The SAP UK and Ireland User Group (UKIUG) has applauded the company for engaging more with its user base and improving the experience of its products, but warned that more work needs to be done to integrate acquisitions and ensure clarity around pricing, licensing and support.
SAP has taken onboard the need to share roadmaps with customers to help them plan upgrades and build a long-term IT strategy, said Alan Bowling, chairman of the UKIUG, at the 2010 User Group Conference in Manchester.
However, the UKIUG will continue to push for clarity over pricing and licensing, better support and education around the newly acquired BusinessObjects, and easier integration between product sets, Bowling said.
A UKIUG Executive Network international survey in September found that only 12 per cent of UK and Ireland SAP customers currently use SAP and BusinessObjects software together. This has been put down to a lack of customer education and needs to be addressed, according to Bowling.
"With [the acquisition of] Sybase we not only have on-premise and on-demand, but on-device. Like BusinessObjects this should be a great acquisition. In many ways it completes the picture and potentially offers us a truly end-to-end solution for business processes," he told attendees.
"What we now need, and hopefully will see over the coming year, is easy and true integration between BusinessObjects, Sybase and SAP."
Bowling warned that the size of the integration task should not be underestimated, but could make SAP the company to beat.
He also hailed the company's co-chief executive setup as a "great structure for future success".
"Bill McDermott, SAP's co-chief executive, is focused on sales, building revenues and profitability. This is great as growth will be key to SAP's ability to deliver on our needs," Bowling said.
"Having the other chief executive, Jim [Hagemann Snabe], with his eyes firmly planted on development of the product roadmap is also crucial, in our opinion, because innovation and solid products are what SAP is all about."
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