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Prepare Your SAP Business Suite Innovation Strategy

by Marco Valencia and Joerg Rudat | SAPinsider

April 1, 2012

SAP continues to keep its promise of protecting and adding value to its customers' investments by providing accelerated, nondisruptive delivery of rapid deployment for breakthrough innovations, with lower costs of implementation and faster time to value. This article provides an overview of the top SAP Enterprise Support offerings designed to assist customers throughout the entire upgrade process.

Over the years, SAP customers have strategically invested in SAP Business Suite software to help grow their business — and they expect SAP to both protect and add value to their investment. To fulfill this promise, in October 2011, SAP announced the accelerated delivery of business innovations for SAP Business Suite software, along with a clear software roadmap for the future. Software enhancements will be delivered without disruption on a quarterly schedule1 and mainstream maintenance will be extended by five years from December 2015 to December 2020 for core SAP Business Suite 7 applications, including SAP ERP 6.0.2 This new strategy for SAP Business Suite applications provides accelerated, nondisruptive delivery of rapid deployment for breakthrough innovations, with lower cost of implementation and faster time to value for customers.

The new SAP Business Suite strategy is based on SAP Business Suite 7. This means that customers currently operating on the latest SAP Business Suite releases can benefit immediately, as these innovations are ready for customers to consume. For customers on previous releases, upgrades are required.3 But fear not — SAP Enterprise Support customers running releases below SAP Business Suite 7 (such as SAP R/3 4.6C, SAP R/3 4.7, or SAP ERP 2004) have access to SAP Enterprise Support offerings that can help them plan and execute every phase of their innovation strategy. Here are the top offerings, designed to assist customers throughout the entire upgrade process.

Upgrade Discovery and Evaluation

SAP Enterprise Support offers various ways for you to discover and evaluate areas for innovation as you take this first, essential step in the upgrade process:

SAP Find Innovation ( This information center provides customers with details about SAP Business Suite innovations. It includes a collection of the entire portfolio of innovation for SAP Business Suite applications, including innovation delivered via SAP Notes, SAP support packages, SAP enhancement packages, and future SAP roadmaps.

SAP Business Function Predictor ( This service identifies relevant functionality included in SAP enhancement packages for SAP ERP 6.0. SAP Business Function Predictor uses customer productive system usage analysis to prepare a report that includes a tailored list of new business functions that enhance transactions, identifying the relevance of each business function for the customer and how often that function is used by other SAP customers. The service also offers direct access to all relevant information for each predicted business function, including overview presentations, release notes and documentation, and technical usage mappings.

SAP Accelerated Innovation Enablement ( This service is an essential element of SAP Enterprise Support. SAP provides up to five person days per calendar year of remote assistance and enablement for each customer to help evaluate the innovation capabilities of the latest SAP enhancement packages delivered with SAP Business Suite 7.

Upgrade Implementation

Once you’ve decided which new innovation is most relevant for your business, you can then shape the implementation journey. These are offerings to help you plan and execute this phase:

Continuous Quality Check SAP Upgrade Assessment. This service performs a detailed technical analysis of your core SAP system to support the planning process. To avoid any surprises, analyzed focus areas indicate what you should consider as you plan your technical upgrade.

Continuous Quality Check Enhancement Package Installation. This service analyzes your core SAP system to locate indicators that you should consider as you plan your project when implementing an enhancement package.

Continuous Quality Check Downtime Assessment. This service is designed to minimize downtime during an ABAP system update. The assessment is valid for technical upgrades of SAP systems, enhancement package installations, and support package installations with the SAP Enhancement Package Installer tool.

SAP Modification Justification Check. The objective of this offering is to provide expert advice on how to avoid SAP source code modifications whenever possible by using SAP standard functionality, or by taking advantage of the SAP Enhancement Framework.

SAP Custom Code Maintainability Check. This offering evaluates the quality of your custom development project with regards to future upgradeability and maintainability to help ready you for innovations down the road.

For more information about any of the above services, visit            

Continuous Improvement

When upgrading, it’s necessary to ensure that the environment will run smoothly after changes are implemented. The following service optimally prepares your system for an upgrade:

Continuous Quality Check SAP Upgrade. This service ensures that your SAP software continues to operate efficiently in the new environment by acting proactively before technical problems can occur. It helps prepare your SAP solution to run with optimal data consistency, identify areas that could benefit from optimization, and determine the best utilization of hardware. You can access detailed service sessions like SAP GoingLive Functional Upgrade Check (Analysis) and SAP GoingLive Functional Upgrade Check (Verification).

All Upgrade Phases

SAP Enterprise Support also offers these services that can help you throughout the entire upgrade process — from planning, to implementation, to operation and improvement:

SAP Solution Manager. This application helps facilitate and automate all of the services we have mentioned. It is crucial to have it already installed before you begin your upgrade project in order to maximize and harness the true value of SAP Enterprise Support offerings.

SAP Enterprise Support Academy. This collaboration platform fosters company-wide understanding of how SAP Enterprise Support offerings facilitate upgrades. You can leverage the flexible learning programs available within SAP Enterprise Support Academy such as Guided Self Services, Expert Guided Implementation services, Meet-the-Expert sessions, and the Best Practices library.

Upgrade Now! Campaign. As part of this global campaign, SAP Enterprise Support customers will be invited to join a program that offers additional services like upgrade-related Meet-the-Expert sessions and a dedicated upgrade support advisory. 

Support for the Entire Upgrade Process

By taking full advantage of SAP Enterprise Support when embarking on their upgrade journey to SAP Business Suite 7, customers will gain the true value of innovation as well as predictable support until 2020. This long-term predictability demonstrates our commitment to continuous, mutually beneficial customer partnerships.

As an SAP Enterprise Support customer, we recommend that you call your SAP Support Advisory Center for the necessary guidance for service delivery planning in collaboration with your IT department, and to coordinate scheduling and delivery of your services.


Marco Valencia ( is Vice President of the Americas SAP Upgrade Office. He is responsible for the overall customer adoption of SAP ERP 6.0, SAP Business Suite 7, and SAP enhancement packages in North America and Latin America. Marco joined SAP in 1996.  


Joerg Rudat ( joined SAP in 1996 and now serves as Vice President of Strategy and Innovation for the EMEA regional management team of SAP Active Global Support.


1 Visit for more details. [back]

2 Refer to SAP Note 1648480 at for details and restrictions of maintenance extensions up to the year 2020. [back]

3 See the SAP maintenance strategy at [back]


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