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There is a lot of confusion around what is or isn’t allowed for customers depending on their SAP support contract. This blog post provides relevant information on the foundations of the usage rights of the support contract and has been created to provide more insight to consultants, customers and local SAP offices.

Official SAP information

The official source of SAP is on SAP Service Marketplace: . You can find the official page by clicking the usage right option in the left menu.

Picture 1.0 official SAP source

These sources along with this blog post can help you to get a better understanding of the usage rights of SAP Solution Manager. The blog post does not provide additional information in terms of the need for additional license fees when you use scenarios for non-SAP components or components that were not purchased through SAP’s purchase list. The official documentation covers this content to a large enough extent.

SAP Standard Support limitations

Picture 1.1 functional baseline for SAP Standard Support contracts

Customers on SAP standard support are limited to use SAP Solution Manager 7.1 functionality which existed in SAP Solution Manager 7.0 EHP1.

Also note that SAP Standard Support customers receive continuous improvements for the functional baseline, incl. Error correction and functions supporting the SAP product strategy.

You can see these scenarios outlined on picture 1.1.

The idea behind this is that customers, who were on Standard Support back then and were allowed to use this functionality, should not be forced to pay for using the same functionality now.

Custom Development Management Cockpit (CDMC), Business Process Change Analyzer (BPCA) and Quality Gate Management (QGM) are not allowed for customers on Standard Support. These scenarios existed when Solution Manager 7.0 EHP1 was around but were already part of Enterprise Support.

The official content also talks about reactive and proactive but those statements create more confusion than anything else as some scenarios which are considered reactive can be used in a proactive way.

The current official documentation doesn’t have all the new Solution Manager scenarios listed. The bottom-line is that new scenarios and new functionality which were introduced in Solution Manager 7.1 and onwards are not to be used by Standard Support customers. This means that any relatively new scenario like Data Volume Management (DVM) falls under Enterprise Support.

Usage dashboard

SAP will release a usage dashboard for SAP Solution Manager which will provide the following:

  • This dashboard provides information on the SAP Solution Manager capabilities and processes that are in use in a customer system, as well as the type of maintenance contract required to use these capabilities.
  • The dashboard is delivered in the Dashboard Framework, and the customer can activate it from here, to display the Solution Manager usage data. You can select the data by the year-to-date, or based on a particular calendar month.
  • A color coding is used for the type of maintenance contract involved

In my opinion this dashboard can help out to a large extent to avoid confusing around what is or is not allowed depending on the support contract of the SAP customer.

SAP support license cost rising

Picture 1.2 Customer Remaining on Enterprise Support, reference:

As outlined in a recent blog post: “SAP Standard Support price rise: why now? “ by Dennis Howlett on ZDNET, the price of SAP Standard Support keeps rising. This means the price moves closer and closer to the price of SAP Enterprise Support. In the end, it looks like SAP is trying to get rid of the Standard Support option altogether.

The question remains though if this maintenance fee rise is a good move from SAP and not a move that will cause them harm in the long run as a number of customers, according to the article on ZDNET, 69 of the Fortune 500, have already moved away from SAP support altogether and have chosen for third-party support for their SAP software. 

It’s very likely however that a large portion of SAP’s customer base will not choose third-party support over SAP support. Depending on the increase in cost and the possible reduction of costs by leveraging Solution Manager 7.1, it might make more sense for those customers who are still on SAP Standard Support to move to SAP Enterprise Support.

Significant cost savings are possible by leveraging SAP Solution Manager but it has to be managed in a sensible and constructive way.

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