In many of my previous posts to the SDN blogspace, I have been explicitly or implicitly critical of the SAP consulting community. Many of you may think that this is just “sour grapes” – that if I were billing $250/hr, I wouldn’t be making these critical obsesrvations. Nothing could be further than the truth. My criticisms of the SAP consulting community are solely based on three objectively unassailable truths: a) Most SAP software is truly superb software; b) Even truly superb software can “bite the dust” (die from lack of use and sales), due to the fact that IT procurment is now driven by marketing/pricing and not by excellence or results. c) It is a privilege to work with superb software, not an “inalienable right”. Of these three assertions, most folks would probably DIS-agree most with (c). So let me take a moment to explain why (c) is true. Most database professionals know that Adabas and its US cousin Model 204 were ten times better databases than Oracle, DB2, Sybase, and Informix. For anyone who worked with either of these databases, working with any of the so-called relational databases is like going back to grade-school and trying to sit in chairs and write on desks that are just too small. But here we are – Adabas is dead and Model 204 is solely in maintenance mode, for all intents and purposes. So as you can see, it’s not an “inalienable” right of software consultants to work with good databases – it’s a privilege that can be taken away at any time by a combination of marketing and procurement forces. And the same is true for SAP software. All it takes is the US government and a couple of large companies to decide that they can’t effectively “price-point” SAP software in relation to rival software … and bye-bye SAP. So – since it is a “privilege” to work with superb software, it’s in the interest of the SAP consulting community to: d) try to police itself; e) try to become an effective change agent with influence on SAP customer decisions. With respect to (d) – if the SAP consulting community doesn’t do a better job of policing itself, there will continue to be members of this community who “take the money and run”, regardless of the damage they do to the reputation of SAP software. With respect to (e) – if the SAP consulting community cannot become an effective change agent with influence on customer decisions, then customers have that much more room to make the “wrong” decisions -just as they did when they decided that their databases had to be “relational”. And “wrong” decisions can be the “kisses of death” to any software company, regardless of how good the company’s software is. I have some ideas on (d) and (e), but for the moment, I am merely curious as to how many SDN-ers share any of the feelings and opinions I’ve expressed in this post. And again – don’t worry! I’m not talking about a “union” or yet another one of those dreary “professional certification” societies. Anyway, I’d like to say in closing that the greatest enemy of the future is silence in the present. And for this reason, I am disappointed that this post here: Let’s Crystallize the “Transparent Data Model” Discussion: Enterprise SOA, OTC, F-28, and open_fi_perform_00000900_e didn’t receive a single comment from any SDN-er – consultant, customer, or SAP staff-member.