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When you buy a hamburger, your hunger is satisfied. When you buy a sports car, you know that you’ll get one of these Bikini girls stretching their limbs on the hoot of the car. When you buy this new 1000 Watt multimedia entertainment center, you know that soon you can purchase the apartment above you, once the noise-stricken tenants moved out.

It’s quite simple to understand, what the benefit for a customer is to purchase those products. But how is it with SAP software? No Bikini girls will massage your shoulders, when you launch the call center transaction. No Latin lover will sing you romantic songs, when you debug through ABAP code.

What’s the value of it then?

SAP sales representatives hear this very question regularly. They launched a full scale investigation, what possible values there might be and they came up with a list of reasons. Here is an excerpt:

Reason # 265
Learn patience
Do you think waiting in line at the supermarket takes too long? Or entering the main attraction in the fun park only after four hours waiting? Here is the solution: logon to an SAP system and time and space become relative.
First comes the second, then the minute, then the hour, the day, the week, month, year, century, millennium, aeon …. and then comes nothing for a long time … and then comes the SAP system.

Reason # 490
Improve your memory
Do you remember the times in school when you had to learn poems by heart? Do you feel that the older you get the more you forget?
Here is the solution: buy SAP and we guarantee that you will train and improve your memory. The SAP system will throw one new three letter acronym every two hours, one transaction code every hour and one super-sophisticated, labyrinth-like menu-path every half hour at you. The winner can enter data in the system.

Reason # 537
Become beautiful
You are prettier, when you are angry. We’ll take care of your anger with the extra annoying usability!

Now here is Reason # 1001, that came up just recently. But we have to start with a short story to give you the context:

In a country in the Middle East, a company bought SAP Business Intelligence for good money and hired a couple of consultants to implement the system. The project went on for several months, the ERP-systems were pimped up, the BW unpacked, painted and nailed to the wall and after a year the system went live – right on the scheduled time.
Everybody was happy, the customer beamed, the consultants took their bags of gold and rode home on the camels.
In the after-project phase, the former project lead called the customer regularly and asked how everything was going. Each time the answer was: “Great, everything works fine.” A happy customer, a rare species.

That’s why after some months the consultants had the idea to ask this happy customer, if they were interested in becoming a reference customer (a reference customer is somebody, who recovered from the pain and the bruises and shows the debris to others, who are interested in undergoing the same situation).

There was some silence on the other end of the line and then came the hesitating answer: “Well, yes, but we’d need some weeks to prepare.”

The consultants waited and after the promised weeks, they all flew to the happy customer. Once the hospitality ceremony was over and the knock-out effect of strong Middle Eastern coffee faded away, they took a look at the BW system. They wanted to decide, what business scenario was good to use it for demoing purposes to potential other customers.

They logged on, browsed through the system and then the consultants became puzzled. The system was empty. Not a single trace of data or load requests could be found, only some mice droppings, a dead camel and a silent hermit. Flabbergasted they stood there with open mouths for several minutes, all consultants bared from intelligent thoughts at this moment.

Now here is what had happened. We travel back in time some months ago.

The sheiks meet regularly to smoke a water pipe, eat some sweet Baklavaa and generally talk about the life and universe. Like any real men they talk about their newest and hottest gimmicks. Men of my breed tend to show off with flat screen TVs, newest exhaust pipes for the car or the latest additions to computers.

“Have you seen my built in cigarette lighter? Works through the USB port.”
“Pffff, nothing against my cordless electric toothpick”

Sheiks do play in a different league. Their wealth allows them to raise the bar, and conversations in their rounds go like these:

“Well, well, have I mentioned that I bought a new Rolls Royce yesterday?”
“Didn’t you buy one just two weeks ago?”
“Yes, but I got a new one. In the old one the ashtray was full.”
“But did you hear about this new Bugatti with a top speed of 400km/h? I bought a couple of dozens of them to race them on my private race track.”
“Then you will loose again, when I come with my Formula 1 race car series.”

That’s how they are sitting together and enjoying talk about their toys. Now what has this to do with SAP BW?
Let’s sneak in again and listen to them…

“By the way, we implemented SAP BW for managing my stud farm.”
“It took you long. We have SAP BW already for more than 3 years. What about you?”
And both sheiks looked at the third silent sheik.
“Ahem, mmhhh, well, to be honest, we start implementing it tomorrow.”

And out he rushed to call his people to get this project started. But first he told them to get in contact with SAP and buy the licenses and hire some consultants.

And some months later, when the discussion involved SAP BW again, the sheik could finally say:

“Before I forget, we implemented the newest version of SAP BW.”

Reason # 1001
Show off
Be able to show off with your buddies, and everybody can feel what you paid and how much you endured. Elder ladies in the bus will offer you their seats, and pitiful pats on your shoulders are guaranteed.

More anecdotes can be found in the Humour@SAP weblog series.

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