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RISE with SAP: FAQ Answers from the Experts

It’s been just over two years since RISE with SAP first launched, but it’s quickly become a core SAP offering—one that SAP itself seems to be largely prioritizing over other license models.

But for long-time SAP organizations and those considering adopting SAP systems, questions remain, primarily around its new-to-SAP subscription licensing model and how to decide if it’s the right cloud deployment model for a particular business.

In our recent RISE with SAP webcast, Protera experts Binoy James, Senior Vice President for Applications, and Jatin Oza, Director of Applications, explained the RISE with SAP deployment path and top alternatives in detail. (Here’s the webcast link and blog recap, for reference).

Afterward, we received great questions from our attendees—several that we recognized as RISE with SAP FAQs asked by many of our current and potential clients.

In this article, we’ll cover the answers to these questions to help you make the right cloud deployment decisions for your business.


Quick Takeaways:


  • RISE with SAP is a cloud-exclusive offering, available on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.
  • RISE is implemented using a subscription license model—one that’s totally different from traditional, perpetual SAP software licensing.
  • Hybrid cloud deployment allows businesses to deploy SAP systems through RISE, and non-SAP systems on the hyperscaler of their choice.
  • SAP is increasingly offering RISE as the exclusive cloud deployment option for new users, especially those that may need additional licensing in the future.
  • RISE is usually not the right approach for large organizations with complex IT portfolios.

RISE with SAP: FAQ Answers from Protera Experts


1.    Is RISE with SAP only for moving SAP systems to the cloud, or can it be used for on-premise as well?

RISE with SAP is a cloud offering on the large hyperscalers of the customer’s choice that includes Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) among others. That said, there are options for implementing RISE with SAP even when you need to maintain some level of on-premise operations due to security reasons or to meet unique business requirements.

With a hybrid approach your business can access a best-of-both-worlds scenario—an ideal cloud deployment path for SAP systems on the cloud through the RISE program, and an on-premise or native cloud hyperscale deployment for others that require greater flexibility or customization.


2.    What is the average license cost compared to an on-premise license?

A direct apples-to-apples comparison isn’t possible for RISE with SAP licensing vs. a traditional on-premise SAP license. This is because they operate using totally different business models.

RISE with SAP is a subscription-based offering designed to simplify the journey to the cloud for customers. It bundles various SAP products and licenses, services, and infrastructure into a single package using monthly OPEX charges. As the customer, you’ll pay a recurring subscription fee for access to the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP Business Technology Platform, and other cloud services.

This is a sharp turn away from the traditional on-premise SAP licensing models, through which customers purchase perpetual licenses for SAP software and had to procure the cloud and managed services separately.

RISE with SAP subscription costs differ based on user access levels, LoB solutions, and full usage equivalent (FUEs) counts, so your exact pricing will depend on unique business requirements and any discounts or entitlements you may be able to negotiate with SAP.

If you want to compare potential RISE with SAP value against your current licensing and I&O model, you can do so using the RISE with SAP value calculator.


3.    My company hosts SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP), but are you seeing companies hosting BTP on hyperscalers to leverage their microservices?

Yes, each hyperscaler has created BTP services to run natively on their respective clouds, and this option allows customers to run their entire stack on the hyperscaler of their choice licensing BTP through the Rise with SAP program.


4.    What are the differences between RISE and hybrid options?

In a hybrid deployment model, customers run their supported SAP workloads in RISE with SAP and the rest of their IT portfolios in either the hyperscaler of their choice. Then, they leverage functions like SAP BTP through RISE with SAP to take advantage of native PaaS services available on the hyperscalers, connect the two and leverage best of breed for each of their business requirements..

In short: Hybrid models allow companies to take advantage of RISE with SAP for the SAP technology stack while running non-SAP systems outside of RISE as needed to maximize business outcomes.


5.    Can one stay on the perpetual licensing model at a reasonable cost without moving to RISE with SAP?

SAP is increasingly offering RISE with SAP as an only option to customers, particularly if a future business event will necessitate going back to SAP for additional licensing. But, if you currently have adequate licensing and don’t foresee a need to procure additional licensing or modify licensing requirements of any kind, you can continue to run with the perpetual license, on-premise or natively in the cloud. At Sapphire this year, SAP also announced that new functionality especially in the domain of AI would only be made available on cloud versions of SAP.


6.    For a large organization with multiple ERP environments, what is your opinion on RISE with SAP’s flexibility to support integrations to other cloud and on-premise environments?

As is typical for large organizations, SAP is only a part of a customer’s business systems portfolio. For such customers with complex SAP and SAP-adjacent systems that are highly integrated, RISE with SAP may not offer enough flexibility nor the single management oversight for the level of integration capability typically required.

Our recommendation is to instead go with a native public cloud deployment for the entire stack or to deploy in a hybrid manner where SAP workloads are deployed on RISE with SAP and related workloads natively on the public cloud. In either option, customer can leverage the services of a hyperscaler partner like Protera to move SAP and Non-SAP workloads safely, securely, and cost-effectively to the cloud.


7.    If I follow the hybrid deployment (best of both worlds model), why wouldn't I minimize BTP and instead lean into hyperscaler functionality?

The benefits of SAP BTP are numerous, and we foresee continued increased capabilities and functionalities under the BTP umbrella. SAP and its partners currently offer over 100 different major capabilities with SAP BTP.

No doubt, you can create or replace some of these capabilities using cloud native functions and services. The SAP BTP differentiator is their capability to understand the SAP metadata and facilitate easier integration with SAP systems natively.

Azure functions, for example, may not have built-in seamless integration with your SAP systems, which means there will be a need to do customized integration development to enable and use them.

Most organizations evaluate both options and consider if the functionality is required only for their SAP systems or a wider range of their portfolio, then weigh the cost and benefits of SAP BTP vs. other tools to make the decision that’s right for them.

Both are good options—Protera has customers that use each of them very successfully, but we’re definitely seeing a rapid increase in the use of SAP BTP for all integration, analytics, build and AI efforts.


Making the Best Choice for Your Business

RISE with SAP offers simplified and convenient bundled services that make SAP implementation and/or cloud migration easier for many organizations. But it’s not the right choice for every business. It’s important to evaluate the RISE with SAP program and offerings alongside your own business priorities, needs, and goals as well as your existing IT portfolio.

Key factors that should play a role in your choice include:

  • Existing IT portfolio complexity
  • Desired level of control and ownership
  • Licensing flexibility needs
  • Planned pace of cloud transformation
  • Non-SAP environments
  • Partner networks and business relationships

Consider all of your options—RISE, native cloud deployment, hybrid models, or even staying with your current on-premise license—and decide which is best for you. To achieve the best possible outcomes, consider working with a SAP service provider like Protera who can help you plan and subsequently optimize your journey there.

Optimize Your SAP Journey with Protera

If you’re preparing your SAP systems for digital transformation, Protera is here to help. As a SAP-certified service provider and AWS, Azure, and Google consulting partner, we have the deep SAP knowledge and experience you need to execute your cloud journey with confidence.

Whether you’re looking to implement RISE with SAP, deploy natively on the cloud, take a hybrid approach, or are still evaluating your options, we can guide you through the process. We work together with clients to design optimized plans aligned with their unique business priorities and built to deliver real business outcomes.


Schedule time to talk to a Protera expert to learn more about how we can help you transform