Since the inception of SAP’s cloud portfolio, starting with ByDesign release 2.5/2.6, SAP has hyped shiny new features and processes for their products and support. They FAIL time and time again by over-promising and under-delivering in the following ways:
1) Hyping a release way, way before it’s delivered to the customer. Customers hate this. They hear about all the things that will address their pain points, and want that functionality when it’s announced. The reality is much different.
Example: Pinkberry. The company got hands on access to ByDesign FP2.5/2.6 at SAPPHIRE in May 2010. New customers were brought on board with these feature packs but the early adopters were left in the dust. Pinkberry didn’t get upgraded to FP2.6 until September 2011. That’s over a year and a half after it was available. I came back from SAPPHIRE 2010 with a glowing report to Pinkberry on all the new functionality. Imagine my embarrassment when we didn’t get anything from my glowing report until 1.5 years later.
2) Promising performance improvements to customers with each release. This simply is not the case. If the performance of SAP’s OnDemand products has improved in any way, it would have to be measured in nano-seconds. This is still the number one complaint of ByDesign customers. At least they got rid of that annoying spinning orange wheel and replaced it with a scrolling orange bar while you wait for a transaction to be completed.
3) With the release of FP4.0, developers were promised a 3 day turnaround on Public Solution Model requests. I can tell you from personal experience that I have many weeks-old requests that are unfulfilled with no timeline on the horizon for delivery. If SAP wants it’s OnDemand products to be beefed up by the Partners, they’re certainly not showing it. What is the point of General Availability of Nothing?
= 3 __________ TURNAROUND. Fill in the blank.
Edit: I just got this clarification from the Z-man himself.
I said:For existing BOs, we respond in 3 days and deliver with the next hot fix collect.
However, I will not retract my statements at this time, because:
- I can’t confirm the 3 day response time, but I put in 3 requests yesterday, so we shall see.
- The next hot fix collect? That is so vague and non-committal that it provides no answer to the problem. What is the schedule/cycle for hot fixes?
Even though he probably has no idea who I am, I have been challenging Rainer since my first SAPPHIRE in 2010. I do this, of course, because I love ByDesign and I’m committed to it’s continual improvement. Rainer usually sort of brushes off my questions, but maybe that’s just what high-level people do when confronted by a peon such as myself.
4) Analytics. SAP boasts a comprehensive analytics engine that makes reporting a breeze. But try running a report showing the ship-to address on a Sales Order. You can’t. This is just one of many, many examples where data is not reportable. Why enter data into a system if you can’t get it out?
SAP has come a long way in improving it’s culture and enablement of it’s partners. I appreciate and applaud that.
But until the above four points are resolved, deals will continue to be lost to NetSuite, SalesForce, Workday, Plex, etc. It’s almost as if SAP is blocking it’s own success. The golden rule of software and consulting is to under-promise and over-deliver. SAP is doing the opposite.
Follow me on Twitter @JudsonOnDemand