The user groups for SAP and Business Objects are to collaborate on issues facing customers of both organisations.
The alliance closely follows the news that integration between SAP and its business intelligence purchase is complete.
"Whether we like it or not Business Objects is fully integrated with SAP and we must cooperate together," said Nigel Dorian, chairman of the Business Objects User Group UK.
Dorian and Alan Bowling, chairman of the SAP UK and Ireland User Group, highlighted support pricing as a concern shared by customers in both groups.
"The campaign against the rise in support costs is still the SAP User Group's number one priority," said Bowling, explaining that SAP's intention to replace all Standard Support contracts with a more expensive Enterprise Support continues to rattle customers.
He added that SAP user groups from around the world would be getting together to debate the strategy.
Meanwhile, Dorian claimed that the troubles SAP customers are having with support are similar to those felt by Business Objects customers.
"Support was always the Achilles heel of Business Objects' offerings anyway because the Business Objects charging policy was not transparent," he said.
Another concern all customers face is the ongoing integration of the two organisations, according to Bowling.
"We will need to influence SAP to try and make sure that its integration plans create best value for all users," he said.
The integration between the firms did not get off to a good start when Business Objects customers could not access a support system for three weeks. The downtime was due to SAP's merging its support system with Business Objects'.
But Dorian insisted that this was no excuse. "A company that claims they are the leading provider in ETL tools was not able to transfer its own support system to another without a hiccup," he said.
Dorian added that Business Objects customers are particularly concerned that SAP will not keep the BI platform's independence.
"So far the omens have been good, like with the latest release of Business Objects XI 3.1, but this was in the planning stage before the merger was announced so it can't be used as evidence of their ongoing strategy," he said.
Generally, Dorian believes that the integration has been considered favourable to Business Objects customers. "If there are concerns from the product side, these are coming from SAP customers," he said.
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