Time is of the Essence for Current SAP Customers

By March 15, current SAP customers will need to decide whether or not to stay on SAP Standard Support or move to SAP Enterprise Support.  What’s the difference?   At 18% SAP Standard Support provides basic support features including legal updates, problem resolution, knowledge transfer and quality management to keep SAP systems running; for 22% SAP Enterprise Support includes all of the Standard Support but also focuses on business continuity, business process improvement, protection of investment and accelerated innovation, and reducing total cost of operations of a customer’s IT landscape.  Simply put, with SAP Enterprise Support, you will receive the SAP upgrades at no cost.  If you elect SAP Standard Support, any future upgrades will cost you.

Before making this decision, it’s important to ask the following:
1. Do I really know what I own today and who is using what?
2. Do I have the proper mix of licenses?
3. What are the licenses that I actually need based on real consumption and real value?

Without having the answers above, you may find yourself saying 22% or 18% of “what”?   If you can get the insights into what you own and what you are using, you may find yourself reducing your overall SAP investments.  And if that is the case, it may change how you evaluate the two support options.

To determine whether to go with the SAP Standard vs SAP Enterprise support, you need to gain comprehensible and reliable insight into your SAP license usage and compare it with the terms of your organizations’ SAP contract.  Knowing this will provide you with greater control over your software license management and spending by creating a foundation for understanding your software license compliance, accurately planning for future purchases, and opening the door for fact-based discussions with SAP. 

Ray Wang recently raised some compelling questions in reference to what “level” of support an enterprise organization should consider:

1. Are you expanding your use of SAP in the next 3 to 5 years?
2. Do you have a CPI increase in your contract?
3. What’s your overall SAP apps strategy?
4. Can you make a decision on Enterprise Support by March 15, 2010?

Points #1 & 4 are tricky.  How can you truly look at expansion of SAP licenses unless you understand the historical trend of usage?  Are you tracking software license usage today?  Will you be able to make a confident decision based on what you really own?  Take this pending support decision as an opportunity to gain insights into your SAP implementation and to find out “what” you truly need first – and then the decision for 22% or 18% of “what” becomes clearer. 

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