I am often asked why I was tough on SAP in SAP Nation. I usually correct them and say I was tough on SAP’s partners and how SAP did a poor job monitoring and managing them.
I must say I groaned when I saw the SAP announcement where it plans to team with Accenture, Capgemni and Deloitte to accelerate verticalization in specific industries. I saw the tall signage of the partner booths at SapphireNow and went, Here we go again.
If SAP needs design input on the automotive sector, especially Tier 2 and 3 suppliers, they would do far better to watch this Plex keynote and work with the likes of PTC and Kors Engineering. They have so many customers in Germany which have been pioneering Industrie 4.0 projects – we wrote about several in The Digital Enterprise. If they want to hear about automation in the oil and gas sector, they should ask for time with David Truch at BP, one of their customers I profiled in Silicon Collar. He described pioneering work with robotic crawlers on rigs and drones to monitor remote locations. In The New Polymath I had described some of BP’s sensory networks going back over a decade – way before the term IOT was coined. If they want to hear about innovation in process industries there are so many innovative pharma, food and chemical companies in their customer base they can learn from. If they want grey hair on cloud implementations they should scour the Salesforce and Workday ecosystems.
Not saying they should not leverage their bigger SI partners but this time around they should expect much more automation in implementations. Oracle just announced their Soar offering which automates several steps in a migration, and I think SAP should push its SI partners to develop similar for migrations from ECC to S/4HANA.
Finally, I hope SAP systematically monitors its partners a lot more this time around. There are so many partner management tools, scoring tools, and yes, they should tap into the collective memory of so many botched projects and unhappy clients from the last round to remind them they have to do better this time.
BTW President George W Bush dispenses the advice better than the title of this post does