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Author's profile photo Steffen Schad

SAP Cloud Platform – moving forward on our multi-cloud strategy

When we released our multi-cloud architecture for SAP Cloud Platform to the market, our aim was to open the way for our customers to get the benefits of platform on their cloud infrastructure of choice. The goal was and is, to leverage the investment of our cloud infrastructure partners and serve our customers with more flexibility (cloud vendor of choice, larger network of available regions), reliability (use of hyperscaler infrastructures and their capabilities), and agility (broader range of development services and supported development paradigms). Since the initial release, the SAP Cloud Platform team has worked continuously to put this strategy into action. Today, we are at a point where we have decided to take the next step and I want to lay out the concrete next steps we are taking.

Where we stand today

SAP Cloud Platform multi-cloud environment is available in 14 regions worldwide and on 4 major cloud providers – Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Alibaba Cloud (Click here to check the specifics). We are working with our data-center partners to build out this network even further in line with customer and market demand.

Scope wise, we have a broad list of SAP Cloud Platform services that are available in each and every region (info source) and we are extending the availability of the other SAP Cloud Platform services constantly – again, based on customer demand. The full list of SAP Cloud Platform services is of course available in our service catalog, which we revamped a couple of months ago (see Holger Neuert’s blog post).

Those of you who follow SAP Cloud Platform understand that our offering was initially based on a proprietary stack. We have now reached a state where our customers and partners will be able to cover the same scenarios that they were able to cover on the “Neo” environment in the past and shift their focus to a standards-based approach with our multi-cloud environment. You will find more details in this blog post from my colleague Yun-Hsuan Lin. The scope of the multi-cloud environment is not “just” a duplication of the Neo services. New SAP Cloud Platform services and innovations (for example the SAP Cloud Platform ABAP Environment, SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite, Business Application Studio or the recently released SAP CP Extension Factory, Kyma Runtime) are exclusively available on the multi-cloud environment and our strategy is to focus our innovation investments on this environment (quick note:  this includes also our investments on container technologies like Kubernetes). Looking at our adoption, we have productive and mission critical applications from both, our customers and ourselves (like SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP Cloud ALM or SAP For Me) running. In short: We are ready.

 

The Next Step

The logical next step will be that new customers and partners will by default get access to the multi-cloud environment of SAP Cloud Platform only. While this does not mean any change for the newest services, this means that multi-cloud will also be the default environment to consume services where we have both, a Neo-based and a Multi-Cloud version.

 

What about Neo?

Having said that – we have a very large customer base with applications and workloads on Neo. Also, there are markets that we currently only cover from SAP data centers (on Neo). So, the immediate question will be: What does that mean for Neo customers and partners?

We have not retired Neo, and this is not an announcement of an end of maintenance for Neo. Many of our customers and partners – and SAP itself with many internally used applications and externally available solutions – have a substantial investment in Neo and rightfully expect that we will support them moving forward. And support in this case means two things: First, ensuring that existing applications will continue to run, be maintained and supported as business depends on these applications. Second, it means that SAP needs to help in assessing if, when, and how customers and partners should move their applications to the multi-cloud environment. It is also possible to renew and expand existing Neo footprints if their business demands it.

 

Tag along

This is why we have put a program in place from our development team that will create migration packs (guides and tools for migration) for Neo-based applications. This program will work with customers and partners to define their strategy and pace to move from the Neo environment to multi-cloud. In the end, we want to make sure that all our SAP Cloud Platform customers will be able to benefit from our investments in new services and innovations as well as from our partners’ investments in infrastructure capabilities – leading to improved development agility, flexibility, and reliability.

To summarize it as clearly as possible

  1. New customers and partners will by default start on the SAP Cloud Platform multi-cloud environment.
  2. We recommend existing customers and partners to evaluate the multi-cloud environment for new projects, while existing production applications and workloads on Neo can be left untouched for the time being. Of course, we also recommend assessing options to migrate over time. We have a number of customers like Shell (see page 24 in the linked document) who have already taken this approach.

 

Outlook

Where do we want to take this from here? We will continue to evolve SAP Cloud Platform as SAP’s strategic Integration and Extension platform (i.e. application development in an SAP context), based on a multi-cloud foundation. We have some exciting plans that we hopefully can share soon.

Also, if you saw the SAPPHIRE keynote from our CEO Christian Klein, you noticed that our industry Cloud strategy is based on our Business Technology Platform (BTP), and SAP Cloud Platform is a key pillar which brings the application development and integration capabilities of BTP to life.

We will also continue to build out and enhance the multi-cloud foundation and increase the number of options for our customers to run SAP Cloud Platform.

Our team is excited to take the next steps and I hope our customers and partners will quickly reap the benefits.

 

 

(Minor update 2021-06-18: At the time you read this, you will know that SAP Cloud Platform has been rebranded and integrated into the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) in 2021. As I received some questions since, let me clarify that the brand update does not change anything and we stay committed to the multi-cloud first strategy laid out in this blog.  With our multi-cloud foundation meanwhile available in 16 regions worldwide (and more regions planned for this year), we stick to our recommendation of assessing your options to migrate over time.  With regards to Neo timelines: the commitments made on this blog are unchanged – there is no end of life scheduled at this point in time. Further, the SAP BTP, Neo environment (note the updated name) will be moved to a new modernized cloud infrastructure by the end of 2022 in order to provide better reliability and availability for our customers and partners that are continuing to use it.)

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      11 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Murali Shanmugham
      Murali Shanmugham

      Hi Steffen,

      Thanks for outlining the strategy and providing clarity about Neo.

      Author's profile photo Stefan Bohlmann
      Stefan Bohlmann

      Thanks Steffen! Good to know that SAP is supporting customers & partners with a smooth transition from Neo –> Multi Cloud … and that there will be enough time for planning and doing the migration!

      Author's profile photo Chris Paine
      Chris Paine

      Hi Steffen,

      in the Estimator tool it says :

      "This service is scheduled to be retired as of February 28th, 2021. It will be available until the end of the current subscription term. It will not be available for renewal terms that begin after the retirement date."

      Does this mean customers that have existing Neo subscriptions that are coming up for renewal will not be able to renew them post 28 Feb 2021?

      Thanks,

      Chris

      Author's profile photo Matthias Braeuer
      Matthias Braeuer

      This wording does indeed cause some concern. It is the same message for the old SCPI-PI service.

      Given that the new SCP Integration Suite (which has replaced SCPI) only runs on multi-cloud foundation (and not on Neo), the question arises whether customers who are running a deprecated service on Neo will have no choice but going to CF Multi-Cloud to continue with the new service.

      However, in other blogs, the advice was that existing subscriptions will be honoured and can be extended.

      Author's profile photo Steffen Schad
      Steffen Schad
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Matthias

      My response to Chris should address your concerns as well, I believe. For the CPI service the situation is the same.

      I hope this helps

      Steffen

      Author's profile photo Matthias Braeuer
      Matthias Braeuer

      Thanks for the response and explanation, Steffen. Much appreciated.

      There is still a commercial wrinkle in the new offering when it comes to the bundling of cloud integration capabilities with one of the SAP CX applications. Previously, it was possible to license SCPI on Neo together with, e.g., an SAP Commerce Cloud subscription.

      However, according to our local SAP sales contacts, this is not possible for the functionally equivalent SCP Integration Suite Basic Edition. Instead, customers can only opt for the much more expensive Standard Edition or alternatively purchase SCP IS directly via the SAP Store (thereby creating a separate contract next to the SAP Commerce license).

      I know this is a bit off-topic, since your blog was primarily on Neo vs. Cloud Foundry (rather than SCPI vs. SCP IS). However, it shows that the strategic move from Neo to multi-cloud foundation can pose a few adoption hurdles for customers.

      Author's profile photo Steffen Schad
      Steffen Schad
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Matthias

      this is indeed a bit off topic, but I see your point.

      let me know in case you would like to sit with the experts on this and I can facilitate.

      Cheers, Steffen

      Author's profile photo Steffen Schad
      Steffen Schad
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Chris

      First: sorry for the late response.

      Let me try to clarify.

      First: The note in the estimator is related to the Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreement (CPEA) only (not the classic subscription model). This is how we give up front notice of upcoming scope changes for CPEA.

      On your specific question: New CPEA customers and existing CPEA customers who have not been using Neo services at the point of their renewal will not be available to create new Neo sub-accounts after the renewal date. However, customers who are using Neo will keep their Neo based services also after renewal.

      We understand that we need to be clearer on the topic of service plan retirements and the team is working on material that explains our approach. I will post this document once it's finished.

      I apologize for the confusion; I hope this explanation helps.

      Steffen

      Author's profile photo Chris Paine
      Chris Paine

      Thanks Steffen, we were a little worried there.

       

      Any news on SuccessFactors role provider functionality being available in CF? It's the final missing piece to allow me to migrate my apps.

       

      Cheers,

       

      Chris

      Author's profile photo Yann MIQUEL
      Yann MIQUEL

      Hi Steffen ,

      Any news regarding the Git repository ? It's in NEO yet...

      Author's profile photo Florian Bähler
      Florian Bähler

      We are concerned about the SAP Git Service too. Our Neo Environment is determined on end of this year and we should know if we need to migrate to GitHub (or any other) or there will be a new Git Service on Multi-cloud.