SAP, Competitors Strive to Prove the Value of Software Maintenance

Will SAP's initiative to assign KPIs to its software maintenance plan spur competitors to offer similar programs?

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Posted on Jun 14, 2009

SAP isn’t the only enterprise software provider contending with questions these days from recession-strapped customers about the value of software maintenance programs, the cost of which in the long run far exceed initial software license charges.

“We hear a lot of questions about the value of maintenance,” said Bob Corrigan, director of established accounts at SAP competitor IFS North America. “We are asked to justify that expense and demonstrate value every day.”

So far, however, competitors aren’t moving to match SAP’s recently announced unique KPI benchmarking program under which the vendor has agreed to defer maintenance fee increases until it can document cost and operational efficiencies enabled by the company’s new Enterprise Support program.

SAP and the SAP User Group Executive Network (SUGEN), a federation of 12 SAP user groups, recently announced an agreement under which they will collaborate to benchmark 100 customers’ use of SAP’s new Enterprise Support program. Using 12 agreed-to key performance indicators, SAP and SUGEN will measure reduced costs and other efficiencies that 100 SAP customers around the world receive from Enterprise Support in domains such as business continuity, total cost of operations, and business process improvement. SAP has committed, over the life of the four-year benchmarking program, to document benefits commensurate with the 30% increase in maintenance prices that will accompany the Enterprise Support program.

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