Enterprises using business application software from SAP and operating system software from SuSE Linux will be able to contact either company for technical support under a new service agreement between the two German suppliers.
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SAP and SuSE will provide a one-stop support service to joint customers running SAP's mission-critical application software over SuSE's Linux Enterprise Server software.
The support ranges from assistance within defined turnaround times during regular office hours to 24-hour, seven days a week availability of engineers trained on customers' systems.
"In the past, when customers contacted SAP support engineers about a technical problem and it involved the operating system, they typically suggested calling SuSE," said SuSE company spokesman Christian Egle.
"Under the new agreement, joint customers can call either SAP or SuSE for support. We believe this will speed up and simplify the technical support process substantially."
Although engineers at both companies have co-operated in various ways to resolve glitches in recent years, the agreement defines "how they will work together in detail to ensure that customers received a qualified answer", said SuSE chief technology officer Jürgen Geck.
SAP and SuSE have a history of collaboration, which has not always been visible to outsiders.
"For years, we have had our software engineers working directly with their counterparts at SAP in Walldorf," Egle said.
SuSE is one of SAP's 17 global technology partners, together with IBM and Microsoft.
The open-source software supplier has similar support arrangements with other companies, including IBM and Network Appliance.
John Blau writes for IDG News Service