Julian Bond, head of ICT at blind and shutter manufacturer Hillarys, has criticised SAP over the way it has been pushing its Hana database.
Speaking at the recent SAP User Group Conference in Birmingham, Bond revealed how his company is planning to migrate to the latest on-premise version of SAP's enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite over Christmas, including a plan to migrate from Oracle to SAP Hana for its database backend.
The company is also considering a shift from its current on-premise SAP customer relationship management (CRM) system, which was first implemented in 2004, over to SAP's own cloud-based offering, which Bond says Hillarys will trial in 2017.
However, Bond is critical of SAP's attempts to push customers to switch from Oracle to SAP Hana. "When we first started looking at Hana five or six years ago, there were two or three years when it felt like [the attitude was] 'The answer is Hana. Now, what's the question?'" said Bond.
"That's all we got from SAP for years," he added. "At one point, we had a swear box and SAP people who came on-site were fined £5, which went to a local charity, every time they mentioned Hana. We got a lot of money out of some people," said Bond. "We didn't get any sense out of SAP for three or four years."
It was only about two years ago that SAP started talking to customers in their language about the potential benefits that SAP Hana might offer - not just in terms of speed of processing, analytics and so on, but in simply managing the software and how SAP will fit in and run in ordinary organisations.
"One of the hardest things we've found on this journey," he concluded, "is how do you get past this marketing hype? I'm not a sceptic; I'm just trying to get through the hype."