When assessing your SAP licensing practice for optimization potential, manpower, time and money will always be a major concern. It takes a lot of personnel to ensure that you manage your license portfolio in compliance with your SAP contracts. It is a rather complex task due to different products, versions and the respective contractual documents. This often leads to frustration within the licensing team taking away their time and energy from other important projects. Therefore, a lot of companies that are looking to purchase a license optimization tool are not only looking to save money on their SAP costs, but also saving their team time and nerves.
Saving costs on SAP licenses and maintenance
However, reducing license costs is still a main goal for deploying an optimization tool. If you want to reduce your spending on your SAP software you have to understand what is creating them in the first place. The main cost factor are your named user licenses which are necessary for every person that works with your SAP products. So you should take a closer look at how those licenses are distribute. You want to make sure that you are not assigning an expensive license type with a wide range of permissions to a user who only views data.
Therefore, license distribution needs to be based on the actual usage behavior of your users. Find a tool that helps you gather and extract those usage information from all users in all respective SAP systems. Based on those information the tool should suggest the correct license type. All the information provided by the tool should then be consolidated and displayed in a structured way enabling you to easily prepare your negotiations with SAP.
However, in addition to named user licenses, SAP customers also pay for engine-use, industry-specific solutions, standard packages (contract figures, utilized payroll) or even special packages with payment plans determined by SAP.
With all this in mind, you should research whether the SAM tool you are looking to purchase will help you clarify the following questions:
- Which permission does a user have?
- Which functions does a user use? Which actions does he perform?
- How many and which licenses have been issued to the user?
- Which engines and packages are used?
- Is SAP data accessed directly, indirectly or in both ways?
- How long has the system been used?
4 requirements for choosing a SAP license optimization tool
The overall goal of using a license optimization tool is to permanently minimize compliance risks. This is done first by comparing authorizations, permissions, and usage rights with the collected usage data in order to ensure that each user is assigned the correct license type. Furthermore, it is equally important that the license management solution covers all users who access SAP indirectly. In addition to the usage data the tool must be able to process information and individual regulations from the license agreements (rights and permissions).
So, when choosing an effective license management tool you should always keep in mind four important requirements:
- The tool collects data of individual SAP users in order to determine the optimal license type for each user.
- The tool processes authorizations and usage rights according to the SAP license agreement. This will create a framework for the effective management of the named user licenses.
- The tool reduces compliance risks by (a) comparing authorizations, permissions and usage rights with the actual usage in order to assign users with the correct license type, and (b) detecting indirect use of SAP data in order to avoid unbudgeted penalty fees.
- The tool should help you to …
…assign users the optimal license type (preferably automatically and on a daily basis).
…identify unnecessary licenses and use them otherwise.
…identify duplicate users and/or users with multiple licenses.
…detect cases of indirect use.
By having an advanced license optimization tool integrated in your software asset management you will be able to better negotiate future purchases, because you have access to precise data about your usage and demand. This will allow you to avoid unnecessary purchases meaning long term-savings on purchasing and maintenance costs.