By Fiona Graham

A global customer was concerned they were not ready to complete an informed and successful SAP audit and contract negotiation because they had no visibility into their SAP license position. So was there enough time for them to prepare and work on this with scant resources?

The answer was yes. In fact, in my time working in SAP license management,   I have ran projects for small, medium and large SAP customers in timeframes ranging from three to 30 days.

The problem
Like the majority of SAP customers, the company was required to run LAW (License Administration Workbench), the SAP license audit tool. However, they had no personnel internally who had experience with this tool and therefore needed outside support for this.

Tackling the problem
As part of the consultant team, we collected, consolidated and optimised the company’s users, roles and SAP Computer Centre Management System (CCMS) data. We then consolidated and optimised the SAP named user license classifications based on actual usage and constraints of the contract. We also removed any idle users from this list.

The customer then updated the license data across countries and systems. We then setup the SAP LAW measurement and ran this across the whole license estate.

The customer met their audit obligations to SAP who reviewed and agreed with the results. The project was seen internally as a tremendous success and the operating companies are now being brought onto the network. The next step will be to introduce cross charging to the operating companies, a project which is high on the corporate agenda.

Finally, the customer successfully negotiated a four year deal with SAP that they were happy with. They now have the software license optimisation tools to monitor and control their software estate at all times, with all the information needed to make the best purchasing decisions going forward.
This is not an unfamiliar scenario. Flexera Software is often involved in projects where the customer has a SAP measurement coming up, a contract negotiation taking place, or they are still rolling out SAP and are buying more licenses. It is relatively straightforward to get a customer a position where they can ensure they are correctly using what they have bought .

However, SAP customers are facing an increasingly complex world where SAP license management, includes applications and license models that are the result of acquisitions. Customers are also seeing a growing need to identify indirect access usage and license accordingly. They also need to measure their SAP Packages correctly as SAP becomes a focus area of licensing.

Fiona Graham is the senior sales engineer of Flexera Software.