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The Power of Influence: DSAG’s Efforts Drive Change in SAP’s Support Offerings

by Dr. Mario Günter | SAPinsider

April 1, 2010

In light of SAP’s recent return to optional support offerings for its customers, DSAG Managing Director Dr. Mario Günter applauds SAP’s decision and highlights DSAG’s influence efforts in propelling this change.

Dr. Mario Günter
Managing Director

After 18 months of hard work and discussions with SAP decision makers, the German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG) welcomes SAP’s recent decision to once again giv e customers support options.

In 2008, SAP Enterprise Support became the mandatory service option for SAP customers, replacing SAP Standard Support. On behalf of its members, and citing the benefits of the internationally standardized SAP Standard Support option, DSAG encouraged SAP to reconsider this move and allow customers to choose between SAP Enterprise Support and SAP Standard Support.

Now, after much advocacy and successful collaboration, DSAG is pleased to see that SAP has empowered customers worldwide to choose the support model that’s right for them.

The Importance of Options

Because every customer has specific needs and goals — and different IT infrastructure requirements to support those goals — it seems unlikely that one universal support offering can suit everyone’s diverse circumstances. That is why it is so important to have choices.

At DSAG, we believed that customers should have the freedom to consider different support options — including SAP Enterprise Support and SAP Standard Support — and then decide which model is the best fit for their business. In making this decision, a company should focus on the content and benefits of each support concept. This way, when a company considers its own circumstances, it will become clear whether SAP Enterprise Support would be helpful or SAP Standard Support would be sufficient.

DSAG’s Worldwide Endeavor

To encourage SAP to open up its support options, DSAG’s Board of Directors and Head Office — along with member CIOs, members of leading German trade associations, members of alliances, and dedicated special interest group (SIG) participants — worked together to reach out to SAP, voicing members’ concerns.

An early sign of success came in 2009, when customers in Germany and Austria were granted the option to choose which support model worked best for them. By the start of 2010, our hard work was rewarded; SAP decided to restore the optional model to customers worldwide.

Looking back on our hard work and discussions with SAP representatives, we appreciate SAP’s decision and are convinced that in the long run, customers will benefit from the opportunity to choose.

A Change to Be Proud Of

Thanks to these influence efforts, SAP customers can now re-evaluate their support demands and the available support choices each year. For more information about the new rules, visit

DSAG is extremely proud of this accomplishment; our advocacy for support options has been a true test of our organization and our influence model at its core. Our success in influencing the support options that SAP offers is a testament to our efforts to deepen and strengthen our relationship with SAP — most recently through our organizational restructuring.1 And we’re delighted to see SAP not only listen to, but act on, member feedback. In this context, we would like to thank SAP for its decision to return to an optional support model; it is a good basis to best suit the specific needs of every enterprise.

True to the keynote speech at the last DSAG Annual Congress, our members can rest assured that DSAG will stay the course, advocating for their ideas and interests — now and in the future.


1 To learn more about DSAG’s new organizational structure, see “DSAG’s 2009 Achievements Pave the Way for Enhanced Collaboration with SAP in 2010” in the January-March 2010 issue of SAPinsider. [back]


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