SAP restructures pricing, forges new alliances

SAP restructures pricing, forges new alliances


SAP AG has clarified a new path to for its R/3 installed base at its recent Sapphire 2000 user conference in Berlin, extending maintenance support for the R/3 suite and offering an additional pricing option.

Paving the way for R/3 users to migrate to, SAP officials announced an extension of the maintenance period for all Euro-enabled R/3 releases (3.1i, 4.0B, 4.5B, and 4.6B) to August 2003.

The maintenance extension "will have a major impact on [SAP's] installed base," said Michael Bittner, an analyst at US-based AMR Research. The announcement will allow users to "feel less dire" about the move to, Bittner said.

Along those lines, for users who prefer to wade into, the vendor will roll out pre-configured Starter Pack application sets garnered from the suite. The Starter Packs contain: Workplace, including best-practice role templates and implementation services; SAP Business-to-Business Procurement, and SAP Internet Sales. The vendor is also offering component options such as SAP Business Information Warehouse and SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer. The incremental Starter Pack approach allows users to set up e-businesses.

In another response to users' concerns about, the vendor now offers users two pricing options: users can choose between SAP's standard component-based pricing and the role-based model. The role-based version takes into account the functions that each user will need, with some users requiring more functions.

"The perception was that [role-based pricing] was the only option," Bittner said, adding that this setup was met with resistance by users. "Now they're saying that there are two options: roll over to role-based or buy components the old-fashioned way. They've made things easier and possibly less expensive," he said.

SAP also announced a new hosting service for startups called the ASP Solution for StartUp Companies, which is available in Europe via SAPHosting, SAP's subsidiary devoted to the application service provider and application-hosting business. The start-up service is also available through certified Hosting Partners.

To fully utilise the service (, startup companies need client workstations with Internet browsers that will access pre-configured software, SAP representatives said. Users will be charged monthly rental fees.

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