Due to a client commitment, I will miss the panel at Office 2.0 on communities that Don Bulmer of SAP writes about. He will be on the panel along with Oracle, Intel and SocialText. I will, however, be at SAP's TechEd for a day the week after, where its SDN community is well represented.
I hope the Office 2.0 panel and the TechEd event do start addressing more directly how enterprise buyers benefit economically from such communities.
As I wrote last year
" I think the whole area of communities and who owns what is going to see some interesting legal battles next few years. I am sure only a small part of YouTube stuff is Viacom IP but look at that action. I think you will see companies adopt SDN policies towards employees and consultants on SDN. Clearly they benefit when they can leverage the IP to their advantage but right now they don't know their cost or payback. And yes if SAP and the outsourcers put some financial incentives to customers, the thinking might change. Right now it looks like SAP and the outsourcers are using it to marketing advantage, the customers do not see enough value from it, and still appear to be paying for it..."
If anything, SAP is trying to convince its customers why they should pay MORE for maintenance, and Oracle does not show any interest either in passing along any savings from its community.