Since the launch of SAP S/4HANA, the next-generation intelligent suite, customers have fully embraced the move to digital, and many of them are already on their journeys to becoming intelligent enterprises.

With a full program of offerings, services, and tools, SAP intends to be a trusted partner that will be there every step of the way and support customers through their transitions. While delivering on transparency and trust, SAP is also instilling confidence in its customers to plan their digital transformations with minimum disruption to their current business processes.

Undergoing such a vast transformation is never easy, but SAP is working to make it as efficient and seamless as possible for each customer. Each customer’s experience is unique, so it is key to offer them the necessary flexibility and time as they undertake projects at their respective paces.

Over the last few months, SAP has taken several steps to do that – from announcing the extension of mainstream maintenance for SAP Business Suite 7 for two more years to following up with several updates based on customer feedback and questions around contract conversion policy and maintenance strategy for existing on-premise solution landscapes. The various phases, and what they all mean for customers, are below.

Conveying Long-Term Mainstream Maintenance Commitments

Earlier this year, SAP announced the extension of its maintenance commitment for SAP S/4HANA until the end of 2040. Along with this promise, SAP will also provide mainstream maintenance for core applications of SAP Business Suite 7 software until the end of 2027, followed by optional extended maintenance until the end of 2030.

The decision to extend SAP Business Suite 7 stemmed from customers’ desire for clarity on what the future holds for their individual transformation journeys. They were not merely looking for a technical migration, but also wanted to leverage the new capabilities of SAP S/4HANA. Therefore, we wanted to give them the time to fully consider everything to its fullest potential.

Additionally, SAP gave further clarification regarding the SAP S/4HANA compatibility packs, for which availability is planned until end of 2025. The company has also given more clarity on the intent to provide alternative SAP S/4HANA capabilities by 2023.

Thus, customers can migrate the compatibility packs toward the alternatives prior to 2025. It is a best practice to start with this as soon as alternatives become available rather than wait until the last alternative is provided.

Maintaining the Foundation for Successful Transition

A successful transition to a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system cannot take place without a solid foundation. With the SAP NetWeaver 7.5 platform providing the architecture for enterprise application integration, and the foundation on which SAP Business Suite 7 is based, it was integral to fully align its maintenance strategy with that of SAP Business Suite 7. As with SAP Business Suite 7, mainstream maintenance for SAP NetWeaver 7.5 is prolongated until the end of 2027, followed by an optional extended maintenance phase until the end of 2030. This extended maintenance phase comes for SAP NetWeaver 7.5 at the same price and conditions as for SAP Business Suite 7.

The SAP NetWeaver stack builds on the foundation of operating systems and databases. Database platforms for SAP NetWeaver and SAP Business Suite 7 run on database platforms of SAP, such as SAP HANA, SAP ASE, or SAP MaxDB, and on platforms offered by third-party vendors. SAP will provide platform support for its own databases and work closely with partners to qualify new valid combinations for SAP Business Suite 7 and SAP NetWeaver.

In addition, the product and innovation strategies for SAP BW/4HANA are now fully aligned with SAP S/4HANA. As with SAP S/4HANA, SAP BW/4HANA will be maintained until end of 2040 through a sequence of releases.

Innovating Through Transition

While the move to SAP S/4HANA is a key element to transforming into an intelligent enterprise, it is the innovation that can be realized through this that will truly allow customers to take advantage of what this new suite can offer to their businesses and, in turn, to their customers.

In order to provide customers more time to part ways with legacy systems that have been at the core of their operations for many years, SAP announced a change to SAP S/4HANA product conversion and SAP S/4HANA contract conversion policy. This change grants customers executing an SAP S/4HANA conversion dual use rights for both SAP Business Suite 7 and SAP S/4HANA until completion of their transition to SAP S/4HANA. This dual usage right was previously limited to end of 2025.

Through this, customers will be able to continue to access all the solutions and tools within SAP Business Suite 7 as they make the move to SAP S/4HANA and will have more time to consider how to best convert their licensed products. SAP is not only looking to offer customers valuable time, but also wants to provide them more options to allow for a successful adoption while they continue to take advantage of their past investments. This will allow customers to unlock the potential for innovation, transforming business processes through artificial intelligence-enabled automation and next-generation tools.

Customers that are operating during this time of uncertainty can maintain confidence with a trusted partner like SAP that will support them along their transformation journeys as they navigate this changing business landscape.

Further guidance and information on these changes can be found on SAP Support Portal.