Global semiconductor manufacturer gains 100% visibility into SAP, increasing productivity within its IT department and saving several million euros.
- Customer: Global semiconductor company
- Industry: Manufacturing
- Employees: Over 10,000
- Product: Snow Optimizer for SAP Software
- Several million euros total cost avoidance
- 1 week to implement, gain visibility and realize value
- 1 hour to complete monthly review
Challenges & Opportunities
Proactively managing SAP licenses is an ongoing challenge for many organizations, but particularly so for a global semiconductor manufacturer that had been through a host of acquisitions before landing on its own as a carve-out from the larger parent company. The pace of corporate change left the IT team with a complex SAP system that was more than 20 years old with over 1,500 users.
The team had several challenges. First, the new company was growing much more quickly than anticipated, and they needed better visibility to understand how many users were being added to SAP since local admins were often granting access and roles for software on their own. IT was also still managing through the carve-out, which left them with many users that still had licenses but were no longer part of the new organization. Yet they did not have all the resources they needed to solve these problems.
“It was a very difficult time,” said the company’s IT enterprise architect. “We came from a big mother company that had a centralized IT department, and very few people IT people came with us. We had to build up a team and establish all the competencies again.”
During the initial carve-out process, the team’s focus was navigating the change and keeping people productive. Soon, IT realized they needed a tool to ensure the right employees had access to the right technology, including SAP, which was one of their most significant IT costs.
The company brought in Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software, which quickly enabled them to manage all their SAP licenses in one centralized console.
“We were quite pleased with the implementation, which was completed by the Snow team with a little bit of support from our consultants,” said the enterprise architect. “It was up and running in a week, so very smooth.”
Then the team began automating critical processes. “We connected the identity and access management systems to SAP, so we knew when new employees were onboarded and in need of SAP access. Before that, the connection wasn’t there, and local admins were creating accounts and assigning roles without oversight.”
The data from Snow Optimizer also allowed IT to relay the full cost of licensing to leadership, who needed more accurate data to make the business case for granting new hires SAP access.
In addition to managing access, the ability to adjust existing SAP licenses was critical for controlling costs. With Snow Optimizer, the team could analyze how each employee was using the system and reclassify licenses, ensuring the company didn’t pay unnecessarily high rates for basic users.
Impact & Results
The company first implemented Snow Optimizer to avoid year-on-year SAP cost increases. The native SAP-certified solution provided IT with complete visibility of deployment, usage and licensing to maximize budget and save time, as well as minimize audit risk.
Coincidentally, shortly after implementing Snow Optimizer, SAP informed the company they were initiating an audit. Thanks to the visibility from Snow Optimizer, IT saw they had a compliance issue brewing. Entitlements weren’t being used appropriately and many users were misclassified with capabilities they didn’t actually need. Ahead of the audit, IT used Snow to appropriately classify their users based on real usage. This work generated a cost avoidance of several million euros equaling a 22% cost savings in license fees and an additional savings of €600,000 in unnecessary maintenance fees.
The company has continued to optimize spend by using Snow to automatically rightsize licenses. “We are not just changing classifications to make SAP less heavy – we can see the people that aren’t heavy users, and that is incredibly useful,” said the enterprise architect.
Snow Optimizer also freed up team members to pursue more strategic projects, eliminating the time spent compiling manual reports that were never 100% accurate due to the constantly changing environment. “Now we have a monthly review that can be accomplished in one hour. To do that manually took two to four weeks, so essentially it was a continuous process we were always working on.”
Ultimately, the biggest impact was one IT did not initially expect. The team now has the insight needed to prevent unpleasant surprises in the future.
“Many companies have been in the position we were in, where IT has to ask themselves, how am I going to tell my boss we are out of compliance?,” the enterprise architect explained. “With Snow Optimizer we have a solution that gives us full visibility, full control and a way to present everything to leadership. Being in control, having the insight to proactively address any issues, that has added the most value.”