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Mainstream support for SAP's on-premises enterprise users was scheduled to end in 2025. In January, 2018, SAP announced it will extend its on-premises support to 2030, but it is requiring users who want to remain on premises to migrate to its in-memory SAP HANA platform.
Deployed alongside SAP S/4HANA
The new platform, said SAP, will "be deployed alongside, and integrated with, SAP S/4HANA." The product was not given an official name, and SAP S/4HANA HCM is a shorthand description. S/4HANA is SAP's next generation ERP platform.
There is no native HCM in SAP S/4HANA. Instead, it runs as a "sidecar," acting as a separate integrated platform with its own release cycles and support timelines.
SAP's decision to create SAP S/4HANA HCM is being driven by business reasons. The firm has 14,000 on-premises customers, most of whom are in Europe. An ERP migration can take years and is usually costly. Furthermore, Europe's privacy rules complicate moving HCM to a cloud-based system. SAP said many of its on-premises users run hybrid environments and may use SuccessFactors capabilities but run their core HR on-premises.
SAP S/4HANA has an unknown support life
SAP has made SuccessFactors, a software-as-a-service platform, the destination for SAP ERP HCM customers. That has not changed with this announcement. SAP describes the migration to S/4HANA HCM as a "technical upgrade" and relatively easy to manage.
It's unclear what will happen to on-premises users after 2030. Support for SAP S/4HANA HCM is promised to "at least" 2030, but that leaves users guessing about any SAP support services past that date.