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Reader Survey - Share Your SAP User Sentiment at ASUG/SAPPHIRE 2010

Already on the ground in Orlando - and deep into an SAP Enteprise Architecture pre-conference deep dive, I received word from Ray Wang, one of the key analysts in the enterprise space, about a groundswell organization to poll SAP user sentiment. And that’s where you come in. Please help us gauge the sentiments of SAP users by filling out our  "Sapphire user sentiment survey."

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Reflecting on the Sapience 2009 Event (and How SAP Should Respond)

On Wednesday, December 9, I had the opportunity to attend the much-debated "Sapience 2009: Alternatives for Leveraging Your Investment in SAP" conference in Boston. I say "much-debated" because there was a good deal of talk both prior to the conference and afterwards in terms of whether the Sapience show was "anti-SAP" or not. In this blog post, I’ll weigh in on that topic and more. And yes, this entry is not exactly on time.  To be honest, it took me a long time to sort through what I might be able to add to this discussion. At any rate, the challenges SAP faces have not gone away since this event took place.

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Why Don’t SAP Skills Matter at ASUG/Sapphire?

If you were to go by the keynotes and scheduled events, you would think there are no longer any issues with SAP skills development. Read beyond the headlines. Just like some of the most important news stories show up in the back pages, the same is true at SAP shows. Of all the things I was struck by at ASUG/Sapphire 2009, the one that made the biggest impression on me was the silence around SAP skills trends.

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What Are You Expecting From Sapphire 2009?

Yesterday, someone asked me what we could expect out of Sapphire this year, in terms of SAP’s major announcements. Guessing at these scoops is good fun because SAP makes a point of keeping keynote announcements under wraps, and no, not even SAP Mentors get a look at the envelopes that Leo Apotheker and other keynoters will be opening. But that question got me thinking. I realized that at Sapphire, there are always three lines of questioning: 1. The agenda SAP is trying to set; 2. The agenda customers are truly interested in, and 3. The questions I am most interested in. So let’s take a look at how these might overlap, or not.

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Is SAP Backing Down on Enterprise Support?

When you are blogging on a fast-moving issue, you can get caught with postings that seem out a bit out of date the moment you publish them. This has happened to me lately with SAP support. On Monday of this week, I issued an in-depth post on the issue of SAP support for PAC, and how it did (or didn’t) connect to ASUG’s dismissal of CEO Steve Strout. Almost as soon as I published the entry, some important news broke. The news didn’t change the fundamentals of the piece, but it still meant an update is needed. Meantime, I was also about to post another piece on SAP support, this time looking at some of the underlying issues of the support quality.

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How Do We Expand the Discussion on Enterprise Support?

When SAP raised its maintenance fees from 17 to 22 percent on July 16, 2008, it was not surprising that there would be ramifications. Some have speculated (though I can’t confirm it) that these ripple effects even include the decision from the ASUG Board (the North American SAP User Group) to end the term of CEO Steve Strout. Some have also hypothesized, based on the “Oracle versus SAP” report recently issued by Forrester, that those SAP customers who hold off on upgrading to ERP 6.0, partially due to their frustrations over increased support fees, could even be won over by Oracle if Fusion can indeed be produced in a ready-for-prime-time format in 2010 as planned. This would imply to me, and hopefully to SAP as well, that customer satisfaction over SAP support is something to be taken very seriously.

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What is the Latest on the SAP Maintenance Fee Controversy?

The Silent TechEd ‘08 Issue: Maintenance Fee Increases and Customer Dissatisfaction

In my PAC blog entry on TechEd, "Inside the Hype of TechEd 2008," I wrote about two topics that I thought deserved more airtime than they got at the conference: the Oracle-SAP lawsuit and the maintenance fee increase backlash. I noted that the latter issue is the one that concerns me the most. To be honest, the more I think about it, the more it bothers me. I’m not sure I gave this enough weight in my TechEd in Review piece. Just because an issue isn’t talked about doesn’t mean it’s not important. Sometimes, it’s the elephant in the room.

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