back to article Finding SAP hard to swallow? ERP giant says it's working on something more bite-sized

SAP is striving to rid itself of its reputation as a provider of monolithic ERP systems that are highly embedded in the business but difficult to change, plus costly and time-consuming to upgrade. Speaking to The Register during the second week of its Sapphire Now virtual conferences, SAP HANA and analytics president Gerrit …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    After all these years

    SAP is still a cumbersome dog to use. User interface is non-standard and unintuitive and its a mare to change. There are other nicer flexible alternatives but its ye old no-one got sacked for buying SAP. It really is inexplicable*.

    *Also, see market 'value' of Facebook.

    1. HildyJ Silver badge

      Re: After all these years

      SAP's strategy still seems based on lock-in. Their ERP, besides being cumbersome to use, just doesn't play well with others, seemingly by design. I see little in this press release that makes me feel like that is going to change.

  2. AMBxx Silver badge

    Too late

    It's a shame they didn't think of this before forcing all their users to migrate from a monolithic on-prem system to a monolithic cloud system.

    Dumping all your resellers next year won't help you reach small businesses either.

  3. GlenP Silver badge

    Done Right...

    If it's done right it could be an attractive alternative for us when we decide to upgrade and consolidate ERP across the group. The reality is this is SAP and I doubt it will be viable.

  4. werdsmith Silver badge

    I have memories of a salesman trying to push cut-down SAP form SMEs back in the 1990s. Didn't go with it because it felt like BS and I could see spiralling consultant costs waiting in the wings. Basically the software has to add more value than it costs or its not worth having.

  5. steamnut

    Will it cost less?

    It's ok to seem to offer bite sized SAP which implies lower costs of entry but I doubt if the SAP consultants' fees will be any less. And, without consultants, you will never get it to work as quickly as the PowerPoint slides promise.

    A relative of mine just retired from a large company that implemented SAP. She got the job of travelling all over the world to supervise new SAP installations. She has an alternative for the SAP acronym - Slows All Production....

    1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

      Re: Will it cost less?

      Ah, the traditional family game of SAPronyms. Off the top of my head:

      Slow And Painful

      Send Another Payment

      Such Asinine Processes

      Success Ain't Possible

      Suffer And Plead

      Software Against People

      Stops All Productivity

      Submit And Pray

      Start Applying Patches

      There are some real gems out there in comments sections and the like, too.

    2. logicalextreme Bronze badge

      Re: Will it cost less?

      Not to mention making sure that you always refer to it as a "Dynamic ERP" for maximum derpage.

  6. Death Boffin

    It's ERP all the way down

    As a leftpondian forced to use SAP, I find it interesting that when you get down far enough in the menus, the error messages start coming out in German. And the time stamps are in European standard time. It is as if someone said "Good enough Rolf, no one will ever get this far."

    1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

      Re: It's ERP all the way down

      In addition to "leftpondian", I heartily enjoy your post's subtle insinuation that all you need to do to get error messages is use the menus.

    2. Korev Silver badge

      Re: It's ERP all the way down

      And the time stamps are in European standard time.

      Don't get us started on American dates used as standard...

      Yes from orbit -->

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: American Dates

        ISO8601 or death: yyyy-mm-dd is unambigous and sorts properly UK/US dates are are ambiguous 132 days of the year.

  7. json

    I wouldnt be surprised

    after Amazon is done with infra.. it'll dive into business apps.

    1. SecretSonOfHG

      Re: I wouldnt be surprised

      This. That day we'll have a good laugh with the Gartners, Accentures and Deloittes. Not to mention the SAPs of the world, of course. There's a classic disruption pattern in business called "cut out the middlemen", which is the foundation many of the biggest tech business. It has not happened yet on the ERP front, but the day when that happens will be memorable.

  8. cb7

    A large conglomerate I used to work for used Oracle for its finance systems. Oracle pushed to move everything off premises and into the cloud.

    All whilst pushing its next gen all singing, all dancing "drill all the way down into invoice line items from a single figure on the P&L" wizardry.

    Except even their fastest mega server couldn't really handle the volume of data. I left the company at that point.

    After buying another large conglomerate that uses SAP, last I heard was, they were going to migrate the whole lot to SAP.

    Either it'll all go Tits-Up, or they'll still be trying to merge the two in 5 years time, or they'll give up and will still be running the two side by side 10 years from now.

    You heard it here first.

    1. SecretSonOfHG

      My bet is on

      Not the two, but the three systems will run together. Nobody wants to admit a mistake, so the Oracle system will be used at least in some area where at least half works. Which, somewhat magically, will not be a funcionalitty covered by any of the other two systems (so as not to disrupt the political equilibrium) But the integration of the other two systems will never be completed. It is just too hard.

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