SAP Watch

Feb 21 2008   3:56PM GMT

Are you getting what you pay for from SAP maintenance and support?

JackDanahy Jack Danahy Profile: JackDanahy

For all you SAP users out there looking to save on SAP maintenance and support beware, SAP has eliminated its Basic Support option for net new customers. It’s actually eliminated Premium Support as well, replacing both with one option — Enterprise Support. Where once customers could choose between 17% of net licensing fees or 22%, now there’s only one option — 22%.

SAP went to great pains to say it wasn’t raising maintenance fees, but if it’s eliminated the cheaper option, that may be an issue of semantics.

It’s an interesting move that prompts a few questions:

  • Why do this in a time when Software as a Service (Salesforce.com, NetSuite, Business ByDesign) is firmly entrenched in the market and third-party support vendors (Rimini Street, TomorrowNow) are gaining traction? It seems that rather than extra support, there’s an appetite for cheaper alternatives.
  • SAP is now in line with Oracle’s maintenance fee structure, giving up what appeared to be a competitive advantage. Why?
  • What does this mean for TomorrowNow? SAP has already indicated it is inclined to sell off the division after the fiasco with the Oracle lawsuit. This move suggests it’s less interested than ever in offering cheaper support options.
  • Are you getting what you pay for in maintenance fees as it is? A similar question about Oracle Support posed on Eye on Oracle drew overwhelming response, with many raising some serious concerns about Oracle’s responsiveness, while others were perfectly satisfied. How does SAP measure up?
  • Over at the Software Insiders, Ray Wang says it’s time to stop the anti-competitive maintenance fee madness and suggests its time for software buyers to revolt.

    Of course, if you’re going to spend the money to deploy SAP, it makes sense to get some help keeping it up and running right, but at 22% are you getting what you pay for? Or is that something you should have negotiated about a little harder? After all, maintenance fees have always been a cash cow for enterprise software vendors.

    Barney Beal
    News Director

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