SAP Customers Must Move To More Expensive Support Plan By Jan. 1


The new support program will ultimately charge customers 22 percent annually of the software license fees, known as the "maintenance base," customers pay each year. The program was first announced in May at the vendor's Sapphire user conference and replaces the current standard and premium support options. Customers contracting for standard support today generally pay annual fees equal to 17 percent of their maintenance base.

SAP said 350 customers have signed up for the new support program. The higher prices will be phased in gradually through 2012 for existing customers, SAP said, with a typical customer that's now paying 17 percent of their maintenance base paying 18.3 percent in 2009.

The new support program applies to the SAP Business Suite applications for large companies and Business All-in-One applications that target mid-size companies. The support program does not apply to SAP's BusinessOne applications for small businesses.

SAP has been emphasizing the benefits of the new support program, including its 24/7 service-level agreement, continuous quality checks and advanced support for implementing SAP ERP enhancement and support packages such as the SAP Solution Manager. The company said some customers would begin receiving some of the new services this year at no additional cost.

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SAP said it developed the graduated price increases for the support services after consulting with members of the Americas' SAP User Group.

SAP isn't alone in raising its prices. Last month Oracle hiked its software license fees in the range of 15 to 20 percent or more.