It’s Never Too Early to Plan SAP Support Alternatives

Scott Hays
Sr. Product Marketing Director
Rimini Street
2 min read
It’s Never Too Early to Plan SAP Support Alternatives

The end of September often comes abruptly for SAP customers struggling with the costs and restrictions inherent in the vendor’s support contracts. That’s the deadline for terminating those contracts for the coming calendar year. We’ve passed September 2022, but it’s not too early to start planning for September 2023.

With many SAP ERP customers facing a 2027 cutoff of mainstream support for SAP Business Suite, also known as SAP ERP Central Component (ECC), the passing of time represents yet another technology risk for enterprises to manage.

The prospect of lapsed support can lead some to grudgingly migrate to a newer version earlier than desired, while others face the potential of growing cyber-risks due to uncertain software patching.

“If you’re an SAP customer you’ve got some big decisions to make for the coming year,” Aberdeen VP and research fellow Derek E. Brink says in an on-demand webinar. “Every year there’s a deadline of September 30 where if you’re an SAP customer, you need to make a formal notice of cancellation if you decide to not renew your SAP support contract for the coming calendar year.”

Recession concerns driving cost reductions

Brink provides a peek at survey data showing that more than 80% of businesses are concerned by the prospect of a recession in 2023. About half of businesses plan to take some precautionary measure in the event of an economic downturn. Among those measures are reducing non-essential spending, reevaluating vendors, and delaying purchases or upgrades.

Brink says they should keep open to reduce operating costs of their SAP software infrastructure with the possibility of better support options and mitigation of security risks.

Scott Hays, senior director of product marketing at Rimini Street, hosts the webinar and advises SAP customers of the advantages of third-party support, including extended support beyond the vendor’s own cutoff, self-determination of migration paths, and ability to plot a path toward composable ERP that more readily lets organizations build around the edges of a core ERP platform with their own and third-party innovations.

While some are ready to follow SAP’s support deadline by migrating to mainly cloud-based S/4HANA, others want to plot that path at their own pace rather than SAP’s directives.

Hays says still others don’t see the need or benefit of making that move. “There are clients who are on ECC  Business Suite and they really plan to stay there and continue to sweat that asset and to continue to use their customizations, whether it’s on premises or in the cloud.”

With the 2027 date for ending mainstream support, companies not wishing to migrate from SAP Business Suite to S/4HANA must create a plan on how to sustain their current SAP software and determine whether the support decision should be earlier or later.

“There is no question that owning and running an SAP environment for a company of any size can be a pretty hefty expense and there are ways to reduce it on an ongoing basis,” says Hays. “But we also need to make sure that that environment stays stable, stays performing, and stays adaptable to other things that are happening in the SAP environment.”

For more insights into annual SAP support decision deadline, view the full conversation now.

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