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3.9 out of 5 stars13
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 15 June 2007
Stephen Birchall has written a very readable overview of the challenges that SAP presents to all businesses. He provides a good perspective on SAP implementation projects from a contractor's point of view.

As a Project Manager who has recently implemented a Plant Maintenance roll-out, I have to agree with most of the points he raises. Its an excellent starting point for any Project team member.

A few cribs:

- He focuses particularly on MM (Materials Management) and Services functionality for examples. Understandable, as it is impossible to be expert on all aspects.

- No commentary on Netweaver or BI.

- Little commentary on IT Project Management issues; Data conversion or technical issues surrounding testing etc.

- Chapter structure is strange; there are excellent issues addressed in pages 172 to 241, but are embedded in this massive chapter.
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on 25 October 2007
As other people have identified, the book contains a number of major spelling, syntax and grammatical errors. However, once you get past those issues, it is still worth reading.

The book does not set out to teach you how to use the software; however, based upon the authors experience as a consultant and trainer, he offers some insight into the implementation process and highlights key areas to be aware of. It is clear that he is a big fan of SAP, the product and the company. He also indicates the root causes of many of the failed implementation projects.

I would suggest that if this book were re-written to remove the glaring errors, it would make a good preparation tool to be given to the senior management team of any company that is contemplating going down this route. It could also of benefit to those that will be working on the project.
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on 18 October 2007
This book is exactly what the title says, a map of the minefield in the world of SAP. In my mind this book should be read by anyone considering a SAP implementation as it points out areas that require extra consideration before confiquration takes place. Stephen explains the logic within SAP which can help you make decisions on how to use SAP to gain the most from the system for your company.

I would recommend this book anyone new to SAP and also someone with some knowledge but eager to know more.
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on 30 June 2011
This book should come in a bundle with 'Eats Shoots and Leaves' as a case study in shockingly bad English. If you can't write, for crying out loud get a co-author. The publisher should be shot for releasing this (or allowing it to escape).

Anyway, if you can get past that, there's some great information in here. I know the stated intent is to provide a book that is to be read from front to back. I just think that's the wrong format for an introductory text for busy managers and the like. Far too waffly. Drop the life story for a start. It feels like protesting too much.

In summary, this guy has great knowledge and I got everything I needed out of this book. It just shouldn't have been that much hard work. But then again this is SAP...
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on 11 January 2006
Overall this is an OK book, but not stunning. A lot of the advice shows the author has a good solid understanding of his subject, which he conveys in a reasonably clear manner, although does tend to get rather bogged down in his own areas of expertise. I found a number of what are obviously uncorrected typos rather annoying, but these do not on the whole detract from the content. More serious is the author’s tendency to reduce explanation to SAP jargon, with liberal use of FI, MM, MRP and other more obscure references littered through the text. Most are eventually explained, but a second reading is needed to get a clear gasp of what he is trying to convey.
Several major areas of SAP are ignored. The book is very much tied to the functional areas of the product and almost ignores the technical aspects. After reading this book you will be none the wiser about the tradeoffs and pitfalls associated with various technology choices; you will have little idea of the business intelligence, portal, integration or mobile elements of the product. It is very much a core R/3 book, ignoring recent MySAP and Netweaver developments. That said, the R/3 function remains the core of SAP and so there is a lot of value to be had from the authors lessons, although I suspect by the end of the book you will know rather more about the authors self-proclaimed area of expertise, Materials Management, than you ever wanted to
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on 16 November 2007
As previously mentioned by other reviewers this is a great book for those people who have had a bit of SAP experience and want to get more exposed to SAP and its functionality. Steve provides accurate concise information that people who are new to the system can understand.
Again I would recommend this book to SAP Users, trainers, Managers etc working with SAP or considering implementing the system.
I have the pleasure to work with Steve and his knowledge around SAP and business process is outstanding.
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on 23 August 2005
I have many years experience of implementing SAP and I can honestly say that if I would have read this book first then I would have saved a great deal of time and money.
It not only points out the do's and dont's but it explains the logic behind the recommendations so you can draw your own conclusions rather than just following the recommendations blindly.
I like the sections at the back of the book that give some detailed help with the main issues that often cause problems later in the project if they are not considered up front.
You can tell that Stephen has the in-depth experience that he claims to have by the examples and logic he uses throughout the book.
I would recommend the book to anyone wanting to know more about how to get the most out os SAP whether they are a project manager, a director, a consultant or an end user.
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on 24 October 2006
I found the book to be very informative and the author is obviously very experienced in this field. Well worth a read if you are about to embark on an SAP implementation and especially so if you are moving away from customised, legacy systems.

The book does not require you to have any prior SAP knowledge so it is not a challenge in that respect. However you may struggle with the book if you find 'typos' and 'random Use of Capital Letters when Not Required' distracting. If SAP has a spellcheck transaction somewhere within its vast functionality, this book was not passed through it.
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on 30 March 2009
Brilliant book for anyone new to SAP or becoming involved in an SAP rollout. Well worth the money.
Delivered in good condition and on time.
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on 4 May 2013
Good prompt delivery of this product. The product was as expected. I am glad to recommend the service provided by the vendor.
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