By John Emmitt
In a recent Gartner research report-- Plan Your SAP License Audit to Eliminate Surprises, analysts Lori Samolsky and Victoria Barber identify a number of SAP license management challenges and provide some guidance for addressing both SAP self-audits and formal software audits. Gartner survey data indicates that SAP audits have increased from 7% of respondents in 2009, to 19% in 2012. And, SAP is now in the top five list of software vendors that perform the most software license audits.
One of the key challenges they identify is: "Some Software Asset Managers struggle to understand how license usage reports are generated through SAP's License Administration Workbench (LAW) tool and find it difficult to validate compliance with license entitlements due to vague metric definitions and documentation." The report goes on to say that: "The functional entitlements in the user license metrics and usage rights vary significantly depending on which bundle was purchased and when." From our perspective, this leads to the requirement to have processes and tools in place that can accurately track your SAP license entitlements and help you allocate the most appropriate named user license type to each user based on detailed usage analysis.
In addition to these difficulties around named user licensing, SAP package licensing can be challenging as well. As noted in this earlier blog (Seeing the Bigger Picture of SAP Licensing), package measurements are run during a system measurement (transaction USMM), but it is very difficult to make use of this information. Some packages do not support this reporting mechanism and others return many values, which makes it difficult to determine a single license consumption figure. Your SAP license management tool should be able to run package measurements independently of performing a system measurement, and be able to calculate a single license consumption value for each package.
One of the drivers for the increased SAP audit activity is an apparent shift in the vendor's treatment of indirect access scenarios where the SAP system is accessed via a third party application or user interface. SAP has been taking a harder line on enforcing indirect access licensing requirements and this means many customers are paying for additional SAP named user licenses for this use case. (See these previous blogs on the topic: SAP—the Poster Child for Indirect Access Licensing and Quantifying Indirect Access Software License Liabilities.) The previously mentioned SAP LAW consolidates system measurements from multiple SAP systems into a single LAW report. But, the resultant report does not include information about users accessing SAP through a non-SAP interface, even though these users require an SAP named user license.
Again, from Flexera Software's perspective, this increased focus on SAP indirect access licensing means that customers need to have the ability to import user and activity information from non-SAP systems into their license management tool, and incorporate this information when calculating their SAP named user license position.
In the Gartner report, the analysts lay out the steps required to address a formal SAP software audit, including:
Gather Proper Documentation-- including: Software contract entitlement by named user and packages/engines, current maintenance invoices/payments, etc.
Establishing Your Audit Evaluation Priorities-- across Named User and Package licenses
Evaluate Contractual Entitlements and Validate the Details
To learn more, please read the full Gartner report.