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CORRECTED-Germany's SAP promises to support flagship platform until 2040

(Corrects FEB 4 story to describe S/4HANA as a platform, not a database, in headline, paragraph 1)

BERLIN, Feb 4 (Reuters) - German software group SAP said on Tuesday it would provide support until 2040 for its flagship S/4HANA platform, a move that users in its home market and the United States said would give them more confidence to upgrade.

SAP said it would also provide maintenance for its legacy Business Suite 7 software until 2027, two years longer than previously indicated, followed by optional extended maintenance until the end of 2030.

The move addresses concerns that clients running SAP’s legacy business software could find themselves under pressure to undertake complex system overhauls that might not pay for themselves before the next upgrade cycle kicks in.

“Our customers show us that SAP S/4HANA is their future direction and that they expect a long-term commitment from SAP to this platform,” said Christian Klein, who has shared CEO duties with Jennifer Morgan since last October.

S/4HANA is the latest version of the data engine that underpins SAP’s business apps, with 13,800 customers choosing to install it. Walldorf-based SAP serves a total of more than 440,000 clients in 180 countries around the world.

“I don’t want SAP customers to see this as a reprieve and delay making any important decisions on their futures,” said Geoff Scott, CEO of U.S. user group ASUG.

“If you’re already started on your S/4HANA move - keep going. If you’re thinking about moving - get started.”

The extension was also welcomed by the German-speaking SAP user group DSAG, which had complained that mothballing the Business Suite in 2025 would leave businesses too little time to make their systems ready for the digital age.

“With this, customers are getting the room for manoeuvre they need to intensively and holistically address their digital transformation and recognise the chances and innovations they need to succeed in future,” the DSAG said in a statement. (Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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