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Users fail to snap up SAP’s S/4Hana

2/10/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


A new survey has revealed that SAP’s S/4Hana enterprise suite has failed to find enthusiasm among technology users. SAP’s German-speaking user group DSAG published a report showing that only 6% of the 357 Austrian, Swiss and German user companies have actually begun a new project with the tool; meanwhile, just 4% have acquired licences.

The data was revealed as DSAG met for its 16th annual conference in Bremen. The survey highlighted some interesting views on S/4Hana, a suite that SAP put a lot of time and marketing into. While few have actually used the software, 37% of those questioned said they do not feel S/4Hana provides any added value. While 42% are still looking into the enterprise suite, 11% have not even taken the time to examine it.

One problem that could be affecting take-up is lack of information. The publication showed that many in SAP’s user group do not think the enterprise resource planning (ERP) company has clearly outlined the suite’s functionality. Users also suggest that SAP has not given information on the conditions in which businesses can migrate to S/4Hana, the license model structure or the potential business benefits.

SAP’s classic Business Suite was embraced by survey respondents as being a backbone of ERP; however, in the cloud computing environment ERP has not fared so well. Computer Economics president Frank Scavo suggested that SAP’s clientele are generally a conservative group. “Although there are certainly innovators among them, most are not early adopters,” Mr Scavo explained “They tend to move slowly and cautiously, waiting until new technologies are proven before adopting them.” As a result, it can be hard to get customers to move into new areas when the existing technology they are using is providing an adequate service.

Mr Scavo added that the cloud is a perfect example, with cloud migrations not normally happening when businesses upgrade their systems; instead, it takes a total overhaul and new solution before many firms move to the cloud. “Security and privacy concerns aside, it is simply an easier option for them to continue to do what they are doing in terms of deployment,” he revealed. As a result, usage and take-up of S/4Hana is more likely to come about due to new deals rather than current customers wanting to upgrade and update their systems.

Cloud ERP software is still in its infancy for larger firms and may gain speed as proof of success can be evidenced, Forrester Research vice-president Paul Hamerman said. For now, however, it seems that SAP has some work to do when it comes to encouraging the adoption of its latest enterprise suite.

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