SAP will extend mainstream maintenance on its Business Suite (and Business Suite on HANA) applications an additional five years, until 2025, responding to customer requests for stronger commitment to on-premise applications and more time to move to the cloud.

In turn, SAP won’t raise the cost of maintenance beyond 22% until at least 2025, and there will be no adjustments for inflation to existing contracts until 2020, according to SAP’s Augusto Abbarchi, global head of SAP Maintenance Go-To-Market.

SAP also stated it will continue to support its Business Suite applications through new Enhancement Packages and Support Packs.  

“We believe the world is going to the cloud. But we believe customers want to go to the cloud at their own pace in their own way, and we need to give them the flexibility to do that,” says Wieland Schreiner, SVP of Cloud Suite, Products & Innovation SAP.

Speaking directly to ASUG members, he added that “we will not at all force you to go to the cloud. There is a clear commitment from SAP that you have the choice.”

This commitment was underscored by the fact that SAP’s Simple Finance application will be available to both SAP HANA on-premise customers, as well as its planned released in the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.

There was some question as to whether SAP HANA on-premise customers would be able to take advantage of Simple Finance. It debuted in June as an end-to-end, subscription-based financial management application.

In his remarks at SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando that month, Hasso Plattner piqued customer interest significantly when he announced that Simple Finance would be the first of an entire suite of simplified applications that leveraged HANA’s columnar, in-memory storage and dramatically simplified processes by removing the need for aggregates and materialized tables.

The cloud does allow SAP the possibility to innovate faster, Schreiner says, so it’s possible that new releases of the “Simple” software will be available to cloud customers first.

Asked whether SAP’s cloud products could be considered the ECC 6.0 successor, Schreiner says that due to legal reasons relating to the difference in how the products are licensed, “the cloud cannot be a successor of the product.”

“But, [there was a] natural evolution from mainframe to client server,” he says, “and we have the natural sequence from client server to cloud.”