothered to test Data Hub – even the most basic calculations would have shown that the concept as it stands could never work. A dynamic information system needs more computing power than a simple copy command, after all.
Back to the basics! Laying the groundwork before tweeting, rehearsing the next Sapphire keynote, or unleashing another buzzword on SAP customers could go a long way. It’s not like SAP isn’t capable of laying the necessary groundwork; it has numerous qualified employees that know how to simulate and test dynamic systems – without SAP customers becoming guinea pigs for new ideas, concepts or products.