SAP’s pressing on the cloud and prices does not pass in France

Estimated read time 3 min read

SAP's pressing on the cloud and prices does not pass in France

Is the hatchet about to be dug up between SAP and its French-speaking customers? The German publisher has often had to conduct bitter negotiations with the USF and its members in the past. This prospect is looming again on the horizon.

The source of the grievances is SAP’s announcement at the end of July of an increase in maintenance costs for 2024. The increase will not be uniform for all since it concerns exclusively the products operated on site, that is to say on-premise.

Pay more for me: the USF denounces the double penalty

As of next January 1st, the increase in maintenance will reach 5% on average. For the professional association of French-speaking users of SAP solutions (3,700 members, including 75% of the CAC40), this decision is questionable to say the least.

In 2023, the publisher had already decreed a comparable increase. Of course, SAP is “entitled to increase the amount of license maintenance for its products every year”, and this “on the basis of indices duly mentioned in the contractual clauses”, concedes the USF.

But the organization considers “that these increases are justified for the sole purpose of allowing the publisher to deliver more value to its customers.”However, companies using on-premise solutions should not benefit from an additional value.

On the contrary, on-prem customers would be the big losers from the strategy set by Christian Klein, the CEO of SAP. In May, the leader was clear, stipulating that the latest innovations would go exclusively to the cloud (public and private).

Cloud ERP always faces obstacles

According to the USF, it is therefore the “double penalty”: to pay more to no longer access the novelties. The gift of the German publisher at +5% earns him a soup with a grimace in return. The disagreement is not new.

Already in 2014, the president of the USF criticized SAP for favoring the cloud to the detriment of users of on-premise solutions. The company was called upon to temper its ardor and give its customers time to migrate.

However, they are not in a hurry, nor are they convinced, for that matter. The reasons given are multiple: “not enough identified value, not in the strategic priorities of the company, or even no budgetary resources due to a difficult economic situation.”

SAP is therefore requested to revise its maintenance roadmap. “The only credible alternative for the publisher is to offer its customers maintenance at a reduced cost, corresponding to the actual service rendered,” sets the USF as a requirement.

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