How SAP Undermines Innovation

What This Article Covers

  • SAP’s Focus on Marketing Rather than Innovation.
  • Acquisitions
  • Create Fake Innovation, Such as S/4HANA and HANA.
  • Pull Funding Away from Innovative Applications from Other Vendors to Their Own Lower Quality Innovation.
  • The Horror that is PP/DS
  • Use Indirect Access to Prevent Companies from Buying Applications they Prefer over SAP’s Applications.


Many companies exaggerate the amount of innovation they are involved in. This extends from software vendors to the pharmaceutical companies. SAP is probably one of the greatest exaggerators of the innovation that they are involved in. And in fact, in this article, I will present evidence that SAP reduces innovation in the enterprise software market.

Focus on Marketing Rather than Innovation

SAP has one of the most deception marketing departments that one could imagine. I have spent a lot of time studying the nuclear arms race, or the Cold War, and from that, I learned of the amazing propensity of Pentagon and US Defense establishment to tell lies. After also studying SAP for many years, I often draw comparisons between SAP and the Pentagon. It is amazing to me how much SAP lies and misleads customers and how they perpetually get away with it. I have documentation many areas of deception on the part of SAP at Brightwork Research & Analysis as well as at LinkedIn. Much like a major pharmaceutical company, they pose as an innovator while being chiefly a marketing company.


SAP has been acquiring far more vendors that it did in the past. Almost all of these acquisitions have been cloud vendors. This is because SAP is interested in tricking Wall Street into thinking that they are a cloud vendor, as Wall Street pays a higher multiple for vendors that are based in the cloud. The very act of engaging in a high number of acquisitions is indicative that the acquiring software vendors is not innovative. IBM, another poser innovator, is also a big fan of acquisitions. As with IBM, after a few years, the SAP acquisition is no longer prominent. Therefore not only can SAP not innovate internally, but they smother the innovation in their acquisitions.

Create Fake Innovation, Such as S/4HANA and HANA

SAP is deciding for its customers should be buying, and they have pitched HANA as hard as a product can be pitched. However, SAP is wrong about performance being an issue on SAP projects. This is covered in the article What is the Actual Performance of SAP HANA. SAP has deliberately misled customers on how much HANA is actaully innovative. Oracle 12c has everything that HANA has and is a more effective database. This is covered in the article What is Faster HANA or Oracle 12c?

I have worked in SAP since 1997 and there is not a single time I have seen anything in SAP that is innovative. In fact, the opposite is the case.

Pull Funding Away from Innovative Applications from Other Vendors to Their Own Lower Quality Innovation

SAP has repeatedly pulled intellectual property out of other software vendors. This is covered in the article Why the SAP xApps Program Needs to Terminated. But secondly, SAP wins on software selections that it should lose. It is able to do this because companies like Deloitte and IBM do not care about their clients and recommend SAP software not matter its capabilities or what the competition has to offer. The topic of the poor state of SAP applications outside of a single application, which is SAP’s ECC system is covered in this article. How SAP is Now Strip Mining its Customers.

What this does is redirect funding away from software vendors that are actually producing innovation to SAP, which spends the money on marketing and on executive salaries. I can provide one excellent example.

The Horror of That is PP/DS

In the production planning and scheduling space, there is really no vendor more innovative than PlanetTogether. PlanetTogether is rated at this Brightwork Research & Analysis link. PlanetTogether is one of the most intuitive and powerful applications in supply chain planning and they have received a perfect score in innovation from us. SAP also makes an application for production planning and scheduling. It is an application that I have personally implemented. It is called PP/DS and I consider it to be one of the worst applications I have ever tested. PP/DS is rated at this Brightwork Research & Analysis link. PP/DS does not change much from year to year, and it was always a bad application. Its optimizer does not work and cannot be implemented. PP/DS is a completely derivative application that sets back production planning and scheduling everywhere that it is implemented.

Use Indirect Access to Prevent Companies from Buying Applications they Prefer over SAP’s Applications

SAP has begun to apply indirect access claims to its customers. Indirect access means that any system that is connected to SAP is a potential liability for the customer. When customers show a preference for using far better applications that are actually innovative, SAP does not respond by making their products innovative, but by either lying to their customers or by applying indirect access claims against them. The very existence of indirect access as enforced by SAP, which differs from the definition of indirect access of every other software vendor, as well as the constant lies on the part of SAP about the abilities of their applications tells you all you need to know about how shockingly derivative SAP actually is.

Who is the Most Accurate Source on SAP?

Want to find out? See... A Study into The Accuracy of SAP

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