The SAP software licensing model needs to be reformed to offer customers more flexibility to switch between different types of technology, according to the firm's UK and Ireland user group.
The licensing reforms were being discussed at the UK & Ireland SAP User Group's annual conference in Birmingham, which kicked off on Monday with more than 400 customers in attendance.
"We've been talking about how SAP can make its licensing simpler," user group chairman Alan Bowling told V3.
"Customers want more transparency in licensing and flexibility that reflects changes in technology, such as virtualisation, the cloud and mobile. At the moment, SAP's licensing is too complicated."
Bowling explained that the software licensing model currently used by SAP makes it difficult for customers to switch from on-premise applications to the cloud, as they cannot easily swap one licensing agreement for another.
"Many customers end up with multiple licences for similar solutions," said Bowling.
"SAP needs to change this model to show support for its existing and loyal customer base."
Away from the issue of licensing, Bowling said that customers at the event were particularly interested in SAP's big data analytics database, Hana, which was heavily promoted at the vendor's annual Sapphire customer event in Madrid a few weeks ago.
Bowling said delegates had been crowding around the Hana booth to see the technology in action.
However, Constellation Research analyst Ray Wang said while there has been lots of customer interest in Hana, SAP was still having difficulty selling the expensive technology.
"Some customers are agreeing to be early adopters of Hana to get lots of attention from SAP, as they will later be used as proof of concepts. But even these customers are waiting around 12 to 18 months before they push out the technology," Wang told V3.
At Sapphire, SAP UK managing director Steve Winter told V3 that the company currently has three Hana customers in the UK, but hopes to double this number by the end of the year.
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