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The new 5-1-2 maintenance strategy is clearer than SAP's basic and extended service plans, which it replaces. It gives users a predictable model so they can plan their software maintenance and upgrade projects, said SAP.
Under the 5-1-2 plan, SAP will provide a basic five years of maintenance for a standard fee, with the option to extend the coverage for up to three additional years.
For one year of extended maintenance, an extra 2% is added to the maintenance fee. If this is extended for a further two years, an additional 4% a year will be charged.
After these eight years, customer-specific maintenance is available.
Kate Meredith, director, customer support for SAP UK, Ireland and Africa, said, "We now have a clear maintenance strategy in terms of how long maintenance is extended for each release. It will affect all of our customers eventually.
"In the past, SAP customers were faced with confusing, and changing maintenance schedules for different components."
SAP is allowing users of some older products,such as R/3 to extend maintenance for one or two years, said Kate Meredith, director, customer support for SAP UK Ireland and Africa. However, the limited support window is likely to make R/3 customers look more urgently at upgrading to MySAP ERP.
SAP stopped selling R/3 ERP earlier this year and offered customers financial incentives to upgrade to MySAP ERP.