Not impressed…….

Here’s a statement from Darren Roos of SAP:

“In the past, CIOs were consumed with a facilities management challenge,” said Roos. “They are now focused much more on the business, and on business outcomes. Licensing has become a new distraction for some CIOs who come from a generation where they were still working with a facilities management approach. But I simply don’t believe licensing is an issue. SAP’s licensing is infinitely flexible. And so they can get bent around the axle.”

My concern with this is that it feels a little or maybe more than a little out of touch with the reality of the situation. Let me explain why:

  • If you have ever tried to work your way through SAP licencing you would never, ever say that, just think about the current documents. Currently on premise runs to 86 pages. And cloud requires you to have at least 4 agreements (of varying length) including the order form, the cloud service description (and of course there will likely be more than one), the data processing agreement, and the general terms and conditions. And don’t expect many people in SAP to be able to answer the detailed questions around these…..they do exist but they are truly hard to locate (ask the SAP sales teams themselves about this!).
  • Then you have the transformation to cloud from on premise, how you translate this as most go through a hybrid phase of on premise and cloud together.
  • You also have the harsh reality of cost – and fundamentally as you move forward from hardware, facilities, people and software, you are looking at moving to more people and software through service provision (but some form of facilities even as a service will still exist). And the dilemma is getting this cheaper – so off shoring (or best shoring as it is often referred to today), or clearly demonstrable additional business value (emphasis on the clearly), through the purchase of these services.
  • External service providers have to make a profit, internal do not so cost challenges of moving will exist where the business has already best shored its operations.
  • And if licencing really wasn’t an issue why is there all this noise out there?

The comment about CIO’s that come from a certain generation I find to be certainly not empathetic with the customer (in some countries that might be deemed a discriminative remark) , almost saying they don’t know what they are on about, continuing the global theme that experts shouldn’t be trusted, because that’s what they are, people who have travelled the whole journey through what is an amazing period of time where technology has grown and grown to become almost the “saviour” of business. I say almost because good management is still needed…..

At the end of the day Indirect Licencing continues to be an issue in a more and more connected world…..that’s what the noise is about, and for whatever reason SAP seems to be getting the customer worried about it, based on surveys that have been done, which is a shame as SAP software has always been a trusted solution.

Where there’s noise there is a problem…………

There’s an article on Enterprise Irregulars Dont write off SAP yet  By  on November 29, 2017 that I think is helpful….it highlights the challenges that are out there. It also highlights how problems of 20 years ago can get forgotten by those now in control…. Trust is the biggest key to success, and it feels like trust and therefore confidence has been, and maybe still is being, eroded.

In the FMCG world the key to success is repeat purchases, and those are driven by guaranteed safety, guaranteed quality which drives expectations of continued enjoyment of the purchase…….and you go back for more.

Experiences in software drive exactly the same behaviour! Trouble is the longer you leave it before you address the customer experiences, the faster the issue grows and the bigger it gets.

We need SAP, but it isn’t the only game in town, and we need them to up theirs.

License to Bill? Complex IT should mean simple licensing.

One of the hot topics coming out of this year’s User Group conference was the issue of licensing. As I highlighted in my keynote speech, one thing all users want is greater transparency. However, whether or not we get it is another matter.

Much as we’d like to think otherwise, IT is becoming more complex. Broader IT trends such as virtualisation and cloud computing are certainly adding to this. Indeed, our own recent survey of SAP users showed that 80% expect their SAP implementations to be a mixture of on-premise, on-demand and on-device services. However, as this complexity increases so does the complexity of licensing.

Ideally, the opposite should be true: as IT becomes complex, licensing should become as simple as possible so that vendors and users both know exactly what they are offering and what they are getting in return. This is especially true as the ways in which we supply and access our IT evolve and so provide even more ways for licensing to change.

Vendors need to show not just clarity but flexibility in their licensing, providing options to suit the changing requirements of today’s business while at the same time enabling customers to see exactly what they are getting in a concise, understandable manner.  In a world that often seems to be changing by the minute, the predictability this gives will be essential. For our part as users, we need to make sure we are getting the maximum bang for our buck and not paying over the odds.


Only 18 days until the conference

It is only 18 days to go until our annual conference – so you don’t have much time to book a place. Don’t delay – with hundreds of organisations present and with some organisations registering more than 20 attendees you can see it is popular.

With Steve Cram, Ray Wang, Oliver Bussman, Timo Elliot, and Steve Winter as Keynote speakers plus 8o exhibitors, multiple streams, many networking opportunities, including the welcome reception on Sunday and the Gala Dinner on Monday it really is a value for money event.

The good news is that there are still some spaces left so go to the conference website to register:



Why would you pay £1299 for an SAP related event when you can pay £500 or less for ours?

Other SAP and Business Objects related events in the UK & Ireland cost more than ours. That’s a fact! Compared to another event in October… fact it doesn’t stop there! Ours has better speakers. Actually 7 times more speakers, and 4 times more streams, and runs over 2 and half days not 2 days.  It covers much more in terms of topics and is the best place to network of all the SAP events in the UK & Ireland, and includes a gala dinner for that very reason.

So if you want value, treasure an independent view of all things SAP, and need to learn and improve your SAP network, don’t waste money and spend it where it counts.

See our conference website for details.

New YouTube videos added

If you missed last years conference and you are considering attending this year then have a look at some of the keynote speaker videos that we have added to our User Group Channel . Some very worthwhile clips –  SUGEN describing the Enterprise Support issues, Jim Snabe detailing SAP’s strategy and Sahar Hashemi sharing her road to success. As ever we’ll try to better what I think was an excellent line up in this years conference in Birmingham in November. . Don’t leave it too late as we have a finite capacity and already a large number have booked to guarantee a place.

Official….the biggest yet

This years conference which takes place on Monday and Tuesday is the biggest yet – more delegates, more speakers and more exhibitors. You can still book on line for the last few seats – but you need to be quick.

Great keynotes, Chakib Boudhary, Ray Wang, Kriss Akabusi, Tim Noble, and Richard Newman plus 0ver 90 other speakers. Great venue, great Networking dinner – and a great opportunity to learn.

…………….and great value!

Overview of the ERP market

An interesting article has been posted on This gives a succinct overview of the pressures and constraints on the software industry as a result of the current economic woes. If you’re buying software or investing in this part of the stock exchange then well worth a read.

So what is it to be…XP, Vista or Windows 7?

Today our dear friends at Microsoft let it be known that exiting XP was something we should all be doing urgently.  Yeah right!! At this present time I have oodles of money just slushing around requiring me to:

1) Buy more licences

2) Update a lot of my client hardware

3) Replace lots of my peripherals

4) Change lots of my applications.

Hmm…….perhaps not! I suspect we’re about to see the consumers leading the market in this area for the first time in a while and not the other way around.  So why do I say that – well here’s my view of the influences.

From a business point of view ; firstly businesses are strapped for cash so cost avoidance is the game, secondly disruption within the workplace at this time floats like a brick, and thirdly businesses are focusing on processes which means application software not operating software. According to the article highlighted above 71% of business PC’s are running XP still so big market and unlikely to change.

From a retailing point of view;  the retail market is somewhat in decline and whereas the purchase of hardware with Windows bundled has pushed the usage of new operating systems before – that stops that route of acceptance as well.

From a new applications software point of view; there was the traditional faster hardware requirements for software – which as I already noted in an earlier post is actually going the other way with software not keeping up so no driver there.

So add the three together and what do you get? Was that something large and pink flying by……………….?

Chunks of SAP!! An economic outcome.

Now anybody that’s used SAP’s ERP solution knows it is a pretty chunky solution capable of many,  many processes. Well now it seems for Business Suite 7 you are able to buy those chunks one at a time. This sounds great because as we all know when you buy the lot you generally fail to use large portions of it. This is interesting as it starts to offer some other possibilities for the new customers but beware because we are talking functionality here or business process. There are basic things which you still have to do when you implement this software – such as roles and responsibilities for mapping to security profiles – but, and it is a but at the moment, anything that is of less cost in terms of the licences and especially the maintenance shouldn’t be ignored.

That is the real question really – so you can buy the product in chunks but does that mean it will save you money? Well the starting point would be cheaper licences, and then maintenance but will implementation be cheaper?  This is quite a circular argument, as by implementing less business process the argument should be that you are also implementing less value creation and protection, so your payback is less and over a longer period before each “chunk” kicks in. Hmm! This really is a sign of the times as we have moved from value to cost. Not so long back it was “put all this in as it generates so much value” and now we have moved to “don’t put it all in and keep the costs down”.

This brings then an underlying principle to the fore – does software deliver value or is it just a cost? I guess it depends on the economy is the answer.