Some asset management professionals consider SAP to have one of the most complex and confusing models of software licensing. Because of this high level of complexity, some customers may be paying excessive licensing fees. But when armed with metered usage information customers have power over their SAP licensing costs and can be in the driver’s seat when it comes to SAP licensing.
Here are a five steps to better manage SAP licensing costs:
1: Automate and Centralize
Automating and centralizing SAP usage data collection is the first step in understanding true license needs. The foundation for making efficient analysis of usage information is to have centrally collected data. There are SAP licensing management solutions such as the Open iT Optimizer for SAP® Licensing that can automatically collect and centralize usage data from different satellite systems. These solutions are particularly valuable to SAP customers in understanding the complexity of SAP licensing metrics. A comprehensive licensing management solution will save a significant amount of time and effort in consolidating all the information needed for analysis and optimization. With all usage data collected, the SAP customer is now ready to proceed to the next step.
The next step is eliminating inactive user accounts, which can really have a big impact in optimizing licensing costs. SAP customers need to monitor the usage habits of their users to identify who are not utilizing the system so that their licenses can be freed. This process should be done periodically. Some solutions automate this process by allowing the customer to set a threshold and receive alerts when the threshold is reached. For example, if a user is logging to the system for only less than 3 times a month, the administrator will receive an e-mail alert.
Another approach to reducing duplicate licenses is to combine all user accounts of the same employee between different systems to a single employee record. This should be done carefully to ensure compliance. Some solutions offer sophisticated methods in accurately combining user names.
Always classify the user under a license type because if the administer does not assign a license type to a user, SAP automatically designates them as “Professional User” regardless of their authority, level and type of activity. However, it is also crucial to classify each user according to the most appropriate license type. There are many ways to do this based on unique criteria, such as the amount of activity or “dialog steps” and the number of different activities that the user performs. These two criteria are the quickest methods of classifying SAP license type. However, the method closest to the SAP definition is to classify users based on the type of activity that the user performs. Basically, this means that users performing more important type of activities should have the higher level license. Effective SAP license management solutions can simulate different combinations of these attributes and allow administrators to see the most appropriate and cost-effective approach.
Finally, use a capability like the Usage Trend tool in the Open iT Optimizer for SAP® Licensing for planning future procurement. License optimization should be a continuous process. An efficient strategy, together with tools that intelligently handle license inventory and predict licensing expenditures, is vital in achieving SAP license cost optimization.
SAP licensing may be a challenge for SAP customers. However SAP licensing can be cost-effectively managed with an automated management solution that centralizes data usage, identifies underutilized and duplicate licenses, intelligently classifies users to appropriate license types and facilitates the determination of future procurement requirements.
Open iT Optimizer for SAP® Licensing is a powerful and complete solution to effectively control an organization’s SAP license usage and efficiently manage SAP licensing costs.
Learn more about Open iT Optimizer for SAP® Licensing. Start metering today.