It’s been a while since my last post, and we’ve been pretty busy here integrating systems with SAP.
The good news is that our SAP counterparts are familiar with Crystal Reports as they licensed our technology back a few years ago.
One of the areas where I’ve been personally investing a lot of time is in the new support offering. Here’s a summary of the changes.
Effective July 7, the way we support volume products will be changing. We’ve used the opportunity of the integration of Business Objects and SAP to rethink support practices in order to deliver a better service level to more customers.
Volume Products Without Bundled Support
The products covered by this change are:
Crystal Reports Visual Advantage
Crystal Reports for Visual Studio
Crystal Reports for Eclipse
These changes only apply to customers that do not have a support contract in place with SAP.
The 2 free email support cases (Assist Support) will no longer be provided with each license of these products.
In its place, we are investing in an improved forums experience by:
Combining the Business Objects technical support forum with the Diamond forums. Now there’s a single forum site on the SAP Community Network
Allocating additional technical support staff to moderate the forums and reply to questions.
Ensuring that all customers can search, read, and post to the forums.
Customers will continue to be able to escalate issues that are bugs via posts to the support forums.
For customers that want a dedicated engineer on their case, single case support incidents will continue to be made available at current prices, but the process for acquiring this support offering will change.
In North America, we had offered for sale a 5-pack of single case support incidents, but this will be discontinued.
Volume Products With Bundled Support
There are also changes for other volume products that are sold with support included. The products covered by these changes are:
Crystal Reports Server
We will continue to bundle support with these products. In Q3 2008, pricing of these products will be modified so that support and upgrade assurance will be optional for these products. What this means is that customers that don’t value the support and major version upgrades provided under the annual maintenance fee can now pay license fees only.
We feel that on balance these changes will result in an improved overall support experience as we invest in modern, collaborative tools and processes for supporting all of our volume products. The limited number of support cases included with a product license is replaced with unlimited access to forums where customers will benefit from the knowledge of both technical support engineers and other community members.
We look forward to listening to your feedback on these changes, and will continue to improve our support offerings to meet the distinct needs of this market.
Thanks for your support and patience through this transition.
Crystal Reports Product Management Team