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SAP Licensing Compliance – growing complexity with other IT assets

By Axel Kling | May 27, 2014

SAP deployments are often managed separately from much of the rest of the IT spending. 

It is not uncommon for the budgeting, oversight and management to be in the hands of an autonomous group. Increasingly, however, the interaction with other applications –bespoke and third-party, cloud and premise-based – are causing SAP licensing compliance issues – witnessed by the growing number of organizations being subjected to (and having to pay out following) audits by the software vendor.  

Going forward, we believe it is important that SAP licensing and optimization become part of the broader Software Asset Management (SAM) efforts across the enterprise. The need for this co-operation is highlighted by important business initiatives such as the deployment of a Salesforce CRM roll-out.  For Salesforce to have maximum leverage, it should be able to access the SAP ERP data, such as the customer and their order history. 

But for a Salesforce user to access the SAP data, they must have a properly compliant SAP license or an indirect access violation will occur. And that creates a potentially-costly compliance issue. Snow Software, with new Snow SAP Optimizer solution, can now bring a holistic picture of each user in an enterprise, and determine, for example, if a Salesforce user has the proper SAP license or if one is required. 

Given SAP is widely acknowledged as a top-five auditor, monitoring this compliance in a near real-time basis with Snow is a necessity for global enterprises. Another example of interdependency is SAP and Oracle.  In many cases, when a SAP user license is purchased, so too is an Oracle database license. 

When purchasing SAP software, many enterprises opt to automatically include an Oracle Application Specific Full Use (ASFU) license which works only with SAP.   Looking at the enterprise usage changes over the last decade, and given larger enterprises are running a wider range of applications than ever; it may well make sense to shift from the the Oracle ASFU  license to  a separate enterprise or named agreement. However, this can only really be determined when SAP and Oracle licenses are viewed not in isolation, but as part of the wider SAM initiative. 

By choosing a SAM platform that is both fully-capable of managing individual software vendor’s licensing conditions and also aggregating licensing data for multiple vendors, enterprises are much more likely to both conduct more effective governance as well as realize significant cost savings across the software estate.

Learn more about Snow SAP Optimizer here

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