back to article SAP can claim to change its culture, but can it convince customers?

SAP has used its annual British user shindig to big up reforms to internal structures and licensing – but customers wary over indirect access won't be won over easily. The German ERP giant is trying to shrug off concerns about licensing that reached fever pitch last year after a set of high-profile, high-cost legal battles …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ex-SAP victim

    One really excellent by-product of being retired is never having to use SAP again. Ever.

    1. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: Ex-SAP victim

      Oh bugger. We're ditching Oracle because of their predatory licensing nonsense and going to SAP.

      Out of the frying pan?

      1. Wedgie

        Re: Ex-SAP victim

        Out of SAP, Oracle & MS, I have found SAP to be the worst by far when it comes to licensing chicanery. Appreciate that’s just one set of experiences and I know companies that have been done over by Oracle & MS too.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ex-SAP victim

        Out of the frying pan?


        In 99% of instances IT "professionals" swallow the vendor's waffle, and procurement "professionals" then piss about doing trivia like D&B credit checks on their suppliers, but fuck up by really failing to even attempt to understand the business model and cost/pricing structures of their supplier. They never look at issues like turnover per employee, average margin, balance sheet goodwill costs and so forth. That's also why so much outsourcing goes wrong.

        In the case of ERP, the stakes are raised, the buyer inputs are not. So buyers choose on some mythical belief of incredible (and improbable) business efficiency, fail to understand how, where and why the ERP vendor expects to get rich, and a few years later are utterly surprised to find themselves locked into a staggeringly expensive inflexible system that is difficult to change.

        If your ERP and/or CRM are at the heart of your business, why are you outsourcing them to a rapacious high margin business who will leave you with a product so complex that you have to engage three different consultancies to make the most modest of changes? Most modern large businesses fail to see that they are IT businesses at heart, with whatever retail/energy/insurance/telecoms etc bias. If they understood that they were an IT business, they'd perhaps stand a better chance of not fucking up by handing their future to vermin like SAP, Oracle, Infor and the rest.

        1. HmmmYes

          Re: Ex-SAP victim

          Im not sure ERP really is complex.

          SAP is as brittle as fuck. But thats because its all strung together with that 1960s junk language.

      3. Trixr

        Re: Ex-SAP victim

        Oh god, yes. And they are not slow in threatening lawyers, either, even when you're trying to negotiate in good faith.

        This "digital access" thing is a case in point. We were using a web service to access HR data in SAP, and the SAP sales droid reckoned we'd have to get a new licence to consume our own HR data internally, for use by another internal system. (i.e. creating staff accounts based on HR info). Discussions are "ongoing".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ex-SAP victim

          My customer was told not to worry as SAP wouldn't charge more than they could afford! They then did a finance check to see what they could take.

          Bunch of crooks.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ex-SAP victim

        I'm not sure if they are worse than Oracle or Microsoft but its just another constantly changing, complicated set of rules you'll need to know intimately, it looks like automated users and virtualisation will be big issues. If you are new to SAP I would suggest engaging a licencing consultant to review your architecture design under the new model.

        I'm not sure if they include the same tiger traps oracle used to where inexperienced DBA's were prone to turn on unlicensed features then build them into the corporate ecosystem. A few companies did end up with huge bills after routine audits because of that.

  2. James Anderson

    Bespoke is cheaper

    Not only could you build the system you want and need for less than trying to install the one size fits nothing package.

    Your in house maintenance will cost less than the annual licence cost.

  3. FozzyBear

    Bring out the gimp

    When the supplier has to provide additional tools, the customer needs to bring in a "frenzy" (my collective noun) of lawyers and a group of financial modellers just to understand the pricing model. What you end up with is a fundamental mistrust between the two.

    And those with a clue that don't swallow the sales and marketing bullshit have a deep gnawing sensation that, somewhere, somehow, at sometime in the near future the whole three ring circus is going to bend them over a barrel all without the benefit of lube.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's a term of the licence that if you think you've done something wrong, you must notify SAP. You can't just rectify what you've done.

    Lots of anonymity today!

  5. Korev Silver badge

    Indirect, or "digital", access: charges based on the documents created when software is accessed by a third party, IoT, bots or other automated systems, or humans using the Digital Core through non-SAP software.

    I can't get my head around having to pay to access the data that your organisation has created; it's your company's data not SAP's....

  6. PeterM42


    "....a deterioration in customer trust and widespread concerns about who else would be caught in the SAP."

    There! - FTFY

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021