Good friend Brian Sommer says SAP customers are Republicans - conservative, patient. Good analogy (and overall a very good read).
I just want to see how Germans react to being put in Dubya's party! A few years ago, invoking JFK, I told a group of SAP customers in Dusseldorf "Ich bin ein SAPer". The crowd beamed about the global success of its native son, but grew less excited as my presentation focused on how global customers would dramatically transform SAP's product and support. But at least I did not call them third generation Republicans!
But I am scratching my head trying to explain why the majority of Deal Architect clients have SAP as a backbone. They are trying to renegotiate with SAP, reduce cost of SAP implementations, reduce cost of SAP application management. Not very loyal if you ask me.
Here, I think, is the explanation. Push comes to shove, come election time every 2 years and they are loyal and vote the party line, but in between they are pretty independent. That explains Bush's low ratings for the last few months. His Republican base is not raising its hand enough for him. I would suggest if you did a straw poll of SAP customers today, its value-for-money rating would approach Bush's.
Its customers are pretty committed to the platform, but day to day make logical decisions on value, what to renew etc. And if you piss them off enough, as the Republicans may find in 2008, they may even cross the party line.
Unless the option has a leader whose first name ends in Y -)