TEXT: Cliff Saran
Businesses that have enterprise resource planning applications are using barely half the licences they have paid for, according to analyst group AMR Research.
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Research from AMR due out in September has found that 46% of ERP licences are unused, leaving many users with unnecessary support and maintenance bills.
AMR puts this down to companies buying licences upfront, attracted by volume discount deals but overestimating their requirements and the impact of economic slowdown.
"In some cases the companies downsized to the point where they had more ERP licences than employees," said AMR vice-president Jim Shepherd.
Some ERP suppliers have shown flexibility by allowing customers to retain licences without paying maintenance, or offering trade-in credit toward other applications, but in most cases users have been paying maintenance on these seats without getting any real value, said AMR.
Ray Titcombe, chairman of the Strategic Supplier Relationships Group, said, "The corporate world is heavily over-licensed - whether it be ERP or Microsoft Windows. The concept of supplier buy back is attractive but somehow seems unlikely."
AMR's survey was based on interviews with 271 corporate users.
' Microsoft Software Assurance, p4
' The high cost of ignorance, p16