Fiori software will now be free for existing SAP customers, following harsh criticism from users who felt they were paying twice, SAP CEO Bill McDermott announced today at SAPPHIRENOW in Florida.
Any customers who have already purchased the Fiori user experience (UX) and/or SAP Screen Personas software will receive a credit redeemable against future software sales, while these tools will be provided as part of customers' maintenance contracts.
The UK and Ireland SAP User Group welcomed the announcement, and said that it could encourage users to increase their uptake of SAP software.
Philip Adams, chairman, UK and Ireland SAP User Group said: "The user experience of SAP has been a complaint of members for some time. As part of SUGEN, and at a local level, we've been pushing SAP on this matter as our members felt strongly that they shouldn't have to pay separate license fees for Fiori. This move shows that SAP is listening to its customers and takes the concerns of user groups seriously."
The UK SAP User Group recently ran a survey which showed that most organisations expected Fiori to be provided as part of maintenance and that additional licenses would put them off using it.
"With companies paying up to 22 percent in support and maintenance fees this isn't surprising," said Adams.
"What's interesting though is that well over half of our survey respondents stated they would adopt Fiori in the next 12 months if SAP made it available without licenses fees to customers with maintenance agreements. This should be a win-win for SAP and our members.
He added: "Fiori should improve user satisfaction and as a result we wouldn't be surprised to see user adoption of other SAP software increase. Screen Personas also being offered at no extra charge to customers paying maintenance will also serve to improve the user experience and make it much easier for organisations to tailor the SAP UI to the needs of different users."
SAP user groups had put pressure on the vendor over the fees charged for its now user-friendly Fiori applications, arguing that the price should be covered by the large annual maintenance costs already paid to SAP, especially when the products are upgrades to a previously hard-to-navigate application.
Fiori was launched in 2013 to combine necessary Business Suite data and enterprise processes with a consumer-like interface to keep end-users happy. The software retails in the US at $150 per user.
The SAP UK and Ireland user group survey also found that despite acknowledging a need for faster data-processing, only a minority of SAP users are planning on utilising SAP's HANA platform and less than half understand what value it could bring their organisation.
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