Jim Spath of Black and Decker, an SAP Mentor in the SAP Community and a volunteer on the American SAP User Group (ASUG) posts this video (see above) in advance of TechEd 2008. He asks: "If companies make positive contributions, answer other people's questions on SDN, would they be enabled to receive some sort of support discount or credits for their work for their sharing of knowledge in the SAP community such that instread of paying full freight we would get some kind of break?"
SAP has committed to donating up to €200,000 to the UN World Food Program based on the value attributed to community contributions this year. I don't wish to diminish in any way the value this kind of contribution makes. But it must pale into insignificance when compared to the amount SAP saves as a result of the work the community puts into solving problems.
Quite what that number is we may never know but it is safe to assume it runs millions of dollars. Whether that figure runs $5-10-20 million a year matters little because SAP operating income in the first half of 2008 was something around $1.4 billion at today's exchange rates. Barely a rounding error. Nevertheless, it would be a nice gesture to see at least some of those savings going back to customers. That's what Jim's asking. It's not an unreasonable request.