SAP Watch

Oct 17 2008   9:18AM GMT

Brother, can you spare a dime?

JackDanahy Jack Danahy Profile: JackDanahy

In weeks such as this, when we are constantly reminded that we are either edging toward or in the middle of one of history’s greatest economic crises, I like to turn to tools like “Google Trends.”

It gives me a sense of what people around the country are thirsting for information on in tough times like these, and typically cheers me up. Most times, things like “NFL week three picks” or “Paris Hilton commercial” or some gaffe one of the presidential candidates or their running mates made tops the list.

This morning, the number one search was for “Halloween candy coupon.”

So there you have it. Thousands of people are surfing the web in search of a way to save 50 cents on something that costs around $2 to begin with.

And it seems no one is immune from these conditions — even SAP. The news that drew the most commentary from the blogosphere was an internal SAP email someone leaked to Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Worthen on Tuesday. It detailed the cut-backs the software giant would be making, which include a hiring freeze and a freeze on non-customer facing travel. Last week, SAP said its third quarter earnings wouldn’t be what it expected because its customers were putting software purchases on hold.

The last people you would expect to benefit from this situation are SAP’s customers – but could they?

Forrester Research analyst Ray Wang thinks so. He wrote in his most recent blog post that this economy creates some good conditions for customers looking to buy new software, because vendors will be more inclined to discount as credit becomes harder to get.

In fact, looking for vendor discounts and re-negotiating contracts when possible is a “CIO best practice for thriving in a recession,” Forrester’s George F. Colony, wrote in his blog, CounterIntuitive.

It may be a smart strategy. Analyst Josh Greenbaum, in his latest blog post, writes that soon, people will settle down and realize their high-tech investments are something they need to maintain.

Seems like a smart strategy to spend this money when there are still some coupons to be had.

Courtney Bjorlin, News Editor

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