SAP has tried hard to shake off some its old "complacent" attitudes to customers, SAP’s UK managing director told delegates at its annual user group conference.

The SAP UK & Ireland user group conference kicked off this morning in Birmingham with more than 600 delegates.

In an opening keynote, SAP's UK MD Steve Rogers, SAP said: "A little complacency had crept in to the way we managed relationships with customers... We have focused hard on [overcoming] that in the past 12 months."

Customer satisfaction scores are improving, Rogers said. "We are nowhere near best-in-class, but we are making progress," he said, adding, "You guys will be the final arbiters on that."

Rogers urged users to upgrade their systems and promised that if any user could not find additional businesses benefit from upgrading to new SAP products, and simply had to renew their licenses, the vendor would listen sympathetically.

He also challenged the delegates present to use their SAP assets more effectively. "I find it frustrating that the majority of you only seem to be using a modest slice of the software you have acquired," Rogers said.

"If there really is no business value to you from an upgrade and you have to spend money from a licensing perspective, let’s have a conversation," said Rogers.

Rogers also outlined plans to develop new product lines and to target new markets, but he insisted “nothing has changed in terms of our investment profile. You will continue to see us invest in our core applications.”

SAP’s intention he said was to “deliver best in class applications,” and he promised that during 2008 every SAP component would be available on a service oriented architecture platform.

SAP users need simplified licensing, said SAP's user group chairman Glynn Lowth at the annual user group conference.

But SAP's user group chairman Lowth told delegates that SAP needs simplified licensing.

Opening the conference, Lowth detailed how the UK group had increasingly worked with user groups around the world to influence policies and product development of SAP.

Lowth said the user group had grown to more than 400 corporate members in the two years since it became fully independent.

After six years in the chair, Lowth also announced that he was standing down, to be succeeded by Alan Bowling of Northern Foods.