Ready or not, the SAP ECC support end date is fast approaching. In 2027, SAP ECC 6.0 will reach the end of its life cycle—terminating mainstream SAP support and leaving many organizations questioning their legacy SAP ERP system.
While it may be inconvenient, don’t fret. There’s still plenty of time to find new and innovative solutions to replace ECC. In this article, we discuss why ECC6 support is ending, what it means for you, and how to prepare.
Is SAP ECC Obsolete?
SAP ECC is not obsolete yet. However, support will end in 2027. Mainstream support for SAP Business Suite 7’s core applications will also stop in 2027. The announcement of the 2027 deadline came as a shock to many, but it isn’t all bad news.
SAP customers using SAP ECC will be offered extended support until 2030. However, premium support costs will apply.
Alternatively, third-party ECC6 providers will be available well past the mainstream and extended support windows. While these third-party services boast competitive support prices, they should be considered a stop-gap, rather than long-term solution.
Why Is SAP ECC Support Ending?
ECC6 support is ending because SAP wants customers to adopt their next-gen ERP solution: SAP S/4HANA.
For those worried about market maturity—don’t be. S/4HANA launched back in 2015. By the time ECC6 support is completely phased out, S/4HANA will have had 15 years of real-world market testing.
That said, S/4HANA is a completely new system built on HANA, SAP’s in-memory DBMS. So despite the many improvements in performance and functionality, ECC users should prepare for a bit of a learning curve.
How to Prepare for the SAP ECC Support End Date
The question on your mind might be: what now? So, let’s look at different strategies to help your business prepare for the 2027 SAP ECC support end deadline.
Organizations running a stable, reliable, and low-maintenance ECC system are feeling the heat. Migration projects can be expensive and disrupt business operations.
If this is you, consider running a cost-benefit analysis. Compare the post-2027 extended maintenance fees and the limited functionality of ECC to the cost of migrating to S/4HANA. This will help you determine which option makes the most sense for your business.
Despite the uncertainty, IT leaders are excited about the transition. They see the 2027 deadline not as an end, but as an opportunity to consider the business case for SAP’s latest offering.
Your approach can range from total transformation to gradual, staged implementation. Different methods have their pros and cons, so carefully consider which best suits your needs. This will also help answer the question, “does SAP S/4HANA replace ECC?”
No longer satisfied with your existing ECC system? Don’t want to upgrade to S/4HANA? Then you’re going to need a more creative solution. For smaller organizations looking to remain within the SAP ecosystem, consider these options:
- SAP Business ByDesign
SAP Business ByDesign—affectionately referred to as “business suite in a box”—is a mid-market, cloud-based, SaaS ERP system. It’s designed for SMBs who don’t need all the bells and whistles of S/4HANA.
Though more affordable and less complex, ByDesign still offers a unified solution. This includes an array of pre-built processes to tackle everything from sales and purchasing, to finance and product management.
- SAP Business One
SAP Business One is another ERP designed to meet SMB needs. It’s offered as either an on-prem solution or a cloud-based one.
While its functionality pales in comparison to S/4HANA, it’s a great option for organizations looking to reduce ERP costs or downsize their system.
Of course, you can also say goodbye to SAP altogether in favor of another ERP solution. Or, scale back your ECC, swapping out certain back-office elements with other SaaS solutions. For example, sales to Salesforce, HR to Workday, etc.
Why Move From SAP ECC to S/4HANA?
As we’ve seen, migrating to S/4HANA is not the only option for your future ERP system.
Nevertheless, ECC users can expect a smooth transition if they decide to remain in the SAP ecosystem.
That’s because SAP and its partners have developed tools and strategies to ensure a cost-effective and streamlined modernization. Plus, you’ll be able to convert your current software license agreement to a new one with fewer headaches.
The Benefits of Switching to SAP S/4HANA
Before finishing up, let’s consider some of S/4HANA’s key benefits:
- Elimination of background jobs and aggregate tables to drive real-time business processes
- Enhanced performance planning, execution, reporting, and analytics
- Access to new innovations
- Improved scalability and agility
- Triggered period closing
- Simplification of your complete IT ecosystem
- Cost-optimization and reduced TCO
- Reduced operational/overhead costs associated with on-prem systems
- Advanced apps to drive business innovation while protecting existing investments
- Data-driven decision-making from real-time data insights
- Multi-channel customer outreach
- Higher ROI/revenue
Get Support for SAP ECC and Beyond, With iT Services 2 (iT2)
Even though the SAP ECC support end date is still a few years out, it’s important to start preparing now. There are plenty of options worth exploring, many of which we’ve discussed. Not sure where to begin? No problem.
Whether you’re thinking of migrating to S/4HANA, need extended maintenance for your ECC system, or looking to discuss alternative ERP solutions—we can help. At iT2, we’ve been implementing ERP solutions for over 15 years.
Contact us today to accelerate your digital transformation.