7 Things You Need to Know about SAP License Audits

7 Things You Need to Know about SAP License Audits

As per SAP Licensing terms, every SAP customer is required to submit their SAP License usage data on the last day of calendar year which is usually 31st Dec for many SAP customers. This License usage data can be collected then submitted to SAP Headquarters using SAP Transaction code USMM and SLAW.  SAP customers should be very cautious to submit the License usage data because once the data is submitted which becomes record of information. 

Then SAP analyzes the submitted License data with Customer's License contract then SAP decides to send an invoice if the customer has excessive License volume otherwise SAP will be silent if the customer's License volume is below the allowed License volume which means Customer is License compliant.

When customer receives Invoice for additional License charges then Customer has 2 choices. One option is to pay additional invoice. Other option is to contest the decision of SAP but many cases, the Customers will lose the battle because of complex SAP License terms which is always in favor of SAP.

When a customer contests SAP decision then SAP will send their License auditing team to the customer site at the expenses of Customer. SAP License auditing team will spend few days to weeks depending on auditing process on Customer's SAP Landscape which is billed to customer's account as per SAP Licensing terms. Once SAP confirms that their audit findings are in line with additional invoice then Customer has to pay License auditing cost PLUS additional License fee. Sometimes, Buying the additional Licenses at negotiated price will be cheaper than License auditing cost plus additional License fee.

If the customer still contests SAP decision, then Legal option is the only way but many SAP customers lost the battle because SAP License terms are so complex and written in favor of SAP. It is a tough battle to fight License dispute with SAP.

Hidden Truths about SAP License Usage data collection by USMM and SLAW

1) SAP requires Customers to submit yearly License usage data from all Production systems only.  Development, QA and Sandbox can be ignored with one exception such as ABAP Developers should be reported from entire SAP Landscape which also includes Development, QA and Sandbox. if an SAP customer does not submit their yearly License usage to SAP on their due date usually last day of calendar year, then SAP will send the License measurement request which cannot be ignored otherwise inviting for SAP License auditing.

2) USMM TCode is designed to count active Dialog users with customer assigned License type from valid price list. USMM TCode assigns expensive License type such as Professional License to SAP Users with blank License type (it can be assigned using SU01->License tab). So SAP Customer should make sure that every SAP user is assigned with a valid License type. If SAP customer assigns a wrong License type to users, then they will end up paying more License fee to those License types exceeding the allowed License volume especially expensive professional license type

3) USMM TCode will collect License usage data from ABAP systems only which excludes Java stack. Before running USMM TCode, Customer should make sure that they run the latest version of USMM TCode which could collect more License components than before which could put the customer out of License compliance risk due to these new measurements.

4) USMM and SLAW TCodes are designed to collect actual License usage data from every customer's SAP system which should not interpreted as a Software Asset management Tool (SAM). This won't optimize your License usage but costing you more if you don't optimize your License data. Example: - if a user is assigned with a Blank License type, then counted as an expensive Professional user without informing the SAP customer. It is SAP customer's responsibility to learn how USMM and SLAW TCodes are precisely functioning prior to submission of License usage to SAP otherwise customer will end up with buying additional License otherwise facing SAP License auditing.

5) USMM TCode collects various License usage data such as Named Users, Indirect Usage data, Managed Engines usage, Peak concurrent Logon sessions, Professional Users etc., Named Users License contributes 60+% of your License cost. Indirect usage data is still License chargeable that many SAP customers are not aware of. Indirect usage is very tricky part that customers can handle it with a right use case otherwise end up paying for indirect usage fee.

6) Once you submit the License usage to SAP, you will not hear anything from SAP. SAP could take months even year(s) to come back to SAP customer for License compliance issue.

7) SAP Licensing guide is very vague and do not give any License recommendation to SAP customer. Also, SAP License measurement is always not correct because it won't take into consideration of many license aspects such as casual users, duplicate users, terminated employees etc., Since the introduction of SAP S4 Hana, License definitions are greatly changed from legacy ECC to S4 Hana license which also includes Hana Database License.

So, if you don't optimize your License usage data prior to submission then you will be at the mercy of SAP when it comes to License compliance.

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