The Dirty Tricks They Play: SAP’s Underwhelming SLAs

SAPs 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 programme to deliver in their time of need.

Or can they?

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 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 resolution times were generally good. As SAP have 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.

SAP only offer resolution SLAs for priority one incidents. For anything less urgent, customers have no contractual guarantees for resolution, and in many cases, no guarantees even for response times.

When SAP do respond to an incident, the first thing they check 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 — meaning they don’t have to fix it.

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

Finally, as part of their move towards cloud-based subscription models, SAP have 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.

Most third-party providers provide guaranteed SLAs for response and resolution — irrespective of incident priority — and SAP customers routinely see huge reductions in their annual support costs after making the switch.

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 SAP threaten customers with “audits” unless they commit to disruptive, unnecessary upgrades—that can easily cost a million or more when you include project management, training, testing, etc.
  • How Oracle have quietly switched their customers onto auto-renewing support contracts that—unless a customer opts-out at least 30 days before the end of their contract—include substantial price increases.
  • 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.