In a previous post on ERP costs we focused specifically on the risk and uncertainty associated with SAP’s licensing model. But licensing is just one piece of the cost control story. As you probably know, support and maintenance contracts will over time make up a very significant part of the overall TCO for most ERP solutions, and for that reason it’s important for prospective customers to understand the differences between the two solutions in this area also.

If you have followed this area recently, you will be aware that SAP has implemented a 5.5% price increase (from 18% to 19% ) for SAP Standard Support. This move was widely derided by analysts as an attempt to increase per-customer revenues without offering much in the way of value—especially since it came in the wake of SAP’s failed attempt to push customers onto the more expensive Enterprise Support offering.

However, outside of the publicly announced price increases, you may be surprised to find that SAP’s support contracts actually reserves the right to further raise maintenance and support fees year after year to adjust for ‘inflation’ and other costs. For enterprise customers, this means that costs will continue to escalate, with very little to no control for the customer.

By contrast, Microsoft Dynamics AX offer a support model that is flexible, stable and transparent. Called out as industry best practice, Microsoft Dynamics has separated maintenance from support, allowing customers to further dial back the ancillary costs of their ERP solution by choosing the plan and vendor that’s right for them. And as Microsoft Dynamics AX is part of the Premier support offering, customers can even leverage their existing Microsoft enterprise support contract for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

For more comparisons between Microsoft Dynamics AX & SAP check out this site.