NTT DATA Business Solutions
Johann Heydenrych | June 10, 2021

Operational Dynamics – What You Need to Know about RISE with SAP


(6 minute read)

This is the last of our blog series exploring the RISE with SAP offering and what it means for your business. In the first blog, we attempted to clarify what is included in RISE with SAP and where you will need a partner to supplement those services. In the second blog, we took a closer look at the tools and services you will need to build an Intelligent Enterprise. The third blog expanded on this topic, taking a look at optimization of business processes leveraging your ERP environment.

In this final blog, our goal is to further ‘de-mystify’ the RISE with SAP offering so that you have the information you need to make the best decision for your business.


As we’ve discussed previously, a RISE with SAP subscription provides access to a comprehensive bundle of software, tools and services to help your business transition to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, but you’ll also need to find an experienced partner that can provide advisory, implementation or application management services.

Beyond that, there are additional things to consider, based on the requirements of your business. It’s important to understand what is included with the RISE with SAP offering, what is optional with SAP, and services that will require in-house or partner resources. We will take a deep dive into these topics in the remainder of this blog.

RISE with SAP and managed services

Non-SAP and Non-S/4HANA Applications
RISE with SAP is basically an SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition (PCE) environment, so if you are currently using non-SAP (third-party) or non-S/4HANA applications, they will need to be hosted in a separate environment. For example, if you are currently using SAP APO or SAP Transportation Management applications, they would need to be hosted separately and integrated back into the new PCE environment.

The most likely scenario in this instance would be that part of your environment would be hosted on SAP PCE, and your non-SAP or non-S/4HANA applications would be hosted with a managed cloud provider, who would use SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) for cloud platform integration.

SAP Basis Consultants
Basis supportIf your business currently has an in-house team of Basis consultants, you have the ability to handle any Basis tasks not covered in RISE with SAP. However, if you are moving from a managed cloud solution – which provides full Basis support — to RISE with SAP, you should be aware that there is a limited amount of Basis support included.

With RISE with SAP, the coverage for Basis is about 30%, but you can add another 40% coverage at an additional charge. SAP considers the remaining 30% of Basis support to be your responsibility, so you will need to cover it with in-house resources or a managed cloud partner. For example, SAP does not cover pre/post processing, so if you don’t have an internal team to handle these tasks, you will need help from a managed cloud partner. In addition, SAP will only provide support in Client 000, so you will need to have the capability to cover tasks in other Clients.

The question you will need to ask yourself is: do you have Basis consultants to take care of the 30% that is not covered by SAP, or would it be better to cover 70% of your Basis support with a managed cloud partner?


SAP Solution Manager
There is a lot of functionality available in the SAP Solution Manager platform and applications, and if you are planning to use some of them, you will likely need to consider a Solution Manager as a Managed Service (SMaaMS) solution. The reason is simple: cost. The monthly cost for a SMaaMS solution is significantly less than it will be in PCE – which can cost as much as 40 times more.

Landscapes beyond DEV, QAS, and PRD
RISE with SAP is designed to cover the set-up of three landscapes: DEV, QAS and PRD. If your business is complex, with multiple project landscapes, etc., they will not be covered with the default RISE offering. You will need to cover these additional landscapes with in-house resources or a managed cloud partner.

Hyperscaler Platform
RISE with SAP gives you the option to choose your hyperscaler platform, but did you know that the hyperscalers give partners credits that can be passed on to customers when they move your SAP workloads into RISE PCE? Working with a partner like NTT DATA Business Solutions could mean a low-cost or zero-cost migration, based on the hyperscaler you select.

Migration Support
If your business is an SAP install-base customer moving to RISE with SAP, you’ll need to consider the migration support you will need. For example, will you need Solution Manager as a Managed Service and associated testing services?

SAP will provide the migration server to support your migration, but that does not include scripts, testing or fixing any issues that arise when running those scripts. It was always SAP’s intention that tasks associated with migration would be covered by an experienced SAP partner under a separate contract.


If you are still trying to decide between RISE with SAP and a managed cloud solution, there are some additional things to take into account. We will cover some of the most important items below.

High Availability (HA) / Disaster Recovery (DR)
If your business has requirements for HA or DR, you can still cover it with RISE with SAP, but you will have to pay extra per month. Adding DR to your RISE contract will automatically add a 17% upcharge to your monthly subscription. You will need to consider the impact of those additions to the RISE base subscription, which could be quite significant.

In this case, working with a managed cloud partner may provide a more cost-effective way to get the high availability and/or disaster recovery services you require.

HANA Database
The size of your HANA database is something you need to consider carefully. RISE with SAP uses a t-shirt size approach, so you can move from small, to medium, to large, to extra-large sizing. But if you want to size your database fractionally between these predefined t-shirt sizes, the fractional units can be quite expensive. In addition, RISE with SAP only allows you to scale up; you cannot scale down.

As a contrast, our managed cloud services offer fractional database pricing on a continuum, so you can size your database to meet your specific needs. You can also scale up or down, as needed.

Availability Requirements
The importance of availability metrics varies across businesses, but if it is important for your business you should be aware of the variability across solutions. RISE with SAP provides availability of 99.5% monthly. In contrast, our managed cloud solution provides available of 99.7% monthly, or 99.9% annually. So if that is an important consideration for your business, you should at least be aware of the differences.

Extensions for SAP Sizing
If you need to add extensions to your SAP system under RISE, you should be aware of the costs involved. As an example, if you have a 320 GB database for HANA, but need to increase some other pieces, you don’t need to go up to the next t-shirt size. You can add extensions (step-ups), but they are more expensive, as mentioned in our HANA database discussion above.

This could be a reason to consider managed cloud, which is custom built to your specific needs, at less cost. If you want a system copy, or an additional 64 GB RAM, or you want an extra application server or HA only in specific environments, you have the flexibility to pick and choose.


As with most things in life, there isn’t one ‘right’ solution that fits everyone. RISE with SAP offers a very attractive bundle of software, tools and services to help your business transition to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, but they always intended that partners would fill in advisory, implementation, or application management services. And – as we’ve discussed above – there are some items you should be aware of that are not provided with the base RISE offering.

When we talk about an ERP system, we’re really talking about complex business processes, a lot of data, and standards and regulatory compliance issues that could put your business into serious legal jeopardy if not handled properly. It’s a very big decision, with a huge amount of stickiness and barriers to exit once you have it – so you need to decide carefully.

In addition, it’s clear that the world in general is moving toward an ‘as-a-service,’ subscription model. NTT DATA Business Solutions recognized this a while ago, and over the past 18 months has worked to build our digital transformation as a service (DTaaS) model to deliver flexibility, predictable billing, and productive solutions that can be spun up quickly. This makes us one of the few partners able to complement the RISE with SAP offering with additional services at subscription pricing.

For those who are net-new to SAP, we have attempted to help you better understand what you will get with a RISE with SAP offering, and what is not covered. For those who may be moving from an existing managed cloud provider to RISE with SAP, we want you to understand that you may not be trading ‘like for like’ from one solution to the other.

There is some confusion about the new RISE with SAP offering, and we aim to help clarify things for our customers. Let us help with your decision process by helping you understand all the implications in order to get to the best solution for your business. Contact us today to begin the journey.

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