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SAP user group foments revolt over massive price hike

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The UK SAP user group today called on the German software giant's customers to scrutinise plans to force them to cough up almost a third more for their contract.

The group wants companies affected to examine the changes in detail in the hope they'll be unhappy enough about a real-terms 30 per cent costs increase to kick up a stink.

SAP announced plans to railroad customers onto higher-spec support packages earlier this month. Costs are set to be ratcheted from 17 to 22 per cent of contract value, effective immediately for all new customers and to be phased in by 2012 for everyone else.

Alan Bowling, chairman of the UK SAP users group, said: "We understand that if SAP is to provide more comprehensive support then it has to charge more for it. However, many of our members may not want or need this extra level of support and therefore are reacting negatively to having a new support product and the associated increase in costs forced upon them."

In particular, the UK users group and its German counterpart reckon the new support will be more than many small and medium-sized businesses need. Feedback on SAP's attempt to force them to pay more has been "hugely negative", Bowling said.

He called on SAP management to rethink strategy sharpish. Analysts estimate the price hike could generate an extra €1bn annually by the time all its customers have been squeezed, so some pretty loud complaining is likely to be required.

We've put Bowling's comments to SAP and will update this story if we get a response. ®

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