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A few years ago, ex-SAP CEO Bill McDermott promised greater involvement in healthcare, and there is a Digital Health department at the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI). What does Christian Klein make of IS-H?
Peter M. Färbinger, E3 Magazine
February 2, 2023
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This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Health and well-being

The Hasso Plattner Institute's Digital Health area brings together scientists from the fields of health and life sciences, data science and digital engineering with the common goal of improving the health and well-being of our society. With Professor Dr. Lothar H. Wieler, HPI's Digital Health division gains valuable scientific expertise in the fields of medicine and public health as well as practical experience with digital transformation.

Professor Wieler is a world-renowned scientist in the fields of microbiology and infectious medicine as well as an expert in public health. As President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), he has consistently championed data-driven science and accelerated the implementation of the RKI's digital transformation.

Digital Health vs. IS-H

It now seems contradictory that SAP is discontinuing the industry solution for healthcare instead of rolling it out globally, while the Hasso Plattner Institute is massively expanding precisely this area. Who is right?

IS-H will continue to be maintained and possibly further developed by an SAP partner. Currently, IS-H plays only a minor role in the SAP orchestra because it is mainly used in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In the Alpine Republic, however, IS-H is so successful that over 90 percent of hospital beds are managed with the SAP software.

Global vs. Oracle/Cerner

Christian Klein's decision to now discontinue IS-H weighs doubly heavily: Many hospitals in the DACH region are again evaluating the S/4 release change, because without IS-H, the hospitals do not need Hana and S/4. Instead of using its IS-H know-how to start a global rollout and thus counter Oracle/Cerner, SAP is saying goodbye to this market. A year ago, Oracle acquired the hospital service provider Cerner for about 28 billion euros because Oracle CEO Larry Ellison obviously believes in success in the healthcare industry.

Too complex for SAP

The Hasso Plattner Institute is internationally renowned for outstanding digital research, especially in areas where modern informatics is used to improve the understanding of complex relationships in big data. One of these areas is Digital Health, which was established back in 2017 with the creation of the Digital Health Center (DHC) to combine research and teaching and enable scientists from the fields of medicine and IT to conduct interdisciplinary research. The pandemic made the fundamental importance of this work even more visible to everyone.

For this reason, the Hasso Plattner Foundation has decided to further strengthen and expand this area. The Hasso Plattner Institute has now been able to recruit an outstanding spokesperson for the new cluster in Professor Dr. Lothar H. Wieler, one of the most recognized scientists in the field of public health.

Learning from Plattner

Even though Professor Hasso Plattner is now entering his final year on the SAP Supervisory Board, SAP CEO Christian Klein could still learn a lot from him. It may well be that the current contribution margin of CRM and IS-H does not meet the expectations of the SAP Executive Board. corresponds, but it does not seem very farsighted to dispose of both solutions because of this. Giving in to Salesforce with CRM and to Oracle/Cerner with IS-H could prove to be a fatal mistake. SAP should recover and show more courage. Plattner still shows at his institute what the essential future trends are.

Peter M. Färbinger, E3 Magazine

Peter M. Färbinger, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief E3 Magazine DE, US and ES (, AG, Freilassing (DE), E-Mail: and Tel. +49(0)8654/77130-21

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