January 10, 2017

January 10, 2017 | Lee Mashburn | Vice President, Marketing

In the early days of SAP third-party software support, most adopters were either financially distressed (and couldn’t afford to upgrade to new releases or pay high vendor support fees) or were in the process of migrating to a new enterprise application vendor (to better meet strategic business and financial goals).

A second wave of SAP third-party adoption featured those SAP users who were happy with the stability and value of their existing ERP release version and could no longer justify the costs of upgrading to newer releases. Spinnaker Support surfaced as a wise alternative to deliver more comprehensive, responsive support from seasoned experts for a fraction of the cost. New clients were excited to gain support for their customized code, restore tax and regulatory updates, and to receive pricing concessions for shelf ware they weren’t using.

The latest and fastest growing wave of SAP third-party support adoption has been spearheaded by SAP’s cloud migration strategy. Many SAP users are confused by the complex SAP cloud roadmap and are frustrated by ever-changing timelines. As you know, there has been a frenzied race to win the cloud – to displace or disrupt fully functional on-premise applications with cloud futures. Marketing hype and “attractive” incentives are being used by SAP, Oracle, and others to lock customers into premature cloud migrations. But SAP users are very savvy and are increasingly opting to take a “maintenance vacation” away from SAP support to regain control of cost and migration timing. They are sticking with what they have until the full promise of SAP cloud becomes reality.

 SAP Cloud Market Research

I recently ran across a smartly written article on the subject of the SAP cloud. Authored by Shaun Snapp, the article is entitled SAP’s Cloud Chaos Offering with Hybrid Cloud. Mr. Snapp is a seasoned SAP consultant who researches his topics before forming his opinions. This particular piece provides but one of the powerful examples of why third-party support is on the rise for SAP users large and small across the world. My key takeaways from Shaun’s article are:

  • Hybrid cloud is a popular term that is often loosely defined. Go-forward implications are often minimized or omitted from discussions during the sales process.
  • SAP emphasizes choice when it comes to SAP cloud but, according to Mr. Snapp, some options are bad ones.
  • SAP users are often tasked to decide what applications remain on premise and which ones are best moved to, or purchased in, the SAP cloud. Integration of hybrid cloud components is a big challenge.
  • SAP certified partners appear to be adding little value for clients after the sale is made (regarding the hybrid cloud migration). Mr. Snapp refers to these partners as “bobble heads” that repeat the SAP party line but might not be adding enough color during the implementation and testing phases of the migration project. The rules appear different for big enterprises versus smaller ones and “out-of-the-box” integration is often overstated.

To wrap this blog post up, there are good reasons why more and more SAP users are taking a maintenance vacation from SAP support. A new wave of adoption of third-party SAP support is just beginning, fueled by an uncertain cloud migration path. Join the wave!