As a result, SUGEN, the global federation of SAP user groups, has established a task force for SAP Enterprise Support together with SAP. This task force aims to:
- gather customer feedback
- promote the exchange of information
- quantify the benefits of the offering.
“We need a joint effort to overcome the differences between SAP and its customer base and to ensure that value is delivered for the increased maintenance fees,” said Matthias Herzog, SUGEN Vice Chairman and the task force’s executive sponsor.
Tangible benefits and quality
As part of the task force’s activities, a joint team from SAP and SUGEN has been set up to establish value key performance indicators (KPIs) for SAP Enterprise Support. The progress of these KPIs will be assessed regularly against customer expectations. At the same time, the rollout of SAP Enterprise Support will be adjusted until the quality measures are achieved.
To solidify collaboration and prepare the next steps, SUGEN representatives met with Léo Apotheker, co-CEO of SAP. “SUGEN and its member user groups serve as a vital sounding board for SAP and help us validate our new initiatives,” Apotheker said. “From the open feedback received, we offer our commitment to SUGEN and our customers to help them realize the value of SAP Enterprise Support. We stand by our latest support offering, and we look forward to continuing our dialog with SUGEN and its members.”
SAP, SUGEN, and the user groups are continually working together to create the materials and initiatives necessary to quantify and deliver the value of SAP Enterprise Support. For example, SAP recently set up joint customer workshops with a number of user groups designed to drive greater awareness about the delivery and value of SAP Enterprise Support.
SAP is also creating a road show series to better communicate that value to customers. Furthermore, SAP will collaborate with SUGEN to regularly review customer awareness and satisfaction with SAP Enterprise Support through surveys of the user community.
SUGEN Chairman Mike Stoko from ASUG and Vice Chairs Matthias Herzog of DSAG and Per Högberg of SAPSA see these activities as firmly in line with the charter of the task force. “We believe the results of our ongoing dialog with SAP will offer positive outcomes for SAP customers on a global basis as they move to SAP Enterprise Support,” Stoko said.
New maintenance strategy, more services
As well as closer collaboration with the user groups, SAP is delivering a new maintenance strategy, extended services, and new and revised features of SAP Enterprise Support. The main points are:
- Extended maintenance through 2017: This means that SAP now offers the longest maintenance in the industry. The extended maintenance strategy applies to the latest version of SAP ERP and future core applications of SAP Business Suite.
- Custom code support: For custom code, SAP provides mission-critical support in the form of root-cause analysis for priority “very high” and “high” messages. SAP will offer up to two checks for each solution a year to help avoid conflicts between planned modifications and SAP enhancement packages, based on required minimum documentation.
- Testing efficiency improvement: Preconfigured test cases in SAP Solution Manager help customers optimize test activities for SAP and non-SAP systems.
- SAP Enterprise Support report: One SAP Enterprise Support report a year provides recommendations for maximizing the value received from SAP Enterprise Support.
- Guidelines for configuration and operations
- SAP is collaborating closely with its user groups and partners to develop a road map to make it easier for SAP R/3-centric customers to migrate to the company’s enhancement package architecture based on SAP ERP 6.0 and enabled by SAP Enterprise Support.
SAP’s activities have been welcomed by the German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG), which had repeatedly raised the issue of SAP users’ current dissatisfaction with the new support model. “We now feel that SAP is taking notice of users’ requirements and criticism,” said Karl Liebstückel, Chairman of DSAG.
SAP User Group Executive Network (SUGEN)
SUGEN is a federation of twelve user groups. It was founded in 2007 to facilitate open, honest dialog between its members and SAP. By working together, SUGEN members are able to:
- Strategically influence central tasks and work with SAP to resolve them
- Effectively and efficiently communicate among user groups and SAP
- Share best practices between users groups and SAP for the mutual benefit of all.
Current SUGEN members are ASUG (North America), ASUG Brazil, ASUG Mexico, AUSAPE (Spain), DSAG (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), JSUG (Japan), SAPSA (Sweden), SAUG (Australia), SAP UK & Ireland User Group, SUG-MENA (Middle East, North Africa), USF (France), and VNSG (Netherlands).