Vendor traps: SAP’s underwhelming SLAs

Organisations of all sizes and across all industries rely absolutely on their ERP solutions.

So when you have a problem with your ERP solution, you need help fast. Thankfully, customers can always rely on SAP’s official support to deliver in their time of need.

Or can they?

In this series, we’re taking a look at some of the most common traps Oracle and SAP use, and also explaining what (if anything) customers can do about them.

Today, we’re focusing on SAP’s rather underwhelming SLAs and wondering exactly how they justify such high annual premiums.

When is an SLA NOT an SLA?

In the days of SAP R/3 and earlier, SAP Support was an excellent service. Issues were quickly passed to knowledgeable consultants or ABAP developers, and SAP SLA resolution times were generally good. As SAP has expanded, however, things have changed – and not for the better.

Now, if a customer wants to raise an incident, they must first search for their own solution using self-service tools. Even once an incident is raised, things don’t improve significantly.

What you can expect from a SAP SLA:

Priority Initial Response Time Resolution Time
1 1 hour (available 24/7) 4 hours
2 4 local business hours N/A
3 N/A N/A
4 N/A N/A

A SAP SLA for priority one incidents provides a resolution time only. For anything less urgent, customers have no contractual guarantees for resolution, and also in many cases, no guarantees even for response times.

When SAP does respond to an incident, the first thing it checks is whether the customer has the latest version of SAP kernel installed. If they don’t, SAP will force the customer to upgrade before taking the incident any further. SAP support reps also frequently attempt to blame incidents on any customised code the customer has in place; this means they don’t have to fix it.

No customer service or on-premise growth

Worse still, SAP rejects queries about how to use its software as chargeable “consulting” matters. Given the hefty 22% fees SAP charges for support, this can leave customers wondering what exactly they are paying for.

Finally, as part of its move towards Cloud-based subscription models, SAP has started offering redundancies to employees who support older versions of SAP software. According to SAP CFO Luka Mucic, approximately 4,400 staff are set to leave the company.

Source: Reuters, SAP plans restructuring after signs of weakness emerge 

As a result, customers can expect the quality of support for “legacy” SAP products to decline even further over time.

What can you do about it?

There’s only one option for SAP customers who are disappointed with the quality of support they are receiving: switch to a third-party support provider.

Third-party providers like Support Revolution provide guaranteed SLAs for response and resolution, irrespective of incident priority. SAP customers routinely see huge reductions in their annual support costs after making the switch.

Don’t stand for vendor traps

If you’ve had enough of the traps Oracle and SAP set to keep you paying over the odds for poor quality support, we can help. Recently, we published a report on their most common traps and also what customers can do to protect themselves.

In the report, we cover:

  • How SAP threatens customers with audits unless they commit to disruptive, unnecessary upgrades that can easily cost a million or more when in training, testing, etc.
  • How Oracle has quietly switched its customers onto auto-renewing support contracts that also include automatic, substantial price increases.
  • What customers can do to protect their interests against the barrage of tricks employed by Oracle and SAP. This includes how to save at least 50% on annual support contracts while receiving a higher level of service.

And much more.

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