SAP licensing is complex!
SAP knows this and has produced this pdf that explains some of the complexities. What you might not know, is what you can do about it. Below, why SAP compliance can be so tricky, the potential impact on your business, 'SAP License Optimization' or 'SAP License Management,' and what steps you can take to mitigate the risks, will be explored in detail.
The Underlying Issues
- It starts with your SAP contract. It's all negotiated thoroughly, reviewed diligently, and signed based firmly on what you expect you'll be doing. Then after an 18-month implementation project, turns out you use SAP differently.
- As well as your usage of SAP, there's also potentially indirect license usage with your B2B partners. Maybe a logistics provider? They need indirect access to parts of the system you might not have factored in.
- Do you have a B2C portal? There are systems where a customer action calls a specific transaction, beyond the scope of the SAP contract. The global population is a rather large number of potentially huge 'users'. Especially if none of them buy anything.
- Your procurement manager leaves, removing the person that knew the ins and outs of your SAP contract.
- As your SAP implementation has been completed, your SAP PM has moved on. They were overkill for BAU and they needed a new challenge. Was SAP licensing discussed during the handover?
First and foremost, it could cost you a lot of money. SAP could be entitled to millions of Euros, Dollars, Sterling, whatever you deal in. Significant time and effort is also likely, from a whole range of your most valuable and stretched resources. Other impacts include reputation, relationships with SAP, disruption to service, and disgruntled employees. But let’s look at how to avoid all this.
As you can probably appreciate, you're not alone. There are many companies out there who provide help in this area. 'SAP License Optimization', 'SAP License Management' or samQ. They're very good at what they do, have a great eye for detail, and have a real appreciation for the SAP market. However, they do speak a somewhat 'nuanced' language which can be difficult for the layman to understand.
SAP Licensing can get out of control before you've ever gone live. Without corrective action, this could lead to bills in the millions and other big issues. You're not alone though, there are many customers in this situation. There are also people out there to help - just search for SAP License Management or Optimization and you'll find them. If you want to make a start on your own, following the 5 steps above you will help you regain control.
There are also people out there to help - just search for SAP License Management or Optimization and you'll find them. If you want to make a start on your own, following the 5 steps above you will help you regain control.