Are you confident to submit your measurement data to SAP?
In a previous article we covered SAP audits: why and when they take place, how you can navigate them and how you can make sure that you are compliant. In today’s article we will go into details on the measurement data submission. Do you know why you need to measure and submit your data towards SAP? Do you know what the measurement represents and what impact shared data might have on your compliance position?
The reason why you need to issue the measurement results to SAP is because SAP is auditing you. Prior to that, you need to measure your relevant data requested by SAP.
When SAP is asking you to submit the measurement results, you should be aware that it’s your responsibility to submit correct results.
It is up to you to make sure that the measurement output provides a real picture of your software consumption. In order to achieve this, we always recommend in-depth internal review of the generated measurement before sharing it with SAP. In this article, we will present the areas of the assessment that you should carry out prior handling over the measurement data to SAP. Only the appropriate assessment will give you the understanding of what software consumption you have, resulting in placing you in the confident position when handing over your data to SAP.
Am I using the right tools?
The first to be reviewed are the tools you use to perform the measurement. USMM is the program measurement that SAP customers have to use in order to measure data to report back to SAP. Although a mandatory tool to use in this process, it’s not the only one. But if it provides details on the number of users and their types, why should you use anything else?
Let’s have a look at what USMM does and doesn’t provide. On one hand, USMM provides the number of users and their user types and engines.
On the other hand, USMM does not recognize if the same users are classified on multiple systems, for example: if a user is classified as “SAP Application Employee” on the system ABC and as “SAP Application Professional” on the system XYZ, the USMM program measurement will not be able to recognize that this is the same user.
According to SAP licensing principles, specific user types include other user types (e.g.: professional user includes employee user type). There could also be specific agreements with regards to limited professional and other user types that have been individually customized for you. But as a default, there is a user classification pyramid where the “cheaper”, with lesser rights, are included in those that have more user rights and are more expensive.
In the example above, the “employee” user is included in the “professional” user type. This is something that USMM does not recognize. It can see that there are two users but does not recognize that it is the same person, and it cannot recognize the license type either. If you were to deliver only this output to SAP, SAP would count this as both a “professional” and an “employee” – therefore, you would need to have two different licenses. In order to determine the users that are classified on both systems and to understand the user rights pyramid you need the License Administration Workbench tool (LAW). LAW’s main purpose is to remove multiple counting of the same users (duplicates). As SAP refers to the utilization of this tool as “recommendation”, often end users unfortunately don’t use it.
How to understand engine measurement?
We often heard from customers how the engines’ measurement is technically complicated. Most of the customers don’t know how to verify the engine measurement or understand what the measurement data stand for. As referred by SAP, engines are known as packages or products that relate to specific industries (e.g.: payroll engine). Indeed, engines’ measurement is quite technical. Their measurement is based on the designated metrics that is being pulled by the USMM program. On the top of it, there are hundreds of engines that the USMM program can measure. SAP engines are challenging and require in-depth knowledge, therefore you need to be aware that:
- Depending on your installed features (components), engine results might provide a false data.
- Some engines might be measured by the USMM program, but they could be not used at all.
- Engine results might be measured on a different metric than the metric agreed in your license entitlement.
- Some engines could be used actively but might not be measured.
All of the above can lead to the falsely created over usage of the product, resulting in the risk of financial exposure, or inaccurate estimation of the shelfware.
To be in control of your engines’ consumption, make sure you have an “in house” technical person, with understanding of SAP licensing, who can monitor engine measurement behavior and knows how to fix possible issues.
Is your user classification correct?
SAP user classification is referred to by some as a “Pandora Box”, and therefore it must be reviewed before providing data to SAP. All your users should be classified according to your contractual agreement and SAP directives in this regard. This is not an easy task because often the contracts contain only generic users’ description. On the top of it, there are technical aspects related to understanding users’ authorizations, assigned roles and profiles vs. executed tasks and activities.
If there are no clear processes in your organization on how your users are classified, make sure to change it. Below are a few steps that can be used as a starting point:
- Get a very good understanding of your SAP contracts
- Be aware of SAP user licensing principles and directives
- Review internally how the user classification was conducted so far
- Be on top of your user administration (e.g.: update correctly in the system the employees that are leaving the company, analyze multiple logons regularly, monitor working time of the users, etc.)
How can you make sure that you’re in control?
Being in control of your compliance situation is not a one-off task. You need to perform regular checks of your systems such as running USMM, analyzing the output and based on that decide what is needed (e.g.: user clean-up activities for inactive users, review working time to see if there are any expired users etc.). Besides this, you’ll need to have implemented processes that support compliance and educate the employees on what procedures they need to follow to make sure you keep your compliance position.
In short, to be in control you need to understand what is happening across your organization, have processes and structure in place and communicate with the SAP administrators in your company. By following these guidelines, you will be confident to submit the measurement to SAP, anytime SAP will request it from you.
All of this might seem overwhelming. The good thing is that there is no need to give in and let it overwhelm you. Looking at your needs on both short and long terms, you might conclude that having a specialist on your side to support you might be the best decision you can take.
If you want to understand how we can support you throughout the audit process with SAP or if you simply want to perform a measurement check to see what your compliance position is, feel free to reach out to us. We’ll set up a call and asses your situation.
Do you want to learn more on the topic? Join our webinar on November 4th. Register here.
This article was published on 13-10-2020
Anna has been working in the license management industry since 2011. For 8 years she worked as License Audit Specialist at SAP, where she was responsible for conducting the SAP license audits. In addition, she was performing the role of SAP Engine Expert, supporting products measurement queries from the customers worldwide. Anna joined B-lay in April 2019 and she uses her in-depth knowledge and expertise to help customers to optimize their software consumption.
Anna holds degrees in Business Studies and Humanities from the Universities of Cracow and Dublin.