SAP Not Wavering on Pricier Support Plan

SAP AG last week offered a small olive branch to angry users by sweetening the features of its mandatory Enterprise Support program and extending the regular maintenance period for its core applications from five to seven years.

But SAP isn't making any concessions on the higher costs that customers will face when they start being moved to Enterprise Support in January. Nor does the software vendor appear to be second-guessing its July decision to shift all users to the new program.

"What I learned is, we could have communicated it a little bit better. That's the only thing," SAP co-CEO Henning Kagermann said when asked about Enterprise Support during a session at a Goldman Sachs conference in New York.

But in a survey conducted recently by the SAP User Group Executive Network, 90% of the respondents said they didn't fully understand the features of Enterprise Support or its potential cost benefits, according to a joint announcement by SAP and SUGEN.

The vendor and SUGEN, which includes representatives from 31 SAP user groups worldwide, said they plan to work together to develop a set of performance metrics for assessing the value of Enterprise Support.

"We need a joint effort to overcome the differences between SAP and its customer base [in order] to ensure value is delivered for the increased maintenance fees," SUGEN Vice Chairman Matthias Herzog said in a statement.

This version of the story originally appeared in Computerworld's print edition.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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