All Posts by Shaun Snapp

Does SAP’s HCP Relaunched SAP Cloud Platform Change Anything?

What This Article Covers

  • False Information on the SAP Cloud Platform Website
  • Leonardo for the SAP Cloud Platform?
  • 1300 Cloud Apps for the SAP Cloud Platform?
  • Are These Really Apps?
  • The Previous SAP HANA Cloud Platform

Introduction

It has been proposed that the SAP HANA Cloud Platform has been relaunched as the SAP Cloud Platform. Should customers be excited by this development? In this article, we will analyze this question.

False Information on the SAP Cloud Platform Website

The problem is that the SAP Cloud Platform has some false things published on its website.

For example:

Leonardo for the SAP Cloud Platform?

Leonardo is not anything, so it is not true that the SAP Cloud Platform will benefit from Leonardo. But the website states that Leonardo is a major benefit of moving to the cloud.

1300 Cloud Apps for the SAP Cloud Platform?

The 1300 cloud apps that are listed have very light usage.

I already analyzed this previously. Some vendors have complained to me about the effort to create an app for SAP, and how little they get back from creating an app for SAP. On SAP projects no one is talking about “heading out to the SAP App Center,” and after checking the web traffic, the SAP App Center gets roughly 22,000 page views per month, which is low. That means that the SAP app center gets less than 1/2 the page views of the Brightwork website.

Are These Really Apps?

Plus, once one needs to use more than the intro functionality, you go back through the normal process to acquire the application. Therefore, they aren’t “apps.” They are tiny portions of vendors functionality that can’t be used by itself outside of demos. SAP has repeatedly perverted the term “app”. Further evidence is found in SAP calling every workflow in Fiori an “app.” (not an app, a workflow)

The main page of the SAP Cloud Platform website has an alphabet soup of trendy items (IoT, Machine Learning, cloud integration services), all things that SAP has nothing to do with. So lies basically. Looking at this I have been considering adding things I have nothing to do with to my website — breakdancing, quantum physics, high altitude balloon racing. I never thought about straight up lying on my website, but SAP has opened my mind to the possibilities.

The Previous SAP HANA Cloud Platform

I previously critiqued the SAP HANA Cloud Platform as being for both HANA washing and cloud washing.

Reviewing the new incarnation now, it does not look like much different, except the name has been changed and a few things like “apps” have been integrated. Secondly, a consistent problem I have with using HCP or SAP Cloud is that SAP intends to dictate the IDE for development and the languages used. You don’t want this. Again, AWS offers open development languages. SAP’s development advice leads to high expense and low development productivity. This is another reason to steer clear from SAP’s Cloud as they are trying to take their flawed development to the cloud.

SAP has no idea how to develop for the cloud, neither Fiori, oData, etc.. has seen uptake or are respected technically. SAP does not have a single successful cloud product that was not acquired and therefore already cloud.

Conclusion

After analyzing SAP for many years, when SAP relaunches something, I can’t recall the relaunch working. If it bombs coming out of the gate, it bombs in the relaunch and in the re-relaunch.

The Importance of the Pivot for SAP

What This Article Covers

  • The Technique of the Pivot
  • Why SAP Needs to Continually Pivot to New Subjects

Introduction

We covered SAP’s incredibly low level of accuracy on their statement. In this article, we will discuss how important the “pivot” is regarding how SAP and surrogates are able to not have to admit that they lied about information they provided.

The Technique of the Pivot

If you are like SAP or Deloitte, you find yourself making a lot of false statements. And if you tell stories that end up not coming true, you eventually have to pivot to a different topic.

It goes like this.

  1. A is the important topic.
  2. Then what you are not “getting” is that the real topic is B, not A. (here the proponent combines the pivot with condescension, implying that you were not paying attention rather than them getting caught red-handed.)
  3. Moreover, now that you have figured out that B is false, the topic I want to talk about is C.

When I have been censored on SAP projects, invariably the criticism was not on the topic’s details, but that I was “focusing on the wrong thing.” That happens when I uncover a major error made some individual in management who wants that covered up. At that point they prefer you redirect your efforts to “important things.”

Let’s take a look at the Volkswagen case. Volkswagen was caught red-handed by the University of West Virginia pollution testing lab.

For a year Volkswagen stonewalled UWV and stated:

“You just don’t understand out the technology.”

Finally, when pushed against a wall they were forced to admit the entire diesel pollution trap they came up with was a sham. (although it always sounded fishy, diesel emission cleaning systems up to that point required liquid, but Volkswagen’s didn’t) It’s important to know that Volkswagen almost did not get caught. They stonewalled everyone incredibly effectively.

SAP proponents did this when they ran into a logical cul de sack on defending SAP’s claims on HANA performance claims. They pivoted to HANA “not being just a database” and moved to another series of false statements. This was prefaced with “the thing you don’t understand.” Again, the intelligence of this maneuver is that the technology changes the entire dynamic. It is the person doing the research into the topic that is at fault. Not the faulty information. Not people that released the faulty information. But here is something I learned from a lot of debates. Check into the exact next thing that the person proposes. Usually, that will end up being false too. People who make false statements don’t make just one. They make many. That is why in my view one false statement is so damning. It may seem like too small of a sample size, but it has proven to be a reliable guide.

Why SAP Needs to Continually Pivot to New Subjects

It is not only SAP consulting companies that have a very low accuracy regarding SAP, but the vast majority of SAP consultants individually. And if the pressure were to come from their employer, I would estimate the vast majority would say anything. People tend to bend to pressure very quickly protect their jobs. It must be understood that Deloitte, Accenture, Infosys partners are continually instructing their employees to lie. The phrasing is

“If the clients thinks A, then we won’t get the follow-on business, so you have to tell them B.”

So it’s not stated as a lie, its stated as something necessary to meet a goal.

The phrasing is the following:

“If the clients thinks A, then we won’t get the follow-on business, so you have to tell them B.”

So it’s not stated as a lie, its stated as something necessary to meet a goal. Therefore, here the person getting you lie, lies in how they frame you telling the lie, so that you see it as lying for the benefit of a “team.” That is you don’t want to let the team down and not allow it to accomplish its objectives.

People that make false statements must always be in motion, never providing any evidence for any of the statements but sort of like a shark, continually proposing new things to pivot or transition away from the old thing. I noticed this with such prevalence in my debates on HANA that I outlined the strategy in the following article called How to Deflect That You Were Wrong About HANA.

Conclusions

If you read any of Hasso’s books or read his interviews, he is continually jumping from one topic to the next. People that are programmers are aware of a series of sequential and unending goto statements. But after two days of running an infinite loop, eventually, people will figure out “hey, these goto statements are not doing anything.” Programmatic goto statements run to quickly to be useful in tricking people, but it appears that evidence-free assertions can last a very long time.

Is TOM Another Made Up Term by SAP?

What This Article Covers

  • What is TOM?
  • Translating the TOM Items

Introduction

Recently I was told that S/4HANA lowered the TOM of the ERP system. Therefore it made sense to research this term that I had never heard of before. In this article will cover the term TOM.

What is TOM?

The first question to ask is “what is TOM?” If one tries to find TOM as a general software term, it does not exist. It does not exist in Google or Wikipedia. The only place we could find TOM is on the SAP website at this link.

It initial description is quite strange.

“This guide provides a starting point for administrators in procedures for the optimal operation of SAP NetWeaver Mobile. It contains specific information for administration tasks and lists the tools that you use to carry them out. It also refers to documentation required for these tasks. Use this guide in combination with other documentation such as the Master Guide and the SAP Library.”

This is strange because SAP NetWeaver Mobile is not used as SAP Mobile is dead in the marketplace, as we cover in the article How Accurate Was SAP on the Sybase Acquisition?

But nevertheless, TOM is made up of the following items:

  • General Administration Tasks: (High Availability, Security, Monitoring, Software Lifecycle Management, Data Archiving, System Copy, Administration of Internet Communications Manager, Monitoring and Administration of the SAP Message Server)
  • Administration of Databases
  • Administration of SAP NetWeaver Systems: (Application Server ABAP)
  • Administration of Standalone Engines: (SAP Web Dispatcher, Standalone Enqueue Server)

This is normally all referred to as “infrastructure.” Therefore, the reason for a new term, in this case, TOM, is not apparent.

Translating the TOM Items

Let us review each of the listed components in detail, and what they primarily relate to the following items.

  1. High Availability: Database + Server
  2. Security: Database + Server
  3. Monitoring: Database + Server
  4. Software Lifecycle Management: (its own thing)
  5. Data Archiving: Database
  6. System Copy: Database
  7. Administration of Internet Communications Manager: Server
  8. Monitoring and Administration of the SAP Message Server: Server
  9. Administration of Databases: Database
  10. Administration of SAP NetWeaver Systems (Application Server ABAP): Server
  11. SAP Web Dispatcher: Server
  12. Standalone Enqueue Server: Server

Of the 13 items, six of them relate to the database.

Of the 13 items, nine of them relate to the server.

Conclusion

There is no reason to use SAP’s term “TOM” to substitute for infrastructure. Secondly, TOM means merely database and server activities, but according to SAP, it means it only for SAP mobile, which is not used by companies in any significant number.

How Accurate Was SAP on the Sybase Acquisition?

What This Article Covers

  • The Sybase Acquisition
  • Quotations from Dennis Howlett’s Article in ZDNet
  • IT Analysts Always Seem to Love Software Acquisitions
  • SAP Ended up Degrading Sybase Database Market Share
  • Vishal Sikka Continues His Streak
  • Howlett Gets it Right on SAP Penetrating Finance Industry
  • Sybase’s Disappearing Mobility

Introduction

In 2010 SAP acquired Sybase. This is before HANA had been introduced. SAP was within a year to promote the idea that it had developed a massive innovation in in-memory and columnar database design, which was a pre-existing produce called Sybase IQ.

In this article, we will review the accuracy of the reported statements about the Sybase acquisition.

Quotations from Dennis Howlett’s Article in ZDNet

John Chen, CEO of Sybase said: “We see potential in the combination of the leader in business applications and the leader in mobile…I firmly believe this transaction is about growth. ” Vishal Sikka said: “This will dramatically increase our presence in mobile…supporting all platforms, Blackberry…Windows…Google…Apple”

The last couple of years, SAP has talked implicitly about proliferating SAP via devices so at one level this acquisition fits into a strategy that’s been unfolding for a while. However, as Ray Wang notes:

SAP has broken its promise of no more big acquisitions after the BusinessObjects deal.  However, these acquisitions make sense toward the path of next generation applications.

IT Analysts Always Seem to Love Software Acquisitions

It might have, but the acquisition did not work. Is there some reason that IT analysts don’t ever seem to say that an acquisition is a bad idea? Is this, so they don’t lose access to the larger software vendors?

During the analyst call, much was made of the in-memory database core that SAP has developed and Sybase column stores as an enhanced baseline requirement for analytics in large-scale environments.

That is curious.

Hasso Plattner created a storyline where he and his PhDs invented HANA without the influence from much else outside of SAP. This is covered in the article Did Hasso Plattner and His Ph.D. Students Invent HANA?

SAP Ended up Degrading Sybase Database Market Share

One short-term problem will be a perceived confusion over database selection and the future of the relational database in SAP environments.

This turned out to be a problem. SAP was not successful in migrating customers to Sybase databases, and Sybase databases have been in decline ever since the acquisition.

Howlett Gets it Right on SAP Penetrating Finance Industry

Vishal Sikka disputes that, describing the market as both mature but diverse. Sybase has a significant market share in financial services, a market around which SAP sees huge potential despite the recent financial services sector meltdown. But how real is the likelihood of SAP emerging as a key FSI player?

Vishal Sikka was wrong about this too. SAP never was able to leverage Sybase’s market share in financial services.

Co-incidentally, earlier in the week, I heard a presentation from Deutsche Bank which showed SAP at the core of the bank’s applications strategy as part of a complete applications overhaul. SAP is only providing back office and even then a pared back version with emphasis elsewhere. It is others that are providing the applications and services that will make an operational and value led difference. Deutsche Bank is a marquee SAP customer in its own back yard. If this is representative of the extent of SAP’s ability to develop profitable relationships in this market then that is anything but a done deal.

Dennis Howlett was prescient with this prediction.

Sybase’s Disappearing Mobility

On the mobile side, questions must be raised about what this means for applications – again in the financial and telco utility space. Most applications in these markets are driven by opportunistic marketing campaigns requiring the development of new offers. That in turn often means custom development. Does SAP think that Sybase and in-memory gives them an entree to this massive market? If so how does it plan to manage all the integrations required? Where is the rapid apps development environment that would make SAP a natural choice? It has no real ownership in these markets such that the new combination makes direct sense.

Here is what we wrote about the Sybase Acquisition back in 2012.

Will Things Change and Improve?

In a word no.

Although SAP did purchase Sybase, but this does not change SAP’s history or its data architecture for the vast majority of its product database. SAP does not integrate their products with those companies that they acquire. Notice the lack of integration with Business Objects. SAP as a development organization is too self-centered to think that other companies have good solutions and they feel they are the best in every domain. This is called the “SAP Bubble,” and is very similar to the “Microsoft Bubble.” Therefore, most mergers are primarily driven not by development, but by the strategic decision makers in order to co-opt a vendor who is giving them trouble, as was the case with Business Objects. These acquisitions are driven by the desire to capture customers. Over time the main brains in the acquired company leave for other ventures and the captured customers are fed a steady diet of pro SAP marketing. There are questions to whether SAP bought Sybase really for its database or its lucrative customer base in the financial industry. The long and short of this is that SAP does not actually do much to leverage or further develop the technology that it purchases.

SAP’s History With Their Data Layer

In order to understand why it is very unlikely that very much will change it is important to understand SAP’s history with data and data management in general. Unlike companies such as TeraData or Oracle, SAP, has no history of effective data management within any of their applications.

Examples of serious weaknesses in their data management development include the following:

  • No transactions to easily query the master data of a system (SE16 and SE16N are very limited, and too often lead to the brick wall of a Structure, which cannot be queried. While fields can be looked up in the SAP GUI, in many cases the table that the technical details will show is a structure. This is a virtual table and not a “real table.”
  • Poor data update tools
  • No ERD diagram or publication of all the SAP tables and how they relate to each other
  • No ability to use standard SQL tools to manage or interrogate the database. All data tools are custom front-ends and are universally terrible.
  • Why anyone would think that a company that is done this poorly bad at simple basic data strategies is strange, and why anyone would entrust their reporting solution to them, is even stranger. SAP built its empire based upon application logic, not on the user interface or data management. Essentially SAP just does not fundamentally “get” data, and they have created the very inefficient data backend of any enterprise application.

Sybase’s mobility applications turned out to be a total write off.

Conclusion

The Sybase acquisition did very little for SAP. Once again Vishal Sikka continued his losing streak of being wrong in his statements in this article.

References

http://www.zdnet.com/article/sap-acquires-sybase-for-5-8-billion-but-why/

Are SAP’s REST/JSON APIs Real?

What This Article Covers

  • The Question on REST/JSON APIs
  • The Consistency of Open APIs + Indirect Access?

Introduction

SAP has been telling customers that they are bringing out a large number of REST/JSON APIs. In this article, we will review the likelihood of these APIs becoming prevalent.

The Question

In recent discussions with SAP they have talked about web services becoming more standard and even mentioned 3000 REST/JSON APIs that are available on the platform (not sure which version?) and that is certainly a technology that my team has been ready for and would like to leverage.

That said, I’m not seeing signs of the many APIs that were reported.

Have you seen any research on SAPs ability to deliver this technology? Is it still in the works? Is there any customer adoption?

The Analysis

This plan has not been brought to my attention. But there are several reasons to be skeptical.

SAP’s History of Restricting Integration

SAP has always made it difficult to connect to SAP. This is a premeditated strategy designed to direct companies to SAP products. SAP has made numerous statements about making integration easier over the years, but it has tended to stay the same. This is one of the reasons that companies that use SAP have such a high IT overhead. Not only is integrating to SAP difficult but simply extracting data from SAP is more difficult than any other ERP system, because SAP does not allow customers to direct access tables, as do all other ERP vendors.

The Consistency of Open APIs + Indirect Access?

If SAP is opening up technically, why are they closing down access from the legal side?

Every one of those 3000 APIs is a potential indirect access violation.

According to SAP, SAP account executives are “not trained on indirect access,” so they can introduce the APIs one month, and then an “indirect access expert” can show up a year down the line and say “these connections are all indirect access violations, and you owe us $XXX.” There is no what to know if that would actually happen. SAP applies indirect access selectively.

None of my customers are using these APIs, and SAP is always introducing new things, so if they are new, we don’t know if they will take. This is the official site/pages for the APIs

Conclusion

There are articles going back to 2013 on SAP APIs, and if they are not “a thing” by this time, they probably won’t be.

So it sounds fishy. But this can be researched to find out. If the response requests for real information is that “its coming” then its probably fake. This is yet another example of how SAP account executives tell so many lies to prospects from and from so many dimensions.

References

https://help.sap.com/saphelp_smp304svr/helpdata/en/7c/0a4f017006101484238a3b00c4d5d0/frameset.htm, and it looks pretty thin.

Why SAP Mystifies Topics

What This Article Covers

  • The Process of Mystifying Areas
  • The Hypnotic Properties of Inscrutable Words
  • SAP’s Army of Enablers
  • The Opposite of the Richard Feynman Technique of Learning

Introduction

At Brightwork we have repeatedly shown that SAP provides false information to customers as part of a standard practice. Readers can see our research into SAP’s accuracy in the research article A Study into SAP’s Accuracy.

The Process of Mystifying Areas

SAP mystifies things, precisely to “pull one over on people.” That is why after listening to SAP; you know less than when you started.

This video is a perfect example of how SAP will take a subject, and through adding false information and false claims, leave the recipient of the message with not only a misimpression of SAP’s accomplishments and offering in an area, but a misimpression of the overall area! SAP’s information can be considered counter-educational. Its intent is to promote a false understanding on the part of the message recipient. 

The Hypnotic Properties of Inscrutable Words

If an entity can use a term you do not know and keep that term mystical, then it gives that entity power over you. SAP will often combine multiple buzzwords into a single sentence or throughout a paragraph with the intent of finding one that the listener does not know.

Hasso Plattner does this very clearly in his books. Hasso Plannter books are chocked full of false information and exaggerated claims. They are also exhausting to read because of their non-stop claims and the fact that will make claims in so many areas that it is difficult to keep up. And actually, that is the whole point. The claims in a book like this would require a person to set aside over a month, potentially two in order to validate the claims, which would also be required looking up a huge amount of terminology. Hasso knows that people do not have time to do this, so you are always one step behind Hasso’s claims. 

Being one of the few entities having performed a great deal of research into Hasso Plattner’s claims, we can say with confidence that virtually none of the things that Hasso says ever end up coming true. However, it should be understood that there is no financial reason for other entities to perform this research. It has to be done for reasons of curiosity, as there is very little financial market for fact-checking the claims of software vendors. The financial market exists on the other side of the equation, which is repeating claims made by software vendors. And because there is no financial market, it will normally not get done.

SAP’s Army of Enablers

If a normal process of validation or fact checking occurred, Hasso Plattner would have no credibility left as he has been doing this for decades. However, because SAP pays so many media entities, and the consulting companies that specialize in SAP are “in on it,” and repeat these falsehoods, there is almost no one with any interest in calling out Hasso Plattner. Even competing vendors, typically have some type of partnership with SAP that contractually prevents them from criticizing SAP.

Hasso’s intent is to overwhelm the audience with information that is difficult for them to validate. Hasso Plattner has a Ph.D., but he does not behave as a Ph.D., instead, his statements are more similar to a well-known circus promoter. However, Ph.D.’s are not supposed to be used to provide an aura of credibility for a person to lie. Our view is that anyone who has a Ph.D. but shows no concern for what is true, no longer truly has one. 

The Opposite of the Richard Feynman Technique of Learning

Richard Feynman, the great physicist, talks about how complicated words are also used to disguise our own lack of understanding. This is covered in the following quote:

“There are two types of knowledge and most of us focus on the wrong one. The first type of knowledge focuses on knowing the name of something. The second focuses on knowing something. These are not the same thing. The famous Nobel winning physicist Richard Feynman understood the difference between knowing something and knowing the name of something and it’s one of the most important reasons for his success. In fact, he created a formula for learning that ensured he understood something better than everyone else.

A lot of people tend to use complicated vocabulary and jargon to mask when they don’t understand something. The problem is we only fool ourselves because we don’t know that we don’t understand. Also, using jargon conceals our misunderstanding from those around us.”

  • Step 1: Try to explain the concept in simple terms without jargon.
  • Step 2: This is invaluable feedback because you’ve discovered the edge of your knowledge. Competence knows the limit of your abilities, and you’ve just identified one!
  • Step 3: Now you have a set of hand-crafted notes. Review them to make sure you didn’t mistakenly borrow any of the jargon from the source material.

Conclusion

SAP actively attempts to confuse its customers. This allows SAP to control the impression of what SAP offers and it presents things to customers that SAP has never accomplished or been involved in. As new buzzwords come along, SAP will grab hold of them, and then migrate previous unfulfilled promises to the new buzzwords. All of this is designed to keep customers maximally confused and less able to fact check SAP’s statements.

References

The Feynman Technique: The Best Way to Learn Anything

How to Understand The Rising Complexity of SAP Contracts

What This Article Covers

  • Why are SAP Contracts Becoming so Complex?
  • Publicly Supporting Open Connections, While In Reality Offering Control?
  • The Increased Overhead of Using SAP
  • The Increased Need for Clause Clarification

Introduction

SAP talks a lot about simplification, but SAP’s contracts are becoming more complex and more limiting in terms of what customers can do with SAP’s software. In this article, we will get into this little topic for which there is so little published information.

Example of the Cloud Connector

SAP has the following to say about its Cloud Connector.

An analysis by a commenter stated the following:

It is supported to run S/4 HANA on AWS as IaaS provider, the same for SCP (fka HCP). But it really seems not wanted to use more from AWS than the virtual OS. You even have to solve basics like connectivity yourself when you leave the SAP world. “Must not” – a license restriction?

Publicly Supporting Open Connections, While In Reality Offering Control?

Once again, SAP restricts the usage of its products to other SAP products. This is done even after SAP proposing that it is in favor of open standards. It should be remembered that middleware companies never limit the usage of their adapters. However, SAP does.

This type of language is littered all through SAP’s contract documentation. It is an orientation to control things, so they maximally benefit SAP. So that SAP controls how the software is used. This is a growing problem and liability with using SAP. Actually, by upgrading to newer versions of SAP, the customer ends up with more restrictions than in older versions, so the restrictions are being ratcheted up.

Control and the Cloud

SAP talks a good game about partnering with Azure, but the control they want combined with public hosting like Azure or AWS means things get super weird. You are making me think about another article Rolf! That is the second time in a week!

Recently I spent time trying to figure out what a contract restriction means or S/4HANA with the person at an SAP customer.

The SAP account executive has no idea what the clause means. It actually took them three weeks to come back with a clarification that did not seem to clarify anything.

Conclusion

This all means the legal overhead in using SAP is increasing. And attorneys aren’t enough. The customer’s attorney has to work with an IT contract person because figuring out the definition means combining IT with legal.

References

https://help.sap.com/viewer/cca91383641e40ffbe03bdc78f00f681/Cloud/en-US/e6c7616abb5710148cfcf3e75d96d596.html

Angela Merkel Loves Herself Some Hasso Plattner Institute

What This Article Covers

  • Angela Merkel and Company Love the HPI
  • What is The Real Story with the Hasso Plattner Institute?
  • What Does Angela Merkel Know About the Hasso Plattner Institute?
  • The Problem with Government and Business Alignment

Introduction

It is always interesting to find something that the participants thought was a good thing, but when viewed by others is a cause for concern.

In this article, we will review just such an item, which is the listing of powerful German politicians on the Hasso Plattner Institute website.

Angela Merkel and Company Love the HPI

This article may be titled Angela Merkel Loves Herself Some Hasso Plattner Institute.

However, notice the various people providing quotations in support of the Hasso Plattner Institute.

That is a lot of nice things that have been said, isn’t it?

What is The Real Story with the Hasso Plattner Institute?

We have a different view of the Hasso Plattner Institute. We view it as a propaganda apparatus for SAP to promote HANA. And while Hasso Plattner has a Ph.D., we cannot accept him as a professor because in so many books and quotations he shows extremely little interest in what is true, which is why we call him the PT Barnum of enterprise software.

We are a research entity and take research seriously. However, performing research means following a series of rules. It means limiting one’s statements to what can be proven. When has Hasso Plattner ever done this? Hasso Plattner wants to have it both ways. He wants to make a virtually unlimited number of unsubstantiated statements, but then also wants to be considered to have the integrity of a scientifically based academic. Perhaps one can explain how a person who is primarily concerned with what is true over what is profit maximizing ends up being worth $20 billion? 

Any research performed by the Hasso Plattner Institute must be consistent with the outlines of Hasso Plattner and with SAP. However the problem is that Hasso Plattner has routinely exaggerated what HANA can do (as we cover in many articles, but one being When Articles Exaggerate HANA’s Benefits. Both SAP and Hasso Plattner have lied about “inventing” HANA as we covered in the article Did Hasso Plattner and His Ph.D. Students Invent HANA?

What Does Angela Merkel Know About the Hasso Plattner Institute?

In our review of a wide variety of vendors, we cannot find another vendor that lies as frequently as SAP. Therefore, does this sound like a good starting place to create a research institute?

Does Angela Merkel know that SAP provides only one benchmark to verify its performance claims and that that benchmark is in the one type of database processing that HANA does well (as we cover in the article What is the Actual Performance of HANA?)

The issue is that the Hasso Plattner Institute cannot be divorced from the claims made about HANA and the fact that HANA cannot meet the vast majority of these claims.

The Problem with Government and Business Alignment

When governments are tightly connected to business, business seeks to have the government protect them from market forces. Do any of the people on this list know how SAP competes? Do they care? What happens if at some point the German government needs to intervene to stop SAP from acting in a monopolistic fashion? Will the German government be willing to do it after being so chummy with SAP?

Angela Merkel already removed the German government from any blame in the VW diesel scandal where VW was found to have installed software that allowed their highly polluting Golf’s to cheat emissions tests.

Ms Merkel also rejected a suggestion from committee members that VW’s cheating had amounted to a “failure of government” and ruled out reform of Germany’s transport authority in response to the affair.

“This was not [the government’s] scandal; it was VW’s scandal,” she said.

Merkel then lied to the EU commission about the well known polluting properties of diesel. The following is from Financial Times magazine.

In addition, Ms Merkel warned against efforts to demonise diesel technology, noting that diesel cars emitted less carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas blamed for global warming, than petrol cars and so were more environmentally friendly.

She also argued against excessive regulation of an industry that employs nearly 800,000 people in Germany. “We should have regulation that is ambitious, but not to such an extent that cars can no longer be produced [here],” she said.

According to Merkel, overly ambitious regulations would mean testing German automobiles such that those cars could not cheat on emission tests.

She said she had entrusted her transport minister Alexander Dobrindt, who has oversight over the German car industry, to investigate the affair on behalf of the government, and saw “nothing wrong” with his handling of the issue.

Yes, one of the most massive failures of automobile regulation is not the fault of the government of the country where they are made!

Germany’s political system is highly intertwined with the German automobile industry with politicians shuttling back and forth to the German automobile companies for employment. As pointed out by DW magazine.

The NGO’s report also detailed how the ties between the government and the auto industry, particularly Volkswagen, helped car manufacturers to carry on evading emissions tests – even though environmental groups had for years pointed out the discrepancies in emissions tests. It took US environmental authorities to uncover the practice, which eventually led to a $2.8 billion criminal fine for VW and the resignation of Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn in November 2015. On Thursday it emerged that US authorities have filed arrest warrants for five former VW executives at Interpol.

“There are very close relationships, but VW isn’t any more influential than the others, BMW or Daimler,” said LobbyControl spokeswoman Christina Deckwirth.

Germany has become particularly notable for the ease with which top businessmen find roles in politics and vice versa. The automobile industry has, as Deckwirth put it, “noticeably many” such revolving doors to the government. “What you notice in particular is how many come out of Merkel’s circle,” she said. “She really seems to have very close relationships there.”

“The interesting thing about him is that he played a role in the cover-up affair when it came to investigating the emissions scandal,” said Deckwirth. “We think that is very illustrative – that shows that Merkel lacks the sensibility for this issue. German politicians see themselves as protectors of the car industry.”

Conclusion

Articles have been written about German political ties to the German automobile industry, but it is almost assured that if the onion were peeled back on the relationship between SAP and the German government that one would find very similar ties. Given Angela Merkel’s assinine defense of her government regarding the VW diesel cheating scandal, that something similar would occur for any scandal that engulfed SAP.

References

https://www.ft.com/content/31028f18-0415-11e7-ace0-1ce02ef0def9

http://www.dw.com/en/dieselgate-the-cozy-ties-between-germanys-car-industry-and-berlin-exposed/a-39927429

http://www.dw.com/en/ngo-condemns-angela-merkels-failure-to-rein-in-lobbyists/a-39388457

How Accurate Was SAP on their Google Alliance?

What This Article Covers

  • Collaborating with Business Analytics and Enterprise Applications?
  • Lumira Saving to Google Sheets?
  • SuccessFactors to Allow for Hyperlinks?
  • All of SAP’s Competitors (Magically) Becoming More Complex?

Introduction

In the ComputerWorld article SAP CEO Touts Tighter Google Ties, SAP proposed a substantial tie to Google. In this article, we will analyze the accuracy of this tie.

The Article Quotes

This article says it was written by Katherine Noyes. However, the article is less than 300 words long. ComputerWorld appears to be stretching the definition of an “article.”

Collaborating with Business Analytics and Enterprise Applications?

SAP is deepening its partnership with Google and will collaborate with the search giant on new projects focused on business analytics and enterprise applications.

The new collaboration will result, for example, in tighter integration between Google Apps and SAP’s Lumira analytics platform, according to SAP CEO Bill McDermott.

Ok, so what is the integration going to be? Let’s find out.

Lumira Saving to Google Sheets?

Users can already combine Google Sheets with enterprise data through the SAP Lumira extensions framework for visualizations, dashboards and insights. Now, the two companies are working to have Lumira visualizations and infographics save in Google Drive, where Lumira files could be accessed and shared. Companies will also be able to store the files as native Google Docs.

Ahh…okay. So Lumira will be able to save files as Google Docs and Google Sheets? This is a bit like saying that an application can save files to Excel. Ordinarily, this would not be something noteworthy.

SuccessFactors to Allow for Hyperlinks?

The collaboration on other enterprise applications, meanwhile, will focus initially on SAP’s SuccessFactors software for human capital management and its Fiori user interface. Among the goals will be to integrate the SuccessFactors suite with Google Drive and to let employees use Google Apps from within Fiori.

SuccessFactors has some Fiori apps, but SuccessFactors has its own UI that precedes its acquisition by SAP.

This paragraph makes no sense. Is there really an advantage to accessing a Google Drive file from SuccessFactors? Is this something that needs to be programmed by SAP. This should be a hyperlink to a good document. Watch, this is a link to a Google Document file.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vTa7bZkoOlKiDN7gvvIXLpAhMv2JLQnAjE0_68uJaJvQQRhDFsry-PhxHMaeTqilzzsg6kePen1bSjH/pubhtml

Why is that noteworthy?

SAP appears to be saying that they will allow SuccessFactors to have hyperlinks added to various fields. Is this something to announce?

“If it makes it easier for people to use Google tools and SAP data together on their devices, that will make work life better,” McDermott said during a keynote speech Tuesday at the company’s annual Sapphire user conference in Orlando. He called the partnership a “prime example of SAP’s change agenda.”

Really? Or is it an example of hyperlinks and the Internet which goes back to the 1990s?

SAP has already been working with Google to support Android for Work. It recently released SAP Mobile Secure 2.7 with Android for Work support.

All of SAP’s Competitors (Magically?) Becoming More Complex?

Much of McDermott’s speech continued the “run simple” theme SAP has been articulating for some time already as part of its marketing for its Hana in-memory data platform.

“As SAP sees its competitors getting more complex, it’s clearly trying to establish its own turf at the other end of the spectrum,” said Robert Eastman, a research manager with IDC. “Whether customers also feel it’s simple remains to be seen.”

What evidence does SAP have that SAP is seeing competitors are getting more complex? Is SAP going to bother to explain why it sees this?

SAP’s applications are well known as the more complicated applications that can be purchased. Should SAP really be stating that other vendors are “getting more complex.”

This article is inane. It receives a score of 1 out of 10 for accuracy.

References

https://www.computerworld.com/article/2918461/business-intelligence/sap-ceo-touts-tighter-google-ties.html

Enterprise Software Risk

See our free project risk estimators that are available per application. The provide a method of risk analysis that is not available from other sources.

How to Best Understand the SAP Digital Transformation Navigator

What This Article Covers

  • Why Digital Transformation is a Term of Propaganda
  • Enter SAP’s Digital Transformation Manager
  • The DT Navigator for Saving Money on SAP Consultants?
  • Ding Ding Ding….we Have a New Golden Pinocchio Award Winner!

Introduction

After many years analyzing various methodologies, tools or assistive items offered by both consulting companies and SAP, it is curious how often the item in question ends up being simply another way for the consulting company or for SAP to get the customer to do what they want. SAP’s Rapid Development Solutions (as we covered in How to Best Understand SAP’s Faux RDS, turned out to be primarily a way to get customers to think they could implement SAP faster than was actually possible. The SAP ASAP Methodology, (which we cover in Did SAP ASAP Methodology Ever Reduce Project Timelines?) was essentially intended to do the same thing.

Neither of these items had any positive effect on projects, and most likely worsened projects by creating unrealistic expectations.

Why Digital Transformation is a Term of Propaganda

It should be noted that the term digital transformation actually is a meaningless term as applied to modern IT projects, which we cover in the article The Problem with Digital Transformation and Modern IT Projects. The reason being is that term digital transformation applies to a change that occurs when something is first converted from non-digital to digital. You can’t apply the term to a movement between two processes that are both digital. So we are beginning this journey with what is a term of propaganda. The definition of which is a term that allows the user to present unsupported assumptions to the listener.

Enter SAP’s Digital Transformation Manager

The following video explains the Digital Transformation Manager.

Interesting actions of note are the following:

Here the “Open Decision” under the category of Supply Chain Management is that what the customer uses is not the recommended solution from SAP. 

Once the previous screen’s Open Decision button is selected one taken to this screen, where the customer is allowed to choose between the Public Cloud and On Premises. If the user selects, then they are taken to the following screen.

Here the customer is using SAP Demand Planning today, but SAP recommends SAP Integrated Business Planning or IBP.

 

Well, that seems so simple, but that is a huge decision with many cost implications. SAP DP happens to be an application that few companies get very much value out of. Her are some important features that the DT Navigator will not tell you about.

  1. IBP is still not widely implemented.
  2. IBP has maturity issues.
  3. IBP does not have the same functionality set as SAP APO, so one cannot merely say “migrate to IBP.”

Naturally, SAP would like companies to move to their newest software, but SAP DP never met any of the claims for it that SAP set forth. Obviously, another option would be to either replace DP with a non-SAP application or to augment DP with a non-SAP application. Those are real options, which we have covered in great detail in separate articles. However, the more the customer uses the DT Navigator, the less they will be likely to ask those questions. In this way, the DT Navigator can be seen as an anti-decision making tool.

The DT Navigator is designed very simply to get customers to do exactly what SAP wants them to do.

The DT Navigator for Saving Money on SAP Consultants?

Is there a way to actually derive value from the DT Navigator?

We think there might be.

At the conclusion of the video, it is stated that the DT Navigator is designed for both customers and partners. So consulting partners will use the DT Navigator to come up with what they should tell customers to do. As SAP consulting companies don’t do much else when it comes to advise but repeat what SAP says if one views the DT Navigator as simply SAP’s official position on products (that not that the DT Navigator necessarily contains 100% truthful information) then a customer could use the the DT Navigator to cut out the middleman of having to pay an SAP consultant to tell them what they can find from the DT Navigator.

Ding Ding Ding!

SAP’s Digital Transformation Navigator receives our Golden Pinocchio Award for extreme deception. Seriously, you would have to be a twit to take the DT Navigator seriously. 

Conclusion

The SAP Digital Transformation Manager is a sales tool designed to get the customer to do more of what SAP wants. It is presented under the cloak of providing a clear and easy tool, but has as an important built-in assumption that the user accepts the information presented as “recommendations” and that SAP’s only motivation for providing this tool is to “help their customers!”

One should be suspicious of information provided by software vendors or consulting companies that are only introduced to help the customer. 

The pure SAP marketing message is delivered to the Digital Transformation Manager. For example, SAP IBP, is still very lightly installed — and requires purchasing HANA, which comes with a number of negative issues in addition to being the most expensive database among all of the options in the category.

Perhaps not surprisingly, these details are left out of the SAP Digital Transformation Manager.

But the DT Navigator can add value to customers, but primarily to reduce the number of hours that are billed by SAP consultants to simply repeat what SAP tells them.

References

Enterprise Software Risk

See our free project risk estimators that are available per application. The provide a method of risk analysis that is not available from other sources.

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