On Friday afternoon we at ASUG were briefed on yet another SAP announcement impacting HR customers. Upgrade2Success further solidifies SAP's intention to continue to invest heavily in cloud by supporting their 14,000 on-premise customers' transition to cloud in some concrete ways.




What you need to know


Upgrade2Success is the first in a planned series of offerings from SAP to help customers on their journey from on-premise to cloud. It combines a number of existing programs and tools that SAP has had - value engineering, rapid deployment solutions, model company, and more. A significant focus of the program is helping customers build their own roadmaps. This may employ tools like SAP's Optimization Pathfinder which is designed to facilitate innovation for ERP.


Done correctly and with an unbiased eye, personalized roadmaps would be invaluable for any customer.  The usual "buyer beware" cautions would apply here, although, in our conversation with Steven Spears, Chief Revenue Officer of SuccessFactors, SAP has committed to enabling what is in the customer's best interest.


[Hint: this is where your Americas' SAP Users' Group can help ;-)  Participate in our education programs, ask questions - we'll get the right answers for you.]


Another aspect of Upgrade2Success which we only touched on in this briefing with SAP is the concept of ensuring customers' success with their move to cloud. How exactly SAP will be able to guarantee this is not yet clearly defined. Steven did say that partially this will rely on the Preferred Success plan which includes methodologies and advanced support during a customer's implementation. 


Is there a cost for customers to engage with Upgrade2Success


Commercial terms of this program were not revealed to us. However, what we do know is that some of the services or tools that have been packaged into Upgrade2Success have already existed for customers without additional cost. It's likely that as you get more engaged in deeper conversations, and interact with SAP consultants there will be a sliding scale of fees -- yours to negotiate with your SAP account rep.


You have options: Upgrade2Success or Remain On-Premise


The Upgrade2Success is a companion piece to another SAP press release which I described in SAP releases a new option for customers who want to keep HR on premise. The S/4 HANA "Sidecar" described in that blog received varied reactions.


  • Read a recap of analyst and social media point of views in in the Diginomica article by Den Howlett.
  • DSAG, the German-speaking user group's response was: “It is great that SAP will now offer an on-premise solution until at least 2030, providing many of our members with some real options for the first time."
  • ASUG's own media analyst, Craig Powers presents a balanced perspective of what that announcement means to ASUG members.  We (ASUG) are an ERP group and our customer companies are looking at the total solution - not just HR.  Having options is important.  Understanding those options is even more important.


The bottom line is that SAP seems to be attempting to meet a variety of customer's needs by encouraging steadfast engagement in new technology without totally "ripping the rug out from under" customers' current solution. Read the blog to understand your options.


When should you move to cloud


There's no wrong time to start the journey of discovery -- by investigating, learning and understanding what this shift will mean to your employees, your HR and IT teams and to your business.


SAP has long stood by it's mantra that customers can move to cloud at their own pace. One of the distinct advantages of the SAP SuccessFactors product versus some of their competitors is this fact: customers do not have to dive into investment of the entire suite to experience the benefits of cloud. Change can be gradual - or as gradual as end-of-mainstream maintenance will allow.


We should all be looking at our technology investments today and every day. Things move too swiftly in our digital world to put it off until tomorrow.


We're here to help.


You have a community here in ASUG with a vast variety of perspectives, connections and insights - customer to customer, customer to partner or customer to SAP. Open up the dialog - we'll jump right in with you.



pssst . . . keep your channel tuner pointed right here. . . there's more to come....