It’s cold out there!

So another company calls in the administrators – this time the iconic Wedgwood pottery maker. I’ve been round their plant and what is so sad is that there is a real risk that the world will lose some of the most skilled pottery makers. The way the products are made has years of tradition and know how.  

Woolworths closes its doors today – how much of that is recession related is difficult to say as the business model was very much under pressure, but we should look deeper and be aware of the wider reach of this sad event. Woolworths whilst losing money had been spending money and was an SAP user, and before anyone suggests anything, the use of SAP had nothing to do with the business model!!  Now that is income that SAP will no longer receive, and this was run on IBM hardware for which IBM will no longer receive income, and that was based in data centres that will no longer receive income and so on. When a big player stops the impact can have knock on effects where perhaps you least expect. The media distribution arm of Woolworths getting into trouble undoubtedly impacted Zavvi which has also called in administrators.

So the message is check your supply chain and make sure that you know that your partners are strong and secure, and if you are concerned – take action!




SAP Enterprise Support in Germany

In December SAP announced that it was allowing organisations based in Germany and Austria to make a choice on the type of support offering they receive. The SAP reason given in the press said that this was due to the legal situation in these countries and that this option wouldn’t be given out to other parts of the globe.

So what does this decision actually mean for users in those countries:-

  • A choice between SAP Standard Support and SAP Enterprise Support to be made by April 2009
  • 17% of licence cost as annual rental charge if they stay on Standard suppport for 2009
  • An annual increase in price each year going forward based on CPI
  • Potentially avoidance of COE and the wider use of SAP Solution Manager

I have some views on this:

  • From a charge perspective it means that organisations in Germany and Austria can benefit on a reduced cost for one year but with a disadvantage of potentially being locked out from the likely better Enterprise Offering.
  • It is a choice – and customers like choices, they don’t like things being forced on them.
  • There was a large amount of noise from the Users in the German speaking countries which may have also supported the decision.
  • It’s a choice which nobody else has and the right thing to do would be to make this offer available to all parts of the globe.

So what happens next? Only SAP will know but in these very difficult times when customers are struggling then the right thing to do would be to show that they (SAP) appreciate the long term and fully support their customers. What happens today will be remembered tomorrow – it is always that way, and what better message could be delivered at this time that the SAP ecosystem is being looked at as a long term investment by all parties and that short term gains in this market are irrelevant.

We’ve seen what happens with organisations that chance their hand – see our financial institutions for details!

All things SAP!

Well, I’ve finally got around to doing it – some thoughts on the ever growing and complex world of SAP.

So right at the outset I should say that these are entirely personal views and are intended to encourage independent discussion of the issues of the day. They may sometimes be pretty standard comment, but they also may be quite thought provoking.