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UK too removed from management thinking at ISV HQ

High level of frustration over business software disconnect

By CBR Staff Writer

UK IT directors are fed up about getting nothing but sales spiel from their software suppliers and want more direct input from top management at ISVs so that they can better steer the product and business development plans of their applications vendors.

There is a seemingly high level of frustration being vented by IT executives over the disconnect that has developed between business needs and supplier strategy.

There is also criticism that the level of support and interaction they receive from software suppliers is too low, new research released today by the SAP UK & Ireland User Group suggests.

In a study of 100 IT directors working at organisations with 1,000+ employees just under half (48%) felt that IT vendors weren’t taking customer feedback onboard when it came to product development.

In addition, 85% felt frustrated by IT vendors bringing out new products and subsequently withdrawing or reducing support for products that still worked perfectly well.

“It is clear that many organisations want more senior-level engagement with their IT vendors, rather than simply dealing with sales staff,” said Alan Bowling, the group’s chairman. 

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There are apparent growing concerns that UK operations are no more than sales arms of overseas software houses, and so are far removed from being user-oriented organisations with customer needs as a focus of their operations.

Bowling said, “It is here where strong user groups can play an important role as they can provide organisations with a channel to influence IT vendors at a high level.” 

The SAP User Group has scored a number of successes in changing the business practices of the German ERP supplier.

Just a few months ago SAP bowed to pressure from its various user groups, and agreed to slow the rate at which it applies new tariffs to its software support services. 

The software vendor has also agreed to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) for SAP enterprise support before the future price increases are invoked.

This latest survey revealed 83% organisations feel they receive inadequate levels of customer support and actually felt they had greater knowledge than their IT vendors’ support teams when it comes to particular products and processes. 

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