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Start planning the road to your SAP S/4HANA conversion

SAP extended its support timeline for SAP Business Suite 7, but only for some versions.

As you might have heard, in 2020 SAP updated its support timeline for SAP ERP / SAP ECC 6.0 (Business Suite 7). Originally ending in 2025, customers are expected to convert their ERP systems to SAP S/4HANA for continued corrections and support. The announcement extended this date to 2027, but with a caveat.

Starting in 2006 with EhP1, SAP started extending the functionality of the ERP 6.0 product with Enhancement Packages, a set of new software developments that is installed, in the form of an upgrade, into the ERP system. After installation, customers can choose to activate the new functionalities they require for their business processes.

Just like before, ERP 6.0 systems with Enhancement Packages (for example, ERP 6.0 EhP 6) receive corrections from SAP in the form of Support Package Stacks, a collection of software corrections tested by SAP to work together. At the time of this writing, for instance, the latest stack for ERP 6.0 EhP 6 is stack 30, released on August 2022.

Support for ERP 6.0 in general was supposed to end in December 2025, but a couple of years ago, SAP announced it would be extended up to December 31st, 2027 for the 3 latest Enhancement Packages, which are EhP6, EhP7 and EhP8. Any version other than these, including ERP 6.0 with no Enhancement Packages, will be supported until December 2025 just like before. And after 2027, only SAP S/4HANA will get mainstream support. Customers that need more time will be able to get Extended Maintenance for these three Enhancement Packages, at an extra cost, until December 2030.

As a conversion from SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA is a major project, involving changes to SAP tables, customer developments, and even user-facing interfaces (switching SAP GUI to SAP Fiori), customers are urged to start planning early, with both a functional and a technical partner. As SAP's deadline approaches, more customers will start their conversion projects, which might make help harder, or even more expensive, to find. But if you are not ready for this larger project, and you are not at EhP6, 7 or 8, we recommend you start with an upgrade from your current level to one of these, to extend your support a couple of years. A project like this will be smaller than a conversion to S/4HANA, will help you document your solution, and will get you the latest fixes and improvements for your scenario. You can contact us if you have any doubts about this process, we'll be happy to help you on your journey to an Enhancement Package or to S/4HANA.

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