SAP users want licensing clarity

SAP must simplify its licensing for its largest enterprise users. That will be one of the key messages from the SAP User Group conference held in Birmingham at the end of this month.

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SAP must simplify its licensing for its largest enterprise users. That will be one of the key messages from the SAP User Group conference held in Birmingham at the end of this month.

Glynn Lowth, chairman of the SAP User Group, told Computerworld UK that SAP’s move into the small and medium sized business market had highlighted licensing issues on the ERP giant’s traditional products.

It is clear with the SAP by Design products, for example, targeted at SMEs, pricing is clear – based on a fixed fee per seat per month.

“”Transparency for the rest of SAP’s products is not so good, and transparency in licensing is crucial,” said Lowth.

The conference will also allow SAP users to get up to speed with new products and product strategy. Lowth particularly highlighted the ERP vendor’s “simplification” policy.

“SAP is going through a process of simplifying products and the conference will educate people about what the new products and how they integrate together,” he said.

Once again, SAP’s shift into the SME market has highlighted issues for its traditional base. “The SME products are clear, that is not so, in the main, for the (products for) larger organisations.” SAP has recognised this problem and is acting on it, he said.

The user group, which now has 400 corporate members, is seeking to strengthen its hand with SAP by linking up with its sister organisations.

The company is “interested in and responsive to what we say, said Lowth. Nevertheless, the benefits are clear from this international cooperation, said Lowth.

“First we can learn from each other. Second, it allows us to develop more sophisticated points of contact between the international user community and SAP.”

Lowth highlighted the fact that SAP rolled out different functionality to different countries at different times. International cooperation among user groups could give a heads up that products were available, to could flag up potential issues with them.

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