SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business Suite 7 were in the spotlight recently as the German ERP software giant announced a major development for the two. Inside SAP got exclusive details about what goes beyond 2040.
SAP has gained praise from its customers and user groups as it has announced a maintenance commitment for SAP S/4HANA until the end of 2040 and mainstream maintenance for core applications of SAP Business Suite 7 software until the end of 2027 with optional extended maintenance until the end of 2030. That is about two decades of optimal use of a platform, an offer that’s not only strategic but also almost irresistible.
Now that all gears and deadlines are set, Inside SAP had an exclusive correspondence from an SAP spokesperson on how the future holds for the customers of SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business Suite 7.
SAP S/4HANA, The Go-to Product
For SAP, a two-decade commitment could be the longest ever given in the software industry considering the dynamics of the ecosystem. So, looking beyond 2040 would be mere speculation. The spokesperson said:
“Consistent feedback from all external sources was that everybody was very positive on such a long commitment. SAP will share updates on what is going to happen after 2040 in due course.”
As for the SAP Business Suite 7, there is no successor. At the end of the 2027 deadline, a Customer Specific Maintenance phase will start. Customers have an option for extended maintenance from 2028-2030. Beyond that, the recommended go-to product is SAP S/4HANA.
According to the SAP spokesperson, the bottom line is enterprises will have to transition to the go-to product is SAP S/4HANA. The company has laid out all the support necessary for the seamless transition to the new platform of the intelligent ERP since two years ago when they launched the SAP S/4HANA Movement.
“More than 40 Partners have built conversion factories all over the world that help customers to move their existing system over to SAP S/4HANA in a very streamlined way. For customers deciding on a green- or brownfield approach combined with a business transformation, SAP and its ecosystem has industry-specific templates (see Best Practices in the SAP Model Company) to help customers take this step as fast as possible, “ said the spokesperson.
The company believes that in doing so; they can provide clarity, flexibility, and choice for businesses as they transition to SAP S/4HANA. The spokesperson added:
“Plans can be made based on long term commitments on how to best organize the transition to SAP S/4HANA to capture the capabilities and opportunities of this new business platform.”
With the overwhelming feedback and support from user groups, analysts, press and partners, SAP stands that they did the right thing for their customers.
The Big Announcement
Earlier this month, SAP has broken the Internet again with the important deadlines for SAP S/4HANA and Business Suite 7, 2040 and 2027, respectively. This will affect users of SAP’s core enterprise software component, ERP 6.0, and the core applications of SAP Business Suite 7, including Customer Relationship Management, Supply Chain Management, and Supplier Relationship Management.
Christian Klein, Co-CEO and Member of the Executive Board at SAP SE said:
“Our customers show us that SAP S/4HANA is their future direction and that they expect a long-term commitment from SAP to this platform.”
Though enterprises are keen to transition to S/4 HANA, Klein shared that other larger companies told them that they might not be ready for the earlier set deadline of 2025. He explained:
“It’s not so much about the technology, it’s really about adapting long-standing business processes, adapting to the needs of the customers in the digital world.”
Concerning SAP skills shortage, Klein said that SAP’s partners are ramping up efforts to meet the high demand.
“I just talked to the three largest systems integrators and they are very confident that we overcome this shortage of skilled SAP resources really near term.”
Just like the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) which has welcomed the opportunity for SAP customers to embrace the development, SAP User Group Executive Network (SUGEN), the global network of 22 independent SAP user groups, has also commended SAP’s move.
Gianmaria Perancin, Chairman of SUGEN, commented:
“We applaud SAP for taking this step. Now, customers have more clarity and have more time to embrace the value and innovations that SAP S/4HANA brings. This announcement also demonstrates the value of the global dialogue between SUGEN and SAP for the benefit of the SUGEN members and the wider SAP ecosystem.”