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SAP S/4HANA provides the basis for an enterprise operational backbone and evolution to a more digitally advanced intelligent enterprise. While almost 14,000 customers have committed to this advanced modern ERP platform, that still leaves a considerable number of enterprises on the earlier SAP Business Suite 7. On February 4, 2020, SAP made two commitments on maintenance that will reassure both leading customers and those lagging on their digital transformation journeys.


SAP widens the window for migration to SAP S/4HANA but enterprises still need to get their skates on

Most ERP customers are still on the previous generation system, Business Suite 7. While surveys from its Americas and German user groups indicate positive intentions for most members to migrate to S/4HANA, in support of their transformation journeys, this announcement on extending the maintenance window will reduce anxiety about running out of time. SAP will provide mainstream maintenance on SAP Business Suite 7 to 2027, with an optional further extension at a premium to 2030 for those still not ready to migrate to SAP S/4HANA.

SAP has also signaled its commitment to S/4HANA with maintenance promised until the end of 2040. Its modern architecture enables it to absorb evolving technologies such as AI, Blockchain, IoT, VR/AR, and 5G enabled capabilities yet to surface. This will reassure leaders already committed to SAP S/4HANA that it is a platform with long legs and give more time for those that are slower out of the transformation blocks.

However, according to Omdia’s annual ICT Enterprise Insights survey of around 5,000 enterprises, transformation progress is moving at a snail’s pace for around 75% of mid-to-large enterprises across all sectors. SAP has, with this announcement, reduced the pressure on its customers and offered a more graceful path to modernization and the promise of the intelligent enterprise. That said, SAP’s customers’ customers will not have the same level of patience, as their expectations keep rising. Every enterprise still on SAP Business Suite 7 must seek a faster path to SAP S/4HANA to secure their futures in a world where change continues to accelerate. It’s time to get your skates on.



Further reading

The SAP Business Technology Platform is a major milestone in the SAP Intelligent Enterprise story,INT001-000167(January 2020)
The Data-Driven Enterprise Overview, INT004-000047 (January 2020)
The Data-Driven Enterprise Self-Assessment Tool, INT002-000266 (January 2020)
2020 Trends to Watch: Customer Engagement Platforms, INT001-000166 (December 2019)



Jeremy Cox, Principal Analyst, Customer Engagement Practice
[email protected]