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SAP users not readily adopting BusinessObjects, user group finds

But adoption of SAP ERP 6.0 is high

The UK & Ireland SAP User Group has found that a very low number of SAP users are using software from BusinessObjects, in spite of the German vendor buying the business intelligence company in 2007.

Only seven percent of SAP-based companies run BusinessObjects, the user group found from a survey of members. It described the adoption rate as "low" considering that the software had become "SAP's flagship business intelligence product".

SAP "still has work to do" to encourage clients to use BusinessObjects, the user group said. It was important as the system also allowed users to access SAP's much trumpeted in-memory computing technology, or HANA, for high speed analytics.

The latest version of SAP's core business software, ERP 6.0, was widely used, it found. Nearly seven in 10 SAP-based organisations use that system. The user group described this as a "big turnaround" from two years ago, when around a third used the system. Twenty-two percent still use the SAP R3 platform, version 4.7.

Around two-thirds of SAP users are on the more expensive Enterprise Support offering, compared to 11 percent on Standard Support, which was reintroduced following a campaign by user groups, it found.

The cost of Enterprise Support will rise this year, increasing the gap between the two support options to more than one percent.

"It will certainly be interesting to see how many customers stay on Enterprise Support when the next set of price rises comes into effect in the next year," said Alan Bowling, chair of the user group. "With this in mind we will be making sure our members are provided with all the information they need to make an informed decision about their support requirements." A dedicated support event was recently run by the user group to address this.

SAP had informed customers on the Enterprise Support package that they needed to create 'centres of excellence'. However, the user group found only 14 percent had done so. This may be owing to a lack of understanding of the benefits or a lack of a clear financial incentive to take part in the certification process, the user group said.

"The survey results also highlight that SAP could still be doing a lot more to help educate its users about the benefits of the products and services it offers," concluded Bowling.

Eight in 10 respondents said the user group had the right levels of influence over SAP for having users' voices heard. Some 204 organisations were questioned for the research.

The UK & Ireland SAP User Group Conference 2011 will take place in Birmingham, on 20 to 22 November. Speakers include analyst and SAP expert Ray Wang, as well as 20-year SAP/BusinessObjects veteran Timo Elliott


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