SAP users have begun measuring the performance of key aspects of their ERP systems as part of its benchmarking process. This follows an agreement last April whereby SAP agreed to delay an increase in the cost of its Enterprise Support service, and to make future increases conditional on meeting certain targets for performance and customer satisfaction.

The first key performance indicators (KPIs) to be tracked will be CPU utilisation and storage performance, according to the Francophone SAP Users' Club (USF).

Later, the 43 European enterprises participating in the programme will track other indicators, including application availability and response times. SAP and the user groups have defined 11 KPIs, which SAP will track using its Solution Manager supervision tool, USF said.

The KPIs were defined by SAP and the SAP User Group Executive Network (SUGEN), a talking shop for the heads of many of the world's largest national SAP user groups. SUGEN had been pressuring SAP to make concessions on the pricing of its Enterprise Support programme, which was almost a third more expensive than the programme it replaced.

SAP staff have already visited the businesses taking part in the benchmarking programme to set up the monitoring tools, the output of which SAP will use to optimise and improve the performance of the systems.

The results of the benchmarking will be useful, whatever they are, and the effort SAP has put into the program shows it is really taking notice of users' expectations, said Jean Leroux, president of USF and also CIO of Aelia, which operates a chain of airport duty-free stores.

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