New research released by the UK & Ireland SAP User Group has revealed that more than two thirds of organisations (69%) are now using the latest version of SAP's core ERP business suite, ERP 6.0, with a further 22% still using the older R3 4.7 platform. However only 7% of SAP users said they were currently using SAP BusinessObjects, showing that SAP still has work to do convincing users to adopt what is now its flagship business intelligence product.
"It is encouraging to see that so many SAP users are moving to ERP 6.0," said Alan Bowling, chairman of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group. "Here at the User Group we have highlighted the potential benefits of upgrading to ERP 6.0, such as enhanced levels of functionality and support. Indeed, we have seen many users come to us who see the need to upgrade but require advice and support on the best way to migrate. However, the figures also show that there is still a lot of work to be done by both SAP and the User Group to demonstrate to users the potential combined value of using SAP BusinessObjects."
The survey of UK & Ireland SAP User Group members revealed that ability to network with other SAP users, gain customer access to customer insight and being able to advance their understanding of current SAP products and services continued to be biggest drivers to join the User Group. 78% of respondents also believed that the User Group had the right levels of influence over SAP when it came to getting users' voices heard.
The research also went on to look at member's usage of SAP's current support offerings. Of those surveyed, over two-thirds (67%) are now on the Enterprise Support offering, compared to 11% on the recently re-introduced Standard Support. While the cost of Enterprise Support will rise this year, increasing the gap between the two support options to more than 1%, these figures seem to show that it is currently the favoured option in the majority of organisations.
The research also revealed that SAP has a lot of progress to make in encouraging organisations to create Customer Centres of Expertise (Customer CoE). Only 14% of respondents said they had certification granted by SAP recognising their organisations' commitment to continuous improvement of SAP operations. The relatively low number of CoEs may be due to a lack of understanding of the benefits and the lack of a clear financial incentive to take part in the certification process.
"It will certainly be interesting to see how many customers stay on Enterprise Support when the next set of price rises comes into effect in the next year. With this in mind we will be making sure our members are provided with all the information they need to make an informed decision about their support requirements. As such we have just run a dedicated support event to help address this," continued Alan Bowling. "The survey results also highlight that SAP could still be doing a lot more to help educate its users about the benefits of the products and services it offers. It is here we see the User Group providing continued value to organisations, through our Special Interest Groups and annual User Conference, both of which were seen by members as highly beneficial to them."
The survey questioned 204 SAP user organisations in the UK and Ireland, providing a snapshot of the products and support services that SAP users are currently working with. The UK & Ireland SAP User Group Conference 2011 is taking place in Birmingham, 20-22 November 2011.