<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=380018&amp;fmt=gif">
Technical consultation and sales

Contact Us

    _Success_icon About Us
    _Collaboration_icon Join Us
    Technical consultation and sales

    Contact Us

      6 min read

      Considering SAP RISE? Consider this!

      sap rise

      RISE is one of the hottest topics around SAP. It’s almost difficult to read or discuss SAP without the topic present. But with any topic as complex as SAP, the question of where to run SAP and ultimately RISE as an option isn’t without opportunity for questions. This blog tries to clear up some of the most common questions, especially for companies considering RISE coming from an existing expertise of either operating SAP themselves or having experience with SaaS solutions and cloud services.


      The basics: What is SAP RISE?

      First and foremost, RISE is a marketing construct aligned with SAP’s long term goals as a business. This is not a negative comment: RISE will be appealing and viable for many businesses, both new and existing SAP customers. RISE is an offering of S/4HANA in the cloud, a combination of infrastructure provided by an underlying hyperscaler, operations provided by a 3rd party systems integrator / operator, and SAP licenses running on these services. It might additionally include migration services for moving to RISE for existing SAP customers.

      RISE with SAP is not a product per se, and this is both the benefit and potential exposure to subscribers. RISE is primarily a choice about where and how SAP S/4HANA is run.

      So, what’s the problem?

      SAP on RISE Private Edition is something of a peculiar intersection of traditional SAP operating practices and a ‘not –quite –typical' SaaS offering. This encourages exploration of the functionality and service gaps in RISE from two perspectives: 

      1) an existing SAP user, already familiar with SAP operations but new to RISE, and 
      2) a new SAP user, familiar with hosting and cloud services, but new to the particulars of the SAP application layer and common operations running SAP. 

      There are gaps in the standard RISE offering likely to surprise either camp.
      An analysis was performed of SAP’s nearly 50 page RACI chart on RISE Private Edition. The analysis included identifying activities common to SAP operations on premise but marked as optional (pay extra) options in RISE. Some of the optional extras are unlikely to be considered optional by most experienced SAP operators and may impact the value proposition, and certainly the operational planning, of RISE for these customers. For SAP customers old and new, they are worth a review.

      For this evaluation, assume the following: 

      First, the business considering RISE is at least $500 million to $1 billion in size. For most businesses of this size and larger, SAP RISE Private Edition is the product under consideration. 

      Second, assume the company either already runs SAP today and is considering RISE as part of an S/4 migration or business transformation project, or they are already cloud services buyers, familiar with other SaaS solutions or cloud infrastructure offerings, but new to SAP.

      Team one: RISE AND SHINE!

      SAP markets RISE Private Edition as a one stop-shop for core ERP, with the opportunity to simplify and reduce the cost of SAP operations through outsourcing. However, RISE Private Edition's standard services (as documented by SAP) leaves several common operational tasks to the customer. These are additional services an experienced SAP operations team would not consider 'extras':

      • Almost all business-level change and support – ABAP and application layer config.
      • Almost all SAP Notes, Updates and Corrections implementations.
        Almost all application level diagnostics and monitoring, including short dumps, any predictive observability, locks, RFCs, Spools, IDOCS, batch jobs and so on.
      • Almost all technical configuration above the OS, including systems parameters, JAVA, and Web run time settings.
      • Substantial responsibility above the OS layer, including provisioning/configuration responsibility for things such as project landscapes, any complex transport path configurations, and automation of common system management tasks.
      • Total customer responsibility for larger client copies (500MB) and all pre –post –and BDLS system copy tasks (see Team #2 below).
      • Almost all change and audit reporting, especially complaint reporting suitable for regulated industries.

      Additionally, an organization considering RISE should evaluate the run location of Dev and Project landscapes. Hosting the additional systems on RISE is an option, and a good one for some organizations. Others will prefer to maintain local Dev and QA systems, especially customers already practicing Agile/DevOps with multiple Dev and Project systems. Complex transport flows involving automated retrofit and merge are not well supported with standard RISE tooling (TMS: ChaRM is an extra charge), and some customers will already have more sophisticated solutions in place.

      In the short space of a blog post it’s impractical to cover the entire delta between ordinary and common SAP operations best practices and the RISE standard offering, but such a gap certainly exists. As an SAP professional considering RISE, carefully review any RISE proposal to ensure it meets needs and expectations: in some areas, RISE basic services differ little from self-hosting S/4HANA at a hyperscaler. For an especially large firm, there’s negotiation leverage to sculpt RISE coverage to meet organizational needs – and a more robust service level than standard is a reasonable discussion to have with SAP.

      Team Two: SAP on RISE is just S/4HANA SaaS, right?

      Looking at S/4HANA or already decided on S/4 as a new implementation? First, congratulations on joining the SAP community! Over 10,000 businesses have selected S/4 as their first SAP core ERP implementation since the release of the platform, a testament to the value of SAP as a solution. The principal consideration is S/4 on RISE versus self-hosting S/4 on premise or with a hyperscaler. RISE is often an excellent choice for an upper middle market or smaller large enterprise new deployment of SAP. But for a team new to SAP, a few SAP operational best practices may prove unexpected, and in some cases, these are not addressed by RISE standard services. This list is far from comprehensive but illustrates two of the more common gaps likely to surprise even experienced cloud services buyers.

      System copy/Refresh: Activities around system refresh are common in SAP operations. Often, this procedure is used to create development and test systems for innovation or production defect support, and it’s best when those systems have realistic or even actual data in them for testing and debugging. This approach is often used to create upgrade deployment systems as well, reducing upgrade outage time by providing a “live” cutover system. SAP includes up to (6) system copies per SAP System ID each year as part of standard RISE, but a system copy alone is insufficient.

      Associated with any system copy, there are pre and post copy technical changes required, and the BDLS transaction is run to change the logical system name from the source system to the desired destination system identifier – for example, from Prod to QA. Additional steps include resetting RFC connections to QA system integrations vs production and related steps anyone familiar with creating QA environments would expect. None of these activities are included as part of the standard service with RISE and will fall on the customer directly or scheduled as additional (cost) services.

      Version updates and code patches: If one is familiar with cloud services and SaaS, typically software and system upgrades are included, and happen behind the scenes as part of the SaaS service. In fact, this can even be a bit irksome to end users as user interfaces change and features move as the vendor sees fit vs. the customer. However, with RISE Private Edition, the solution truly is “S/4HANA running on someone else’s computer”, and security patches, upgrades and just about everything but underlying hardware is a customer responsibility. 

      That may come as a surprise to those familiar with typical SaaS offerings, but it’s a notable consideration. Planning for upgrades, upgrade compatibility of customizations, and even defect support and security fixes through patch applications are a customer deliverable without explicit services scheduled with SAP RISE.

      The advice here is simple: get familiar with SAP operations, and make sure any RISE contract covers long term requirements or there’s a separate plan in place to do so. The SAP ecosystem is rich with 3rd party solutions, and in many cases, they are even encouraged by SAP when there’s a best fit for the customer’s needs.

      SOME answers

      At Avantra, our platform is helping customers run SAP efficiently and effectively, including observability, hybrid deployment support across ECC, S/4, on premise, cloud and RISE, and automating many SAP management tasks making the ERP solution more reliable and cost efficient. We are excited about RISE and the potential for RISE to drive growth of the S/4HANA user community and success of SAP.

      If any of the topics of this blog are areas of interest, the Avantra 24 Cloud and Enterprise editions directly address the topics discussed with solutions for monitoring, managing, and automating observability and operations of SAP. We directly support on premise, hyperscaler and RISE deployments, and provide a single solution for managing and monitoring SAP across hybrid deployments.  Our solutions are deployed and operating hundreds of SAP landscapes. 

      Talk to an Avantra expert and approach the RISE decision armed with the options and knowledge best for your company.