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The annual madness of the SAP license measurement – now plus licensing according to authorizations?

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By: Peter Rattey, Voquz

Every year the SAP license measurement leaves many SAP customers with sweat on their forehead. If you take a look at the latest developments, their stress level could even increase in the future. Up to now, licensing has mostly been based on the functions of the users. However, SAP would like to change that into licensing according to authorizations: In the future, the license type should result from the scope of functions that a user could use. We created a dialog for you to imagine how this scenario would look like:

From now on only licensing according to authorization?

The phone rings. John, SAP license manager at a pharmaceutical company picks up the phone. At the other end William, SAP license manager at the local hospital. After a quick “hello”, he briefly informs John that he heard that SAP users now have to be licensed according to authorizations. You can hear the panic in his voice: “How am I supposed to do that? How am I supposed to prove to SAP that only Employees have Employee roles? Within the last decades, an infinite number of self-developed customer codes have accumulated. The role assignment isn’t really transparent either. And anyway, who’s gonna do all the work?” A gigantic challenge piles up in front of William.

John can’t say anything, as William continues to complain without taking a breath: “My authorization concept is so rough, I can throw my cheap licenses right out of the window and buy a bag of Professional licenses! If I do that, I can pick up my dismissal papers at the personnel office right away, because my boss can’t afford a license manager anymore.”

Licensing based on activities vs. licensing according to authorizations

Finally John can place a short interposed question: “Where did you get this wisdom from? I still remember very well that I read that all users had to be properly licensed according to their activities before the system measurement – and that’s hard enough.” William briefly tells him the name of another license manager and immediately continues to scold: “I have two people here and they can hardly manage all the work. And Jason, the license manager of another clinic, recently paid a bunch of money – only because he was proven not to have used his industry licenses properly.”

It’s quiet at the other end and for a moment John fears that William has a heart attack. But then it goes on. “… now there’s this Indirect Access thing, some documents are counted … and every year new engines pop up and cause even more costs. My SAP sales representative said I should just switch to S/4HANA, then I wouldn’t have all the problems. Haha, I once calculated the additional hardware costs for the HANA databases – a migration would be my way to the personnel office, too.”

Have you ever thought about intelligent software?

With William’s words “No matter what I’ll do, the license costs will explode and my goose is cooked …” John finally finds the gap to reply: “Have you ever thought about using an intelligent software? John’s question extends the silence at the end of the line and he takes his chance:

“Some years ago SAP popped in and told us that we didn’t have enough Professional licenses. This assertion was simply generated from the fact that we haven’t done any subsequent purchases for a long time, even though our company had grown. In fact, we had grown, but for me that was no sufficient reason to buy 100 Professional licenses on suspicion. An e-mail promising automatic license optimization came to my mind – the tool was called samQ.

Just one phone call and we were able to test samQ directly in our system landscape. After the second remote session I could already see that we even had too many Professional licenses. But our self-service process, which we introduced last year, led to an increase in the number of users. Yes, I was missing licenses, but the ESS Employee Self Service license ultimately cost me 70€ per license. As a Professional license, this can cost a proud €2,400.

With this in mind, I went into the SAP negotiations. But SAP told me that I had to make sure that these users could really only do what they were authorized to. This meant licensing according to authorizations. For this purpose, samQ analyzed which transactions the ESS users could use and actually use, including the customer codes. These findings could now be passed on to the authorization team so the roles could be adapted accordingly.”

And what’s about Indirect Access?

“You also have to take care of Indirect Access! William was back in the discussion. “No, I don’t have to do this anymore! samQ collects the data for Indirect Access at the push of a button and makes it available as a download.” William was calm again. “This allows you to quickly determine where Indirect Access exists. The critical interfaces are entered in samQ so that the use is permanently monitored here. Problem solved.