SAP has finally thrown in the towel on its fight to unilaterally increase maintenance fees from 18% of software license cost to 22%.
According to SAP's press release
SAP...today announced a new, comprehensive tiered support model that is being offered to customers worldwide. This support offering includes SAP Enterprise Support services and the SAP® Standard Support option and will enable all customers to choose the option that best meets their requirements. Additionally, in response to the financial challenges organizations continue to face, SAP also announced that its 2010 fees for existing SAP Enterprise Support contracts will remain unchanged from 2009 levels.
Translation: We tried and failed to move all customers to Enterprise Support at 22% but the blowback has been so strong that we're giving up.
I would like to think that SAP's decision had something to do with the focus that I and other bloggers, such as Vinnie Mirchandani and Dennis Howlett, along with many other independent voices, brought to this issue. (See related posts, below) But ultimately, it was SAP customers, who finally said enough is enough that tipped the scales.
The move speaks well of SAP, which remains the leading enterprise software provider globally. Nevertheless, the basic question remains: what is the value of SAP's maintenance and support offerings? If moving all customers to 22% was too much, what's to say standard support at 18% is the right number? Again, SAP customers will need to decide.
Other analysts are already weighing in on the announcement and what it means for customers. An early post by Amy Konary
is worth reading. Forrester's Paul Hammerman
also has good analysis.
Update, 12:30 p.m. Vinnie weighs in
, suggesting that if two tiers of pricing is good, three tiers is better, with a bare-bones support option at 8-10%.
Update, Jan. 15.
Hmm. David Dobrin
takes a little time to run some numbers on SAP's new tiered pricing and finds that the new arrangement may not really be a price reduction, as SAP is now stating it will increase pricing for standard support based on some yet-to-be-determined annual cost of living increase. His conclusion: "Whatever SAP is doing, it is not a U-Turn, and it is not a rescission of the price increase." Read the whole thing.
Update, Jan. 19. Dave Dobrin continues his analysis
by looking at the results from SAP's KPI measurement initiative (done with the SAP user group SUGEN) and the fact that there is less there than meets the eye. An excellent piece of work, Dave.
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