The most recurrent SAP licensing challenges #1: SAP engines & SAP notes
Buying software products for a large organization is the easiest thing to do – said no one ever. Actually, the buying part is not that complicated. Making sure you get the right licenses, with the right terms and conditions and for the right amount of users is when it gets complicated. That’s where the struggle begins for many organizations. Now add specific licensing conditions, packages, classifications or tools and you have a great recipe for confusion. That’s the case for most software vendors, and SAP is no exception.
Many of our customers started to work with us on SAP engagements after they asked what seemed to be just a simple question: “How do I license the new SAP engines?” or “Do I really need to implement the SAP notes?”. One question led to another and most of the times an in depth analysis needed to be performed in order to establish the compliance position.
If you had the same questions at some point or you’re considering purchasing SAP software, our advice is to seek specialist support. It can be by hiring an in-house SAP specialist or working together with a SAM service provider that has the knowledge you need. Before getting there, let us try to answer in a few words the questions above.
SAP engines or “packages” are optional applications that you can purchase in addition to your named user licenses. They are licensed on different metrics and the price you’ll pay is based on the specific metric of the package you’re buying. Being a tiered pricing model, the more you buy, the cheaper it gets. For example, you purchased SAP’s invoice management software, for which the metric is invoices, sold in blocks of 500 units. Usually, you’ll buy a few blocks of units. That means you’re entitled to use the software up to the number of entitlements included. Let’s say you bought 500 blocks – this means you can process 250.000 invoices. However, no one will stop you to process more invoices. And if you don’t pay attention, you’ll find yourself in a non-compliance situation for unlicensed use. If this happens, and you are confronted with an audit, you’ll have to pay the full list price.
SAP notes are the technical updates meant to fix errors or to prevent errors to occur in an end user’s system. For every engine, a number of different notes are created.
A question we often hear is: who is responsible to implement these notes? The answer is simple: you. When your license measurements are not executed properly it means you’re exposed to non-compliance. Hence, you should be always up to date with what happens in your SAP systems, and proactively search and implement SAP notes correctly.
What can you do?
Licensing SAP can seem scary. But it doesn’t have to be. When you have the right knowledge and support, everything can run smoothly, and you don’t have to worry about non-compliance. “Be proactive” is our mantra and we can’t stress this enough. If you want to have a conversation with our specialists and assess your situation, feel free to reach out.
This is the first article in the mini-series around “The most recurrent SAP licensing challenges”. We’ll continue next week, by covering another challenge we’ve seen at customers: SAP measuring tools & self-declaration products. Stay close to learn more about what can go wrong when the measuring is executed on your SAP systems and why the self-declaration products can sometimes be a hassle.
At the end of the series you can download an extensive whitepaper covering the challenges discussed in the articles and suggestions on how to address them.
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.