SAP has finally announced the extension of mainstream maintenance on February 4, 2020 for their widely used SAP Business Suite 7 software until the end of 2027 free of charge to its customers.
This is the good news for various organisations who are running the SAP ERP software as they get additional 2 years of mainstream maintenance support for the existing SAP ERP software and can get more time to focus and plan for the S/4 HANA migration strategy and planning.
SAP Applications Covered Under Maintstream Maintenance Until 2027
The below SAP core applications of SAP Business Suite 7 are be covered under the new timelines of mainstream maintenance support until December 31, 2027.
SAP has only extended the mainstream maintenance of the latest 3 Enhancement packages until 2027
All other lower Enhancement packages is covered under mainstream maintenance window of end of year 2025.
SAP ERP 6.0:
For SAP ECC, the latest 3 Enhancement packages EHP6, EHP7and EHP8 for SAP ERP 6.0 are extended with the new mainstream maintenance of year 2027.
SAP CRM 7.0:
The Enhancement packages EHP2, EHP3 and EHP4 for SAP CRM 7.0 are covered under the new mainstream maintenance.
SAP SCM 7.0
Like SAP CRM 7.0, the latest enhancement packages EHP2, EHP3 and EHP4 for SAP SCM 7.0 are part of this extended mainstream maintenance.
SAP SRM 7.0
The latest enhancement packages EHP2, EHP3 and EHP4 for SAP SRM 7.0 are included in the mainstream maintenance until December 31, 2027.
New Timelines of SAP Business Suite 7 Maintenance Phases:
For the above mentioned SAP core applications, below are the new timelines for the SAP maintenance
Until December 31, 2027: Mainstream maintenance.
Default: From January 1, 2028: Customer specific maintenance.
Optional: From January 1, 2028 to December 31, 2030: Extended maintenance. This 3-year extended maintenance phase comes at an additional fee on top of the respective maintenance fee.
From January 1, 2031 only customer specific maintenance will be offered.
What are SAP Maintenance Phases?
SAP applications are covered under 4 maintenance phases according to the SAP maintenance strategy. It is explained in the sequence below starting with the default mainstream maintenance:
1. Mainstream Maintenance:
Mainstream maintenance begins with the release-to-customer date and continues throughout the unrestricted shipment phase. During the mainstream maintenance phase, you receive support according to your support agreement with SAP.
2. Extended Maintenance:
The extended maintenance by SAP covers the same scope of support as of Mainstream maintenance but comes with additional fee on top of maintenance fee. This is an additional offering by SAP for selected products once SAP mainstream maintenance for that product is ended and it requires a separate, additional contract in addition to your support agreement.
3. Customer-specific Maintenance:
This maintenance is offered for all SAP products based on SAP Netweaver and SAP Predictive Analytics. The customers can enter into customer-specific maintenance phase in one of the below 3 scenarios:
Customer’s extended maintenance contract term ends.
Mainstream maintenance period ends, and extended maintenance is not offered.
Mainstream maintenance period ends, and extended maintenance is offered, but the customer does not choose to take advantage of the offer.
SAP Customers Benefits and Actions Required
Various SAP customers have not yet started planning for the SAP S/4 HANA upgrade or migration in their Business roadmap, which was a concern looking at the previous timelines of SAP mainstream until 2025.
However, as SAP is now offering the mainstream maintenance until end of 2027 with an option of extended maintenance as well, customers have got the opportunity to leverage the extended timelines and can plan their SAP landscape transformation to SAP S/4 HANA comfortably by end of 2030 (leveraging the extended support).
Additionally, SAP has appreciated its customers interest in SAP S/4 HANA investments by committing a long term maintenance of SAP S/4 HANA until the end of 2040. So, customers are justified in investing in this next generation intelligent suite by SAP which caters to the fast paced digital world and artificial intelligence enabled automation.
Customer Actions for S/4 HANA roadmap:
1. Check For SAP release Upgrades:
You can get additional 2 years Mainstream maintenance for your SAP Business Suite 7 products provided your applications are on one of the latest 3 Enhancement packages as mentioned above. If you are still on lower releases, plan for the SAP release upgrade or Enhancement package implementation at the earliest so that you get applicable mainstream maintenance until 2027.
2. Opt for Extended Maintenance Until 2030
Customers having complex SAP implementation who need longer conversion phases to SAP S/4HANA can opt for the extended maintenance until 2030. It will be available for three additional years beginning at the start of 2028 and ending at the close of 2030. Again, check for the Enhancement packages compatibility as mentioned in point 1.
3. Default Customer-Maintenance Support after 2027
Customers who do not select the extended maintenance level of support by December 31,2027 for their SAP Business Suite 7 software applications will automatically be transferred to the customer-specific maintenance model. This includes problem solving for known issues at unchanged fees.
4. S/4 HANA conversion Within Timelines
SAP always recommends to upgrade before reaching the end of mainstream maintenance as delivery of new releases of the licensed software (if available), as well as upgrade tools, are covered by the SAP support contract.
If your organisation has the roadmap of continual use of SAP ERP for the next 10-15 years, you should start planning for the SAP S/4 HANA upgrade/migration and target it to finish within the mainstream maintenance by end of 2027.
Check out the below SAP articles and SAP notes for further information on mainstream maintenance and planning your SAP release upgrades. It will need a login to access some of the content below.
SAP Note 2881788: End of SAP Business Suite 7 mainstream maintenance
SAP Note 1648480: Maintenance for SAP Business Suite 7 including SAP Netweaver
SAP Product Availability Matrix - PAM