How SAP Software defines Proof of Entitlement
Software audit reviews are not a secret to anyone and every large organization has at least one per year or even one per year per vendor. In the case of SAP, its audits are performed, on average, on an annual basis, so if you’re using SAP programs, you most probably will face or already faced an SAP audit this year.
Obviously, end users want to ensure software license compliance and want to protect themselves for unbudgeted license and/or support fees. In order to do so, they need to put the necessary efforts to gather, administer, maintain and understand their effective license entitlement position. This also helps to understand the terms and conditions they need to comply with and to remain in compliance. As a standard procedure, an end user typically starts with a first framework agreement, while appendices and amendments are added for every single transaction. These may however include conflicting terms.
The contractual documentation and/or sources of information that should be taken into account to have an effective license position include both offline and online sources relevant to ensure your Proof of Entitlement is up to date.
Offline Proof of Entitlement data
- Order Forms (OF) – the document through which the licenses and/or services are purchased. This document is governed by terms and conditions of the end user license agreement (EULA).
- End User License Agreement (EULA) – the document that specifies the general terms and conditions under which the licenses and/or services are purchased. The End User License Agreement is applicable to customers receiving SAP solutions from an SAP Partner, but holding a direct contract with SAP for licensing or maintenance/support.
- Amendments – this document includes any amendments being made on the original/standard end user license agreement.
- General Terms & Conditions (GTC) – contractual terms for licensing SAP cloud, software and service offerings with SAP directly. This document includes the specific usage rights and includes provisions with regards to Customer Data, Warranties, Confidentiality and Limitation of Liabilities.
- Supplemental Terms and Conditions – supplemental terms and conditions (“the Supplement”) are part of an agreement for certain SAP Cloud services (“Agreement”) between SAP and Customer and apply solely to SAP Cloud for Customer (the “Cloud Service”) and not any other SAP product or service.
- SAP Product Support Schedule – this document specifies the provision of support services by SAP for all software licensed under an Agreement. It defines what specific versions of the software an end user is entitled to make use of, the conditions under which the support is offered, the products included in that support contract, the services provided, the period for which the support is being paid and the financial fees paid for each of the products.
- Service Level Agreement for SAP Cloud Services – this document specifies the agreed system availability of the applicable “Cloud Services” to which an end user has subscribed. This Service Level Agreement for SAP Cloud Services shall not apply to any SAP Cloud Service for which a System Availability service level is explicitly set forth in the applicable Supplemental Terms and Conditions for such SAP Cloud Service or for which the applicability of service levels is explicitly excluded in the Agreement.
- Product Specific License Terms – Sybase programs are subject to certain product-specific terms that are incorporated by reference into a customer’s software license agreements.
- Transfer Agreement – this document specifies an assignment of licenses from one legal entity to another legal entity.
- Termination Letter – this document is used and specifies, if and when there is a desire between both the end user and SAP to terminate a number of licenses.
- SAP price list – besides prices, metrics and the minimum quantity that has to be licensed for SAP products, the price list also contains information on prerequisites (products that are required to be licensed before licensing certain products) and licensing rules.
- Software User Rights – the most complete document that SAP provides to its customers, in terms of licensing principles, specific terms and use rules, metric definitions, restrictions and included components for different products.
Online Proof of Entitlement data
Besides the private (offline) proof of entitlement data, SAP also provides Proof of Entitlement on an online portal – SAP Support Portal, which can be accessed based on unique credentials. Though the information on the portal is only accessible to SAP portal users and not quite public, it is generally applicable to all customers, unlike the private Proof of Entitlement that is personalized and unique for each customer.
The most important data that you should be aware of, available on the SAP Support Portal, is presented below:
- Product Availability Matrix – document that provides information on planned availability for SAP products, maintenance duration, upgrade paths and platform (database and operating systems) availability.
- SAP Program Documentation – includes the technical manual(s), user manual(s) or other instruction manual(s) that explains the deployment and use of a software product.
- SAP Release and Maintenance Strategy – this document provides an overview on the release and maintenance strategy of SAP for customers and partners, structured by on premise, cloud and mobile.
- SAP Notes – is a repository of notifications on the SAP Support Portal regarding different areas from system issues, security or legal change.
- System Measurement Guide – SAP software contains measurement tools that help all systems produce the information necessary for determining usage of the SAP software. SAP System Measurement Guide describes the procedure for a license audit and how to use SAP measurement tools.
From a measurement perspective, SAP ensures transactions such as USMM to measure all user types of all SAP price lists and software engines, such as Human Resources, and License Administration Workbench, LAW 2.0 transaction SLAW2 for central consolidation of all measurement results.
Additionally, SAP Portal provides a section dedicated to products licensed on technically non-measurable metrics such as Revenue, Number of Employees and so on. This section contains guidelines and instructions on how to get the numbers, as per your metric definitions.
On the other hand, what is surprisingly missing from both offline and online SAP resources, are indications on how to cope with the indirect access risks and how to avoid it.
Indirect Access has been a hot topic in 2017 and most of the SAP customers are willing to avoid the risk of non-compliance. However, there are no straight-forward guidelines customers can follow to walk out of the grey area of indirect usage.
Since 2015, Roxana is a Software Entitlement Specialist focused on educating clients on licensing issues with Oracle, SAP and Microsoft. In her role, she works with customers to assist them in understanding and improving their software environment by reviewing their software license agreements and provide them advice regarding legal and financial risks. With a legal background, she also helps customers identify legal weaknesses in their contracts and optimize them.