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Nearly 90% of SAP customers find its cloud pricing confusing

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SAP users don't understand the software giant's cloud pricing and more than half think the firm is not offering enough incentives to move online.

Eighty per cent of customers don't understand how to upgrade from SAP's on-premises suites to its On Demand offerings or how to combine the two, according to research by the UK and Ireland SAP User Group released today.

Also, 58 per cent believe SAP is not offering an attractive enough resaon to move to SAP's cloud offerings for those who've already installed SAP on servers.

Customers almost unanimously said SAP should provide discounts to those interested in going online or the ability to trade in their existing, on-premises licences.

According to the poll, 95 per cent want some kind of trade-in or kick-back from SAP if they stop using on-premises and move online.

Alan Bowling, chairman of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group, said in a statement: "We are now at the point where the benefits of cloud are well understood; however, what we as users need is simple and cost-effective deployment strategies."

Bowling noted, too, that confusion exists on the subject of using SAP's on-premises and cloud offerings together. The majority of users don't understand how SAP's purchase of buyer network Ariba in May and online human capital management specialist SuccessFactors in December 2011 would benefit them, Bowling said.

Users of SAP's existing on-site Business Intelligence software are also looking for a break from the company when moving to its other non-cloud offerings. They want to know whether they will be treated as new customers of Business Objects, bought by SAP in 2007, or whether they would receive discounts in moving to Business Objects due to having already invested in SAP's software.

The survey of 160 customers, released at the SAP User Group's annual conference in Manchester, adds growing pressure to the business software giant on pricing and licensing. The user group in October reported another survey packed with big numbers critical of SAP's pricing and licensing policies.

Customers almost unanimously called SAP's licensing confused, blaming acquisitions and expanded product lines, with 97 per cent calling on SAP to allow them to park licences that are no longer in use thanks to restructuring and layoffs.

SAP told The Reg it was "actively discussing" ways to make its software licensing easier to understand. ®

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