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RISE with SAP: Key Questions and Considerations


Since its launch in early 2021, it has become clear that RISE with SAP is a central part of SAP’s plan for the future — aligning their strategy with the massive growth of “as-a-service” business models that’s occurred alongside the emergence of the cloud.

SAP has deemed RISE with SAP a comprehensive solution that removes complexity from cloud modernization and provides customers with simplified engagement and guided support through digital transformation.

There’s no doubt that RISE presents an exciting opportunity to companies to accelerate their move to S/4HANA on the cloud and eliminate concerns around capability to execute a successful journey. But it’s also a significant move away from the traditional SAP customer relationships that have become familiar to the company’s thousands of customers around the world.

Understandably, they have questions about how adoption of RISE with SAP would impact their current operations and capabilities, what it means from a contractual and financial perspective, and how it may impact other vendor relationships.

In this guide, we’ll cover answers to these questions and other key considerations you need to know and evaluate to determine if RISE with SAP is the right solution for your organization.

If you need a RISE with SAP refresher before diving into questions and considerations, check out our 3 Key Takeaways about RISE with SAP and overview of RISE with SAP vs. traditional S/4HANA Cloud.

Quick Takeaways

  • RISE with SAP can be adopted for hybrid and multidimensional environments.
  • Some customization capabilities are limited with RISE as compared to traditional SAP implementation models.
  • Third-party applications can be managed in the RISE with SAP tenant.
  • For companies that need customization levels not available through RISE with SAP, it is still possible to migrate to S/4HANA on the cloud without using the RISE model.
  • Given the scope and complexity of transforming through RISE with SAP, most companies hire a third-party migration services partner to help them execute.

Rise with SAP: 5 Questions You Need Answered

Can RISE support hybrid environments?

It’s uncommon today for a business not to have a multi-dimensional landscape for their SAP and surrounding applications.

Most organizations are continuously running hybrid platforms — even if SAP workloads are still on-premise — where an SaaS platform may be delivering part of the organization’s services, mixed with proprietary applications that are either hosted with a public cloud partner or in a private data center.

RISE with SAP can support these types of environments but it’s imperative for the business to perform thorough planning before deployment to align infrastructure and platforms, third-party applications, governance and security frameworks, and end user communities.

Of course, one of the primary benefits of RISE is having support for this type of migration and modernization planning. But your IT team and leaders must still be prepared to take the lead on performing an initial assessment and providing context to your SAP team.

We recommend taking these important steps to plan effectively:

  • Set transformation goals for each application landscape and know its impact on your business processes and KPIs
  • Define roles and responsibilities for your SAP team and your internal team, as well as any other migration partner you’re working with
  • Clearly establish which responsibilities will fall on your business throughout the transformation journey
  • Review and close any gaps between the responsibility matrix and your end goals and identify where additional support may be requires
  • Prepare a documented roadmap for S/4HANA transformation and define milestones for your RISE with SAP journey

How does RISE handle unique customization needs?

For those companies that have high levels of customization, making the move to public cloud may be daunting -. Even if you don’t fall into that category, your business likely has customization needs of its own related to how you run your SAP system and applications.

RISE with SAP’s high levels of standardization do limit customization capabilities as compared to traditional SAP on-premise and private, public, and hybrid cloud implementations. RISE offers both private or multi-tenant deployment options, but it may not meet the levels of extensibility that SAP’s largest users often need.

The best course of action is to get a strong handle on your current customizations and how they deliver value for your organization. Then, work with your SAP team and other migration partners to determine what aligning your systems with RISE would entail and if it’s the right option.

Does RISE manage third-party applications?

Your RISE engagement with SAP will cover the SAP application side of the house, but you can also manage your third party applications in the RISE with SAP tenant as an IaaS server by the organization’s infrastructure team, per the cloud foundation guidelines defined by RISE with SAP.

These guidelines may not always meet requirements for the entire application landscape, cloud adoption framework, cloud governance standards, or application security requirements. In those cases, businesses have the option to deploy and manage applications on their own cloud tenant, managed within business requirements along with SAP applications being transformed and managed by RISE with SAP.

In the event the business is managing its own cloud tenant on the same public cloud platform where RISE is being deployed, it’s recommended that the business plan includes deep infrastructure management and networking skill sets to aid in the delivery of all associated management and integration services setup for each application transformation.

The RISE with SAP tenant also comes with a fixed perimeter around security and guardrails, so whether surrounding non-SAP applications reside on the same or different cloud platform as the RISE with SAP tenant, each will need to have a network established as they would with any other public cloud virtual tenant.

This would be like any other site-to-site or MPLS-based network, where connecting and establishing the networking topology and building a framework around essential networking requirements ensures applications can communicate at the application layer.

What services will I still need additional support for?

SAP has published a detailed list of standard services included in the RISE with SAP offering, but there are a number of areas where businesses will likely still need additional support in areas like general cloud adoption, application management, security, and additional SAP basis support.

This includes:

  • Transformation program management such as Suite on HANA or S/4HANA conversion and its integration and application architecture changes
  • Single pane of glass view for all business applications and services including RISE-enabled services
  • SAP Application functionality and configuration management, transports management, integrations setup, certificates management, data archiving management, architecting, management, maintenance
  • Advanced database management and analytics setup and techno-functional management of HANA database
  • DB administration and advanced feature implementation
  • SAP Security management, including Fiori front-end end user roles and profiles management

Further, a crucial part of successful RISE with SAP journey is aligning all parties involved — SAP as a product owner, internal FTEs to assess capabilities around your transformation path, as well as third-party migration and managed services partners.

Doing so ensures you have enough skills and resources required for a successful RISE with SAP migration and post go-live support.

Can I adopt S/4HANA on the cloud without RISE?

Yes. While it’s clear that SAP is heavily focused on the growth of RISE, businesses can still move to S/4HANA on the cloud without taking the RISE route.

Buyer's Guide RISE with SAP Health Check Ensure RISE with SAP is integrated, connected, and managed.  

Key Considerations to Guide You

To summarize the collective key takeaways from the RISE with SAP FAQs outlined in the previous section, there are specific considerations that must be top-of-mind as you embark on your RISE with SAP migration.

Business Objectives and Business Strategy Alignment

Implementation processes and capabilities must align with your overall business objectives. To start, develop a business case and strategy. Clearly outline goals and process improvements you aim to achieve with your digital transformation to ensure you maximize value from RISE.

Technology and Infrastructure

As mentioned previously, nearly every business operates a hybrid application landscape in order to enable efficient, cross-functional, mission-critical capabilities.

Your planning for RISE with SAP must include all infrastructures and platforms, integration with your end user community and third-party applications, and assurance that final deployment will provide a quality experience for key stakeholders across the organization.

It also must align with IT governance and overall security standards to prevent unexpected security vulnerabilities and keep your infrastructure secure.

Overall RISE Project Management

Managing your RISE with SAP project is a huge undertaking with critical business implications. It involves key stakeholders from every part of your organization — IT management, business process owners, vendors and service providers, technology partners, employees, end users, and others depending on your unique organization.

You’ll need to consider the impact on all of these key stakeholders and your business at large as you transition to a new SAP environment, integrate bolt-on applications, and ensure your native cloud tenant operates seamlessly with the RISE with SAP tenant.

The best strategy to ensure success with RISE is to partner with a third-party SAP migration partner that can support your transformation and help you execute a plan that’s sure to drive your organization forward toward achieving its goals.

How Protera Can Help

Protera is a trusted SAP-certified partner providing migration support and SAP managed services to clients around the globe. Our comprehensive RISE with SAP offerings can help you confidently make the move to S/4HANA on the cloud, all while knowing you’re maximizing ROI on what RISE has to offer.

Our RISE with SAP support services include:

  • Accelerating and de-risking migration with the best technologies from SAP, AWS, and Microsoft Azure and using a combination of methods like storage replication, database replication, backup and restore, or fresh build
  • Ensuring “friends of SAP'' and native hyperscaler applications are seamlessly integrated to your RISE with SAP tenant. This is not included in SAP’s RISE with SAP package.
  • Ongoing technical management of your SAP and related applications that continues after you go live on the cloud

Contact our team to learn more about the best modernization option for your business.