SAP Mobility and the issue with unexperienced consultants

I have been away from writing blogs for some time now. The reason was really simple: too high workload. We had been working on several projects and as year end arroaches, we are fighting hard to solve clients issues and get all projets live before X-Mas. As by now it seems to be a successfull year.

We have been involved in a few escalations or have been called by clients to sort their issues, as they got unhappy with their current implementation partners. Doing that we have seen some things you should never do as an experienced and responsible mobile consultant. One client has taken an old SAP Mobile solution and wanted to run it on Netweaver Mobile 7.1. No issue with this – we have done it several times. But the consultant he had hired had never done that before, was unexperienced and so he did run in all traps he could run into. But instead of taking a break, take a step back and reflect the solution – perhaps he could do some things better – he blamed the SAP mobile product. I guess this is fine, cause everybody has heared it several times: “What, you deliver solutions based on SAP? Oh my god, SAP is such a bad product.” My answer is always the same: if SAP would be so bad, how could it be that more then 70% of all transactions in the world are done by an SAP system. If you take into account that this includes even the payment you do at the bakerman while buying your bread in the morning, you can imagine what this 75% mean. So, if this is the case, the issue cannot be the SAP software as such – it must be something else.

In my understanding it is the level of experience the consultant has!

One of our clients runs a big SAP implementations. His issue: the people he hires to do proof on concept and design have not necessarily heared anything of SAP. So what happens: he ends up with legacy products and is running a heavily jointed landscape. Even worse, while doing SAP implementations he has ABAP developers that have never heared of basic things like BTE events. So even simple things like: whenever you save a new or changed service order, save the ordernumber and the user into a separate table, end up in a heavy implementation of several weeks. An experienced developer will do this in just 10 mins. Create table – write the insert event into the BTE conform function module (10lines of Code) and register the event. Done! The unexperienced developer will remember even after 10 days of development he has missed this and that way on how orders can be changed by a user….. and blames SAP for a bad product ;)

If you take this simple example into account, think about mobile products. They are even more complex. You need to deal with external servers, different mobile devices, online/offline issues of devices, small bandwith, low performant devices, etc. If you have issues with the standard system already or you have no knowledge of SAP and Sybase at all, how can you build a reliable and stable solution for the client?

I know SAP is not easy to develop – and I know it is not easy to understand why things work like this or that and even worse, the documentation is poor. But once you get behind it, it is so much fun to use these products and serve clients needs. And this is the reason why I like it to be in SAP – every day you learn something new – and the next project is always a new challenge with a new issue you have not seen before.

It would be fun to meet people that have the same mind and come together. Each year at TechEd I have the opportunity to meet these people but if you have any other event that you join and you think it would be fun to meet – just drop a note and perhaps we can make it – lookin forward……