Tis’ The Season. SAP Licensing Audit Season, that is.
As things in the office are heating up in anticipation of the imminent 2013 year-end SAP Licensing Audit, many hard decisions lay ahead for Licensing Managers and CIOs, like reconciling all users and their corresponding licensing types, reassessing and evaluating the status-quo of licenses, and reallocating numerous licenses.
Use this handy checklist to make this excruciating process easier:
1. Start preparing now. Create a schedule containing all of your specific, attainable milestones. Tell your manager that much of your time and attention will need to be allocated for the upcoming audit. Pace yourself so you are set for your final deadline.
2. Do your homework. Find out your any rules your organization might have implemented in previous SAP audits. What worked, and what didn’t? Use this information to give yourself a leg up for your current audit.
3. Apply the Pareto principle.For large organizations running several SAP systems, use the 80–20 rule to determine which applications should be thoroughly inspected, scanned briefly or ignored completely. Due to overlap, you might just find that you have fewer systems to inspect than you thought.
4. Gather all the data. Don’t ignore certain users and/or license types. For instance, even though various user types, like “Communication” and “System” might not sound critical, usually such license types are for remote connections and should not be disregarded or mistakenly overlooked in the final report.
5. Select a method for combining usernames. Unless your contract specifies otherwise, the SAP licensing model permits employees to hold several usernames within the organizational SAP systems, so it’s important to combine varying usernames and link them to the specific employee. For example, combine “JOHNS” in the ERP system and “JOHNSM” in the CRM system – linking both usernames to the employee John Smith who works in Finance. This can be a complicated and tedious task, which inevitably leaves a huge margin of error. Best to manage this process via automated software.
6. Classify users by the right licensing type. If you think that SAP’s detailed instructions on how to produce an audit report is sufficient, think again. SAP indeed describes how to create the report, but classifying users to the right licensing type – the essence of licensing costs – is not addressed in the instructions from SAP.
7. Never classify users to license types according to their granted authorizations. If you do this, you are classifying them based on responsibilities rather than de-facto usage. Most employees do not use all functions granted to them. In fact, on average they utilize only 7% of their granted authorizations!
8. Analyze a sufficient amount of data. Examine three month’s worth of data at minimum. The more data you analyze, the more accurate your conclusions will be. In most cases the recommended period for analysis is one year.
9. Analyze user activity. Several users and activities, such as SAP*, DDIC and EARLYWATCH, are preconfigured by SAP and should not go into your tally. If you do not pay attention, you are taking into account avoidable users! Consider classifying these preconfigured users as license type “Test” to avoid counting them unnecessarily.
10. Remember the engines. SAP licensing is based on license-per-user, as well as software engines. Payment for software engines is calculated according to usage; assess which engines are really being used to ensure that your company is paying for only the necessary ones.