Last week, I posted on LinkedIn. A client of mine asked why SAP folk seem to have egos and I didn’t know how to answer so I threw it out to Linkedin.
The response was amazing and I had 30+ comments and several direct messages. It ruffled some egos that’s for sure!
One guy, who would prefer to remain anonymous, had a lot to say on the topic……
“I think this has to do with the way SAP manages the ‘market’ as such. They continuously ‘renew’ their product in a bid to stay ahead of the competition. I have worked in the environment for over 20 years and have encountered the same in my fellow consultants. Essentially I think the ‘arrogance’ stems from a degree of self importance, but really this is should not be the case, SAP is actually easier to implement than most products as it is built specifically to be implemented by laymen (just notice the large number of business people turned consultant).
Largely I think it is the high cost of implementation that makes these guys puff up their ego’s . In my experience and also working on other products I think this is mainly in the SAP environment, and probably stems from below reasons:
- SAP consultants generally come from industry or other backgrounds and move into the SAP roles and are not always from a trained consulting background from one of the big organisations like EY, Deloitte, SAP, etc. Formal training appears to be absent outside certification and experience.
- There is no real formal ‘bedside manner’ consultant training by any SAP/industry certifications. SAP partners just need to remain in business and get the job done. The consultant attitude/approach is more or less to the individual. Guys that are better with clients tend to prevail. I would suggest though that the client can manage this by threatening to close the purse strings to the agent or consulting company through which the contractor is engaged. Often though the arrogance will be blamed on a “difficult” customer.
- There is a degree of nepotism/cronyism in the SAP market, especially among consultants. This means you tend to get persons on the project that have done the job before and known to existing consultants on the project. This means behavioral filters are side stepped. I think it also depends who is engaged on the job and how they are engaged. I worked for SAP directly for a time and found that fixed price contracts worked well and the project was very motivated to deliver. When I have worked on a project with non-fixed price (e.g. Accenture) it was more of a nightmare and the arrogance and consultant attitude was designed to get more people on the project.
So I guess it depends on who is engaged on the job, and also how they are engaged. Most important for the customer/client is to actively managed the engaged contractors/consultants and essentially don’t take any s**t from them.
My 2 cents worth!”
So, do you agree with Mr Anonymous?