SAP Watch

Feb 18 2010   7:24PM GMT

What’s next for SUGEN?

Mperkins Matt Perkins Profile: Mperkins

Over the past year and a half, the SAP User Group Executive Network (SUGEN) has been dedicated to the Enterprise Support affair.

And last month, SAP finally relented on a lower-cost maintenance option and reinstated a two-tiered support model. Standard Support will cost 18% of net licensing fees, while the enhanced but costlier Enterprise Support offering will eventually cost 22%.

SUGEN’s first victory was a mighty one. It was able to get SAP to abandon its uniform maintenance and support hike.

So what’s next for SUGEN? How can the group wield its influence down the road?

Is it possible that the group could help facilitate customers moving from SAP Business Explorer (BEx) to SAP BusinessObjects? SAP has been clear that customers shouldn’t rush from BEx to BusinessObjects, and that if customers are happy with their BEx tools, they should keep using them. But some customers find they don’t feel the need to move away from BEx, even though SAP plans to phase it out by 2016. Could SUGEN provide some clarity on the value of BusinessObjects to these customers? Can the group influence SAP to keep BEx supported a little longer?

Another possible mission for SUGEN is helping SAP to clarify its product roadmaps. In the wake of the recent CEO shake-up at SAP, customers are looking for new CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe to deliver a coherent SAP product roadmap and vision, with the aim of lowering the total cost of ownership of running its applications. Adding to that, the vendor will need to show more clarity on the end of pricing, company policies, delivery options and product priorities.

And what about a KPI program to help customers justify Enterprise Support? SAP scrapped its formal program, but choosing Standard or Enterprise support has become more difficult for SAP customers with no KPIs. The notion of a forced cost increase is gone with that choice available, and it may give SAP the opportunity to show customers that Enterprise Support could be worth their money.

“The KPI program is more important than ever. Understanding value in the face of options becomes critical,” Bridgette Chambers, CEO of ASUG, told “If those KPI programs are interrupted or supported with any less zeal, then I think that it’s a loss, and I would urge SAP to consider the importance of them.”

What do you think? What will SUGEN tackle next?

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