back to article SAP hopes to blow the doors off Salesforce with a block of C/4HANA

SAP has overhauled its CRM offering, launching a suite of applications under the banner C/4HANA, as the German biz best known for ERP aims to take on Salesforce. Speaking today at SAP’s annual gabfest, Sapphire Now, chief executive Bill McDermott touted the move as a huge step change for SAP that would modernise CRM by …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Another spew of big, complex ERP, that will cost bazillions to implement and screw SAP's customers and in turn their customers.

    Most big customer service operations are these days IT businesses with some "angle" on the side, like mobile handset leasing business, or a water distribution network, or an energy trading platform, or a broadband or content resale operation. And the vast, vast majority think that buying from a big ERP vendor will deliver them salvation. History shows it won't, because the devil is in your own processes being mapped against somebody else's ERP concept - but unfortunately the choice to licence an ERP system means the customer doesn't own the code, has no control over the support life, and ultimately has signed a pact with the devil, where the devil dictates terms and pricing, not to mention periodic forced "upgrades" to whatever the cloven-hoofed one decides is "supported".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      SAP is bad

      SAP "HANA" is just brand blabla around MaxDB, a former open source database from Berlin university from the 1980s and later co-developed by MySQL co. (MaxDB has nothing to do with the MySQL database at all). MaxDB is a competitor to Postgres, Oracle, etc. Unfortunately SAP bought the source code and removed all open source code repositories their lawyers could find. Nowadays it's the core database technology that powers "HANA": (article is incomplete)

      SAP CRM, their legacy product is sooo bad that everyone migrated to another CRM product from a competitor, even the die hard SAP fans moved away.

      SAP ERP is also bad, it's technology is from the early 1980s. With a language forked of COBOL, called ABAB - even BASIC is more advanced their proprietary COBOL language. There is no IDE, no editor with syntax highlighting, no version controll, no source code repository - they live still in the 1980s, these SAP coders.

      SAP ERP (R/3, mySAP, ERP.Next, NetWeaver, all the same anyway) has an UI optimized for 12" CRT monitors, common in the 1980s. Now with 27" LCD screens you see only a small window, and the rest of the screen is blank. Multi-tasking, not possible in SAP. Two people working on the same data, no possible, it looks the whole table. Pressing "Save" does a save and closes the screen. Pressing "Save" when you haven't changed any fields shows you a error-popup that you dare to press save when there is nothing to save anyway! LOL SAP is such a old rusty crap.

      People die and are hurt, because of SAP ERP. I have seen hospital employees fighting with the SAP system while people have to wait next to them, and have to suffer greatly! Such evil should be forbidden.

      Worst companies: SAP, Oracle, Microsoft - worst licensing, worst spyware, worst cancer spreading, your company will die when you buy one of their business software, slowly, but definitely! Do never ever buy one of their business software or services! Or be the CIO/CTO and get free luxury vacation and a golf club membership while the company you work for will die in a few years and everyone will start hate you!

      Salesforce or any other ERP and CRM system, maybe even open source, can only be better. Hell, get two devs that code you our own little app that exactly fits your needs - many companies do, as even with SAP/Oracle/Dynamics you will need a lot of costly "customizing" aka custom development, and this "customizing" is needed for every software-"upgrade". Good luck.

    2. theblackhand

      Re: Rubbish - correction

      As a representative of the devil, I would like to point out that down here, we are much more flexible in our arrangements with "customers" and while we may initially dictate terms, the pricing remains constant and our products will continue to be provided for eternity with no forced upgrades...

  2. Nick Ryan Silver badge


    SAP? Why, unless you have an enormous amount of money to waste, would you ever use any of their products? They do their level best to make them as unusable and unmaintainable as possible, from every direction, while also playing a fine game of hide the documentation (what little there is that is actually worth anything) and screwing over their developers and customers equally.

  3. jMcPhee

    Would both of the end users who enjoy SAP, please raise their hands?

  4. J27


    SAP is a giant shambling undead hulk that has little chance of surviving long-term. They'll just slowly bleed customers until they're a shell of their former glory, like Blackberry or IBM. Once a large company is fully taken over by clueless sales and marketing people who don't actually understand what their customers need or how their own products are developed it's inevitable.

    P.S. I have no idea why anyone, anywhere chooses to go with SAP for anything, every one of their solutions costs much more than many, much better solutions. Half the time you could just spend 20 minutes on Google and find an open-source product that's better, you can put some of that money into hiring your own support people and then bank the rest.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah...

      Many dumb CIOs of companies in Europe brought in the SAP sales force for an "ONLINE SHOP". How stupid are they?

      SAP bought a Java based Magento clone called Hybris and now sales this simple online shop software for $big_bucks$ to clueless CIOs. It doesn't integrate with SAP ERP that well, and comes with a very basic "CRM" system as well. So now SAP has 3 CRM systems. Ya, pretty rad

      Only 3 CRM systems. Yeah I know, M$ has even 5 ERP systems now, all bought together, barely dotNet converted, and no good web UI at all. But M$ has now only 1 CRM, the others are now labeled deprecated.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah...

      > I have no idea why anyone, anywhere chooses to go with SAP for anything

      There are only two big companies SAP and M$ that have such a powerful sales force. (maybe Oracle is the third) And they bribe and lobby governments and TOP 2000 companies all over the world. Ever wondered who paid the vacations, golf-club-membership and "fun-cars" of CEO/CTO/CCO/CIO/CFO of TOP 2000 companies - it's SAP and M$, when they made a new deal. So basically the companies pays SAP and M$ 100 million USD, and SAP and M$ pay the corporate board members each 2 million worth in cars/vacations/luxury-memberships/etc. In the end the TOP 2000 companies bleed lots and lots of $$$. And the normal employees suffer greatly.

      That's why so many companies use SAP ERP/HANA and Windows10 + Office365.(In the end, they target not just the TOP 2000, but probably the top 100000 companies worldwide).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    QUOTE: In a press and analysts session today, McDermott threw more shots across the bows, saying of SAP’s competitors: “We have a new idea, a better idea - and the better idea always wins.”

    That's a pretty arrogant statement.

    The marketplace is littered with failed companies that had a better idea, or better products. Better does not equate to successful or profitable.

    Let's check back in five years and see if SAP has managed to overtake Salesforce. I know which one I'd bet on.

  6. steviebuk Silver badge


    ...I already see it as a fail due to the shit name



    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm...

      SAP user interface is soo old-school. It renders tables in ASCII-characters! Common shortcuts don't work. Every screen looks different. Something like a fulltext search, nope. Most fields have very limited char-limits. Basically ASCII 0-256 in LATIN-1 and up to 10 characters per field. The whole database table layout is cruft from 1990. SAP R/2 wasn't even relational, everything was stored in flat text files. And now SAP R/3 (which is still the state-of the art one, despite numerous renames) is more than 30 years old.

      They tried to rewrite it in Java between 2000 and 2008, but it failed, and their NetWeaver crap is dead. So developer have to still use COBOLv2 aka ABAB to customize the screens. And now they try to create new screens in HTML5 with a UI library in JS that is 10MB big!! (see their github; oh the evil irony, no M$ has access to SAP private repo to copy things to their Dynamix^^).

      Anyway, no wonder, the current head of UI at SAP is a "designer", he learned to "design houses", he is a fan of modernism/"Bauhaus" and has apparently no clue how to improve SAP UI at all.

      Stay away from SAP, this old rusty crap.


      Re: Hmm...

      C4 is a very effective explosive. Maybe C/4HANA is a bomb waiting to explode. I like to avoid any so called "solution" which requires years worth of work and Millions of dollars to customise & implement.

      I don't mind having configuration options and using existing functionality the way you want it, should take <3months to decide and test. No programmer required for 90% of functionality.

      What percentage of functionality would you leave to programmers? 5%, maximum 10%

      If it requires more than this then the original product was not a "solution".

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ERP are bad for Europe

    ERP systems are the reason why there so little innovation in Europe.

    Almost half of the programmers in Europe work in IT departments of "Enterprise" companies. And they code in old languages to customize old ERP systems.

    It would be better to reduce the number of these stupid ERP systems, so that smaller companies could offer custom applications that really fit to the customers needs. Not the other way around that companies have to re-think their business-workflows so that they can use a standard ERP solution. Dumb, dumber, <decision makers at companies>

  8. Rob 54

    Wow a lot of SAP hate here :)

    A few corrections...

    HANA is actually something originally created by professor SangKyun Cha in Korea and not a MaxDB (MaxDB is poor) clone

    The NetWever stack base language us ABAP not ABAB but there are a lot more movements in terms of using OData and Java etc depending on which SAP technology and product line you are talking about

    With regards the general hate and comments, these are often based on valid concerns but not as simple as saying 'It's SAPs fault' as these can often relate to a multitude of complex problems with partners/consulting firms etc... Far too many to cover here and not all SAP issues, could be applied to any customer running legacy products or poorly implemented ones

    In terms of the article I would agree this is a poor choice of product name, but don't worry as SAP change their product names every few months anyway :)

    I do not feel SAP have given much clarity in terms of CRM yet, but the usual thing is for a big announcement from the top and then clarity will follow on

    All just my opinions, I am not an employee of SAP or their partners, I am a customer of SAP

    SAP is a huge part of our business and we could not have achieved such success without it.

    None of this is to say that SAP are perfect and have it all right, far from it - but they are doing their best to adapt and adopt to modern challenges

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > HANA is actually something originally created by professor SangKyun Cha in Korea and not a MaxDB


      HANA is just a brand name, it consists of several software packages put together. MaxDB is the center piece as query and as database layer, but there is also P*TIME and TREX integrated. Only the P*TIME is from the Korea-Prof (see ).

      "SAP HANA: a number of technologies were developed or acquired by SAP SE. These included TREX search engine (in-memory column-oriented search engine), P*TIME (in-memory OLTP Platform acquired by SAP in 2005), and MaxDB with its in-memory liveCache engine."


      1. Rob 54

        I stand corrected on that point AC :)

  9. Porco Rosso


    So Coresuite (from Coresystems) add-on for SAP Business One is also bought by SAP ?

  10. Griffo

    Hells No

    As someone who is subjected daily to using SAP's current "best of breed" CRM Online solution.. I pity the fool that even looks at their new CRM offering. SAP wouldn't understand modern dynamic sales processes if their future depended on it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SAP Update

    Just heard:

    All SAP Customers to be forced to use HANA by 2022 (Official)

    Not so official (yet):

    All Cloud pricing to increase by 19% soon

    All Software to increase by 13%

    1. Rob 54

      Re: SAP Update

      2025 is the end of extended support on most SAP products like the core ERP and CRM - as per

      At this time customers can decide to go to a HANA product, stay with existing product with a more expensive support cost (suspect the huge companies will go for this) or ditch SAP support and goto a 3rd party vendor for support (is even a valid option now)

      Cannot say I have ever herd SAP putting their prices down, so you are probably correct there ;)

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