The most recurrent SAP licensing challenges #2: SAP measuring tools & self-declaration products

SAP licensing USMM LAW

Any organization that is using software knows it. At some point the license usage needs to be measured and reported towards the software vendor. You can do this either voluntarily – and ensure a transparent relationship with the publisher – or the software vendor asks you to do it, usually as part of an audit. Generally, there are different methodologies to measure the deployment and usage of your programs. But we’ll look today at how you have to do it for SAP. SAP has its own tools that they use during the course of an audit. Yet they can also ask you to declare the actual use of some programs, the so-called self-declaration products.

SAP measuring tools: USMM and LAW

If you’re an SAP customer, you probably know about USMM, the SAP measurement program. If you’re new to SAP, the capacities of the tool can be explained in a few words. USMM creates reports that include the users and their license types. In addition, USMM measures the engines and delivers the exact value of their consumption. USSM can be used on any SAP system within the organization. However, it’s good to keep in mind that every system will have to be scanned individually.

Once the USMM reports are created, another tool comes into the picture: the LAW (License Administration Workbench) tool. The main utility of LAW is to prepare audit data for SAP by consolidating the reports from USMM on users and engines. Both USMM and LAW are only tools; they are prone to errors. This means that manual effort and specific knowledge is required to make sure you get correct measurement results.

Self-declaration products

Next to the SAP programs which can be measured by a tool, SAP has a number of programs in its portfolio for which the actual use cannot be measured technically. If you purchase such products, then – during the course of an audit – you’ll have to declare the actual use. For this you’ll receive a self-declaration file from SAP. This file is requested to be filled in with deployment and use information, depending on the contractually agreed license metric. This is typically applicable to enterprise metrics (e.g. number of employees, revenue, barrels of oil, etc.) and company metrics (e.g. users, employee files).

What we consider best practice and advise our customers to do is to keep track of their self-declaration products even more thoroughly than all the other programs. The reason is simple.  When there’s manual work involved, there’s also a higher chance to make mistakes. Especially if you have to declare something historically or if your company merged with another one.

What’s next?

Any time before the official audit letter lands on your desk is a good time to do an internal audit. This means you can start looking into your systems and check what programs and SAP engines you’re using. What users have access to those programs and if they have the right license. Our advice? Better start early. For any questions on how you can perform such internal audit, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Next week we’ll publish the last article in this mini-series: The most recurrent SAP licensing challenges #3: User classification. We’ll cover the way SAP defines its users and give tips on how to understand the user classifications.

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.