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SAP customers sticking with existing ERP solutions

SAP might quite like it if customers adopted their latest products but many are more than happy to stick with their existing ERP solutions from the vendor

One of the challenges for any vendor is to try to encourage customers to upgrade and embrace the latest version of their technology.

For most users the mantra of 'if it ain't broken' applies with most also worried about the costs and potential problems caused by migration.

SAP appears to be struggling to get users to move to its S/4HANA offering with many quite happy sticking with their existing ERP products from the vendor.

Research from Rimini Street has found that the overwhelming number of respondents (89%) are going to stick with existing products because they continue to meet business needs.

When pushed on whether or not they would move to S/4HANA the reasons for not making the effort included struggling to find a strong business case, unclear ROI and fears of high migration and reimplementation costs.

Where the vendor might find the channel coming to the rescue is around support with the Rimini Street survey finding that many customers were unhappy with the service they got with some citing length of time fixing issues and lack of expertise and customisation options as problems.

“This survey highlights that CIOs and IT decision makers prefer to maximize the value of their current robust SAP ERP system that more than meets their business requirements, rather than advancing to a new platform that is still in development with no current business case to support a full reimplementation. It also illustrates how they are pursuing innovation strategies, such as hybrid IT, to help their business gain competitive advantage now, without having to wait indefinitely for meaningful new innovations and capabilities from SAP,” said Seth Ravin, Rimini Street CEO.

The hybrid IT approach is also one of the reasons why many customers are quite happy to use software that has largely been designed for on-premise use.

“When I speak with SAP customers, one of the most common strategies they enlist to maintain their core ERP while still having the ability to innovate, is to take a hybrid IT approach,” said Vinnie Mirchandani, CEO of Deal Architect and author of SAP Nation.

“The SAP Business Suite is remarkably robust and feature rich, but SAP’s ability to successfully innovate outside core ERP has not kept up, so a two-speed approach makes sense. Stick with the proven core, but continue to innovate around the edges with many modern solutions that are available from some very nimble companies in the market today," he added.

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