I think you need to take this on an industry by industry basis. Some industries are addressed by SAP solutions more so than others.
It's also a safe bet that many companies have business processes that are decades old that should redesigned rather than simply replicated in newer enabling technologies, be it SAP, Oracle or others. I've been on many implementations where the customer has some round-about way of doing things because that's how it has always been done. The companies that tend to have the most successful implementations are the ones that are flexible when it comes to process change. This involves more change management, but ultimately it's worth it.
"SAP Solutions". Those two words together still give me a chuckle. And for the record, it is SAP that is old and antiquated and needs to be updated. They bring nothing new from a technology standpoint to the table.
Your post pretty much confirms the original posters comments. You basically said that in many implementations that the customers way of doing things is wrong and SAP is right. And companies that are "flexible" and will to conform their businesses to SAP are the ones that are successful. Once again, it is the extreme arrogance in this way of thinking that will ultimately lead to SAP's demise.
One of these ERP outfits will one day create a system that conforms to the customer's business, is user friendly, and streamlines tasks and saves time of the individuals using it. The first one to figure this out will rule the world.
"One of these ERP outfits will one day create a system that conforms to the customer's business, is user friendly, and streamlines tasks and saves time of the individuals using it. The first one to figure this out will rule the world." - Balls
And let me add to this by saying that the car company that is able to build a car that can go 0-60 in 2 seconds, gets 250 miles per gallon, is the size of a small bus but can fit neatly into a compact parking spot, and sell for under $5,000 will rule the auto industry. You listening, Detroit? Until this happens, I think we should all stop buying cars - who's with me?
Companies want flexibility, but they also want best practice and pre-defined solutions that are easily implemented. Do you see the conflict here? Most companies recognize that in order to get one thing, they may have to sacrifice another.
You make the assumption that it is the responsibility of the software and the implementation partner to concede to the whims of the client with no questions asked. A good implementation partner will use its expertise to recommend better ways of doing things - not for the sake of fitting it to the software, but because it makes sense for the company.
Going back to the car analogy, when you go to buy a new car do you tell the dealer "I want a car that gets 20 miles to the gallon because that's what my 15 year old car used to get"? If 20 miles to the gallon is good, isn't 27 miles better?
If all a company wants to do is replicate its old solution in an ERP system, then I would agree that their money is better spent on new carpeting in the office. Most companies considering ERP are looking for a little bit more than that.
I agree, I had developed software for our place that was in some cases 20 years old, and we consciously were looking to throw out the old manual methods that I duplicated in software and have SAP "force" us into more streamlined processes. And that is exactly what happened. I will say that during our selection process, we did not pick SAP so much as we picked the implementation company that helped us install... any major ERP software could do the things we needed.