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SAP Nation 2.0: an empire in disarray (Volume 2) Paperback – August 9, 2015
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About the Author
Vinnie Mirchandani has written about technology-enabled innovation in his celebrated books, The New Polymath and The New Technology Elite. His work, SAP Nation, and this sequel are more investigative but carry his trademark style which is research-intensive and offers a 360 degree perspective on the subject matter. This book benefits from his 25+ years consulting with SAP and other IT customers at PwC, Gartner and his advisory firm, Deal Architect, plus his travels and speaking engagements across 50 countries.
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Top customer reviews
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I've been on the outside of SAP for many years, and done sales engineering in competition against them a few times, particularly in the energy and utility spaces. This is a good read if you're an SAP customer, wondering if your experience is unique, or someone looking at them from the outside but always wondering, "Why are people using this stuff?" and "Why is it so old/expensive/hard to implement/slow to change?"
The historical context from this book, and the original, helps understand how it became so widespread back in the day. Without getting too hard into the technology (that would be another book) it really focuses on the big-picture strategy (what are they going to do with all these duplicate systems, acquisitions, cloud/non-cloud, etc).
I've seen them end-of-life some products shortly after someone buys it--that's a huge risk when you're not sure what parts of the portfolio they'll keep, or force to their lower-featured cloud version, or force to HANA, or drop in favor of one of their duplicates. Most of their "cloud" seems to be the acquisitions (concur, some of hybris, fieldglass) rather than the core ERP products. As customers get accustomed to being on the current version (cloud everything), the idea of getting stuck on something with no enhancements for years becomes unacceptable.
The other good takeaway is the examples of the containment strategy--basically, try to avoid using more SAP and contain what you have. Find better solutions for other domains (sales/service, HR, marketing, custom app dev, etc) and get the mileage out of your existing SAP without making more huge commitments to it, at least until there's a clear strategy on what's going to have a path forward.
This material is very much all of the things I am interested in, and I have been looking into recently. I don't see others writing this honestly on the topic. The thing that I really did not put together myself, but Vinnie's book illuminated very well was the sprawl aspects of SAP. This was one of the high points of the book. I see the effects of sprawl -- incomplete software, disappearing support, confusing marketing, but this book really showed the root causes of what I perceive as sort of point issues. Basically, SAP is becoming more and more disorganized. What this means is that it has a lower ability to achieve any of it's objectives.
I also think Vinnie really tried to be fair -- but the data just kept pointing in one direction so he went with where the data was pointing.
This is a must read for SAP customers, partners, etc..