In the year and a half since it announced its next-generation ERP platform, S/4HANA, SAP has come under criticism from some users, analysts and partners for not filling in enough details.
Attendees of this year's Sapphire Now conference went into the event looking to learn the latest about the SAP S/4HANA roadmap and the rate of adoption for the ERP suite. SAP didn't disappoint, offering an update on the S/4HANA modules that are planned for this year and trotting out a fresh crop of early adopters.
"We will build now a flurry of new applications," said Hasso Plattner, chairman of the SAP supervisory board, in his keynote. "Finally, we are through the transition. This is the future."
SAP's main technical thrust for more than a half decade has centered on the HANA in-memory database, first as a platform for both real-time analytics and for running SAP's flagship ERP system, Business Suite. HANA next became the basis for the major rewrite of the ERP code that became S/4HANA. More recently, cloud services designed to make it easier for users to move to HANA and S/4HANA -- especially HANA Cloud Platform -- are getting nearly equal billing. All three were pushed heavily at Sapphire in keynotes, technical sessions, and conversations in SAP exhibits and meeting rooms.
SearchSAP took an informal poll at the conference and asked users how happy they are with the vendor's explanations of the SAP S/4HANA roadmap. The consensus was generally positive.
"We haven't gotten a clear, consistent answer" in past years to SAP S/4HANA roadmap questions, said Matt Frieling, managing partner at Local World Staffing, a Los Angeles-based recruiter of IT professionals who have SAP skills. "This year, it's a lot more developed. There's a lot more clarity."
Frieling said the progression of the SAP S/4HANA roadmap resembles that of HANA, which has been out several years, but only recently been bolstered with compelling use cases. "It's going to take time to adopt," he said.
The video shows the reactions of several users to the SAP S/4HANA roadmap and the case SAP officials laid out for HANA, S/4HANA and HANA Cloud Platform.