SAP licensing optimization is always a complicated activity for many organizations. The various issues and/or problems faced in managing the SAP licenses makes it hard to stay compliant with the SAP agreements. More than 80% of businesses are struggling to maintain numbers correctly – they are either over or underutilizing their licensing assets.

To optimally use SAP licensing optimization, many business owners even utilize optimization techniques and automated solutions.

It is really possible to automate the SAP Licensing Audit? Can this be handled by Bots or readymade on-the-shelf solutions?

Sadly, most are using an immature optimization technique or solutions.

In this article, I am speaking about the most common myths of SAP licensing optimization, which may help you to understand more about the licensing optimization and the right ways to do it.

Myth 1: SAP Licenses Can Be Easily Optimized With applications developed using Bots/automation, or On-The-Shelf Solutions

It is highly impossible. To be precise, no solution on this earth can automate licensing optimization. They can only give a report, but cannot tell you the effective utilization or give exact recommendations. Please note, no two licensing contracts speak the same terms.

Myth # 2: “Maintain” Access Is Always Professional and “Display” Is Always Limited Professional

No licensing agreement/document says that “Maintain” is Professional and “Display” is Limited Professional or Employee type. It is just an assumption. Read through a few of your own contracts and surprisingly you may notice that a Limited Professional user can perform postings, and create activities too.

Myth # 3: My Roles Are Correctly Maintained, and the Licensing Assignment Is Carried Out According To the Role Assignment

90% of the organizations base their SLAW or USMM report based on the roles maintained and assigned to the users. Please note the LAW report should be uploaded based on what the users are executing, and not on the assignment. Maintaining the role structure according to the SoD guidelines and dividing them at the task level is always good, but it is nnot at all relevant from a licensing perspective.

Myth # 4: In the Previous Audit, the Available Vs Utilized Licenses Were Adjusted and Handled!

Do you think this will suffice? As mentioned above, the licensing assignment is always based on usage and not on the assignment. Hence, the optimization results can be different from month to month. Submitting your USMM report based on last audit outcomes is never a recommended way!

Myth # 5: We Purchased A Solution Which Helped Us Adjust The Users Across Our System. The Delivered Report Was Correct!

Please note, SAP Licensing Optimization involves a lot of manual activity. No on-the-shelf software can automate this process. If you have a software vendor who can do the licensing audit with bots, then you have to re-think. A typical process of Licensing Audit or Optimization starts with contract review, and then the optimization rule definition. If you are still in an assumption that the report is correct, I strongly suggest you go back and talk to the provider. Identify where it went wrong.

Myth # 6: You Don’t Have To Worry About Indirect Usage With SAP Process Integration Or Process Orchestration Systems

This is absolutely wrong. PI/PO systems act as a middleware system and any external connectivity is considered as “Digital access”. I suggest you visit the SAP new licensing policy. Visit this link.

Myth # 7: Our Last Licensing Audit Was Just A Year Ago. I Don’t Need Another One Now!

As mentioned, optimization report results can be different from month to month. It is highly recommended to do the audit at least once a year before you submit your Licensing (USMM or LAW) report to SAP. This can be either manual or automated using some of the tools.

Conclusion – It is quite evident that Licensing optimization is required at least once in a year, and should be performed with the right optimization rules. Using the readymade solutions will just add up additional costs and will not save you anything. Evaluate a solution that is the best fit for your requirements. No two licensing contracts are the same, and similarly, no two solutions can be the same.