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The transition to the Intelligent Healthcare Enterprise receives big push

SAP Extends Innovation Commitment for SAP S/4HANA

On Feb 04, 2020, SAP’s co-CEO Christian Klein shared the announcement that SAP has committed to maintenance for SAP S/4HANA until the end of 2040. At the same time, SAP will provide mainstream maintenance for SAP Business Suite 7 core applications – including SAP Patient Management – until the end of 2027, followed by optional extended maintenance until the end of 2030.

In my first blog post I will try to outline implications for our customer base and depict possible business strategies going forward.

Choice and Investment Protection

In a nutshell: In 2026 and 2027 mainstream maintenance for SAP Patient Management continues without further action needed. Following this phase, SAP offers customers the choice of how to continue from 2028 onwards.

Customers needing support for e.g. their longer application conversion phases to SAP S/4HANA can leverage the proven extended maintenance offering. This comes with a premium of two percentage points and requires an additional maintenance agreement to be signed. It will be available for the latest three Enhancement Packages starting 2028 and ends at the end of 2030.Customers who have decided for the extended maintenance by the end of 2027, but choose to carry on with their SAP Business Suite 7 software systems will automatically be transferred to the customer-specific maintenance model.

What does this mean to SAP Patient Management customers?

Suddenly, the announcement addresses critical customer feedback providing clarity and guidance. Today, SAP Patient Management (SAP IS-H) customers who wish to keep their current solution, can do so under mainstream maintenance until 2027, with the option for extended maintenance until 2030.

The commitment gives customers required flexibility to choose transition options and timelines tailored to their specific needs and helps shifting focus on our next generation healthcare product portfolio. Our plans for our next generation offering remains unchanged, as we plan to deliver the first service SAP Patient Accounting cloud service in early 2021 (see our roadmaps)

Act now and take immediate advantage of SAP S/4HANA – the right approach is crucial

The good message is that customers can start their move to SAP S/4HANA now!  Depending on their existing SAP and non-SAP landscape the question arises on the deployment model to be chosen for the roll-out. If you interested in personal insights of a SAP S/4HANA transformation, here is a great customer example.

You already might know, SAP S/4HANA will be the core component for patient financials within our next generation product portfolio. Thus it is key to be capable to interact with all SAP S/4HANA deployment models incl. hybrid. In this regard corresponding services are built leveraging the healthcare industry standard HL7 FHIR® for communication.

In parallel to our next generation product development, we plan extending SAP Patient Management towards HL7 FHIR® as well. This opens additional options for the future as SAP IS-H can now e.g. be easily be connected to any clinical system and we are capable to replace patient finance, leveraging brand-new SAP S/4HANA, just to name a few options.

The most recent transition path might be via an interim a side-by-side deployment. This would be for those customers who in the short-term want to operate SAP Patient Management for patient admin and billing but using SAP S/4 HANA for patient financials and procurement. In order to provide more insight into the Side-by-Side deployment model and to give a clear scenario-based recommendation, we released an “Implementation Guide” covering the subject.

Overall, the side-by-side approach is broken down into two core scenarios.

  • replacing SAP ERP by SAP S/4HANA
  • remotely connect SAP IS-H to SAP S/4HANA Financial Accounting and Logistics

Fast mover or follower, transition variants

As you will have noticed from above the foundation to yet master the challenges of becoming a digital and intelligent healthcare provider enterprise have been laid. Also, of utmost importance: CIO’s and IT departments are now in lead ensuring strategic business goals can be swiftly reached and supported looking into the most sustainable and innovative technologies to ultimately provide business value.

So far so good. But here’s one of the toughest decisions customers need to take: Should I lead or follow? On an individual level there are certainly good rationales for both. Finally, what counts is achieving the business objective at reasonable investment, reaching the finish line.

The point I neutrally wanted to make is that an appropriate business transformation strategy with minimal disruption is an individual business decision and typically requires tailored timing, roadmap, realistic validation of business needs and priorities. Because of Christian’s announcement, customers now can choose different timing routes to become digital and even more important getting ready for the intelligent economy.

To share a recent reality – we are about to create plenty of examples of successful early birds. Just as we speak, we support ‘Fast Mover’ customers to make their move to S/4HANA, implementing SAP IS-H as side-by-side deployment. Part of this strategic commitment is the benefit of using SAP S/4HANA as starting point for a later transformation onto our next generation healthcare product portfolio.

Other customers might spend more time and effort on further optimizing and consolidating their recent system landscape, considering a strategic transition directly onto our next generation healthcare product portfolio after 2027 or even later.

At the end for today and with special thanks to Herbert Dürschke!: practical example of possible transition variants….

Thanks for reading! Hope u found it valuable time invested – more to come in my blog post on the HL7 FHIR® adapter for SAP IS-H.

Happy to address any comments or feedback you might have.

_Steffen

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