How to Best Understand an Bobblehead SAP Consulting Partner

What This Article Covers

  • How the SAP Consulting Model Works
  • SAP Consulting Companies as Consulting Arms of SAP
  • Rigged Software Selections
  • Excusing SAP Failures


What is a bobblehead SAP consulting partner? In this article, we will describe how this works, and how SAP consulting partners end up becoming bobbleheads.

How the SAP Consulting Model Works

SAP has a unique business model. Since the beginnings of enterprise software, most software vendors implemented their software with own consulting. SAP does it the opposite. Since they began to become a popular software vendor in the 1980s, SAP outsourced their consulting to other consulting firms.

SAP did not do this (which is giving away revenue) because they thought that these consulting companies could do a better job in implementation, or because they thought that the consulting companies could implement faster (they can’t) or because they thought it was better for their customers (it isn’t). It is because SAP knew that if they gave consulting companies their consulting revenue and “socked it to their pockets,” then SAP would recommend their software.It is because SAP knew that if they gave consulting companies their consulting revenue and “socked it to their pockets,” then SAP would recommend their often as humanly possibly. Some features of this relationship are as possible:

Some features of this relationship are as possible:

  1. Profit Based Recommendations: SAP’s consulting partners recommend SAP regardless of the fit between the SAP application is evaluated and the capabilities of the competitive applications. Consulting companies never point out that their recommendation of SAP applications is entirely based on their quotas. Consulting companies can only meet their quotas by recommending SAP (as they have an SAP practice) or Oracle (as they have an Oracle practice). As soon as they recommend some other software, they would not be able to staff the project.
  2. Rigged Software Selections: As explained in the book Rethinking Enterprise Software Risk, SAP consulting partners go through the motions of looking into other software vendors (which they also bill the client for), but always tilt the playing field in favor of SAP or Oracle. Therefore SAP consulting companies lie to their clients when they propose that the software selection will be open and fair.
  3. Serving as Message Repeaters: SAP’s consulting partners repeat whatever SAP marketing states without questioning whether or not it is true. Whether it be SAP’s Run Simple Program, or SAP’s Netweaver program – which never actually existed or SAP HANA, consulting companies have demonstrated a history of repeating things that SAP marketing say, that end up being wrong.
  4. Excusing Overspending and SAP Implementation Failures: SAP’s consulting partners excuse problems with SAP software and help SAP to place any blame for failed implementations onto the buyer or customer. SAP has a specific method for blaming the client for project failures as is covered in The Art of Blaming the Client for Implementation Failures. These articles excusing failure are published in media entities that take money from SAP.

For example, SAP constantly lies to customers about what its software can do, how quickly it implements, how mature its software is, how many places it is running. You can see my article on SAP’s brazen exaggerations of customers numbers for S/4HANA on that particular topic.

And their consulting partners, which are essentially consulting arms of SAP, both do not contradict SAP, but most frequently add on their lies on top of SAP’s lies. Many members of IT organizations owe their allegiance to SAP over the companies they work for. Their current employer only being their temporary employer. This leads to the question of whether IT decision makers should sign a fiduciary agreement that they will put their employer’s interests above the interests of their favored vendor.


A bobblehead SAP consulting partner covers most of the SAP consulting companies. They refused to challenge SAP, and actually, compete on how much they can ingratiate themselves to SAP. What this means is that SAP consulting partners can not be trusted to provide objective analysis of SAP’s software or anything that SAP proposes. Through the partnership agreement with SAP, they are required to serve as repeaters of messaging. All of this is done while each of these consulting companies pretends to be advisors to their clients.

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