5 Key Questions to Ask on SAP’s Reimagined Services and Support Portfolio

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Just last month, SAP reimagined their services and support portfolio for success in the cloud.  But what does this mean and are these new alternatives right for you?

In the past, UpperEdge customer research had indicated widespread difficulty discerning which of SAP’s previous service and support offerings best fit particular company’s needs and how many of the services were actually required.  In late 2021, when we published an article diving into these questions, SAP’s former options were marketed as:

  • Advisory Services
  • Cloud Services
  • Essential Business Services
  • Implementation Services and Solutions
  • Innovation Services and Solutions
  • Premium Engagements
  • Support Services

As you can see, it was complicated.  SAP appears to have received this message loud and clear and has rolled out a simplified services and support portfolio in response.

The opportunity to speak candidly about the benefits of the new vision came at SAPPHIRE this week.  The event was the perfect podium for SAP Chief Innovation Officer, Chad Crook, to discuss the new model.

Finally back to an in-person event, SAPPHIRE once attracted over 20,000 to Orlando, but this year was scaled back to 5,000.  Although a hybrid event, those customers that were in-person really appreciated the more personal attention and more intimate conversations.

Crook described how the new model will help customers achieve optimal, long-term value of SAP software investments.  Although this updated portfolio continues to support perpetual and hybrid environments, the primary focus will be around cloud adoption and consumption which is consistent with SAP’s company-wide priorities.

Whereas SAP’s previous services and support portfolio featured the seven key offerings above, their modernized collection has been simplified into three primary levels of “success experiences”.

These three options, which build upon each other in terms of foundational scope, offer support ranging from accelerating customers’ initial adoption with SAP solutions to building business processes for prolonged success:

  1. Essential Success Experience. Centered around SAP Enterprise Support, the essential success experience level provides a rich foundational onboarding and support experience across the SAP solution landscape that is vital to successfully stand-up all SAP solutions.
  2. Advanced Success Experience. Leveraging SAP Preferred Success, advanced success provides advanced support, expert help, and customized success plans to maximize customers’ investments. Advanced success is catered towards cloud solutions and is considered an extension of essential success.
  3. Select Success Experience. The select success experience level is tailored to customers’ individual transformational needs and outcomes. It provides a highly-collaborative and tailored experience to customers undergoing large-scale business transformations in order to solve business and technical challenges and drive innovation.  Select success can be applied towards all SAP solutions and is considered an extension of both the essential and advanced programs.

SAP’s long-term Premium Engagements are a component of the select success experience.  These offerings involve a multi-year support model focused on the holistic needs of customer’s transformation journeys.  In these engagements, SAP works with executives and line of business leaders to develop roadmaps, identify areas of value and execute on plans to achieve strategic objectives.  Additionally, SAP works with technical teams to improve the business processes and efficiency of IT operations, mitigate risk and ultimately increase the value derived from SAP solutions.

In addition to these three primary offerings, SAP customers can also select “success extensions” which offer cloud consulting services before or after deployment.  These success extensions range from pre-packaged, stand-alone services to ongoing support such as Application Management Services (AMS).

Customers Evaluating the Re-Imagined Services and Support Portfolio

While SAP has remarketed and streamlined their services and support portfolio, customers should expect these offerings to continue to evolve based on their laser focus on driving cloud adoption and forming strategic partnerships.  Only time will tell if this new model will drive additional value, however if you are an SAP customer and are considering which service and support offering is right for you, consider the following questions during your evaluation:

  1. Has SAP clearly conveyed how the relevant scope of services will be customized for you in a way that delivers significant value?
  2. Do you trust that SAP will objectively provide the best solution for your company vs. pushing solutions to meet their goals?
  3. As these engagements can last up to 5 years, are you ready to commit to years of operational expenses?
  4. Do these services overlap with any of your other service partners (e.g., system integrators) or internal initiatives currently in-flight?
  5. Do you have the right internal members to sponsor these programs and drive change while ensuring the proper guardrails are maintained?

To help determine whether your SAP services and support deal is competitive and to ensure your deal includes transparency around SAP’s services and rates, contractual flexibility, and commercially competitive terms, contact me at [email protected].

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