SAP has a great product in NetWeaver, but it needs a better support model to make NetWeaver a real market leader!
I may be very young when it comes to the software and Web development field, but one thing I know for sure is that in order for a product to thrive it must have excellent support. I’ve come across so many shareware and even freeware programs (the like that are open source) that are so great to use because you know that bugs do get fixed and the product does get better within a shorter turnaround then most, if not all, commercial software.
I’ve always found products like the coveted Microsoft Office products to be flaky here and there, but if you post a suggestion or bug report – you’d be lucky if that gets fixed. Is it because you, as a single user, represent such an insignificant userbase that corporations like Microsoft just don’t care about your opinions? Well, the sad part is that this is likely true. Unless you’re a major player in the software market and likely a partner to Microsoft, your needs are addressed before those of the frustrated end user working for one of the hundreds of thousands of corporations across North America.
Well, enough about Microsoft. How about SAP? I recall some time back when a member of the core development team of SAP NetWeaver approached me and we sat down to go through suggested bug fixes and enhancements to really improve the whole developer and end user experience with the SAP Portal (now NetWeaver) product. To this day, I’ve seen none of my requests realized, even though the developer and I agreed it would be a valuable addition or modification to their product. This is quite disheartening when I’ve developed such a kinship to a product that has really boosted my career and software development profile.
So, how does this whole Hot Fix, Patch and so forth model work at SAP? Who advises SAP to fix this and that? Do we, the corporate customers influence these fixes? Or, is there a higher presence ? I hate to sound like I’m complaining but I want SAP to know that I really care for their product, but I don’t know if my needs are being addressed.
To the team at SAP, I’ve become an avid user and supporter of your product. I think it’s time you give your existing customer base something in return. And, that is a far superior support system, quite possibly through SDN, and one where we don’t feel like we have to wait for a series of Hot Fixes or Patches to continue using your product as it becomes more embedded and integrated into our infrastructure.
I hope other customers understand this feeling and can agree that if SAP can improve their support, SAP NetWeaver will regain its status as the #1 portal product on the planet. SDN is a wonderful start, I believe, and potential customers and new customers will appreciate it, I’m sure. Great work, but don’t stop here!