Siemens gives SAP three-month boost

German IT giant Siemens is to offer small and medium-sized UK firms a three-month SAP R/3 implementation service.

Siemens Business Services, the world’s biggest SAP user, is attempting to overcome concerns over lengthy implementation times and convince mid-range companies that high-end software can work outside the confines of blue-chip companies.

The service, R/3 Live Express, offers a fixed three-month implementation time at a cost of #500,000 for the R/3 package, with the price falling if fewer modules are required. It will see Siemens go head to head with companies such as JD Edwards and JBA.

Andy d’Souza, business development manager for the new unit, said the three-month implementation guarantee will produce better long-term results than deals offered by rivals. ‘Other consultants will implement ERP packages in six weeks for #200,000, but this does not allow sufficient time for either testing or staff training,’ he said.

In a further move to reassure SMEs wary of huge IT outlays, d’Souza added that Siemens would conduct a free feasibility study to gauge the likely benefits for the business before signing contracts. ‘As far as I know, we’re the only company to offer this,’ he said.

He would not be drawn on the conclusions of a recent report from Ovum that linked a gradual decline in SAP’s growth rate to perceived user resentment over SAP’s inflexible R/3. He confirmed, however, that Siemens was considering partnering other ERP vendors.

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