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Author's profile photo Jan Gilg

The Future of Compatibility Packs in SAP S/4HANA

If you’re reading this blog post then you’re probably in the process of working out your path to SAP S/4HANA. You’ve probably also learned that some of the features that you use today come from SAP ERP – and are therefore provided to you as a compatibility pack.

But what are compatibility packs? They were originally introduced as a way to unite multi-year development cycles at SAP with multi-year adoption strategies at our customers. Over time, we want to provide alternatives to the capabilities that are currently provided as part of these compatibility packs. In fact, many alternatives already exist or are already included on our development roadmap.

While SAP recently announced the maintenance extension for SAP Business Suite 7 until the end of 2027, the usage rights of the compatibility packs were not included in this extension and a couple of questions came up about why and how to deal with it.

 

Compatibility packs not extended beyond 2025: So, what’s next?

In short: We will offer, or have already offered, alternatives. In fact, out of 183 compatibility pack items only 15 are still in clarification for an alternative. We’re currently investing in order to accelerate the development schedule for those alternatives that are still outstanding so that they are available to customers in time for adoption before the usage rights expire. To help with this, SAP will provide timely communication to customers. We are in the process of completing the re-planning of the remaining alternatives and we hope that the complete overview will be available in Q3 2020. Intermediate updates will follow as the planning evolves. The complete overview can always be found in SAP Note 2269324.

We asked our teams to consider the effort to adopt the alternatives and hence build bridges where possible. In addition, we prioritized those with expected larger efforts like HCM or stock room management to start earlier to grant more time to adopt these. Target is for all alternatives to be available by 2023.

We think that customers will be able to plan their adoption scenarios based on this information. We see two scenarios:

  1. An alternative capability exists for the relevant compatibility scope when you start the project. In this case we recommend that customers adopt the alternative as soon as they move to SAP S/4HANA.
  2. An alternative is currently only planned for parts of the relevant compatibility scope. In this case it will be adopted as part of an upgrade after the alternative has been provided.

If you bring up a new system, you may as well sequence the deployment of capabilities so that you can only implement certain functionalities once the alternative exists.

 

Effort remains essentially the same

The good thing is that, in terms of effort, the overall effort to adopt SAP S/4HANA is generally not increased: It is simply split into two phases. Based on this, it’s possible to start now and harvest the innovations that were built over the past five years: In this way, customers can drive the value in their company as there is no need to wait for all the relevant alternatives to be completed first. This even has an advantage of its own as customers who move to SAP S/4HANA after 2025 will no longer be able to split the tasks into two phases. So, there’s no reason to wait to adopt SAP S/4HANA!

Of course, it’s also an option to delay the adoption of existing alternatives to a future upgrade to spread the effort and balance with other company strategies. However, in terms of change management, some changes may be simpler to adopt at the time of moving to SAP S/4HANA. This should be considered as part of the validation process for moving to SAP S/4HANA.

I hope this clarifies the logic and reasoning around compatibility packs at SAP S/4HANA: I believe that this process will make it simpler for our customers to move to SAP S/4HANA within the given timeline.

 

Further information:

SAP Support Portal

www.sap.com/s4hana

openSAP Course on SAP S/4HANA

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      Author's profile photo Raphael Gallwey
      Raphael Gallwey

      Hello Jan

       

      Thanks for this nice blog. Would you have an update for the 56 as I have not heard of any follow up and Q3 is behind us.

      One of our key issue is the future of processes beased on LIS,

      • namely Demand Planning and Forecasting and
      • product allocation in SD (https://help.sap.com/doc/saphelp_46c/4.6C/en-US/6b/2785347860ea35e10000009b38f83b/frameset.htm) : we understand that aATP provide the PAL feature, but this will require additional licences, whereas product allocation is still available in S4 and covers our needs.

       

      Thanks

       

       

      Author's profile photo Jan Gilg
      Jan Gilg
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Raphael,

      Many thanks for your comment and your question.

      Since April 2020, we have continuously worked on the open items and we are updating the status in SAP Note 2269324 on a regular basis to keep our customers informed.

      We now offer alternatives for 142 compatibility scope items (an alternative exists for 90 and there is a roadmap for an alternative for a further 52) compared to the 126 alternatives offered in April last year. Will continue to increase this number in the coming months.

       

      Demand planning and forecasting is an SAP SCM application. Since you refer to LIS, I assume you rather mean Sales and Operations Planning (SOP) in SAP S/4HANA. SOP is addressed by the compatibility scope matrix ID 458 which you will find in the attachments to SAP Note 2269324. The alternative for SOP is IBP. PAL will still be part of SAP S/4HANA up to 2025 and beyond. However, it is only part of the basic ATP version in SAP S/4HANA. If you wish to use advanced ATP (which requires an additional license) then PAL cannot be used. For technical reasons PAL has to be switched off globally for the complete system in this case.

       

      I hope this answers your questions.

       

      Kind regards,

      Jan

      Author's profile photo Raphael Gallwey
      Raphael Gallwey

      Thanks Jan for this very precise answer.

      Do you have any official document confirming that PAL (basic ATP) will remain avaialble after 2025 ?

       

      Thanks again for the quick answer

       

      Raphael

      Author's profile photo Stefan Berndt
      Stefan Berndt

      Hello Raphael,

      Product Allocation is part of the perpetual scope of SAP S/4HANA as described in the Feature Scope Description and, hence, available according to SAP maintenance commitments for SAP S/4HANA. SAP has currently no plans to revoke Product Allocation functionality provided as part of SAP S/4HANA Sales – Available-to-Promise.

      Kind regards,

      Stefan