Seeing the Bigger Picture of SAP Licensing

By Chris Hughes

SAP license optimization typically involves three main techniques:

  • Retire SAP user accounts that are not actively being used
  • Identify duplicate users not found by License Administration Workbench (LAW)
  • Allocate the optimal named user license type to SAP user accounts based on analysis of real usage data

While substantial cost savings can be realized using only these techniques, there are a number of other licensing issues which should be considered for an organization to achieve a complete and accurate picture of their SAP license compliance position. Ensure there are no costly surprises in a true-up or SAP software audit scenario by taking these into account:

Contract clauses – purchased counts and license ratios:
SAP contracts may contain a number of clauses which influence how named user license allocations should be made. Most SAP license management solutions do not consider these clauses when calculating their optimal named user license allocations, meaning that the resultant license position is either sub-optimal or in breach of the organization’s contract.

The optimal license position should not exceed the purchased count for any named user license type if that is avoidable. For example, if an organization has a surplus of Professional User licenses but their Limited Professional User licenses are being over-consumed, the surplus Professional User licenses should be used in place of some Limited Professional User licenses such that the resultant license position avoids over-consumption of any named user license type.

Some SAP contracts stipulate a minimum ratio of Professional User to Limited Professional User licenses. The optimal license position should avoid allocating more Limited Professional User licenses than the ratio allows, even if this means allocating a more expensive license type to ensure compliance with the contract. For a better understanding of potential cost savings relating to license ratios, I recommend this blog.

SAP Package licenses:
Package licenses represent a significant amount of SAP licensing spend for most organizations. Package measurements are run during a system measurement (transaction USMM), but it is very difficult to make use of this information. Some packages do not support this reporting mechanism and others return many values, which makes it difficult to determine a single license consumption figure.

Your SAP license management tool should be able to run package measurements independently of performing a system measurement, and be able to calculate a single license consumption value for each package. SAP license managers should have visibility into package license consumption at all times, to avoid costly surprises at true-up.

SAP Indirect access:
SAP LAW consolidates system measurements from multiple SAP systems into a single LAW report. The resultant report does not include information about users accessing SAP through a non-SAP interface, even though these users require an SAP named user license. This is what SAP refers to as ‘indirect access.’

SAP license managers should have the ability to import user and activity information from non-SAP systems, and incorporate this information when calculating their SAP named user license position. Advanced SAP license optimization tools should provide this capability.

These considerations provide visibility into aspects of SAP licensing that may otherwise be neglected. Can you risk not looking at the bigger picture?

To learn more, please view our on-demand webinar:  Lifting the Lid on SAP Licensing.



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