Success for SAP user association: Support for manufacturing software extended

SAP customers in the manufacturing industry can breathe a sigh of relief: The local user representative DSAG (German-speaking SAP user group) has managed to get the Walldorf-based software group to take over the maintenance for the manufacturing software SAP ME (Manufacturing Execution) and SAP MII (Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence). extended until the end of 2030. Previously, there had only been a maintenance commitment until 2027.

However, this also means that discrete manufacturers are now being given a three-year grace period to plan their move to the cloud. Because SAP is officially pushing the push into the cloud and with the Digital Manufacturing Cloud (DMC, today DM), a key component of the future portfolio for manufacturing was presented around four years ago. DMC is more modern and powerful in terms of architecture and operation. However, around four years after it was introduced, it still has a serious disadvantage: “As things stand today, the functionality of the SAP cloud solutions is not yet sufficient for all on-premises customers to dare to switch,” says Michael Moser, at DSAG working as a specialist for production and supply chain management, the current state of affairs.

The user representatives understandably demand that the successor products in the cloud for the areas of production and supply chain management meet the same functional requirements as their predecessors. “The maintenance extension for SAP MES and SAP MII not only gives the customer companies time, but also SAP itself to functionally strengthen its own cloud portfolio here,” explained Moser. A small drop of bitterness here: the manufacturer has not yet decided whether this will be part of the standard support or in the form of limited custom-specific support. It is obvious that DSAG prefers a maintenance extension as part of the standard support for reasons of investment protection.

The background: SAP ME – sometimes also referred to as MES (Manufacturing Execution System/Suite) – was introduced by the manufacturer as part of the Industry 4.0 concept. As the name underlines, this is a system for the central control system in production. It forms the link between the control centers of the production lines and the higher-level operational applications (ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning, PPS – production planning and control).

In turn, SAP MII, as the central information hub, extracts data from different sources. The Java-based platform synchronizes production processes with business processes, vulgo MES with ERP. In addition, a number of monitoring, controlling and control options are provided here in order to optimize efficiency in production. Since the end of 2018, the Walldorf-based company has been trying to bring a manufacturing execution system including analysis and planning functions to customers as an SaaS offering with SAP DM and DMC.

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