SAP is offering customers a financial incentive to migrate to its latest version of mySAP ERP and warned that maintenance service for the R/3 enterprise software will end by 2009.
Customers who decide over the coming months to upgrade to SAP's ERP product will receive discounts of up to 75% against the cost of their R/3 software licence, according to SAP spokesman Markus Berner.
Under the discount plan, customers who, for example, paid €1m for an R/3 licence could take 75% of that licence, or €750,000, and deduct this amount from the cost of a licence for mySAP ERP.
If the discount plan does not woo all of SAP's 20,500 R/3 users to switch, the thought of having no service for the product may convince many of the rest.
The company said it plans to pull the plug on all of its mainstream support services, which include patches, updates and other maintenance services in five years.
However, Berner said the company is weighing the possibility of extending support for a fee of 19% of the licence price, up 2% from the existing support fee.
"This is something we are considering," he said. "We haven't made a definite decision on whether or not we will extend R/3 support."
At the start of the year, SAP dropped R/3 from its price list.
The company expects mySAP ERP, which was launched in March, to include all latest functions, including role-based, device-independent access by 2005.
The R/3 successor also comes with SAP's NetWeaver technology at no added cost.
NetWeaver is designed to link disparate applications and data sources, allowing companies to make use of their existing IT investments and personnel skills while exploiting web services.
The system is interoperable with Microsoft's .net and IBM's WebSphere platforms, and allows users to provision web services that have been developed in Java.
John Blau writes for IDG News Service