Shaun Snapp writes
“It is now common to hear about “HANA fatigue.” For four years just about every SAP conference has been distinctly HANA flavored. One of my clients told me of her experience of at one SAP conference where the HANA pitch was so strong it took on as she described it a “cultish vibe.” That is a signal from the market to be aware of.
SAP can only keep talking about something for so long before either the audience accepts it, or rejects it and it is time to move on. That time is approaching for HANA. This is not to say that SAP won’t continue to improve HANA, reduce its price, and increase its implement-ability, but that its probably time for the marketing emphasis to change to a new topic.”
I have written plenty about SAP’s drift to platforms and tools like NetWeaver and HANA in my 2 SAP Nation books (btw Amazon is running a half off sale on the Kindle copy of the first book this week), and cannot disagree with Shaun’s sentiments.
Given that HANA is the heart and soul of its next-gen S/4 application products, it will take more than a change in “marketing emphasis”. S/4 may have to start supporting other in-memory databases so the applications are not solely tied to the fate of HANA. To give HANA a fighting chance, SAP will also have to make up for the lack of systems management and talent infrastructure around it. My books cite customers who say while they will consider HANA as an analytical tool if priced better they are nervous about it as a transaction engine because of those concerns. If you are not confident you can recover within seconds you are unlikely to put your books of record on it.
I would say beyond HANA, SAP has broader fatigue problems. Customers tell me they are constantly hounded to buy more from SAP – it could be SuccessFactors, Jam, Concur or HANA. SAP still has plenty of customer loyalty, but they want SAP to help them squeeze out much more out of the millions they have already spent with SAP in the last decade or longer, not be pressured to buy even more.
If SAP can focus on helping its customers manage the huge surround costs around the existing software, customers will happily spend a portion of those savings back with it. “Help me help you” is what customers are telling SAP.
Will SAP listen to that or will it continue to keep saying “The Answer is HANA”?
(Cross-posted @ Deal Architect)