This blog contains experience gained over the years of implementing (and de-implementing) large scale IT applications/software.

FREE SAP Extended Maintenance

Did you know…

SAP S/4HANA On-Premise customers on legacy versions get free extended maintenance when they move to a RISE with SAP subscription.

That’s correct “legacy SAP S/4HANA“, we’re already at that point where S/4HANA is starting to lose versions.
We are talking specifically about customers on S/4HANA versions 1709, 1809, and 1909.

Customers having subscribed to RISE with SAP or legacy subscription models, for example, subscription for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, take advantage of the option where extended maintenance is included at no additional fee.

Here are the significant dates for those mentioned On-Premise releases:

ReleaseEnd of Mainstream MaintEnd of Extended Maint

Wow, 2025 is going to be a busy year for SAP. Have a guess what release those customers will be moving to (assuming they choose S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition) if they have not already started? See my previous post here for my thinking on that one.

Reference link:

SAP’s Private Innovations Made Public

In July 2023, SAP announced that future innovations and capabilities will only be available in SAP public cloud and SAP private cloud with a RISE subscription.

The audio version is available to listen to on the SAP Press site, but my favourite go-to for quoted interviews is the diginomica site:

…It’s also very important to emphasize that SAP’s newest innovations and capabilities will only be delivered in SAP public cloud and SAP private cloud using RISE with SAP as the enabler. This is how we will deliver these innovations with speed, agility, quality and efficiency. Our new innovations will not be available for on-premise or hosted on-premise ERP customers on hyperscalers.

What can we take away from this statement?

Firstly, we should note the absence of the product name “S/4HANA”.  It’s not like SAP to miss the opportunity to include the product name in a discussion.  Not once, but twice the opportunity was not used to insert “S/4HANA” into the conversation.
What the quote is saying is exactly that:  “…SAP’s newest innovations and capabilities will only be delivered in SAP public cloud and SAP private cloud using RISE with SAP…”.

Short version: if you buy RISE, you get the newest innovations and capabilities.  This is not explicitly saying they will be included in the S/4HANA product.

This is because in SAP’s own marketing material, RISE with SAP is a solution that includes:

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud (one of the two “cloud” editions).
  • Business Process Transformation
  • Business Platform and Analytics
  • SAP Business Network
  • Outcome Driven Services and Tools

There are plenty of places for innovation to happen in that list and it doesn’t not mean S/4HANA specifically.

Also we have to consider this fact; for SAP to branch the S/4HANA code base from S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition and S/4HANA On-Premise Edition, would cause a lot of development and support effort from now until around 2040.

What if an “on-premise” S/4HANA customer, already at a recent S/4HANA version, decided to buy RISE with SAP?  If the code base was massively different it would be a system migration to lift it into a comparable system in RISE.

Instead, by providing these new innovations in some form of BTP hosted service which would only be accessible via RISE with SAP, the S/4HANA code can remain as it is (clean core lovers would like this), albeit with some special user-exits or extensibility points or even an Addon; then the new innovations would be provided by future-proof, containerised BTP services.

This would also allow SAP to leave the option open to eventually offer these innovations, at a much later point in time, to non-RISE customers at a premium, maybe.  Especially if they are truly innovative.  Who would give up that option to get more money by simply un-restricting access for the wider customer base, to what would be at the future time, old innovations.

The second point we note is that these services may not be included in RISE with SAP for free.

It is, after all, a subscription based service.

“…using RISE with SAP as the enabler.

Access is provided/enabled through the RISE subscription, but it sounds to me like this will be another request ticket with some contractual costs or additional consumption credits.

Why Restrict Innovations?

Another line of questioning has to be: why? – Why restrict these new innovations from on-premise customers?

Apart from the obvious suggestion that it simply adds pressure for customers to take a RISE with SAP subscription, there is another idea and it adds to the thinking that the innovation is not being delivered directly in S/4HANA.

These new innovations may not be easily integrated with an on-premise solution.

For “on-premise” we have to bear in mind that it does include both systems hosted physically on-premise (in a customer’s own datacentre) in geographical locations that are far from any SAP Cloud entry/exit points, and also those systems hosted in hyperscalers.  They are one and same version of SAP S/4HANA On-Premise.

SAP BTP hosted services need the SAP Cloud Connector as integration between BTP and an on-premise solution.

The SAP Cloud Connector is a secure one-way TLS tunnel, over which bi-directional application comms can flow.
It is not built for very large datasets and definitely not for precise real-time integration.

For customers hosted under a RISE with SAP subscription, maybe there is some new connectivity solution that can be deployed by SAP that allows a more secure, lower latency connectivity with true bi-directional flow between the SAP system and SAP BTP services.  This is what would be needed to provide innovations that require true real-time AI interaction with large data sets.

Maybe this is the reason why on-premise customers will not get these new innovations outside of RISE with SAP?


If you thought S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition  ===  S/4HANA On-Premise Edition  – then you would be wrong!

The S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition and SAP S/4HANA On-Premise Edition are similar but not the same.
The blog post I’ve linked here to goes to lengths to explain that “…the functional differences between SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, and SAP S/4HANA On-Premise are only features that belong to the compatibility scope Matrix“.

If you are migrating to S/4HANA, those differences may not be something to be taken lightly!

Three editions of S/4HANA, three editions with *growing* differences:

  • Private Cloud Edition (for RISE with SAP but a.k.a “Cloud, private edition”).
  • On-Premise Edition (for those that know sense ;-p ).
  • Public Cloud Edition (a.k.a “Cloud, public edition” – but whichever way around you want to use it).

Consider the ramifications from that blog post, if you are debating going for RISE with SAP and S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition.  There may be a lot more to be done during a RISE provided conversion, compared to a slower angle of attack with a non-RISE conversion and S/4HANA On-Premise Edition.

If you are considering which S/4HANA On-Premise Edition you should look towards, then the 2023 version is probably going to be the last possible target you can get to for various reasons explained in my previous post here.

Release 2023 of SAP S/4HANA Last Target

The 2023 release of SAP S/4HANA is due in October 2023.
This release is likely the last release that existing SAP ERP customers can reasonably migrate to.

Here’s why

Any customer migrating to S/4HANA from SAP ERP will need to perform all the analysis and preparation work against this 2023 S/4HANA release (functional capabilities will be known).

The next S/4HANA release will be in late 2025 because after the 2023 release the product moves to a new 2 year release cycle (instead of annually).

This 2025 date is likely to be too late for any reasonably large customer to migrate to, as it would leave only 2 years until 2027 (end of maintenance for SAP ERP) and taking into consideration of the start of end-of-maintenance of Compatibility Scope items (see my other post about those here).

Running an SAP ERP to S/4HANA migration project quicker than 2 years is possible, but this depends heavily on existing environment complexity.

I would bet that for most, 2023 is *the* target S/4HANA release.  The saint release as I’m calling it.

Reference link:

SAP S/4HANA Compatibility Pack EOM

I don’t know about you but my LinkedIn feed is becoming uselessly full of “you must move to SAP S/4HANA” posts, with no real business case for doing so apart from the old “you will be left behind…” justification.
It is also becoming full of posts claiming that SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition is the same as SAP S/4HANA On-Premise Edition.

Well, I’m ashamed to say, this is one of those “you will be left behind…” posts, but with an added “…in a boat with a hole and no bucket.”.
As a by-product it will also prove that SAP S/4HANA PCE is most definately not the same as SAP S/4HANA On-Premise Edition.

Some blogs on get many, many thousands of views, mainly because they answer the most common questions.
There are some questions however, that few ask and this one has brought me to this excellent blog post linked here:

When moving to SAP S/4HANA, some existing SAP ERP customers were/are allowed to carry over features/developments originally designed for SAP ERP.
These are called “Compatibility Packs” or “Compatibility Scope Items” and are detailed further in links in the blog post that I am linking (I recommend you read the linked blogs from that blog post).

In the blog post I reference it says:

“…functionalities that were originally created for SAP ERP that are currently available in SAP S/4HANA. But SAP has authorized customers to use these functionalities in SAP S/4HANA for a limited time…

Oh really.  Until what time is this “limited time” you may be thinking?

…typically until the end of 2025, with a few exceptions that will be available until 2030.“.

Well, that is great for those customers that have already made the move to S/4HANA.
What about those that are not yet on S/4HANA?   Does that 2025 date extend out to 2027?  No, it does not!

The impact therefore, is if you are late migrating to the S/4HANA party, all the good food is already gone!

Those companies moving to S/4HANA before 2025 will get access to those Compatibility Packs to help smooth their transition from SAP ERP (if they need them).

Those who are moving to S/4HANA between 2025 and 2030, will see some of those Compatibility Packs become unsupported. 

They can be used (SAP will not delete transaction codes etc) but they will be unsupported and unmaintained (think about security, legal, integrity issues and not just bugs).

Finally, regarding SAP S/4HANA On-Premise vs SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition. These are similar but not the same.

The blog post goes to lengths to explain that “…the functional differences between SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, and SAP S/4HANA On-Premise are only features that belong to the compatibility scope Matrix…“.  

Three editions of SAP S/4HANA, three products with differences:

  • Private Cloud Edition (for RISE with SAP).
  • On-Premise Edition (for those that know sense ;-p ).
  • Public Cloud Edition.