June 29, 2017

June 29, 2017 | Shawn du Plessis | Vice President, Global SAP Support Services

September 30th is an important date for organizations that run SAP. It is the deadline by which SAP users must notify SAP of their intent to terminate their annual maintenance/support agreement to avoid being auto-renewed for the following year. By exercising the right to cancel (sending the termination notification), SAP users gain 90 days to negotiate better price, terms, and conditions with SAP, or to switch to a third-party support provider like Spinnaker Support.

In any event, leveraging a third-party SAP support alternative is a smart way to get what you want from your SAP support vendor and the side benefit of gaining the flexibility of more transformational options going forward.

Now is the perfect time to start the process of evaluating your options. Here’s a game plan you can follow:

  1. Determine how much you can benefit by switching to third-party support.
  • Work with Spinnaker Support to determine what we would charge you for annual SAP support. Ask yourself what you could do for the business with the savings.
  • Compare the quality of support you’re getting from SAP versus what you’d get from Spinnaker Support. Concierge service versus self-support – which do you prefer?
  • Determine what you would lose by making the transition. Weigh the pros and cons.
  1. Get your affairs with SAP in order before you notify them of cancellation.
  • Analyze your current SAP licensing agreement(s). Address any gotchas should you decide to cancel.
  • Reconcile your license count to ensure you’re not using more licenses than you’re paying for.
  • Analyze open support tickets you have with SAP. Get open issues resolved.
  • Make sure you clearly understand the SAP roadmap for your version(s) of software. When will it be ready for you?
  • Learn your SAP support contract cancellation rights and procedures. It’s a simple process if you follow the rules.
  1. Get your internal team prepared before you notify SAP of support cancellation.
  • Alert your senior management team of your intention to cancel SAP-provided support. Have your reasons and justifications ready.
  • Alert your IT staff. Be prepared to defend your decision to cancel. Leverage Spinnaker Support to help you address questions and concerns.
  • Your finance and legal teams will be needed. Get them ready.
  • Instill an internal communication strategy during the due diligence phase. Don’t notify SAP prior to official cancellation.
  1. Prepare for an SAP counteroffensive.
  • When SAP is alerted of your intention to cancel their support, be ready. What might you hear from SAP?
    • “You will owe support back fees should you re-engage.”
    • “You cannot buy new licenses while off vendor support.”
    • “Tax and regulatory updates will be inferior.”
    • “Third-party support is illegal.”
    • “You are more likely to get audited if you switch.”
    • “SAP support cannot be delivered without SAP.”
  • For these threats, there are numerous cases where each is completely false. Calm SAP down and get them to the negotiating table. You have 90 days to reach a fair support agreement, if your intent is to stay with them.

If you follow the four steps outlined above, you will undoubtedly gain better SAP support for less cost and achieve a higher degree of flexibility going forward. Plus, you will save yourself headaches once you notify SAP of your intent to cancel their support.

We are here to walk you through our SAP support offering in more detail. Contact us at 877-476-0576.

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