Is SAP S/4HANA ready for you as a customer?

SAP’s initial announcement and first few years of marketing for S/4HANA was incredibly optimistic. The company boldly declared that it would dominate the database market and oust Oracle. It even went so far at one point to say that “there was going to be no innovation in SAP outside of HANA and S/4HANA.”

But with slow sales and marketplace doubt in S/4HANA’s ability to deliver on its marketing claims, SAP agreed to extend its support for non-S/4HANA products from 2019 to 2025. It set a hard (and supposedly final) deadline on when its customers needed to migrate.

Is S/4HANA a good fit for your organisation?

Even with the hard deadline, customers have remained reluctant to switch to S/4HANA. They felt that it is not yet suitable for their systems, specifically that it:

  • Is poorly designed for specific use-cases
  • Requires increased administration time and costs to maintain and run compared to SAP’s legacy versions

With five years to go, what is SAP doing?

Sticking to the deadline (so far)

In an interview with CNBC, CEO Bill McDermott stated that SAP plans to triple its Cloud business by 2023. This claim is surprising, given SAP’s performance in the Cloud marketplace so far.

That’s why we think this is another attempt to encourage the market to believe in the deadline and ‘join the bandwagon’ of customers migrating to S/4HANA.

But is this enough to convince IT leaders to jump to a product that doesn’t fit their needs?

Restructuring its business

SAP said in January that around 4,400 people would leave or move as part of a restructuring. This includes the leaders of the original HANA team and a number of their development team members.

Various analysts and IT leaders have been speculating that this is part of a fundamental shift in strategy for HANA. They believe SAP is exploring potential open-source solutions and expanding its products beyond S/4HANA:

“The restructuring around HANA and ABAP, coupled with work around SAP Cloud Platform and Cloud Foundry technologies, for example, could suggest SAP is opening up to alternate databases and open-source platforms as part of its wider Cloud strategy.”

Mathias Golombek, CTO of database firm Exasol

This shift would enhance and diversify its offering under pressure that S/4HANA isn’t up to scratch for big data and enterprise type scenarios that it has been marketing itself for.

While this is good news for SAP, it still doesn’t address the problems that are preventing current customers from moving to its systems. All it does is open new customer opportunities for SAP’s sales team.

What does this mean for you?

While SAP is making changes to address some issues with the product, we think it is too little too late. We think it will be forced to move or abandon its 2025 deadline. This is especially true as it’s doing little to convince customers as to why they should move. It’s usual arguments are just “we told you to” and “your competitors are probably going to.”

But even if SAP sticks to its 2025 deadline, should you feel forced into the upgrade? What would happen if you just ignored it?

Because you own your licences for your SAP products, they will not be taken away or lose functionality after 2025. The only difference is that SAP will no longer support you. This is where a third party like Support Revolution comes in.

Support Revolution provides third-party support for SAP. We will cut your current bill in half (at least), and provide a superior quality of support. We support all product versions and customisations with no cut-off dates.

Interested? Click the link below to download our guide on how our service works, why you should leave SAP Support, and how to transition to a third-party support provider.


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