“You are probably referring to the change in maintenance phases for older releases -- R/3 4.6c, R/3 4.7, ERP 2004 (ECC 5.0) -- that is scheduled for March of 2013. SAP does not end maintenance, but customers on these older versions enter Customer Specific Maintenance. This is somewhat similar to what Oracle does, under the company’s Sustaining Support program. During customer-specific maintenance, the following restrictions in the scope of service apply:
No delivery of legal changes
No delivery of Support Packages
No guarantee for technological updates, for example:
No new kernel versions for the support of new database versions and operating system versions
No new patches for non-ABAP components (for example, Java patches or front-end patches)
In some cases no direct upgrade to a current release. In this case, the upgrade to a current release must be performed in several steps.
No support of new interfaces
Processing of problems is customer-specific. This means that for known problems, the solution of problems is still covered by the maintenance. However, the customer may have to pay for the expense of solving new problems not yet known to SAP. This applies to customer-specific enhancements in particular.
The service level agreements (SLAs) for initial response times and corrective measures are no longer delivered.
The remote support for the evaluation of the latest Enhancement Package is no longer provided."
“UNIT4’s ‘Route 66’ user independence strategy of releasing new “Milestones” for its Agresso Business World (ABW) ERP solution follows the following maintenance schedule:
Every milestone is supported for three years
Experience packs are relying on a particular milestone – and therefore also typically have a three year life-span
Fact is that it doesn't require a big budget to go from one Agresso release to the next, and competitively, UNIT4 upgrades are a fraction of the cost of a similar actions with competitors, which we frequently told prospects are priced at $100,000 – $1 million or more. UNIT4 release upgrades, due to the underlying strength/capabilities of the VITA architecture are often done internally by our customers’ IT departments, and when contracted externally, typically run $10,000 – $50,000; a fraction of typical SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle, or similar upgrades. For both UNIT4 Agresso and CODA financials, there is never a requirement to completely re-implement, as we have been told by various analysts and prospects that is the norm for our competitors.”