SAP Licence Management

One Partner For All Your SAP Licensing Challenges

SAP’s licensing structures have changed more often than other vendors’, with usage rights updated on a quarterly basis. If your organisation has been with SAP for a long time, it can be difficult to work out the usage rights from what you had purchased years ago, leaving you at risk of exposure.

On top of the existing licence challenges, SAP has introduced a new ERP platform in S/4HANA, along with end-of-support dates for ERP Central Component (ECC), which raises system and licence migration considerations for SAP customers.

As an independent licence advisory firm, Invictus Partners can help you define your ERP roadmap, conduct scenario analysis on licensing, perform audit assessments, and assist with negotiation strategies to ensure you have the best SAP software and licensing models in place to enable your organisation to grow and evolve.

We commonly help SAP customers:

  • Assess their compliance position across the SAP portfolio (particularly with Indirect Access);
  • Define their ERP strategy and potential migration to S/4HANA;
  • Navigate the transition to a Third Party Maintenance (TPM) provider; and
  • Defend IP infringements and SAP contract violations.

SAP Software Licence Management services

Invictus Partners offers three SAP licence management services: SAP Licence Compliance Review, SAP Licence Audit Defence and SAP Negotiation Strategy.

SAP Licence Compliance Review

Invictus Partners’ SAP Licence Review identifies any licence compliance issues, designs remediation strategies specific to your organisation, and uncovers any potential cost savings across your SAP licence base. While SAP customers are required to perform a self-audit through the annual declaration process, this is not a comprehensive review of your entitlements versus usage and can give organisations a false sense of security when it comes to compliance. It is critical to understand your entitlements to mitigate any compliance exposure before submitting this data to SAP, as this can readily trigger an extended audit.

SAP Licence Audit Defence

SAP audits occur every one to two years and it is compulsory for clients to submit the information to SAP as stipulated in the EULA. While these are fairly simple and focused on Direct Access, SAP now conducts extended audits driven by a SAP Licence auditor, which cover Direct and Indirect Access, as well as HANA Runtime compliance analysis.

Invictus Partners’ SAP Audit Defence is for organisations in the following scenarios:

  1. SAP has notified you of an audit
    We work with you to minimise the impact of SAP’s audit process on your organisation and help you secure the best-possible financial and business outcome.
  2. SAP has already conducted an audit and presented findings
    We develop remediation options that limit your organisation’s compliance exposure. With our understanding of SAP’s rules and contracts, we challenge the findings in order to reduce the SAP compliance claim, before using our proven negotiation techniques to reduce it even further.

SAP Negotiation Strategy

Invictus Partners’ experience in negotiations with SAP enables us to know what is an optimal compliance and commercial position based on the current state of your SAP environment. We can identify the best licensing and contractual terms for your organisation, conduct price benchmarking, and help you negotiate with SAP to achieve the desired outcomes.

SAP licence management workstreams

We offer the above Software Licence Management services across the following SAP workstreams.

SAP Direct Access

Direct Access refers to both Human Access and Application Access. 

Invictus Partners follows a similar approach for reviewing Direct Access to SAP’s Licence Audits.

We split the Direct Access measurement into three areas:

  • Automated SAP system supported measurements – USSM, SLAW, HANA usage and runtime reports, LMBI.
  • System Data extracts to validate Developer Users, Multiple Logins, etc.
  • Self-declaration – when the usage cannot be determined automatically (e.g., Revenue, Cost of Goods Sold, Core/CPU counts).

SAP Indirect Access

Indirect Access is the cause of licence exposure for many organisations, and SAP has become stricter in their application and administration of these licences. In fact, over 90% of SAP customers we’ve worked with have not been compliant with Indirect Access.

Invictus Partners reviews your Indirect Access agreements and usage to determine:

  • Where you have Indirect Access exposure and the value of this exposure;
  • The most cost-effective licence model to cover the access (the traditional user-based and order processing model, pay based on the number of digital documents created, and/or look at re-architecture options); and
  • Any necessary licensing remediation.

SAP Cloud/subscriptions

Subscription-based licensing differs considerably from the perpetual licence model. SAP customers looking to transition existing functionality into SAP Cloud products need to understand their licence transformation options as well as the value of the assets they currently own. Plus, changing licensing models allows for contract negotiations to take place, including credits for old licences and shelfware.

Invictus Partners reviews your SAP Cloud solutions agreements and usage to determine:

  • Actual usage against subscription entitlement;
  • If any users are in breach of compliance;
  • Opportunities for optimisation; and
  • The relevance of your cloud subscriptions –what is no longer required and/or any additional modules you may need.

Support Advisory: SAP software maintenance options

Many organisations are considering the switch from SAP support to a Third Party Maintenance (TPM) Provider, such as Rimini Street, to reduce their support costs for perpetually licenced products.

Whilst there are advantages of moving to a TPM Provider, organisations are at risk of IP infringement and breach of contract if the transition and ongoing access management is not maintained effectively. On top of this, SAP is becoming more aggressive with its audits and has recently started focusing on customers who no longer have an active maintenance agreement, with the aim to bring them back to SAP support.

We help with:

  • Preparation for termination of SAP support – assessing licensing requirements, integration/interoperability impacts, replacing Solution Manager functions, addressing security concerns, etc.
  • Ongoing governance after switching to TPM – controlling access within the SAP Support Portal, decommissioning of Solution Manager, ongoing licence compliance, and purchasing additional entitlements.

SAP Third Party Maintenance (TPM) Assessment

There are many factors to consider before moving off SAP support, such as ensuring licence compliance for your organisation. This will determine what, if any, shelfware you have to use as leverage in conversations with TPM Providers or counter-offers from SAP. In a TPM Assessment, Invictus Partners prepares you for the change impacts involved and conducts the due diligence required to make the right decision for your organisation. We also provide independent advice on which TPM Providers to consider. A TPM Assessment is recommended for SAP customers who are considering a replacement of their SAP solution, running old versions, are not yet fully committed to the S/4HANA journey, and/or are not making significant investments in their SAP systems and associated processes.

SAP Contract Review

As you are making the decision to switch your SAP support to a TPM Provider, there are some key steps to take to prevent a future violation of your SAP contracts. In some scenarios, SAP perpetually licensed products may be prevented from being switched to TPM due to specific contractual conditions set out by SAP. Invictus Partners reviews your SAP contracts to ensure a smooth – and viable – transition to TPM.

SAP IP Infringement Advisory

With the switch to TPM often comes confusion around what this means in terms of access to, and usage of, SAP’s Intellectual Property (IP). In recent years, SAP has become clearer in their stance on what can and can’t be done without an active SAP maintenance agreement. And with that, SAP has also become more aggressive in enforcing compliance against these restrictions. This has resulted in several TPM customers receiving letters from SAP stating they have been found in violation of SAP’s IP, their SAP Support Agreement and SAP’s General Terms & Conditions. And with that, demanding a commercial settlement of significant value. If your organisation has been found in breach of SAP’s IP, Invictus Partners can help you refute the commercial value of their claim by conducting an analysis of your specific violations and assisting in the negotiations with SAP.

SAP Software Asset Management services

Invictus Partners can manage and optimise your entire SAP landscape on an ongoing basis, helping you avoid hidden costs and only pay for what is needed to ensure your existing SAP licences meet your current business demands and requirements.

Software Asset Management Managed Service

Our SAP Software Asset Management offering is a proactive solution that protects your organisation from the risk of non-compliance and the associated commercial impact. We offer SAM either as a service (SAMaaS) or as a hybrid model in conjunction with your organisation. We start by conducting baselining activities and SAM workshops with your team, and then provide ongoing maintenance, advisory and regular consultation.

SAP User Licence Optimisation

Granting licences based on authorisations or simply assigning the highest level licence by default are ways that SAP customers can ensure compliance and avoid under-licensing, but this is an overcompensatory approach that leads to organisations paying a maximum licence fee rather than a cheaper one that is more suited to the actual usage behaviour. Invictus Partners’ SAP User Licence Optimisation ensures the optimal licence is assigned to any SAP user at any point in time. We analyse usage data to determine how licences are being used in your organisation, reveal where there is overspend and overconsumption, and optimise your SAP licensing environment accordingly.

SAP S/4HANA Advisory

Invictus Partners supports organisations through the journey of migrating to S/4HANA and SAP RISE, helping you understand the new licence models, the impact on your current entitlements, contractual options, optimisation opportunities, and the overall commercial implications.

Contract/Licence Migration Advisory

An S/4HANA migration is a complex project that involves a reimplementation of your systems, technology, processes and data. It also comes at a cost, with the new licensing model removing many of the special licence types that SAP customers have relied upon to minimise their licensing spend. There are many ERP options available, so organisations shouldn’t feel pressured to make a complete or immediate transition to S/4HANA.

Invictus Partners’ S/4HANA Contract/Licence Migration Advisory ensures your transition is far less costly and lower risk by:

  • Optimising your SAP software and licensing position;
  • Supporting your ERP strategy;
  • Assessing where SAP fits into your overall architecture; and
  • Protecting your existing licence investments and relevant contract clauses.

SAP RISE Advisory

SAP may be pushing RISE on all of their customers, but that doesn’t make it relevant for all organisations. Invictus Partners can conduct a due diligence process to determine whether RISE is a viable licence model for you.

Our SAP RISE Advisory assesses:

  • The true Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the SAP offering;
  • The suitability of your environment to a RISE licence migration;
  • The option of segmenting SAP capabilities (migrating some workloads to RISE and leaving others on legacy platforms); and
  • The impact a RISE migration would have on your existing relationships with cloud providers, as well as consulting and application management service providers.

SAP licence consulting: Why Invictus Partners?

The Invictus Partners team consists of experts in SAP software and the complexities of the licensing landscape. Our team is made up of former SAP executives, consultants, auditors and contract managers, so we know the strategies, tactics and approaches SAP will take in an audit or licence review of one of their customers.

Invictus Partners does SAP licensing reviews on a daily basis, not once a year like most internal teams, so we have a highly specialised skill-set that can only be developed through consistent engagement with SAP.

Book a 30-minute consultation with our SAP licensing experts

Doug Gibson – Managing Partner

Doug is a 30 year international IT veteran, having worked with organisations like SAP, Oracle and IBM across A/NZ, Asia Pacific & Africa to drive their licensing business. Since 2014 Doug and his team have been working with clients across Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and North America in reviewing and optimising their licenses, assisting clients with software audit defence and digital transformation advisory.

Doug’s intimate knowledge of Oracle licensing and auditing practice has enabled him to successfully assist clients in Retail, Manufacturing, Utilities, Public Sector and Financial Service achieve a positive outcome in their audits, along with assisting them during software contract negotiations. Doug has successfully assisted his clients in reducing their overall spend with the vendors; constructing and negotiate Enterprise Agreements, advisory on their platform modernisation initiatives and developing cloud strategies.

Helen Divitcos – SAP Practice Lead

Helen is a 30+ year veteran of the SAP industry and has held various technical, product line and senior enterprise management roles throughout her career. She has been hands on with SAP systems and has a wealth of experience in the IT industry, from managing an organisation’s SAP investment, to the development of business and technology strategies, and the implementation of transformation programs.

Helen has spent a long part of her career working on the client side and is now putting that knowledge to good use in advising customers on their SAP software assets.

Helen brings her extensive and practical experience in the SAP industry to Invictus Partners, helping clients in a practical and pragmatic manner, providing licensing and contract advisory, audit support, negotiation guidance, and SAP software asset management practices.