It's SUPER Custom Development!!

Back to comments about the latest bi-annual conference.. 

So, you have an issue with the software? It doesn't quite meet your business needs? What a drag that can be. I know, you can always customize the thing, that'll work..But what happens at upgrade? What a pain..There has to be a better way......

I know, lets hook up with some user group and tell THEM what we want. User groups have lots of power and influence right??

Oh, you poor, poor questioning soul. Take a few minutes to examine the statements that have been made over the past few years;

  • "Create a list"
  • "Not just a list, a prioritized list from all focus groups" 
  • "Get your executives to tell us"
  • "Go to ASUG"
  • "Go through custom development"
  • "Form a focus group"
  • "Do a customer project"

See a pattern here? It gets even more interesting when you look at recent events. Remember the OEW?? You know, that neat piece of engineering that got presented last year? Oh, yes, you can have it...For a price...

Now then. I have no issue with ponying up cash for standard software. But a piece of custom software developed for someone else? You want me to pay what? And get what kind of "support" in return?? On top of raising the cost of my already expensive "maintenance" for the standard release?? Hmmm. Not sure I like that picture.

Fast forward to Marco 2008. We had 3 separate presentations by custom development, all on the same general topic;

"Revive advanced mode"

I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want to do that..Not when SAP is showing things that are strangley like another modeling language in the packages. They handle inter product relationships. Will next be multi instantiation? Let's not forget, advanced mode has been around since 1998(!) and is still not part of the standard software. Why should I think it will be any time soon? In the meantime, there are MULTIPLE vendors out there that handle the interproduct relationships and graphics way better than advanced mode does..Strangely enough, those vendors are doing really well in the marketplace while advanced mode languishes...And we should bring it back??

In the end, there are 2 things wrong with this picture (IMHO)

  1. We STILL do not know specifically how SAP will accept requirements AND make them part of the standard offering.
  2. We will have to suffer through even more marketing pitches from custom development for things that probably will NOT make it into the standard software offering.

Tell me what you think of the whole sordid picture...It could be that my little crystal ball has way too much snow on top of it now..And it frosted up on the inside to boot!!