"Someone thinks enterprise support shouldn't be paid because it's a lock-in -- that's a bloody joke," Apotheker said. He said that SAP's 86,000 global customers have a choice about whether they want to pay for enterprise support or not.
Apotheker acknowledged that SAP does derive a significant amount of recurring revenue from its support, but said the company has committed to making it a good value for customers.
"There is no other vendor on the planet that has sat down with its users and customers [about support like SAP]," he said. "We will deliver a 30 percent value generation over a period of four years."
On the subject of the challenging economy, Apotheker stressed the importance of business responsibility going forward, and said SAP's business-analytics and applications strategy are aimed at making businesses take more responsibility and to also foster sustainability.
"I believe we are talking about a period and I'm sure it will last for quite a number of years where people want businesses to demonstrate accountability," he said. "At SAP we think that is a good thing and we want to embrace that."
To help support SAP's sustainability strategy, the company on Monday also unveiled the acquisition of a company called Clear Standards, which offers software to help enterprises measure and monetize greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts across their operations and supply chain.
In a press statement, SAP said the acquisition would help it accelerate its ability to meet the carbon-management requirements of organizations to meet increasingly stringent government regulations and to be more transparent about responsible ecological strategies.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.