I attended a conference organized by an SAP partner in Frankfurt, Germany recently. During the keynote, SAP manager Christian Mehrtens explained that one of the reasons for SAP’s decision to extend the ERP/ECC 6.0 deadline to 2027 (or 2030 for an additional maintenance fee) was the expected shortage of consultants and S/4 Hana experts. What he didn’t explain, however, was if there were any updates on AnyDB or NetWeaver.
Even though DSAG’s (German-speaking SAP user group) Andreas Oczko is advising against using the extended maintenance deadline of Business Suite 7 as an excuse to put off the migration to S/4 Hana for a little longer, most SAP customers will only start the journey once SAP has given them all the necessary information.
According to SAP CTO Juergen Mueller, there will be subsequent announcements on all components of Business Suite 7, but how long can SAP afford to wait if it wants to make S/4 Hana migrations until 2027 feasible?
At the beginning of this year, DSAG has published its annual investment report (before the deadline was extended). 40 percent of interviewed DSAG members were planning on starting their S/4 Hana migrations in the years 2021, 2022 or 2023. 23 percent of respondents said they would wait more than three years, and 13 percent hadn’t made any definitive decisions yet.
One third of respondents are therefore putting the S/4 Hana decision off until the last minute – meaning a few thousand SAP customers said their release change to S/4 Hana would begin in 2024 and 2025. Considering necessary testing and training, they expect to be done by 2027.
S/4 Hana traffic jam
This is just not feasible. Not only will there be a severe shortage of consultants and experts in the market, an SAP release change also is nothing any company should take lightly. If too many companies begin their S/4 Hana transitions at the same time, resources become scarce and pipelines become congested – like an S/4 Hana traffic jam.
Rush hour starts in 2024 and will last until 2027 – meaning many SAP customers will have to shell out the premium of two percentage points on the existing maintenance basis until 2030 if they want to continue to operate.