Manually monitoring SAP licenses took five to six people from our business units and internal IT department. This was quite difficult as each business unit was managing the user IDs themselves. As a result, there wasn’t a method for tracking the number of user IDs and we had to perform regular system measurements to get an idea of the real situation.
Klaus Kivelä, IT Manager

Wihuri gains control of its SAP licenses with Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software.


Wihuri is an international Finnish industry and trade conglomerate that operates four business divisions in packaging, daily goods wholesale operations, technical trade and Wihuri aviation. Wihuri employs approximately 5,000 people and operates in 34 countries. During its 110-year history, Wihuri has grown from a small family business into a diversified global enterprise.

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Challenges & Opportunities

With 2,000 SAP Software users across the business, Wihuri needed high levels of optimization and insight for reallocating unused licenses and informing future purchases.

With a total of 2,000 SAP Software users across the business, including up to 200 external consultants with 180 user IDs, ensuring there are no idle SAP licenses is a high priority for Wihuri. As staff changed roles their license requirements often changed as well, but keeping track of their usage was challenging. Similarly, as employees left the business, identifying and reallocating their dormant licenses took too long and so new licenses may have been purchased unnecessarily.

Wihuri’s objective is to ensure that licenses are monitored and reallocated wherever possible, on an ongoing basis. Optimization and higher levels of insight are the primary business drivers behind the implementation of Snow Optimizer for SAP Software. Before implementing it, Wihuri did not have the resources to decide on the correct licenses, instead, the company manually managed and cleaned up SAP licenses in the database. This was time consuming and laborious, leaving room for human error.


The SAP deployment runs across all four business units, and licenses are administered independently. After installing Snow Optimizer for SAP Software, each business unit identified a significant number of users in the wrong license category, and a further amount that had left the company. Of the licenses allocated to the external contractors, over a third (39 per cent) were idle, having not logged in for two months or more.

This insight enables Wihuri to match its SAP licensing to actual needs. It reallocates unused licenses and as result will need to buy fewer professional licenses in 2017. Where there are new users with lesser requirements from its SAP systems, Wihuri can buy optimal and often cheaper licenses – a big change from the previous process where many users had expensive professional licenses. Additionally, this prevents unintended overspend and puts the SAP administration team firmly in the driving seat when it comes to managing the SAP licenses across the conglomerate.

Snow Optimizer for SAP Software also enables Klaus and his teams to speed up and verify the monthly system measurements that it used to carry out manually. Monitoring these measurements monthly helps Wihuri spot the overuse of licenses early on. Combined with the identification of dormant user IDs, Wihuri can reallocate unused licenses where needed to ensure compliance with its licensing structure. The accurate usage data provided by the solution puts Wihuri at a strategic advantage when carrying out its annual system measurement (LAW) required by SAP.

Impact & Results

Using Snow Optimizer for SAP Software, Wihuri is able to successfully optimize and reallocate licenses.

Having taken control of software licensing, Wihuri is now in the process of moving its SAP systems to HANA databases and the next step will be to transition to S/4HANA. There’s monetary value in doing this. This transition will provide Wihuri with an opportunity to lower its cost whilst negotiating deals for licenses that best suit its business needs. Snow Optimizer for SAP Software is already helping Wihuri in its contract negotiations with SAP.