Let’s Collaborate


SAP and the SAP User Group Executive Network (SUGEN) are developing a close relationship to drive value from SAP Enterprise Support services. SUGEN chairman Mike Stoko explains how the user groups work together to reach collective goals.

In late April the SAP ecosystem saw the agreement between SAP AG and SUGEN on SAP Enterprise Support. Is it satisfied with the result?

In general, the SAP user groups responded favourably to the agreement, but there is still a lot of skepticism as to how it can be implemented.

When SAP initially communicated SAP Enterprise Support as the new maintenance mode, there was a lot of criticism. How did the U.S.-based customers react?

I guess the Americans think that a price increase is a price increase, so there wasn’t a big negative reaction. But what really did trigger anger was SAP’s announcement that Germany and Austria would be treated differently.

At times, discussion among the user groups became very emotional. How did you manage to consider their varying points of concern?

Six core people from 12 user groups were involved in crafting the message. Tonie van der Horst from the Netherlands took the draft, and then the SUGEN members worked on it from their different user group perspectives. What they wanted upfront was to dismiss it and just keep the status quo. So it took a while to get people to the point where they got over their emotions and said, ok, let’s see what we can influence. You will find the whole article in the current SAP SPECTRUM.

Free download: The current issue of SAP SPECTRUM September 2009.