Since the launch of the next-generation intelligent suite SAP S/4HANA, SAP has continued to provide guidance on how customers can truly embrace the move to digital and become intelligent enterprises. Of course, this cannot be done alone, and SAP has been a trusted partner to support customers through their transitions along the way.

As announced last year, SAP has extended its maintenance commitment for SAP S/4HANA until the end of 2040. Along with this promise, SAP is also providing 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.

Along with its trusted commitment to provide customers with the time and flexibility to make the move to SAP S/4HANA at their own pace, SAP also launched the SAP S/4HANA Movement initiative to help ease this transition, providing customers with the tools and services needed for an easy and seamless migration – from events and webinars to whitepapers and business scenario recommendations.

Today, SAP is doubling down on its commitment to its customers with the release of an IDC whitepaper, “Key Software Support Considerations for Innovation, Business Continuity, and Total Cost of Ownership,” that offers customers a framework around long-term maintenance support. The study explores the strategic considerations for customers evaluating competitive support options, leveraging benchmark industry statistics to provide comprehensive guidance on the appropriate type of support providers to enlist for customers across industry, size, and geography.

The whitepaper identifies the top priorities businesses are facing in today’s environment and outlines a framework to help customers evaluate the fit of support providers – whether that be vendor support or third-party support – by assessing how much change they can anticipate in their industry and business, as well as what it will mean for their IT road map. The study also takes into account a customer’s specific situation, including strategy for growth, the scope of the landscape with the vendor, security considerations, and key factors in the ongoing cost of support including unknown costs. The shared experiences of three customers are also included

Assess Anticipated Change

In a time that has been ripe with unprecedented change and reprioritization, it is now more important than ever for businesses to assess the change they anticipate both within their company and scope of SAP solutions as well as across their industry at large. For companies that have been struggling with business continuity, it is imperative they are able to plan around this anticipated change and take a close look at how they intend to meet their business objectives through their current and future IT infrastructure.

In a very fast-moving and highly competitive environment, customers need to consider what type of support will help provide them with all the latest updates, innovations, and tools that will enable them to address this change.

Map Out an IT Road Map

Enterprises looking for successful digital transformation results will have to map out what their IT investment will look like in the future to determine what type of maintenance support they enlist. For organizations constantly innovating or adopting new technology this is especially important, as the amount and type of support provided by vendor and third-party support varies. This, of course, also differs from one industry to the next, so companies should examine the role of technology by industry and look at the importance of digital transformation within it.

There is no one-size-fits-all model for long-term support. IT organizations need to examine their current environment, assess their future objectives, and select a vendor that will be able to support their current and future goals for digital transformation.

Given the rapid change and uncertainty being driven by the global pandemic, customers must fully comprehend the importance of planning and conducting the appropriate due diligence to make the right choice when it comes to long-term support needs. Along with SAP’s commitment to act as a trusted partner to support customers along their transformation journeys as they navigate this changing business landscape, we are also committed to providing complete transparency and access to information that will help organizations make strategic business decisions.

If you are an SAP customer and would like a copy of the whitepaper, please submit a request. You will be contacted by a member at SAP to receive a copy.

Thomas Spandl is senior vice president of SAP Customer Engagement and Experience within Customer Success at SAP.