There is no point in paying for something you never use – or worse, using the wrong licence. Doing the bare minimum for SAP licence management is not enough
Many licence reports seem to be based on the basic consideration that “one installation equals one licence”, and in the case of desktop, on-site software, this may be true.
SAP requires customers to perform a yearly self-measurement using the SAP tools USMM and LAW. However, these tools are not designed to optimise your licence position; they simply measure what you currently have in your systems. Before using the SAP measurement tools, it makes sense to look at your user classification. Here, you can determine the licences of your users according to their usage.
There are a number of steps IT departments need to take to avoid making over-payments to SAP.
Only pay for what you use
First, never pass raw LAW (Licence Administration Workbench) reports to SAP in the hope that the software provider will optimise the findings for you.
LAW reports contain multiple usage records of many modules across a large enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. SAP will count each use of a module as a requirement for a separate licence. Be sure to optimise this before you hand over any data to SAP.
Clearly, it is good practice to make sure you only pay for licences for people who are employed at the company. You don’t pay wages for people who leave, so why continue to pay an SAP user licence fee?
A well-engaged joiners, movers and leavers process should help track licences against the employee lifecycle. Significantly, keeping track of staff should cover those people whose jobs change: people who roll off assignments that use SAP should have their licences recovered to a licence pool.
Again, it makes financial sense only to buy the products you use. In an SAP installation this means only using the licences you really need. It doesn’t make sense to throw out IT budget for bells and whistles modules.
When assessing licences, IT departments should be meticulous with the different use cases for SAP in the business. A typical use case may run as follows: “As a <insert job role here> I want to be able to <insert task here> so that I can complete <insert business activity here>.”
Aligning the technology behind these use cases should help to flush out which SAP technologies are essential for business operations, rather than simply nice to have.