SAP Restructures Pricing, Forges Alliances

SAN MATEO (05/26/2000) - SAP AG clarified this week a new path to for its R/3 installed base at its 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 AMR Research, in Boston. 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 are: Workplace, including best-practice role templates and implementation services; SAP Business-to-Business Procurement; and SAP Internet Sales. The vendor also is 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 than others.

"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 start-ups called the ASP Solution for Start-Up Companies, which is available in Europe via SAPHosting, SAP's subsidiary devoted to the ASP (application service provider) and application-hosting business. The start-up service is also available through certified Hosting Partners.

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

In other news, SAP will be embedding Collaborative Business Scenarios -- blueprints for integrating CRM (customer relationship management), e-commerce, supply-chain management, and business intelligence processes -- into

SAP also has made available May 2000, its latest release, with improved CRM, e-commerce capability, supply-chain management, human resources management, and business intelligence components.

SAP AG, in Walldorf, Germany, is at

Other facets of Sapphire

SAP announced the following programs and alliances at its Sapphire 2000 user conference.

A pact with the Siemens Information and Communication Mobile unit for lightweight applications for Siemens AG mobile devicesA "best-of-class, open integration" certification program for third-party applications tied into mySAP.comA trading exchange formed with Deutsche Bank AG, called emaro (, for office supplies, equipment, and furniture.

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