SAP Maintenance Strategy
First of all, to fully comprehend what SAP’s ‘End Of Maintenance’ dates really mean, we need to understand SAP’s Maintenance Strategy, which defines the extent and conditions of maintenance for SAP software releases.
There are three different maintenance phases defined in SAP’s Maintenance Strategy:
- Mainstream maintenance
- Extended maintenance
- Customer-specific maintenance
Mainstream maintenance: Is the first maintenance phase for any SAP release, starting from the Release To Customer date (RTC) until the End Of Maintenance date (EOM). During the mainstream maintenance phase, companies receive support according to their support agreement with SAP.
Regarding the above dates, we must say that these dates have been recently updated. This meaning that SAP has extended the EOM dates of most of their SAP BPC versions. Based on our experience, we believe it is likely that the dates will be re-extended, except for the Standard model, although, of course, SAP has the final say.
Beyond the end of mainstream maintenance
One of the many uncertainties that companies deal with when the end of mainstream maintenance is coming is ‘what happens now?’. Essentially, organizations have the following options:
- Migrating: Moving to a newer BPC version before reaching the end of the mainstream maintenance is the general advice given by SAP. The delivery of new releases of the licensed software, as well as upgrade tools, are covered by the SAP support contract.
- Extended maintenance: In general, SAP used to offer extended maintenance for their different BPC versions. However, according to a statement in their website, at present, SAP does not offer extended maintenance for any release.
- Customer-specific maintenance: When a company does not go for the extended maintenance (or if it is not offered to them), or the extended maintenance contract expires, then, SAP automatically places them in a customer-specific maintenance phase. During this phase, the following restrictions apply to the scope of SAP:
- Legal changes.
- Support Packages.
- No guarantee for technological updates.
- The solution of customer-specific issues, which means that only the problems that are already recognized by SAP are covered in the yearly maintenance fee.
- The service level agreements for initial response times and corrective measures are no longer delivered.
- Remote support for support during the evaluation of the latest Enhancement Package is no longer provided for Enhancement Packages that are based on releases in customer-specific maintenance.
SAP BPC migration options
In the event of choosing to migrate to a newer BPC version, companies have several options depending on their currently installed system.
Although migrating from the 10.x Microsoft version to BPC 10.1 and Optimized is possible, the best choice is to migrate to BPC 11.1 through a complex migration, as there will not be more releases for this version. Besides, all these complex migrations involve a change of both your SAP license and maintenance fee. However, if this is your case, this complex migration can be a great opportunity to redesign and optimize your system.
“A complex migration can be a great opportunity to redesign and optimize your system”
Not surprisingly, it is almost impossible to cover all the possibilities in an article. This is because the migration process is highly dependent on each company’s situation, such as the current EPM solution(s) and IT landscape, and, of course, the desired business and IT processes. If you want us to help you with your migration or you are not sure how your license process works, do not hesitate to contact us through our e-mail and we will be glad to help you.
SAP EPM Future Roadmap
Lately, there has been some confusion about the future of SAP BPC in terms of whether the tool is still going to be developed or not, or if SAP Analytics Cloud and Group Reporting are going to replace BPC. Well, to answer these questions, we must look at SAP’s EPM Product Strategy.
We can observe how SAP has divided its strategy into two parts: planning and consolidation.
“The main advantage of BPC is that is the only solution that can support both planning and consolidation processes.”
In terms of planning, SAP Analytics Cloud is SAP’s core strategic solution moving forward. Whereas BPC Optimized is excellent for real-time planning on S/4HANA on-premise, and BPC 11.1 is suitable for standalone on-premise deployments.
In terms of consolidation, BPC 11.1 is recommended for standalone on-premise deployments regardless of the data source. On the other hand, Group Reporting is SAP strategic consolidation solution moving forward for customers implementing S/4HANA either on the cloud or on-premise.
During the following years, SAP is going to focus on small BPC enhancements in the planning side as user-friendliness and technical integration. Having said that, as of 2020, all developments are planned to ease the integration with SAC. Taking all these into account, what we must keep in mind is that the main advantage of BPC is that is the only solution that can support both planning and consolidation processes.
SAP EPM Roadmap Webinar
Do you want to know more about SAP Analytics Cloud, Group Reporting and SAP BPC 11? Please join our next webinar “SAP EPM Future Roadmap” here.
In this article, we have seen that companies with SAP BPC have until the end of 2020 before the EOM, in the case of 10.0 versions. This is, in our opinion, more than enough time to do an upgrade or migration to a newer version. Furthermore, we have offered an overview of SAP Maintenance Strategy. This gives businesses a clear insight into what are their options once the mainstream maintenance has finished. Basically, these options are either accept SAP’s Customer-specific maintenance terms or hire an external BPC’s support company. Finally, we have noticed that SAP has released new tools for the planning and consolidation divisions. However, SAP BPC is firmly positioned as the one and only solution that efficiently support both processes.
Do you want to know more?
In the upcoming months, we will publish several articles and webinars about SAP BPC. Check the agenda of these events or watch our previous webinars. If you want to learn more about the transition options and Swap’s offerings to efficiently support the upgrade, do not hesitate to contact us.