SAP Third-Party Support Q & A

SAP Third-Party Support Q & A2018-11-01T19:27:06+00:00

This is intended to act as a guide for answering the most frequently asked questions regarding the transition to Spinnaker Support’s SAP support model.

Do customers off support still have access to OSS Notes?

The approach to solving issues under Spinnaker Support is different from the self-service support model offered by SAP. Spinnaker Support offers more of a concierge-type of approach. Instead of being pushed to browse OSS Notes for solutions to a problem or how to questions, you simply open a Spinnaker Support ticket or call your Assigned Support Lead (ASL) who will research the issue for you and promptly provide a response. OSS notes related to security of your SAP system are still available using existing OSS IDs.  General OSS will no longer be available.

We assign a team of Senior Application and Technical Support Engineers who get to know your entire SAP footprint and then act as your main contact for all issues and questions you have. For critical, severity 1 issues we guarantee a 30-minute response time, and on average we respond within 8 minutes. Our customers tell us that this approach is far more efficient than working under SAP’s support model and rate us at 98.7% customer satisfaction ratings. If you still want a self-service option, there are many online forums still available to you (sapfans.com, scn.sap.com, saptechnical.com, abapteamforum.lefora.com, sapjobsin.com, etc.).

Are customers still allowed to use Solution Manager (SolMan) under third-party support?

You will still be able to use the features of Solution Manager, enabling you to manage your system internally (for example make transports to production), but you will no longer have access to the Service Marketplace. The majority of Spinnaker Support customers still utilize the performance monitoring features within solution manager and Charm features. We can point you to the specific contract provisions you should review for the use of Solman, specific contract terms and any restrictions noted for the use of SolMan is contract dependent. Over time, our customers find that access to SolMan is not a prerequisite for obtaining high-quality support.

How do we access license keys needed for making modifications or configurations to our SAP system?

You can still obtain license keys just as you were before discontinuing SAP support under your existing OSS IDs. Your SAP License Agreement is separate from your Support and Maintenance Agreement, and the ability to obtain your keys is associated with your License Agreement. Regardless of support status, you have access to keys as a perpetual license to use and modify your system under no restrictions.

How do customers get access to future releases?

The latest version that is currently available from SAP is ECC6, Enhancement Pack 8. There is currently no information for additional functionality beyond this release published by SAP. In fact, SAP has stated that the vast majority of their development investment is going towards S/4HANA and Cloud solutions, which in any case, would not be available via your current Support and Maintenance Agreement and would require additional licenses and a re-implementation of the software.

Can we upgrade under Spinnaker Support’s third-party support model?

As part of Spinnaker Support’s onboarding process, you have the right to download all software you have a license to under your current SAP support agreement. For example, if you are on Enhancement Pack 3, you can download and archive Enhancement Packs 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, which you can then upgrade to on your own timeline. If you are on an older version of SAP (e.g., 4.6C, 4.7C, ECC5, etc.), and you are planning to upgrade, we would advise you to finish that upgrade first before considering third-party support as an option to move forward.

Spinnaker Support’s ISO 9001:2015-certified archiving approach enables the customer’s ability to retain, access, implement, and deploy the software that they are legally entitled to as defined in SAP contracts. Archiving is the download and storage of relevant software and data located on SAP’s Service Marketplace and their Maintenance Optimizer. This information is captured and stored on the customer’s hardware for future use after a customer has ended their SAP maintenance contract and includes pertinent software upgrade, support packages, and enhancement packages specific to the customer’s unique footprint of SAP applications.

However, if your current system is providing you with everything you need from a business perspective, there is no need to upgrade, and we can support you on that version indefinitely.

Does third-party support prohibit customers from advancing their digital transformation?

On the contrary, third-party support helps fund and accelerate digital transformation. Our customers often align their innovation plans with SAP’s long-term product vision, but they understand that the vendor’s vision does not necessarily align with their immediate plans and business needs. Spinnaker Support empowers SAP customers by allowing them to continue their path to SAP’s vision, to save significant amounts of money to accelerate innovation and to smoothly reunite with SAP’s support model at a time that is right for them.

Spinnaker Support ensures that client systems adhere to published industry standards and can leverage industry standardized tools and services that maintain a system’s ability to interoperate at the application, database, and server layers. Our software engineering experts implement solutions to maintain excellent ERP application operations while surrounding technology layers change. We help you fully optimize your existing software investments in multiple ways, integrating superior application support with unbiased technology stack guidance, to more smoothly and efficiently enable and accelerate innovation.

Can customers upgrade or migrate to a different Operating System or Database under a third-party support model?

As part of the onboarding process to transition to Spinnaker Support, we advise you to look at the SAP Product Availability Matrix (PAM) and download and archive all the necessary components (e.g., Kernels) that would be required to make that change in the future.

If you want to upgrade to an Operating System or Database version which is currently not available, or not certified, there are alternative options available. First, you can test the non-certified version against your current SAP configuration. Most likely this version will work with minor adjustments, and you can safely upgrade. Secondly, if it is a more major Operating System or Database change, many of our customers adopt virtualization technologies (e.g., VMWare) which will allow you to continue to run your application at the existing version level and still upgrade your O/S or Database level without impacting your SAP applications.

What if I have a problem with the Kernel – can these issues be addressed under a third-party support model?

The SAP Kernel is exceptionally stable. It is very rare that any new issues will be reported at that level. However, if issues do occur, we are able to resolve these via workarounds, or changes at the middleware or application layers, as a configuration change.

What happens if I want to return to SAP support at a future date? Are there back penalties or back support fees?

At the time customers send their letter of intent to cancel support, SAP might threaten back maintenance and penalties should you choose to return to SAP. However, in practice, we have never seen this enforced. After two years, you are treated as a “net new” customer of SAP and will be able to negotiate all the best discounts available at that time and will not have to pay back-maintenance or penalties. Gartner completed some investigative work in this area and has concluded the same findings.

What happens if I want to go back to SAP – what happens to all the customizations you have made to my software?

All fixes we make to your SAP system are made in accordance with all SAP standards and are treated like any other “Z” programs or files you have created yourself. This also applies to any Tax, Legal and Regulatory updates provided by Spinnaker Support.

Should you wish to go back to SAP and upgrade to their latest version, you would treat our fixes in exactly the same way that you would treat the numerous changes you have implemented. You will find that the number of changes we will have made are only a fraction of the total number of customizations you likely have implemented.

Will we still receive security patches?

SAP customers are still granted access to security patches released by SAP under third-party support; however, most of our customers have found that security is managed at a much broader level than waiting for SAP to deliver reactive security patches for either the application or technology stack. Spinnaker Support’s security and vulnerability protection solution easily outpaces many competitive solutions because we uniquely integrate accessible security and application experts, proven processes, modern detection tools, and continuous monitoring practices. Spinnaker

Support identifies vulnerabilities at the same time as, and often earlier than, ERP vendors.

Our on-demand, customer-specific security configurations allow us to implement solutions much sooner through changes that have little to no impact on the actual code, requiring less testing time and quicker implementations. Spinnaker Support offers tremendous value by addressing security as a unique solution to a specific need rather than as a universal patch or reactionary defense solution.

Is MaxAttention available under Spinnaker Support’s model?

Spinnaker Support provides a range of services surrounding our SAP Maintenance and Support. We can tailor a range of services specifically for you through our cross-functional team of experts, which will improve even the services offered under MaxAttention. SLA’s and issues resolution times under our standard support model are superior to those offered by SAP.

Once you make the decision to switch, you will enjoy a revolutionary support experience. Prior to change-over from software vendor support, we become intimately familiar with your business and application environment. From there, we know how to best onboard you, archive you, and deliver support that includes:

  • Break fixes
  • Tax, regulatory, and compliance updates
  • General inquiry support
  • Technology advisory services
  • Average response time of 8 minutes
  • 24 x 7 x 365 follow-the-sun support coverage
  • Dedicated Account Support Lead, managing your assigned, named team of engineers
  • Full support for all custom and standard code, integrations, and interfaces
  • Full stack security and vulnerability advisory support
  • Interoperability, virtualization, and cloud migration advisory services
  • Indefinite (no sunset) support for every release version

How do I stay up to date with Tax and Regulatory (GTRC) compliance changes?

Spinnaker Support delivers timely, accurate global tax and regulatory updates. We manage compliance activities for its customers in dozens of countries and all 50 United States. Our team has developed a proprietary GTRC research database which delivers the ability to quickly scale those services as new customers and new country requirements are identified. This disciplined approach alleviates risk by helping our customers prepare for recurring and ad-hoc changes across the tax and regulatory landscape.

We deliver constant change management advice to help you develop and implement solutions to mitigate risks better. Our GTRC team works side-by-side with our customers and our senior support engineers to understand the specific GTRC needs affecting each Customer in the jurisdictions where they operate. Spinnaker Support provides first-class payroll support for all SAP releases. We seamlessly integrate SAP application support with timely third-party tax provider information.

Does Spinnaker Support offer other SAP Services in addition to support?

Yes, Spinnaker Support offers our customers managed services and consulting solutions, in addition to our SAP support offering. Our highly skilled SAP managed services staff provide services in concert with a client’s existing staff, filling gaps in the internal staff’s capabilities. Configured to a customer’s specific need, our managed services scope may encompass the full spectrum of the internal SAP Business Suite, SAP ECC5, SAP ECC6, mySAP™ ERP and R/3® application support functions on a 24 x 7 x 365, part time or full time equivalent basis covering both application and technical services.

Our SAP team of experts provides a full range of consulting services covering application customizations, basis administration, and development services for enhancement design, integration points, or cloud solutions.

What SAP products are currently supported?

We support more than 120 SAP products (and growing) that are included in the following product families:

  • All SAP ERP versions from R/3 to ECC 6 Ehp 8
  • Financials and Accounting
  • Business Intelligence and Analytics, including Business Objects
  • Tax and Compliance
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Supplier Relationship Management, Procurement, and Sourcing
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Environmental Health and Safety
  • Core Human Resources
  • HANA and other non-SAP databases
  • Middleware and Process Integration Solutions
  • SAP Hybris e-Commerce
  • Success Factors, Ariba, and other acquired solutions

And more …, including most Industry solutions

Does Spinnaker Support have a Global Presence?

Yes, we have nine regional operations centers worldwide supporting SAP customers 24/7/356 days in a minimum of fourteen languages to meet all your service needs.

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