Big euro conversion savings

Companies preparing to convert their systems to the euro have been urged to select their consultants carefully after a high-tech...

Companies preparing to convert their systems to the euro have been urged to select their consultants carefully after a high-tech manufacturer slashed 90% from its consultancy fees by shopping around.

Monitor manufacturer CTX said it was quoted between £30,000 and £100,000 and a timescale of three to six months for the euro conversion of its 50-seat SAP system across its UK, German and Dutch offices.

CTX eventually changed partners and got the work done for £8,000 in six weeks. According to CTX, its former partner had said it would not support large swathes of the company's SAP system if it went elsewhere for euro conversion.

The disclosure will fuel fears that euro conversion will be provide a cash bonanza for consultants, with users left in the dark over what constitutes good value.

Derek Prior, an analyst at Gartner, urged businesses to get quotes for euro conversion work from a variety of consultants. "This type of price spread is common in consulting and varies according to the expertise of the partner - businesses need to shop around," he said.

CTX's European IT manager Jason Flowers said, "Compared to the hype and prices that we have been quoted up to now I think we managed a small miracle. For 50 users, and at a time when we are being pushed to keep costs low, the prices we were quoted were just too high.

"SAP is supposed to be breaking in to the SME market, but most of the prices that consultancies offer are like those offered to companies with huge IT budgets. Smaller firms need to realise that just because you run SAP doesn't mean you have to accept this high pricing and that it is possible to use good smaller consultancies."

Read more on IT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)

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