UK SAP user group slams support pricing increase

SAP's recent announcement to upgrade all support packages to enterprise level - at an increased cost - has been attacked by a UK user group.

The UK and Ireland SAP Users Group has come out swinging against the software firm, saying that a recent move to switch all support contracts with Enterprise level and price support is unfair.

On 16 July, SAP announced that it would be replacing all of it's current support packages with one offering, meaning all of its existing customers would be moved to the new Enterprise Support contract from the beginning of next year whether they want the new features or not.

In a statement, the user group's chairman Alan Bowling explained that although the Enterprise Support product does offer more than the Standard Support, it might not be worth the price increase from 17 per cent of a contract's value to 22 per cent.

"The mandatory nature of this change along with the increase in cost has received hugely negative feedback from our membership to date," Bowling explained. "In real terms this is a 29.4 per cent increase in costs over the next four years for existing SAP customers, and is proving to be a particularly difficult area to accept."

In its announcement last week, SAP explained that current customers will receive the extra features in the upgraded support package free of charge until January, when graduated pricing will start.

He continued: "As I have stated before, the Enterprise Support product looks good and for organisations needing the extra level of support that it offers it will no doubt provide value. As a user group we understand that if SAP is to provide more comprehensive support then it has to charge more for it. However, many of our members may not want or need this extra level of support and therefore are reacting negatively to having a new support product and the associated increase in costs forced upon them."

Bowling said the Enterprise Support version may not be suitable for small and medium sized businesses, and noted that some larger customers already using the enterprise edition may see no price increase.

The user group has already been in contact with SAP, and called on others affected by the change to contact the firm if unhappy with paying more. "I'd also encourage SAP to reconsider this mandatory price rise so that organisations not requiring the extra level of support provided in Enterprise Support do not have to pay for features they do not require," Bowling said.

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