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Upgrade to S/4HANA or not?

SAP would have you believe that there are only two options open to its customers: upgrade to S/4HANA or be left unsupported in 2027. We disagree. We believe SAP customers have five options open to them, and should be able to make an informed decision for the greatest benefit.

This blog is part of a series in which we’re analysing the decision that all SAP customers are facing: where should you go from here?

  1. What is S/4HANA?
  2. When is the S/4HANA deadline?
  3. What are your options?

Want the full story? We’ve written a full guide on SAP S/4HANA, the deadline, and your options as an SAP customer.

Option 1: Moving to S/4HANA

You might decide that moving to S/4HANA is the best option.

Pros of moving to S/4HANA:

  • Choose the right version: You’ll be able to decide between the Public, Private, or On-Premise versions, depending on which is right for your organisation.
  • Innovation and support provided: Access the most innovative, current software that SAP offers.

Cons of moving to S/4HANA:

  • Reimplementation necessary: The SaaS Cloud versions of S/4HANA will necessitate moving onto a new system entirely.
  • Extensive timelines: SAP estimates that an S/4HANA migration could take 12-18 months minimum.

Option 2: Move to a competitor

To avoid the deadline, you might instead decide on switching to an alternative ERP provider.

Pros of moving to a competitor:

  • Rebuild your ERP: Make selections based on your current needs and criteria, and disregard any unnecessary SAP shelfware, potentially lowering costs.

Cons of moving to a competitor:

  • Same problems, different brand: Other vendors (like Oracle) will have their own end-of-support deadlines, upgrade cycles, and infrastructure lock-in.
  • Minimal ROI: The amount spent on the process may neutralise any potential savings that could have been gained from switching in the first place.

Option 3: Do nothing

There is always the option of continuing to wait, until SAP releases further information.

Pros of doing nothing:

  • Wait and see: It is possible that SAP will move its deadline once more (or abandon it all together).

Cons of doing nothing:

  • High costs, minimal returns: The 2027 deadline will see your SAP products unsupported, yet still paying high support fees for it.

Option 4: Build an in-house team

You might decide to build your own in-house support team; a chance to do things your own way.

Pros of building an in-house team:

  • Plan your own roadmap: Take back control, freed from SAP’s infrastructure, and work towards independence.

Cons of building an in-house team:

  • Necessary recruitment and expansion: You’ll need to decide on what skills you’ll need and when you’ll need them, how many people, and where the experience comes from.
  • Requires proper licensing and registration: You may need to register with different organisations in more than one region to get information on legislative updates. You may then need to develop your own solutions and patches to these requirements in time for the related deadlines. In some cases, you also need to register as a software developer with local tax authorities to get this information.

Option 5: Move to third-party support

Finally, you have the option of switching to third-party support from the likes of Support Revolution. Instead of SAP/Oracle offering software support and maintenance, we’ll take care of it. No reimplementation or upgrades necessary – we manage everything.

Pros of moving to third-party support:

  • Refuse SAP’s deadline: Be confident in the knowledge that you’ll still receive support and maintenance for half the price that SAP is offering.
  • Quick migration: We’ll aim to finish the transition process within three months.
  • High-quality support: 24/7 support, tailormade patches, faster support SLAs, and more.
  • Financial benefit: Savings made on support and maintenance fees can be reinvested elsewhere.
  • Future proof: If you later decide to migrate over to S/4HANA, we’ll help you do that too.

Cons of moving to third-party support:

  • No vendor upgrades: We don’t provide version upgrades, but you do get to stay on the version you’re on indefinitely.

Our recommendations

Nucleus Research suggests that “9 out of 10 customers would not consider a future investment in S/4HANA and appear to be following a slow tapering-off strategy as they evaluate other opportunities in the market.”

You need to do what’s best for you and your organisation. But whether you decide to move to S/4HANA or do nothing and wait and see, we can help you reduce costs.

Switch to us, and we’ll cut your support bill in half for the two/three years while you’re moving across, or indefinitely if you decide to keep what you have. Either way, you’re investing in your own future.

Learn more about your options

We recently completed an in-depth guide on SAP and S/4HANA. If you’d like additional detail on your five options or would like to learn more about the types of S/4HANA available and the history of its deadline, click the link below.

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