June 14, 2024

Are There Better Options Than RISE With SAP for Existing SAP Customers

Staying on the cutting edge of enterprise technology is crucial for businesses that plan to thrive long-term. In the increasingly complex landscape of information technology, SAP is renowned for having been a key pioneer for over five decades.

To help you switch from a legacy model to OpEx, SAP introduced RISE with SAP as their contender in the digital transformation revolution. While they claim RISE is the comprehensive solution, key to helping current S/4HANA clients innovate and achieve longevity, beneath their promises lay numerous hidden risks that you should consider before migrating.

The following article delves into the pitfalls and perils of moving to RISE with SAP, and it explores alternative options that offer a lower risk profile, such as third-party support.

The Pitfalls of RISE With SAP

Is your IT team frustrated with the limitations of SAP services (partial support, lack of support for custom code, and slow tech support response) on a daily basis?

Are you convinced that poor support is just an unavoidable part of doing business with ERP software — even when it’s inhibiting productivity at every level of your organization?

While RISE attempts to innovate by offering a subscription-based pricing model that promises streamlined operations, it’s important to consider the most pressing risks associated with your potential migration, including seeing just how much single-vendor loyalty can actually cost you.

Vendor Lock-In Limits Your Ability to Innovate

RISE with SAP consolidates various services under SAP’s umbrella, increasing dependency on a single vendor and limiting business flexibility.

As an example, RISE limits your access to the server environment, which makes it both challenging to perform OS-level tasks and particularly difficult to integrate with other systems. While SAP does manage most services, tasks like client copy or backup restoration require ticket-based support, which can introduce delays in critical processes that generally require immediate attention.

Aside from restricting your culture of innovation (at a time when the ability to adapt and be on the cutting edge plays a huge role in staying competitive), you’re also held back by SAP’s timelines when it comes to actually getting help. SAP has increasingly denied their customers one-on-one expert support, directing them to knowledge bases instead, so they can (hopefully) solve their own problems.

Perhaps this may not be a terribly disruptive issue for organizations with massive IT departments that have the bandwidth to deal with daily maintenance, juggle project deadlines, and resolve issues simultaneously, but most companies are struggling with a lack of hands-on, personalized customer support.

Unpredictable TCO Means Cost Overrun

Unpredictable TCO Means Unavoidable Cost Overrun

Initially, SAP salesforce attempted to sell RISE on TCO (total cost of ownership), but its TCO easily skyrockets with such hidden expenses as…

  • Customization fees
  • Data transfer costs
  • Application services (like configuration or customization)
  • Typical systems integration
  • Center of Excellence resources

SAP reprioritized selling the value of solutions, like S/4HANA, as well as the value of moving to the cloud.

Because the tech landscape evolves at such a rapid pace, it’s imperative that you have more clarity over exactly what expenses you’re taking on, so that you don’t lose control of your budget.

RISE with SAP’s unpredictability makes budget allocation more challenging, and your organization may end up spending way more in the long run than originally anticipated. Plus, even though RISE with SAP is OpEx, you’re still subject to a 3.3% annual price increase (which also applies to subscriptions, not actual software usage). Thus, it’s important to be cautious of overbuying licenses, as you’ll lose the flexibility to downsize them at renewal without experiencing a price increase.

While RISE with SAP does offer a financial credit to those who migrate by December 31, 2024, that credit could mean little if you’re forced to sacrifice flexibility, innovation, and freedom. Not to mention, SAP announced in July 2023 that they’d be increasing on-premise support fees by 5% in 2024, possibly to encourage reluctant customers to migrate.

According to Forbes contributor Peter Suciu:

Businesses must be cautious of the hidden costs and potential disruptions associated with RISE with SAP. Exploring alternative options like third-party support can mitigate these risks and provide a more tailored approach to digital transformation.

Direct Replacement for SAP Support

As a direct replacement for SAP support, third-party support is always at least half the cost and typically provides more services — without the hidden fees. In addition to fast response times and live access to a team of experts, Spinnaker Support’s third-party SAP support offers:

  • 24/7/365 SAP support
  • Custom code support
  • Interoperability support
  • Global tax & regulatory compliance
  • Full-stack intrusion detection, virtual patching, and compensating controls
  • Lifetime support (for as long as you want to use your current version)
  • Expert advisory services
  • A usage-based pricing model

You’re Subject to Exchange Rate Sensitivity

The cost of RISE with SAP can be influenced by fluctuations in currency exchange rates, which, yet again, contribute to an unpredictable TCO for businesses who deal with multiple currencies.

The Inevitable and Staggeringly Expensive Disruption to Operations

Migrating core systems to the cloud can significantly disrupt day-to-day operations, resulting in downtime and productivity losses — and even the most flawless RISE with SAP migration takes time.

From backing up current S/4HANA systems to running Software Provisioning Manager on the migration server, the average timeline for a small business to upgrade to RISE with SAP is anywhere from three to six months for smaller customers. Medium to large enterprises may take six months to a year (or longer).

Every minute your organization loses efficiency can drastically inhibit your revenue generation. According to PWC research, even conservative estimates on what inefficiency costs U.S. businesses equal upwards of $10 trillion as a self-imposed lost-productivity tax.

Trusting your entire IT ecosystem to a single vendor may seem easier and more efficient because of the belief that less time is wasted on finding compatible software (which should make the migration process more efficient). However, as we’ve just seen, that may not be the case — especially in the modern era, when the stability of an organization’s IT architecture is increasingly tied to its composability.

You Must Stay Connected to Stay Operational

To get the most out of RISE with SAP, customers must have continuous and consistent internet connectivity. Any disruption can drastically impact your ability to access and use services effectively, which is a precarious consideration for those accustomed to the on-premise world of LANs and WANs.

Spinnaker Support: An Alternative Pathway

As businesses navigate the risks associated with RISE with SAP, alternative options with lower risk profiles can emerge. Spinnaker Support offers a compelling alternative, providing third-party support that’s specifically tailored to optimize operational processes and adapt to what already works in your IT ecosystem.

Here’s why Spinnaker Support has a 98.1% customer satisfaction rating.

Ultimate Cost Optimization That Never Cuts Corners

Customers who switch to Spinnaker Support save an average of 60% on support fees. We offer an OpEx model that aligns expenses directly with your usage and optimization costs. You only pay for what you use, you have the freedom to scale on your schedule, and you won’t be forced into any successor solutions, e.g. SRM to Ariba, CRM to CX, or PO to Integration Suite. Additionally, you’ll get to preserve your customizations, since you aren’t forced into a low-code/no-code platform of SAP Cloud.

This is especially beneficial for large-scale SAP customers, as the alternative of shifting to the Cloud is a massive undertaking and has the potential to increase the costs of RISE ten-fold because many of these solutions are in separate clouds, making them inconvenient to integrate, even if SAP provides the impression differently.

Expert Support Tailored to Your Organization

Having worked with companies of all sizes, Spinnaker’s personalized support ensures rapid issue resolution while minimizing downtime and operational disruptions for our SAP customers. It includes:

  • Full access to our advanced technology advisory: Our experience helps us identify and solve common issues that occur across your technology landscape, even if our engineers aren’t well-versed in all of the software and services you use.
  • Security and vulnerability management: Compared to SAP’s patch approach to resolving security issues (an imperfect solution for clients who can’t install every patch, or who lack the available resources for a patch-management program), Spinnaker Support proactively protects your software systems with our holistic security philosophy, targeting vulnerability management, GTRC compliance, archiving services, and much more.
  • Break/fix services: We help your enterprise software run at peak performance with intuitive diagnostic services, fast product fixes, performance management, and/or operational workarounds for software issues — all of which make it quick and easy to return to operational efficiency.

Forget Lock–In — Spinnaker Adapts to Your Needs

According to PwC’s 27th annual Global CEO Survey, 45% of respondents doubt their company’s current trajectory will keep them viable beyond the next decade —  up from 39% just 12 months earlier.

Along with efficiency, the other key to future-proofing your viability (and staying competitive) is flexibility. Organizations need the ability to quickly adapt and adopt market, tech, and societal trends. Those able to adapt can then strengthen their position. But you’ll never achieve flexibility if you’re held back by the systems that are meant to serve you.

Diversifying support providers reduces dependency on SAP, offering greater control over your IT ecosystems, so you can innovate, pivot, and grow on your schedule. Here’s how Spinnaker Support gives you more control:

  • You’ll never pay for features you don’t need.
  • Your designated, on-demand support team will always be there when you need it — no more waiting hours (or days) for a response to a support ticket or trying to navigate knowledge bases to find solutions yourself.
  • You can personalize your back- and front-end processes down to the fine details, ensuring your IT will always drive your specific business goals.
  • You’ll save an average of 60% on costs, compared to vendor support, without sacrificing the stability of your on-premise system.

Rejecting Forced Migration and Embracing Autonomy to Create Your Ideal IT Ecosystem

Even though SAP continues to push toward RISE,  you should resist the pressure of forced migration— especially when the entire point of migrating should be to alleviate strain and improve your workflow.

Before committing, businesses should exercise their autonomy by exploring alternative pathways to digital transformation. Rejecting SAP’s one-size-fits-all approach and choosing a trusted third-party support provider gives businesses control over their IT ecosystems, as well asthe necessary information for making decisions that align with their unique needs and goals.

Gartner advises businesses to “carefully evaluate the risks and benefits of RISE with SAP before committing to such a significant investment. Alternative options, such as third-party support, can offer greater flexibility and cost control.

We hope this deep dive has exposed the risks lurking beneath the surface of RISE with SAP and that it empowers you with the insight and confidence to take control of your systems. You never have to settle or limit innovation. By exploring alternative options like third-party support, your business can:

  • Mitigate risks
  • Optimize costs
  • Regain control over its IT future

If you’re ready to break free from SAP’s constraints and embrace autonomy in shaping the digital destiny of your enterprise….

Find out how Spinnaker Support can help your organization achieve a thriving IT ecosystem.