SAP customers are still concerned about the licensing costs of the migration from R/3 to mySAP Business Suite despite a recent meeting with the vendor to address their fears.The ERP specialist devoted a session to its complex licensing arrangements at the recent Australian user group (SAUG) Summit conference in Sydney, yet a number of customers' issues remained unresolved, according to SAUG chairperson Carlo Terribile.
SAP customers are still concerned about the licensing costs of the migration from R/3 to mySAP Business Suite despite a recent meeting with the vendor to address their fears.
The ERP specialist devoted a session to its complex licensing arrangements at the recent Australian user group (SAUG) Summit conference in Sydney, yet a number of customers' issues remained unresolved, according to SAUG chairperson Carlo Terribile.
"There's been a lot of confusion around SAP licensing,"
"A lot of people believed they needed new licensing if
they were moving from R/3 to mySAP.
"They were saying, 'We have concerns because of the capital
cost in [upgrading] and the recurrent maintenance fee'.
"So they're saying, 'We're already paying maintenance, why do
we have to pay the capital costs too?'."
SAP has in the past admitted its licensing would become more
complex. The R/3 product has been superseded in recent years and
rebadged as enterprise core components in the wider mySAP
SAUG had collected its members' concerns and asked the vendor
to address them at the annual summit.
"I wasn't sure how open and honest SAP would be about it, but
the presentation went very well," said Terribile.
"It provided a lot more information than our members had been
able to glean from other sources."
While the presentation "hit the mark", some smaller customers
were still concerned, said Terribile.
"Some members are even more concerned now they have more
information ... but they're saying 'now we need to have detailed
discussions with SAP about this'."
SAP asked those customers to approach them individually.
Adopting the "Influence" model
While happy the situation had improved, Terribile also said
SAUG was looking at other ways in which the group could resolve
issues like licensing faster.
The group was investigating adopting something like
"Influence" councils, used by the SAP user group in the US to
great effect, he said.
Such is the power of the Influence model there, SAP US has two
designated employees responsible for dealing directly with the
group, according to Terribile.
"They've got a very well organised model.
"Our lack of size has meant that it hasn't worked that well
SAUG would look at a proposed Influence model in the next
couple of years, he said, which could see the appointment of a
SAUG advisory board to generate ideas for discussion.
"SAP has to be a part of it," Terribile said.
"We're going to have some discussions with SAP Australia about
how they can be part of it.
"We do have a senior SAP Australia executive on our board and
a liaison officer, but for Influence they'd need to commit to it
"I'm always encouraged by the support we get from people like
[SAP Australia and New Zealand managing director] Geraldine
McBride ... but by the same token we're not going to just relay
their marketing message for them."