Event Report: SAP UK & Ireland User Group Conference 2009

Published on November 24, 2009 by R "Ray" Wang

SAP users in UK and Ireland remain equally skeptical about SAP

(Photos by R Wang & Insider Associates, LLC.   Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved.)

The SAP user group hosted its annual event.  Conversations with 37 clients reflect the following broad trends in the UK and Ireland:

  • SAP users remain skeptical about benefits promised by SAP due to lack of delivery over the past 5 years (See Figure 1.)
  • SAP has spent more time reaching out to customers to understand pain points
  • Knowledge gaps continue to exist between what SAP users know about SAP and what SAP sales people communicate to clients
  • A show of hands in the audience validates conversations that SAP users have not adopted NetWeaver, Duet, ByD, Solution Manager, and Enterprise Support.
  • Many customers have budget but need trusted advice as to what is possible in including SAP in their future roadmaps
  • Customers seek innovation from SAP but find a difficult time understanding what SAP has to offer
  • Many customers have turned to other providers for innovations via SaaS or cost optimization

Figure 1. What SAP Customers Want

What SAP users want from SAP

The bottom line.

SAP users and their user groups have a unique opportunity to put in the right infrastructure to engage in productive partnership with SAP.  The management team has shifted their outlook.  Early signs indicate a more customer focused approach may be on the way.  Customers seeking to innovate within their SAP investment should ask hard questions about what is in the SAP Labs portfolio.  User groups will play a key role in helping to prioritize future SAP product road map investments.  Users and their user groups should push for frameworks that monitor customer reuqests and increase transparency in the prioritization process. Customers can not allow SAP to squander any more of the 10’s of billions in maintenance fee and license fees “invested” with SAP.

Your POV.

If you get a chance, let us know:

  • Which SAP products do you use?
  • When will you migrate to BS7 or ECC 6.0?
  • What do you think about the progress on SUGEN KPI’s
  • Are you considering alternatives to SAP
  • Do you feel SAP is innovating fast, ok, or slow enough?

Feel free to post your comments here or send me an email at rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org.

Copyright © 2009 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

Additional coverage and related links

  • Don’t cry for me SAP?
    Am I the only one that see the dichotomy between (1) reduce cost of ownership and complexity and (3) complete original and promised product road map? First of all, it is sad day for the software industry if SAP can’t make roadmap commitments.
    Enterprise software is entering a new phase of simplicity – maturing beyond the tornado. The traditional approach is the algorithm: The more features (3), the more difficult to use (1) and maintain. Not that I’m suggesting that SAP should not deliver on feature commitments. Perhaps SAP should commit to removing features or finding ways to progressively activate features as users gain more knowledge in the system as in (5)innovate.
    Vendors and customers alike have been complicit in this features “arms race.” Many software companies listen to pain points and hear “features” while others listed and hear “solutions”. In all fairness, it is difficult for a company like SAP to find patterns for usability across so many vertical markets, geographies and organization sizes. Nevertheless, the 22.5% solution should help in the listening part.

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