SAP is reportedly retreating a bit on its forced maintenance price hikes and it may be a sign to come as customers gain leverage over vendors.
Dennis Howlett reports that SAP is backtracking on its maintenance price hikes, which went over like a lead balloon, in Germany. It appears there won't be a price hike until 2010 for German customers, but SAP is likely to extend the move to all of its customers. German editions of the Financial Times and Computerworld are covering the story.
This is a major victory for SAP customers who, despite SAP management’s protestations to the contrary have continued to lobby for reconsideration of SAP’s maintenance package pricing.
While SAP managed to botch this price increase you may see similar customer revolts going forward. For starters, the economy stinks and buyers have leverage. Meanwhile, software megavendors are seeing diminishing returns from trying to milk their established customer bases. Something has to give and if enough customers push back vendors will have to yield.
Watch this SAP development--and vendor-customer skirmishes--in the year ahead.