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Hybrid justification requirement

My expectation is that SAP will demonstrate a transparent, medium-term and consistent corporate policy. What do I get? Unctuous words, devout listening, and a cozying up to our DSAG association.
December 14, 2022
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

SAP should include a justification obligation for us existing customers in the ERP contracts. Of course, I don't want to interfere with SAP CEO Christian Klein's agenda. He should and must work alone with his colleagues on the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board to find a way forward for the ERP world market leader. Shouting from the sidelines is counterproductive and therefore forbidden - which applies to everyone in the SAP community, including analysts and journalists.

However, it seems unforgivable to me when Christian Klein talks about Rise and offers "cloud only" as a solution. A little later it's "cloud first" and if neither private nor public cloud is convincing, the marketing gimmick "hybrid cloud" is brought out. Is there a rationale for this? My impression is that Christian Klein has lost his compass and only repeats what he thinks his counterpart wants to hear.

From this point of view, my former DSAG board colleague Andreas Oczko is already right that we, the audience at an annual congress, don't always have to put up with everything from SAP. There has to be a compromise between cuddling and escalation, and that starts with SAP's obligation to give reasons. Andreas Oczko's wake-up call in Leipzig at the DSAG annual congress was important and right. In the heat of the moment, the dear colleague overshot the mark, of course. But the loud shot was audible and enlightening for all.

SAP refuses to make clear statements, especially on the subject of cloud computing. Away from the public eye, the ERP group is happy with crown jewels like Hybris, which is currently called BRIM and stands for Billing and Revenue Innovation Management. This on-prem product creates a lot of revenue. It just does not fit into the current cloud doctrine and is thus treated very stepmotherly.

On the other hand, the cloud-only product IBP, Integrated Business Planning, is mentioned, protected and self-praised everywhere as the successor to on-prem APO. Unfortunately, IBP is a real challenge, so that in the area of supply chain planning some SAP partners offer less sophisticated alternatives. Here, too, an obligation on the part of SAP to provide justification for all existing customers would be helpful: Why is there no IBP Light, which - with all its disadvantages - can also be customized on-prem?

As an existing SAP customer, you live in a disruptive and atomized world. In this situation, a hybrid justification requirement would be a real help from SAP. The DSAG annual congress with its theme "In search of ..." clearly showed that the community is in search of orientation, knowledge and thus justifications as to why things are the way they are - or in other words: Walldorf, please report!

The silence of the SAP Executive Board on the really important issues is unbearable. A S/4 is in main maintenance at least until 2040, is not an answer. What would be important to know: What could be an ERP roadmap in 2050? How is Hana evolving? What does SAP mean by hybrid cloud? And why does SAP fear the topic of on-prem like the devil fears holy water?

The SAP community and my DSAG colleagues are still listening attentively and sympathetically to the members of the Executive Board, Christian Klein and Thomas Saueressig, at an event like the annual congress - perhaps too sympathetically, so that when Klein and Saueressig speak, the Goethe quote involuntarily comes to mind again: "That's the way to talk and teach undisturbed, who wants to deal with fools? People usually believe, when they only hear words, that there must be something to think about! (Faust, Part One.)

There must be something to think about - which brings me back to my demand for a duty to give reasons. On my next trip to Walldorf, I will try to put my good and long-time friend on the Supervisory Board and the SAP Executive Board in charge - for the benefit of the entire community and our DSAG.


Our mysterious, anonymous columnist.

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