New Research from the User Group

New research released today by the UK & Ireland SAP User Group has revealed that 2 in 5 SAP BusinessObjects users believe that the technical support provided to them by SAP is not as good as that offered by other software vendors. 57% of SAP BusinessObjects users noted they had difficulties using SAP’s Service Market Place support portal, while 63% said it was difficult for them to search and find relevant support information. These findings demonstrate there still needs to be more engagement and collaboration between SAP and those customers using BusinessObjects. Indeed, the majority (87%) of SAP BusinessObjects users felt that being able to influence the future direction of the product would add value to their organisation.

The research did reveal that there has been a significant increase in existing SAP customers using BusinessObjects. 21% of users were now using SAP BusinessObjects, compared to only 7% last year. Furthermore, just over three quarters (76%) of users said they were now using the latest version of SAP’s core ERP business suite, ERP6.0, an increase from 69% the previous year, demonstrating that more members are realising the functionality and support benefits of upgrading to the latest release.

“These figures show that there is still work to do more when it comes to supporting and communicating with BusinessObjects users,” said Alan Bowling, chairman of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group. “Now that UK SAP BusinessObjects users are part of our User Group we recognise that we have an important role in ensuring that they are able to effectively interact and influence SAP. As such we have been working closely with SAP’s customer experience team to make sure this happens. What is encouraging is that more existing SAP users are now starting to see the combined value of using BusinessObjects, which wasn’t necessarily the case last year.”

When it came to customers creating their own Customer Centres of Expertise (Customer CoE), just under a third (31%) of respondents said they had received certification recognising their commitment to the continuous improvement of their SAP operations. While this is more than double the number of CoE’ s compared to last year, it is clear that more education and clearer financial incentives are still needed to encourage users to create them.

The survey revealed that the ability to network with other SAP users, access customer experience and insight, and being able to advance their understanding of current SAP products and services continue to be biggest drivers for people to join the User Group. 80% of respondents also believed that the User Group had the right levels of influence over SAP when it came to getting users’ voices heard.

“Certainly over the last 12 months there have been a number of significant developments at SAP, with the release of HANA and the company’s expanded on demand and mobile offerings. While such developments are wholly positive, it is vital that users are educated about how exactly they will benefit, and how adopting such technologies will impact on their existing licensing agreements. It is here where the User Group can play a important role in working with SAP to ensure that our members are provided with all the necessary information to make an informed decision about their future requirements,” added Alan Bowling.

The user group surveyed 312 SAP user organisations and 96 BusinessObjects user organisations in the UK and Ireland. The UK & Ireland SAP User Group Conference is taking place in Manchester 18-20 November 2012. For more information, please go to www.sapusers.org/conference2012

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