Last week, SAP announced a cloud-based financial planning solution called SAP Cloud for Planning. They told customers that cloud budgeting and planning is superior, because it delivers “new levels of innovation” and enables organizations to “adapt business processes faster than ever before”. We couldn’t agree more – the benefits of the cloud truly are transformative compared to their legacy on-premises brethren. We should know – 2,300+ customers are already doing it with Adaptive.
In fact, according to a company press release, this SAP Cloud for Planning is “designed around user experience and built for the cloud,” and features a “consumer app-like user experience.” Sounds remarkably like what many of the world’s largest organizations that run SAP are already experiencing with Adaptive.
I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
But here’s the real kicker: Unlike the Adaptive cloud suite, which 2,300+ businesses all over the world use today, the SAP Cloud for Planning is not available yet. Apparently the company plans to help their customers “defeat complexity and do highly sophisticated planning more simply,” with no more than the transformative power of a press release, and “trust us”. They’re asking their customers to struggle with their planning and budgeting and cycles and wait…wait…wait…while their cloud is still under construction.
But trust has to be earned.
We’ve seen this show before and we know how it plays out. SAP customers have long memories, trodden a trail of broken promises, and often got burned. Back in 2006, SAP announced their cloud financial management application – SAP Business ByDesign – with a lofty goal of adding 10,000 customers per year by 2010. Four years later, then co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe declared “It’s not a fantasy”. It was. Fast forward to today, when 700 customers are stranded on a product for which they “no longer receive any more major feature updates.” That’s the kind of cloud that will leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth.
But there’s more. How about this announcement: “SAP Raises the Bar in Performance Management Market with New Cloud Solution”. Wait, isn’t that what SAP just announced? Nope, that was two years ago when the company announced an entirely different cloud solution. I’m assuming the customers that chose that are now scratching their heads and wondering where their future lies. More broken promises while SAP tries to transition its legacy on-premises business to the cloud. Meanwhile, their customers left holding the bag.
The old maxim “the best predictor of future performance is past behavior” is looking like it holds true, especially with a revolving door of SAP Cloud executives.
We think the benefits of cloud planning – along with financial consolidation, reporting, and analytics – are just too good to wait for. Accelerating a planning cycle by 70% is simply too significant to pass up, so we pose this question to SAP customers: Why wait?
Why bet your planning and budgeting processes on the promises of a press release?
Business leaders within thousands of organizations around the world are already using Adaptive to better react to changes in their industry, take advantage of new and unexpected market opportunities, and accelerate their overall growth. This SAP cloud idea is already reality for Adaptive customers. Just ask them.
So congratulations SAP on your step in the right direction, and for finally telling your customers the truth: Cloud planning is the smart way to go. We invite SAP customers to join us in the cloud today, not wait for a legacy company to deliver on their future promises of the cloud.
Paul Turner is Vice President of Product Marketing at Adaptive Insights