A lot of SAP users started 2020 the same way they left 2019: Acknowledging that SAP’s 2025 end-of-support deadline for Business Suite 7 software was looming, but unsure of when (or if) they were going to move to its newer platform, S/4HANA.
Back in December 2019, Paul Cooper, chairman of the UK and Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG), revealed that according to a member survey, almost 60% of users didn't plan to upgrade to S/4HANA in the next two years. Another 27% were lagging behind even further, saying they wouldn’t upgrade for at least three years. This meant that come 2025, many users would be using SAP’s Business Suite 7 software at their own risk. For example, security updates would no longer be actively implemented, putting their data and infrastructure at high risk.
The reason for the hesitation? SAP users simply didn’t think five years was enough time to get on board with S/4HANA.
SAP heard their concerns, and now, they want to ensure that no SAP customer is left behind. Which is why, earlier this week, they officially announced an extension of the 2025 deadline to 2027. This means companies will have extra time to migrate to S/4HANA.
The 2025 deadline extension isn’t the only major change coming, though. Here’s the full breakdown of everything SAP users can expect to see from this major announcement:
- An extension of the 2025 deadline for maintenance cut off for SAP ERP 6.0, SAP Customer Relationship Management 7.0, SAP Supply Chain Management 7.0, and SAP Supplier Relationship Management 7.0 applications and SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA.
- Beyond 2027, customers in transition will have the option to purchase extended maintenance through 2030 at a premium of 2% above existing maintenance prices of 22%.
- Customers who choose not to make the S/4HANA transition "will automatically be transferred to the customer-specific maintenance model. This includes problem solving for known issues at unchanged fees."
- A commitment for maintenance for S/4HANA through 2040, meaning businesses that switch today will get over two decades’ use out of the new platform.
The Deadline Extension Is Welcomed News—And Businesses Should Use the Extra Time to Accelerate Their Cloud Strategy
ASUG CEO Geoff Scott welcomed the news from SAP, as it offers customers more time and flexibility to plan and execute their SAP S/4HANA migrations. But he added a word of caution.
“I don’t want SAP customers to see this as a reprieve and delay making any important decisions,” Scott said in the official SAP press release. “These are complex, resource-intensive projects that require commitment to business, technological, and cultural change. If you’re already started on your S/4HANA move—keep going. If you’re thinking about moving—get started. Because the future is already here.”
That’s why, to stay competitive and reap the benefits of S/4HANA faster, a lot of businesses are using this deadline extension to jumpstart their cloud strategy. Rather than falling behind, many CIOs will use the additional two years to start their transformation by getting to the cloud first, with the goal to upgrade to S/4HANA later. This approach will allow CIOs to untangle themselves from data center complexities, deliver a higher level of service to the business, free up staff for the upgrade project, and allow them to start saving money now that they can invest later into the upgrade initiative.
“If you’re an SAP customer who wants to grow and accelerate your business, remove inefficiencies, reduce technical debt, and take advantage of the latest capabilities of SAP software, then you need to move to SAP S/4HANA,” Scott added. “This is now the time to commence plans and move forward so that SAP customers can harness business value from what is the most significant technology change in SAP’s recent history.”
Are you ready to reap the benefits of S/4HANA?
To date, 13,800 customers have already chosen S/4HANA, and thousands more are actively deploying the solution to reshape their business and become a more intelligent enterprise. So what’s stopping you?
Check out our full guide on the triggers to consider for initiating your as is migration to the cloud.
Or, if you’re ready to take the first step, check out our full guide on successfully making your move to S/4HANA—including its endless transformational benefits and how Velocity can help you get there.