The spring approaches and for many companies it is the time for the annual SAP License Audit. The logic of License Audit is straightforward: classify your SAP users, execute the system measurement programs, consolidate the results from all systems and send the final list to SAP. Depending on the number of SAP systems and the users, the whole procedure can be executed in hours or just a few working days. On the other hand, the task can turn into a nightmare if the preparative work has not been done properly.
Let me introduce you to Mark. Mark is responsible for SAP authorizations in a middle-sized company running multiple SAP installations. During the years, the environment has grown as the company has purchased other companies and taken new SAP technology and functionalities into use. Mark has hard time to manage all running tasks and must split his working time on managing different issues and vendors on roll-outs, maintenance work and new development.
This year Mark finds himself responsible for SAP licence audit as well – the previous guy has resigned and left little documentation of the topic. Already busy with his other tasks, he decides to deal with the measurement a little later, there is four weeks’ notice on the measurement request so what is the hurry? One week before the deadline Mark starts to browse through the measurement documents but cannot get very far. What are all these installations SAP has asked them to measure? Mark recognizes some production systems but what are these strange ones he has never heard about, should he really measure them all?
Mark decides to start with the ones he does know about – there are not so many users in the development system so that is an easy start. As developer licenses are expensive, those must be monitored well. It does not take long before he bumps into the next problem. Who are all these guys Mark has never heard about?
There are even users with developer key who have never logged on to the system! In other systems Mark finds out similar issues: inactive users, locked but valid users, active users who have not been licensed… Many of the users who have been categorized have different licenses in each system where they exist and some of these categories should not even be used in this company. How is poor Mark able to decide which license all these users need? There are even many service users using mobile devices and cloud applications that access data in SAP, should those ones be licensed and how? Trying to decipher the license terms in the contract makes Mark even more confused.
After taking a deep sigh, Mark consults SAP basis team, service desk, project managers, IT service managers and supplier contract manager to help with all his questions. He has even managed to find someone who knows about BO licensing which turned out to be something completely different than the other systems he checked. Time is running out but luckily, Mark managed to negotiate two weeks more time from SAP to accomplish the task.
Eventually, Mark is ready to check the consolidated measurement before sending the results to SAP. He notices that there is tremendous growth in the number of professional users and strange numbers in other categories as well. Realizing he does not even know how many of each license they have purchased, Mark admits himself that he needs to go through the systems once again.
It took lots of time and effort to complete the license measurement for Mark’s company. What can be done to avoid the same happening for you? SAP licensing should not be a big one-time effort repeated once a year but an inseparable part of consistent user management processes. The list of measured SAP systems should be up-to-date and the correct price lists activated in all relevant clients. It should be clear how the different users relate to the user categories in your SAP contract, especially if you have users who access SAP data indirectly.
If you think you might end up being Mark, ask how we can help you!