responded John Appleby to a tweet of mine which pointed out SAP evolves very slowly and that 95% of its revenues still come from older ECC and Business Objects licenses and maintenance.
A few documents later the official numbers confirmed it. For the first 9 months of 2012, the new products – HANA, Mobile, Cloud (BYD and SuccessFactors) show EU 502 million. SAP’s total revenues = north of EU 11 billion. Legacy revenues > 95%.
A few others joined the tweetstream to argue I had my numbers wrong.
The point of all this is in the SAP fan base there is a refusal to accept that SAP has over the last few years, even with a non stop stream of new prouct announcements, has become a legacy vendor, massively dependent on maintenance. In their minds, that is the Oracle or IBM image. God forbid, not our favorite, innovative son.
The other vibe in the fan base is outsourcers and SIs are the real evil people around SAP. Somehow, they don’t blame SAP for creating and continuing to allow for that abuse to continue. In my first meeting with Hasso Plattner in 1996, I shrunk under the table. He walked into a room of Gartner analysts glaring “Which of you XXXXX called my product exorbitantly complex to implement?” He was holding a copy of a research note I had written. The bloated projects of the 90s have morphed into armies of offshore support staff and grossly overpriced compute and storage outsourcing contracts since. I have called it SAP’s “egosystem”. The players may have changed but even today the ecosystem of hosting firms, offshore providers, systems integrators add another $ 50 to 75 billion a year to SAP’s own $ 25 billion in charges to customers. That’s one reason I called SAP’s the “Gold Stack”.
After 15 years, SAP continues to say with a straight face it is working on the problem. In 2009 I had a screaming match with Leo Apotheker where he argued SAP had made significant strides managing the cost of implementations. Nothing about post implementation support, hosting or upgrades. But good enough for the fanboy: They are working on it.
To SAP’s credit, it has turned this fan base into a loud marketing machine, and as it announced ERP on HANA yesterday, many of them were in cities around the world to provide “analysis”.
I wrote last year “What might SAP learn from Apple” Time for Apple to learn from SAP – how to create an even more rabid fanboy.