Problem statement : Management would like to know if we could just continue on ECC5.0 without upgrading to 6.0 for the next 3-4 years. The business needs are being met with ECC5.0 and there is no real need to go for upgrade project. We use core SAP modules(SD,MM,PP,FICO) & may start using QM in 2011. Other than core SAP this small size SAP client does not need any other feature.
Impact of problem : SAP will support ECC5.0 till 2014. After that it will apply penalty in form of higher maintenance fees. This higher maintenance fees is not acceptable to the business as it increases the cost of using SAP. Our estimated cost of a technical upgrade to Ecc6.0 is 150K to 500K(max) which is tough to budget in this rough economy.
As part of SAP IT, I understand that we are loosing the functionality around using Webdynpro, easy integration with external vendors and customers among other features of ECC6.0. But the small size business like ours does not need these features atleast today or in 2011.
Our estimated cost of a technical upgrade to Ecc6.0 is 150K to 500K (max) assuming we use our Super users & few consultants with a 3-4 month project upgrade time line
So I am working on gathering the real benefits to the business by upgrading to ECC6.0 Then run those benefits against any latent business needs that may get resolved.
The benefits of ECC6.0 as read & understood by me till date are
1. You can use switch framework to add any industry solution on Top of ECC6.0
2. Ease of using creating new Java based content using Netweaver Java etc
3. Features of using Webdynpro to integrate easily with external systems
4. Rich Internet Applications through Flash Islands integration in Web Dynpro..( based on comment recived from one expert reader)
So running above benefits against my business needs I conclude that
1. This small size SAP customer does not need an industry specific solution anytime soon.
2. Business would not like to invest in creating content using JAva Netweaver solutions
3. There is no need to use WEb dynpro to connect with external systems. The only external system being used is Visual factory on the floor and Solid works Vault for Engineering team. Currently they do not need integration to SAP.
4. BI needs are being met through cheap BI solutions from Microsoft.
So my overall conclusion is to avoid upgrade to ECC6.0 till 2012. Then just to a technical upgrade to ECC6.0 in 2013 to avoid the penalty fees in 2014.