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The State of SAP 2012: New Research for a New Age

by Michael Doane

January 27, 2012

by Michael Doane, Executive Consultant at CGI and author of The SAP Green Book soon to be available through SAP Press

From 1995 through 2000, I worked in SAP systems integration, helping clients to implement R/3. In 1998, I published The SAP Blue Book, A Concise Business Guide to the World of SAP. One concern I had back then was that there was no primary research at all about the best practices for implementation.

Since that time, I have been gathering primary research about implementation best practices and, even more important, about post-implementation practices and strategies.   As a result, over the years, I have led fourteen major research projects and participated in dozens of others. Among the most striking lessons learned across studies relative to SAP (in no particular order):

You Get How You Pay For:  Fixed-fee implementation projects are the least successful; value-based fee projects are the most successful (if you can measure).

Tell Me If You’ve Heard This One Before: The large systems integrators tend to perform fairly well in the Fortune 500 market and very poorly in all other markets.

Latch-Key Kids: In a study on end user training and supports, 76% of firms polled claimed that their end users were struggling or failing when it came to SAP competency. When compared to  firms that claimed they were doing well, we found that the successful firms overwhelmingly provided more continuous training than the stru ggling firms.

I Said I Wanted Chicken but Now I Want Steak and Later I Will Be Happy to Have a Hot Dog: The client group mindset changes radically between the time they choose a systems integrator and the time they start a project. Then nearly everything changes again after go-live. (Moral: it is good to have an articulated long-term vision before starting down the SAP path).

My Last Confession Was during Business Blueprint (The Privacy of the Confessional):  In public settings, clients blame SAP or their systems integrator for project issues. When provided an anonymous platform, they place far greater blame on themselves.

A Day at the Dentist: Measurement of business performance is deemed (incorrectly) as painful as root canal. (Fewer than 20% have tangible measures during implementations).

Unfortunately, some of the essential data is now old and therefore no longer fully credible.  Further, there are a number of new subjects (Centers of Excellence, Shadow IT, and Maintaining SAP Super User Networks) where little or no primary research is available.

In order to answer myriad questions about the state of SAP 2012, we have launched a survey with hopes of having final data and analysis in time for SAPPHIRE.

Survey completion should be about 15 minutesIn return for your contribution, we will provide you with a study based on the survey results --

“The State of SAP 2012: SAP Installed Base Survey Results”  --and/or any of the following white papers:

  • We Do It Themselves - Outsourcing SAP Support Services
  • Your Users Are Stumbling and Your Business Is Suffering, How cutting SAP Training could make bad times worse
  • SAP as the Engine to Measurable Business Benefit

White papers will be delivered via e-mail, in pdf format, within seven days of your survey completion.

Here is the link to the survey:

In the survey, we ask for your e-mail address. This address will not be used for any purpose at any time other than for returning requested material to you.

Survey completion should be about 15 minutes as the questions are fairly straightforward and responses are mostly “multiple choice” or “check all that apply”.

Survey Sections include:

Intro    Demographics of Respondents

1           Current State

  •               SAP maturity
  •               Strengths & weaknesses
  •               Center of Excellence status          

2           Current Organization

  •               Business process organization/success rates
  •               Super user/end user status
  •               Organizational change management

3           Forward Planning

  •               HANA
  •               Business Intelligence
  •               Mobility

4           Center of Expertise status

5           Working Preferences

  •               Service preferences
  •               Information sources
  •               Preferred Events
  •               Preferred Workshops

The first and most important benefit to having this information is to see where you fit across the SAP installed base market. You will gain an understanding of what issues are being faced by others as well as what they are doing to evolve.

The data has extra credibility in that is derived from your peers.

Again, this is the link to the survey:

I can be reached at and welcome your comments or questions.

An email has been sent to:

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