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SAP customers confused by firm’s cloud strategy and acquisitions

19 Nov 2012
SAP building

SAP customers are confused by the firm's cloud strategy, with 80 percent of them not understanding how to integrate the on-demand SAP modules with their existing on-premise technologies.

Meanwhile, according to research revealed by the UK & Ireland SAP User Group, more than half of SAP customers feel they are not being given enough incentive to migrate to SAP cloud tools.

Almost all of the customers feel they should be offered discounts or the opportunity to trade in on-premise licences for cloud alternatives.

The research was based on a survey of 160 SAP customers in the UK and Ireland, with results were presented at the SAP User Group Conference taking place in Manchester.

"We've had more people attend the conference this year than ever before," Alan Bowling, chairman of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group, told V3.

Bowling said customers need to be provided with simple and cost-effective deployment strategies when they are considering migrating to an SAP cloud suite of software.

Bowling added that customers attending the conference had appeared confused as to how recent cloud acquisitions made by the firm would benefit their operations.

"SAP has bought both SuccessFactors and Ariba but has not been clear on what the acquisitions will mean for its existing customer base. Since SAP purchased the firms using our money, it needs to be clear on how the purchases will benefit customers," said Bowling.

In October last year, the SAP User Group undertook a similar survey, and found then that then customers were also confused by the firm's cloud roadmap. It appears that little has changed, even though SAP has spent the last year just beefing up its cloud computing portfolio.

SAP could not immediately comment on the User Group findings when contacted by V3.

SAP customers attending the User Group event were also keen to discuss the area of mobility, continued Bowling.

"Everyone's raving about mobility but many [SAP] organisations don't appear to have a mobility strategy yet. There are still organisation that don't want to part with their familiar ways of working and deal with the challenge of keeping data safe on different mobile devices," he added.

Finally, Bowling said SAP customers are keen for the firm to provide clearer consultant accreditation.

"Our poll showed that 86 percent of customers say there is a massive difference in the quality of consultant work. There is a need for consultants to be accredited on their practical work, not just theory."

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Rosalie Marshall

Rosalie Marshall is the special projects editor and chief reporter at V3. Previously she was a reporter for IT Week and channel editor for online television site Rosalie covers government IT, business applications, IT skills, open source technology and social networks.

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