Like with other software vendors, maintenance already provides huge profit margins to SAP. "Why should it become even more profitable?" Scavo wrote.
"How have SAP's cost of support increased to justify this increase in my maintenance fees?" Scavo added. "Normally the cost to support mature products decreases over time, as issues with the program code are resolved." To that end, SAP should be considering a cut in maintenance fees, not a hike, according to Scavo.
The announcement will also allow third-party software support vendors such as Rimini Street a fresh opportunity to draw contrasts between vendor-provided support and their own offerings.
Rimini Street and its handful of peers say customers can realize deep cost savings compared to vendor support, while receiving superior service. However, they cater to customers with no interest in upgrading their systems, as that is only legally possible through vendor support.
Oracle is suing Rimini Street, saying its business model essentially duplicates one conducted by a former SAP subsidiary, TomorrowNow, which provided support for Oracle software.
A previous lawsuit filed by Oracle in 2007 led SAP to shut the unit down and produced a large damages award for Oracle, although the case is still not fully resolved.
Rimini Street has denied wrongdoing and characterized Oracle's lawsuit as an attempt to head off competition.
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com