The heads of SAP user groups from around the world are to meet the enterprise software supplier's senior management in Boston in December in a bid to influence its product strategy.
This will be the first time that all the groups, representing more than 400,000 end-users, have met in one place. The goal is to present a global voice from all users, covering what businesses want from SAP.
Glynn Lowth, chairman of the SAP UK and Ireland User Group, said it was difficult for a single user group to influence the supplier, but together the groups represented a large number of businesses. "We will work with other user groups to influence planning," he said.
The agenda for the meeting has not been set, but Lowth said he wanted improvements in SAP's support in the UK.
Lowth was concerned that since SAP UK was mainly a sales and marketing operation, SAP's support function was not being managed out of the UK. As a result, user groups needed to speak to SAP's international headquarters to influence its development.
Lowth has begun collaborating with user groups in France, Spain, Germany and Holland to speak to SAP with a single voice on support.
He expects the groups to focus on influencing SAP's overall product strategy, rather than asking for new functions and features to be added to the supplier's software.
Sixty seven per cent of SAP users are still running the older version 4.6 of the software, and 8% are running the unsupported SAP 3.1i, a survey of 277 users has revealed.
The research was conducted by the SAP UK and Ireland User Group ahead of its annual conference at the end of November.
User group chairman Glynn Lowth said some businesses could not justify spending hundreds of thousands of pounds upgrading. Instead, they would prefer to pay SAP maintenance, or £1,000 per day to fix problems on unsupported products.
no rush to upgrade SAP