Every SAP customer will now be well aware of the recent announcement from SAP regarding SAP Business Suite 7.
On 4th Feb 2020, SAP have extended the maintenance of SAP Business Suite 7 core applications from 31-Dec-2025 to 31-Dec-2027.
Plus, for the same core applications, there is an optional extended maintenance until 2030 with the usual extended maintenance fee, plus an uplift of 2%.
Here we provide our analysis of the SAP Business Suite 7 maintenance change.

While the basic overview seems simple enough, by analysing the SAP notes, we can see that this is going to be anything but clear for SAP customers keen to navigate their landscape in a supported manner, to 2027 and beyond.

 

1648480 – Maintenance for SAP Business Suite 7 Software including SAP NetWeaver (as of version 22 – 17th Feb 2020):

1, The maintenance changes cover SAP Business Suite 7 core applications: SAP ERP 6.0, SAP CRM 7.0, SAP SCM 7.0, SAP SRM 7.0 and corresponding add-ons. The extension also covers the SoH (Suite on HANA) releases.

2, While reading the SAP note, it is necessary to distinguish that “SAP NetWeaver” and “Application Server ABAP” are not the same thing.
SAP states in the SAP note that “SAP NetWeaver” in whole, includes some applications with its delivery.
Whereas “Application Server ABAP” and “Application Server Java” are pure runtime environments for the running of applications like Business Suite.

3, SAP will be providing support for the latest 3 enhancement packages only.
For ERP 6.0, this will be currently (as of Feb 2020) EHP6, 7 and 8.
For CRM 7.0, this will be currently (as of Feb 2020) EHP2, 3 and 4.
For SCM 7.0, this will be currently (as of Feb 2020) EHP2, 3 and 4.
For SRM 7.0, this will be currently (as of Feb 2020) EHP2, 3 and 4.

We now expect there to be another possibly 2 or 3 EHPs to be released between now and 2027, with the next probably coming early to mid 2021.
This means that customers need to be ready to move from ERP 6.0 EHP6. A move to EHP 8 by late-2020 should be planned, which will require “Application Server ABAP” 7.5.
ERP 6.0 EHP 8 SP13 release notes are here.

4, The “Application Server ABAP” versions 7.03, 7.31, 7.40 and 7.50 (excludes 7.51, but includes 7.52) will be supported in mainstream maintenance until 31-Dec-2027, then move to extended maintenance (for the usual fee, plus 2%) until 31-Dec-2030.

5, The “Application Server Java” 7.50 is now supported until 31-Dec-2027, then move to extended maintenance (for the usual fee, plus 2%) until 31-Dec-2030.
This is the *only* Java stack that can survive until 2027. If you are not on this version of “Application Server Java”, then you need to move to 7.50 from all other versions before 31-Dec-2020 !*THIS YEAR*!

6, SAP Business Warehouse is complicated because it comes in two flavours.
The SAP NetWeaver BW version is standalone and dependent on “SAP NetWeaver” (remember what we said about differentiating between “SAP NetWeaver” and “Application Server ABAP”!).
The other offering is the SAP_BW software component, which is embedded in SAP ERP and therefore respects the Business Suite 7 “core applications” revised maintenance dates.
The SAP NetWeaver BW versions until 7.4, are all out of maintenance by 31-Dec-2020 !*THIS YEAR*!
As of now, the only supported version of SAP NetWeaver BW is 7.5 which *currently* is only supported until 31-Dec-2024.
The SAP Business Warehouse maintenance details are in note 2741041 – Maintenance for SAP NetWeaver 7.X Business Warehouse.

 

2881788 – End of SAP Business Suite 7 mainstream maintenance (as of version 2 – 17th Feb 2020) :

The details show that the core applications follow the maintenance timeline below:

31-Dec-2027 – End of Mainstream Maintenance.
then: 01-Jan-2028 – Customer-specific maintenance starts (this is the default roll-over contract if you do not want extended maintenance).
or: 01-Jan-2028 – Optional: Extended maintenance is possible for 3 years with 2% extra on-top of the usual extended maintenance fee.
then: 01-Jan-2031 – Customer-specific maintenance starts (this is the default roll-over contract).

 

What does “Customer Specific Maintenance” mean?

For this we need to look at SAP note 52505 – Support after end of mainstream maintenance or extended maintenance (version 63 – 4-Feb-2020).
Our analysis of the note is provided below.
The note indicates that the following restrictions apply during “Customer Specific Maintenance”:

  • No delivery of legal changes
  • No delivery of Support Packages
  • No guarantee for technological updates:
    i, No *new* upgrade paths from your current release.
    ii, No new kernel versions for the support of new database versions and operating system versions.
    iii,No new patches for non-ABAP components (for example, Java patches or front-end patches).
  • No support of new interfaces.
  • No help from SAP for solving *new* problems that are not already known to SAP (you may have to pay), you will not be the recipient of a correction instruction for your issues.
  • No SLAs apply for SAP support and corrections.
  • No remote support for evaluation of EHPs when those EHPs are on releases that have moved into “Customer Specific Maintenance”.
  • You can continue to create messages to SAP.
  • You can continue to download SAP software from the marketplace.

The basic summary is, in “Customer Specific Maintenance” you’re almost on your own. However, if you have a stable system and are not planning radical changes, then you are more than likely OK.
You do need to think about your security obligations of the software, including operating systems on which your SAP software is running.

See how Aliter Consulting can help you plan and deliver an effective strategy for keeping your SAP landscape supported for the long-term.

References:

SAP Support Package Stack Schedule
Extended Innovation Commitment for SAP S/4HANA Clarity and Choice on SAP Business Suite 7   (the only place we can find where the 2% fee is mentioned)
SAP Release and Maintenance Strategy
SAP Note 1648480 – Maintenance for SAP Business Suite 7 Software including SAP NetWeaver.
SAP Note 2881788 – End of SAP Business Suite 7 mainstream maintenance.
SAP Note 2741041 – Maintenance for SAP NetWeaver 7.X Business Warehouse.
SAP note 52505 – Support after end of mainstream maintenance or extended maintenance.