too many choices.pngIf you are a current SAP HCM on-premise customer, the future state of your payroll functionality may be foremost on your mind as we approach the year 2025 -- the announced date for end of mainstream maintenance for the current SAP business suite (ECC 6.0). We have options -- at times too many at times to comprehend. It's like trying to find the right soda in the supermarket - original, caffeine free, light, original diet, caffeine free diet  - except your decision here has bigger consequences than whether or not you're wired and can't fall asleep at night.


SAP Landscape Alternatives for Human Capital Management


In the interest of helping ASUG members distill the vast amounts of information coming their way, the following represents what I believe to be the current range of landscape options for your on-premise payroll environment -- leaving out, of course, the options of outsourcing or choosing another vendor. The diagram represents the best information that I and our HR Community payroll experts have at the moment. Source documents and further information are listed at the end of this article.




The chart is intended only to highlight the options and the currently announced end of mainstream support for each option. But , this is a lot to absorb - right?


It's important that we understand what end of mainstream maintenance means.


When SAP announces "end of mainstream maintenance" are they trying to scare us?


End of mainstream maintenance in technology software simply means that the software company will no longer enhance the affected product. It does not mean that the product can no longer be used. It does not mean that the software company will no longer fix critical security or reliability issues.


It does mean that the product may continue to be supported under a higher-cost maintenance agreement for a period of time.


Additionally - the "end of mainstream maintenance" date is a planned date. It is possible that date may change. The thing is, we shouldn't count on that happening.


Ending mainstream maintenance is simply good business practice - one that focuses a technology company's resources on the future, creating new products and services that help to accelerate business efficiencies and economic growth.


Reacting to announcements on end of mainstream maintenance


Generally, there's a flurry of concern when an end of maintenance date is announced. Customers grow uncomfortable, begin to push back at the innovation strategy, resist the change.


At times, I find this amusing - as if we would expect our automobiles to be supported by manufacturers beyond a warranty if we would expect to never have to replace the roof on our house, or the carpet in our entranceway.


And - honestly - at other times, when money is tight and other priorities exist, I just want to keep driving that car until it dies a slow death on an interstate. (In fact, I have done that in the past.)


How we respond to the end of "life" for a particular product, does largely depend on our individual organization's needs and abilities.


Here's the thing: those of us who are "smart" with our personal finances are already budgeting for a replacement car when we drive a new car off the lot; we are looking forward to what our house will need in 3, 5, 10, 20 years. Yet, we seem to believe that we build HR software solutions and we're done. We expect it to be an investment that will last decades.  And that is our downfall.


Plan to Change


Reality check:  The current SAP Business Suite - ECC 6.0 - was delivered in 2005. How many of us are using a PC with Microsoft Windows XP -- which also came out in 2005? The first iPhone was released in 2007 - who is still running iOS version 3?


Technology changes rapidly. And technology is fundamental to our productivity, engagement with others, and financial management.


Technology is a competitive advantage.


And understanding technology is a key business competency in today's rapidly-evolving global business environment.


We can't change with the times unless we know what's coming and have a plan to be ready.


Get to know S/4 HANA, SuccessFactors, Employee Central and SAP Managed Payroll


We don't make next technology - or any business - decisions overnight. And to make the best choices we need to invest in learning -- comprehending the forecast, the economic and technological indicators of success and the options for setting our own strategy.


Straight talk.

That's what ASUG is intent on providing to our community.


Follow us - and join us in person for education and conversation. Let's build our future road maps together.  Three tips to get your started:


  1. Subscribe to ASUG NEWS FIRST FIVE:  Start your week with the Top Five Insights from ASUG.
  2. Join ASUG's HR Community to stay up-to-date on SAP's road maps, connect with others on their experiences and have opportunities to influence future product direction (individual memberships and corporate memberships available).
  3. Register and attend Recharge HR: 2016 Innovation Roadshow to learn about the latest in technology solutions for HR and Payroll processes and to talk with experts and other customers (It's free.)

Recharge HR

2016 Innovation Roadshow

Complimentary ASUG Education


See the Roadshow Overview


1) Oct. 20 - Philadelphia - SAP Newtown Square Offices

2) Nov. 1 - Silicon Valley - SAP SuccessFactors offices in S San Francisco

3) November 11, 2016 – Dallas, TX

4) Nov. 15 - Manhattan - Deloitte's Offices at 30 Rock

5) Dec. 7 - Chicago - ASUG's Headquarters at the Civic Opera House


If the above was helpful, give it some stars below. If your have comments, questions, debates, write 'em in below. The important thing is that we keep this conversation moving forward.





Roadmaps for SAP SuccessFactors Human Capital Management Customers and How to Find Them

Managing Payroll Vaporization to Cloud

Payroll Options for SAP Customers as they Journey to the Cloud (by Danielle Larocca)

ASUG's HR Community