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Protect Your IT Investment with SAP’s Maintenance Strategy

Protect Your IT Investment with SAP’s Maintenance Strategy

Maintenance Strategy, Eileen Collins, November 5, 2009


On the next episode of SAP Active Global Support Hot Topics I fetch lots of info on SAP’s Maintenance Strategy. I spoke with Eileen Collins, Manager of Business Development for SAP Active Global Support, about SAP’s maintenance strategy and how it adds value to the customer’s IT investments. Below is a synopsis of our discussion.


Did you catch the series premiere of SAP Active Global Support Hot Topics?  Find it Prevent System Down Time with SAP Active Global Support




What’s the lowdown with SAP’s maintenance strategy?


In November of 2008, SAP introduced the change in their maintenance strategy from the ‘Classic 5-1-2′ to the ‘7-2′ maintenance strategy. As a result of this change, SAP has two valid maintenance strategies in place at this time.


The Classic 5-1-2 maintenance strategy was introduced in 2004 and is applicable to

  • SAP NetWeaver 2004 and add-ons
  • SAP ERP 2004 and add-ons
  • SAP CRM 2005, SAP CRM 2007 and add-ons
  • SAP SCM 2004, SAP SCM 2005, SAP SCM 2007 and add-ons
  • SAP SRM 2004, SAP SRM 2005, SAP SRM 2007 and add-ons


The Classic 5-1-2 maintenance strategy meant these releases would be on 5 years of mainstream maintenance. Customers’ mainstream maintenance start date was dependent upon two things

  1. when the releases’ ramp up program ended
  2. what release the customer was running.


A customer could then either

  • a. opt-in to 1 year of extended maintenance at a 2% up charge, and opt-in for the following 2 years of extended maintenance at a 4% up charge




  • b. automatically transition into customer specific maintenance


When SAP introduced SAP Enterprise Support services, SAP R/3 4.6C was already into the extended maintenance window and release SAP R/3 Enterprise 47×110, 47×200 was about to start into the extended maintenance window in March 2009. SAP Enterprise Support included extended maintenance for both of these releases and customers also received an additional year of extended maintenance for these releases at no additional charge.


Why did SAP decide to change their maintenance strategy?


7-2 maintenance strategy was introduced in 2008 because

SAP wanted to provide customers with more value. The Classic strategy had 8 years of maintenance including extended maintenance, now with the 7-2 strategy customers gain one extra year (9 years) of mainstream maintenance and extended maintenance, which is one of the longest in the industry. Customers now have a long term, stable platform core on which to innovate, giving them more years with their current release


What are the basics of the new 7-2 maintenance strategy?


The 7-2 maintenance strategy means there are 7 years of mainstream maintenance with 2 years of extended maintenance with a 2% up charge. So now with the 7-2 maintenance strategy there is less of a cost increase on the customer to transition into extended maintenance as well as an additional 2 years of mainstream maintenance versus the 5-1-2 maintenance strategy.


The 7-2 maintenance strategy began with SAP ERP 6.0 and aligned other releases under that so it will be much simpler for customers to understand. SAP CRM 7.0, SAP SCM 7.0, and SAP SRM 7.0 are now on the same schedule as ERP 6.0. Moving forward they all go into extended maintenance on the same schedule.

The classic 5-1-2 maintenance strategy was not as synchronized in regards to start and end dates for releases.


How does the maintenance strategy benefit the customer and their business?


The maintenance strategy benefits customers by ensuring a consistent maintenance message across the SAP product portfolio.  It also leads to better synchronization and transparency. With synchronized maintenance durations across SAP Business Suite, it is much easier to understand and to keep track of when the maintenance strategy phases start and end. 


The maintenance strategy also gives customers a commitment to long-term, reliable use of their SAP applications. It can also provide an increased flexibility to identify a suitable path forward.  Customers can plan an upgrade for when it suits them, not for when mainstream maintenance ends. This gives customers a longer window to plan for their next upgrade.


What does a customer pay for when they enter into extended maintenance period?


After opting into the extended maintenance program, customers are essentially extending their mainstream maintenance. If they purchase extended maintenance at the end of 7 years it is status quo.


The support is very similar to what they received during the mainstream maintenance phase and includes legal changes, support packs and there are no changes in message processing.


What if a customer doesn’t want to pay for extended maintenance? 


In the new 7-2 maintenance strategy, a customer would go into the customer specific maintenance at the end of 7 years and continue to pay the same maintenance fees they were paying in mainstream maintenance; they would not be subject to a 2% up charge.


Customer Specific maintenance has a limited scope.  Limitations include: No Support Packages; No Legal Changes; Limited technology updates, customer specific problem resolution on a time and material basis, no Service Level Agreements and no remote support to evaluate latest enhancement package.


What happens at the end of the maintenance strategy?


If customers are finished with the 5-1-2 or 7-2 maintenance strategy cycle, they automatically transition into customer specific maintenance. SAP Customers can always count on SAP to support them with their IT investments.


Do you foresee any changes to the 7-2 maintenance strategy in the near future?


There are no plans for additional changes to the plan at this point in time.


For additional information visit:


SAP Maintenance Strategy

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