The German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG) is holding its Technology Days conference in Hamburg with a series of demands to alleviate concerns about recent SAP policy changes.

DSAG, one of the more vocal user groups in enterprise technology, has previously had gripes with SAP's move to tether innovation to cloud operating models. At its Technology Days 2024, DSAG elaborated on customer concerns, which often revolve around SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP).

In a statement, DSAG said:

"The hype surrounding generative artificial intelligence (AI) systems is currently attracting the attention of many companies, which are increasingly looking for suitable areas of application. From DSAG's point of view, integrating AI into existing products to improve their functionality makes sense and can be helpful. However, there is still a world of difference between vision and reality or between sales and usable software."

The upshot here is that DSAG is arguing that what is good for SAP's business model isn't necessarily in customer interests. DSAG noted that customers are unsettled over SAP's plans to only make AI innovations available via RISE with SAP Premium since many customers have opted for S/4HANA Private Cloud or on-premises deployments. "Offering AI only in a single cloud contract and operating model is also technically untenable, as large-language models can be implemented independently of this at any time," said Sebastian Westphal, Board Member Technology of DSAG.

Constellation Research CEO Ray Wang said:

"SAP users continue to pay for upgrades, acquisitions, and technical platforms that should have been covered with their original maintenance dollars.  This is why many customers are looking to independent maintenance options like Rimni Street and are waiting until 2030 to postpone their upgrade.  All this financial engineering is not helping SAP make the case to customers that they should upgrade."

DSAG's demands come as SAP just outlined its 2024 and 2025 ambitions and strategy. In addition, enterprises are looking at more hybrid cloud models for generative AI and the reality is that a one-cloud-fits-all model will encounter pushback.

DSAG outlined the following demands:

  • The technical integration of AI models must be open and must not be made dependent on commercial contract models. "Transparent and proven billing models and metrics are needed. It must also be possible to prove that valid guidelines have been implemented and documented when AI makes process decisions," said DSAG.
  • Identity management requires a clear target solution from SAP with migration scenarios and services.
  • Uniform Harmonized Document Management across the entire SAP portfolio including Ariba and SuccessFactors and BTP.
  • Consistency across BTP services. DSAG noted that monitoring and logging of individual BTP services is not standardized. BTP needs a uniform strategy.
  • Comprehensive end-to-end business applications for SAP Datasphere and SAP Analytics Cloud as well as an extended license model for business users. "In addition to the live connection of the SAP Analytics Cloud to all SAP products, this is also needed for non-SAP sources. Appropriate migration scenarios that take existing solutions into account and a license model for occasional users have also been necessary for years," said Westphal.
  • Considerable progress in the areas of data fabric/data mesh and modern data warehouse architectures.
  • Security tools for Solution Manager beyond 2027. "Initial signals from SAP that these functionalities will be provided in the SAP Cloud ALM target platform in the future can only be the beginning," said DSAG.
  • Flexibly controllable cloud services to replace always-on scenarios and re-served instances.
  • Energy consumption must be taken into account for cloud services and the development of cloud-based infrastructures.
  • Green ledgers for sustainability requirements must not be provided at extra cost and only for RISE-with-SAP premium customers.

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