Along with its 2009 results, SAP today made another attempt to undo the damage of its clumsy attempt to hike its maintenance % up to Oracle-like levels, by announcing the reinstatement of Standard Support as an option for customers. “SAP’s new support model is a direct response to the many discussions we’ve had with our customer and user groups,” said Léo Apotheker, chief executive officer, SAP. Its also a response to the negative impact on license revenue, down 16% in 2009, partly due to customer reaction to the attempt to force enterprise support on reluctant customers. Leo must have read my blog “SAP’s Enterprise Boldly Goes Where No Support Offering Has Gone Before“, in which I wrote, only last month: 

  • If SAP believes so strongly in its strategy, why doesnt it make enterprise support an optional add-on? SAP may want to standardize its offering upwards rather than downwards, but customers that can’t afford or see insufficient value in the premium package right now should be able to opt out.

My colleague Paul Hamerman gives a good overview of the announcement in his blog for Business Process and application professionals: SAP’s Tiered Support Announcement Diffuses a Contentious Issue that  SAP vendor managers should also read. Previously they were focused on fighting the price increase, now its an important decision. Buyers should start evaluating what impact Enterprise Support could have on their application management costs, so they can recommend whether or not to go for it.