The Dirty Tricks They Play: SAP’s (Lack of) New Features

SAP’s Lack of New Features

One of the major perks of staying “in support” for a business software solution is that you generally get the benefit of any new features of enhancements the supplier releases.

And while many of those enhancements may not directly benefit every customer, there’s always the hope that something new will be released that has a tangible benefit for your business.

But here’s a question: is it really worth paying a fortune to stay in official support for your ERP solution just to get those enhancements? And how often do they get released, anyway?

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

Today, we’re taking a closer look at SAP’s release schedule for enhancement packs—which is touted as a major benefit of remaining in their official support programme—and wondering… where are they?

Enhancements are Coming (Eventually)

One of the main reasons why customers choose to pay SAP’s 22% support fees each year is to ensure they receive the latest software versions and functionality updates. In their official support documentation, SAP make the following claim:

“During mainstream maintenance for an SAP core application release, SAP’s current practice is to provide one enhancement package or other update per calendar year.”

Source: SAP Standard Support Schedule

If the above claim were accurate, SAP Business Suite 7 core applications (released 2006) should have received 12 or 13 enhancement packs per application by 2019. In reality, just eight enhancement packs have been released for ERP, the most recent being in January 2016.

Comparatively, as of June 2019, only four enhancement packs each have been released for SAP’s CRM, SCM, and SRM applications.

But here’s the thing: Legally, SAP haven’t done anything wrong. They never contractually committed themselves to a specific release schedule for enhancement packs.

And the customers who were convinced to upgrade in order to receive those enhancement packs? Well, it seems like they’re out of luck.

What Can You Do About It?

While frustrating, there’s not much SAP customers can do about the lack of enhancement packs. SAP aren’t contractually committed to a specific schedule for releasing updates, so no doubt they will continue to do so only when they see fit.

One thing customers can conclude, though, is that acquiring software updates shouldn’t be a major factor in deciding whether to continue paying for SAP’s official support.

Don’t Stand for Dirty Tricks

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

In the report, we cover:

  • How Oracle’s sales representatives use confusion tactics—like misrepresenting their “matching service levels” policy—to keep customers locked into expensive and largely unneeded service contracts year-after-year.
  • How SAP invented a completely new licensing “problem” that left a major drinks retailer liable for over £54 million in back-dated licence fees… even though they were fully licensed. (Don’t worry, SAP have “solved” the problem now, at added cost to their customers.)
  • What customers can do to protect their interests against the barrage of dirty tricks employed by Oracle and SAP—including how to save at least 50% on annual support contracts while receiving a higher level of service.

And much more.