SAP UK and Ireland User Group chairman and director Alan Bowling set the tone for the SAP User Conference 2012 in Manchester this morning, as he reiterated past concerns that SAP is overcharging for its services, and also failing to offer fair deals for businesses wishing to migrate from on-premise SAP solutions to the cloud.
"Seventy per cent of [surveyed SAP users] said they felt SAP has not been clear enough about the cost of migrating from SAP BW [Business Information Warehouse] and BI [Business Intelligence] to SAP and Business Objects," said Bowling.
"Many of us that have already invested in BI and BW want to know if we'll be treated like completely new SAP customers if we move to Business Objects, or will discounts be given? In fact, we've already invested in a similar technology from SAP."
Bowling said that clarity over these issues will help SAP users "to tackle the data challenges we face more quickly".
"For some, this type of information might lead them on the path of HANA adoption to speed up processing, but without clarity and understanding from SAP about the investments its customers have already made, we could find many organisations are unable to move forward," Bowling added.
The data challenges Bowling spoke of pertain to statistics gleaned from SAP users, which suggest 95 per cent of users now have higher expectations from IT due to its growing consumerisation, and the introduction of mobile working and BYOD (bring your own device).
This makes cloud options a growing area of interest for SAP customers, but Bowling feels the company is not delivering in this area in terms of the flexibility of its licensing deals.
"[In a hybrid future] I'd ask SAP why do so many of your customers not understand the path to hybrid environments?" asked Bowling, as he revealed that 58 per cent of users said that SAP was not making the switch attractive enough for on-premise customers to migrate to the cloud solutions.
"The vast majority of customers feel discounts should be offered, or the ability to trade in on-premise licences for cloud ones," said Bowling.
"Do they want to pay for it again simply to have it delivered form the cloud? Or do we have to pay for integration between products?"
SAP UK and Ireland MD Tim Noble will have a chance to defend the company's communication and pricing strategies later today. Check back with Computing to hear how the conference plays out.