More than one-in-ten SAP users 'unaware' of S4/Hana – and half aren’t planning to upgrade

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While enterprise resource planning (ERP) software giant SAP has done its utmost to persuade customers to shift to S/4Hana, more than one-in-ten of SAP's own users claim not to have even heard of the software.

In a survey by the SAP UK & Ireland User Group of S/4Hana adoption, only five per cent claimed that they had upgraded, while one-third claimed that their organisation was planning to upgrade.

But an impressive 12 per cent of SAP professionals in the User Group suggested that, despite a high profile push by SAP, they hadn't even heard of it.

Perhaps more worrying for SAP, though, was the 49 per cent who claimed that their organisation had no plans to follow early adopters such as Hillarys Blinds and upgrade to S/4Hana. Potential licensing costs are believed to be one of the issues behind this reticence.

"It was released six months prior to our conference last year, very much as a new product," said Philip Adams, the chairman of the SAP UK & Ireland User Group. "One of the big concerns was ‘does that mean it's new licence fees?' We actively worked with SAP after the event last year via our executive SAP network to get clarity around what it really meant.

"That dialogue was healthy and constructive and SAP clarified the position in early January around what it meant. Although S/4Hana was being branded as a new product, it didn't necessarily mean that it was, for us, a new purchase," said Adams.

These concerns over licensing were also broached by UK & Ireland managing director Cormac Watters in his Q&A session.

Users will, of course, have to pay for consulting fees to help them shift to the new system, as well as retraining staff, not just on the new SAP system, but potentially the underlying operating system if they're shifting from (say) HP-UX to Linux.

Organisations will also need to invest in new licensing fees to use SAP's Hana in-memory database, and train staff in how to use it and some of the issues they are likely to face in the shift from a columnar-style relational database to SAP Hana.

Users were also critical of SAP's communications in terms of clear information about what the migration path to S/4Hana would entail, with 70 per cent suggesting that it hadn't been good enough.

Source: V3

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