SAP’s UK user group chairman says the company’s licensing is becoming impossible to navigate
SAP Software licensing remains a bugbear among users, it has been revealed. Speaking at the UK & Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG) conference in Birmingham today, the organisation’s chairman Alan Bowling said the complexity of SAP’s licensing structures may hinder adoption of new products.
He noted that, while the company is today more responsive than it has been in the past, with the appointment of Colin Sharp, director of business user and solution sales SAP UK, as the executive sponsor for UKISUG, the company still focuses on winning new customers rather than improving relations with old ones.
With trends like virtualisation, mobility and cloud, Bowling warned, the licensing problem will only get worse and, in a recession, customers need simplicity rather than complexity.
Bowling explained that the software licensing model currently used by SAP makes it difficult for customers to switch from on-premise applications to the cloud, as they cannot easily swap one licensing agreement for another.
“In times of austerity we have to prioritise licence management. We need simplicity. It has felt as though complexity in licensing has increased. Virtualisation and cloud computing have added to this but, as the hybrid [on premise and on demand] approach becomes a reality, licensing could become a nightmare. Licensing concerns could be one reason why people don’t understand how to integrate on demand,” he said.
The incredible matrix of licensing at SAP it is too difficult to manoeuvre, he added, which works against the company.
“People aren’t buying new licences because they have so many already. Flexibility on the volume of licences needs to improve. Make it easier, make it simpler. Make it something that aids adoption and the use of SAP products and doesn’t deter potential customers,” he said.