I asked Steve Strout, CEO of ASUG for his take on the recent surge of customers upgrading to SAP ERP 6.0 since the latest enhancement package release. He was able to shed some light on the issue:
Well, I believe the 10,000 is a global number of ERP 6.0 customers who have or are in the process of upgrading. And I think the reason it was so “easy” for SAP to hit this number is the value that this particular release provides. First, it’s an extremely stable release. People are able to do a technical upgrade without much hassle. I know of people who have eliminated upwards of 70% of their custom code just by moving to this release. I also think SAP has done a tremendous job of making the migration a relatively easy one. I know that when I went from 4.6c to 6.0, it was a pretty straight forward process and we didn’t find any real surprises. We upgraded our single instance when I was CIO at Morris Communications by taking only 5 months for the project and the cutover weekend was literally a “non-event”.
There are many cases where having the most up-to-date software, which can often take steps out of a business process and reduce the transaction cost, can certainly be a competitive advantage. If a company doesn’t do upgrades on a regular basis and their competitors do, they could very well be at a pricing disadvantage.
And finally, I think people are realizing that they get access to a whole list of new functionality and ease of access to their technology that they hadn’t had before. In addition, I think if they are a reasonably sophisticated shop, they will start taking advantage of Service Oriented Architecture and expose access to their SAP environment and create new ways of taking out steps of a business process – thus reducing their overall costs. We are starting to see people use SOA technologies to innovate and create new ways for their business to do all new things. And this innovation can’t occur at the same price point with the older technology.
Words I think we all can agree with.
Eric Samuels, Assistant Site Editor