SUGEN Establishes SAP® Enterprise Support Task Force to Aggregate Worldwide Customer Feedback to SAP, Commits to Partnering With SAP to Drive Adoption and Awareness

SingaporeIn an effort to deliver SAP® Enterprise Support in closer alignment with customer expectations, SAP and the SAP User Group Executive Network (SUGEN), a global federation of twelve SAP user groups, have established a collaborative effort to represent the collective view of members’ strategic issues. SUGEN today announces the progress of an SAP Enterprise Support Task Force, established to aggregate member feedback on SAP Enterprise Support, that the company announced in June, 2008.

The charter for the SUGEN-led task force is to communicate collective member feedback and to ensure the value delivery of SAP Enterprise Support. At the SUGEN bi-annual meeting this week at SAP Labs in Palo Alto, the task force shared with SAP the feedback from a SUGEN member survey designed to measure customer perceptions of the business value of SAP Enterprise Support. Survey feedback indicated that 90% of respondents have not yet realized the full extent of the SAP Enterprise Support offering, its value and cost justification. Matthias Herzog, SUGEN Vice-Chair and executive sponsor for the task force said that “we need a joint effort to overcome the differences between SAP and its customer base to ensure value is delivered for the increased maintenance fees.”

In a strong showing of its commitment to SAP Enterprise Support, SAP has set up a joint team with SUGEN to establish Value Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for SAP Enterprise Support. SUGEN and SAP will jointly evaluate the progress of these KPIs against customer expectations on a regular basis and adjust the continued rollout of SAP Enterprise Support until the quality measures are achieved.

“In addition to the commitment to the value of enterprise support, the members of SUGEN are also very pleased that SAP agreed to extend standard support of SAP® ERP 6.0,” said Per Högberg, SUGEN Vice-Chair. (See Nov. 10, 2008 announcement, titled “SAP Enhances Value of SAP Customer Relationships.”)

SUGEN reported that its meetings included direct discussions with Léo Apotheker, co-CEO and Executive Board member of SAP AG, to solidify the collaboration and review next steps.

“SUGEN and its member user groups serve as a vital sounding board to help SAP 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 said it is continuing to work with SUGEN and user groups to create the materials and actions necessary to help quantify and deliver the value of the offering. As an example, SAP recently initiated joint customer workshops with a number of user groups designed to drive greater awareness about the delivery and value of SAP Enterprise Support, and is building a road show series to better communicate that value to the customer community. As continued support, SAP has also agreed to collaborate with SUGEN to regularly review customer awareness and satisfaction with the SAP Enterprise Support offering with additional 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. Mike Stoko elaborated, “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. SAP has demonstrated a strong statement in its assurance to deliver to SUGEN, the user group community, and the larger SAP customer-base a program that demonstrates value.”

Established in 2007, SUGEN is a federation of twelve user groups designed to facilitate open, honest dialogue between members and SAP and drive the market towards excellence, innovation, and success. By working together, SUGEN members will be able to provide consolidated strategic influence priorities and work with SAP to resolve them, provide an effective and efficient method for communication among user groups and SAP, and share best practices between users groups and SAP for the mutual benefit of all.

Current members include 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).

About SAP
SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software(*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With approximately 76,000 customers (includes customers from the acquisition of Business Objects) in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol “SAP.” (For more information, visit www.sap.com)

(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning and related applications.

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