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SAP Compliance: how CIRFOOD optimised audits

LAW verification by SAP ® Audit team approaching. We report on how CIRFOOD optimised SAP software compliance verification and saved 23 per cent of its budget on licences SAP®.

It's s the practice of SAP® – but in general of software vendors - periodically carry out audit to monitor the position of compliance with the use of the software. The GLAC (Global License Auditing e Compliance) asks companies to carry out self assessments to demonstrate that software use is in line with the licences purchased and available.

Customers are asked to perform the measurement within a few weeks (usually four) by providing all required distribution and usage data.

In most cases it is a manual process that starts from an export of users by information system - perhaps starting with a query to one's own domain service – up to organising user tables on Excel, to which corresponds a redistribution of licences per corporate role.

After an initial congruence check, the report is reconciled with the SAP® measurement data. To generate the licence reports, the SAP® Measurement Programme (USMM transaction) is used, which performs an internal analysis of the users and engine on each individual SAP® system, whose data is then grouped and consolidated in the LAW (License Administration Workbench).

SAP Compliance: delivering the LAW

Why LAW? By consolidating the data, all users and their types are assigned to a contractual user type. If the number of consolidated users exceeds the contractual right, one may incur penalties from the vendor.

But it is not that simple. There are variables to consider:

  • the number of SAP® users proliferates and so does the complexity of the licences assigned to them
  • inactive users are not always terminated (assignments for production and development tests that are temporary are retained, former employees still with active licences, etc.)
  • sometimes the duplication on several systems is not taken into account in the licence allocation
  • increase the number of mandants (clients in the SAP® production system) and SAP® systems
  • there are users who have licence fees higher than their actual use
  • it is difficult to ensure that all indirect access is licensed (we talked about it in depth here)

In the LAW delivered to SAP® there may be some non-compliant situations that have not been detected or non-optimised assignments.

In both cases this affects the IT budget.

In the first case, because the vendor asks for them to be remedied and often unforeseen major expenses come up, for which the board must be held accountable. In the second case, because you end up wasting money that could be reduced by a simple optimisation practice.

Once the LAW is submitted, the IT teams await the response of compliance or non-compliance from the SAP® team or from the SAP® VAR (the Value Added Reseller), i.e. the partner that followed the implementation and contracting.

As we have seen, the verification of compliance is a long and delicate process, which takes a lot of time and requires a great deal of effort on the part of those involved. And it does not guarantee absolute certainty of preserving one's budget.

Faster compliance audits: our solution

We always advise our customers to set up a SAM (Software Asset Management) practice in order to keep the costs and risks applied to licences under control.

What are the steps to be followed to achieve optimised management of the SAP® licence pool? We have identified four:

  1. analysis started
  2. data collection and reconciliation
  3. optimisation
  4. negotiation support

How we usually work?

We start with a phase of collection and analysis of the perimeter of intervention. We try to retrieve together with the customer all the information relating to:

  • contracts (what conditions have been agreed with the vendor?)
  • purchased licences (what usage rights have been acquired?)
  • installed (what software have we installed on the various devices?)
  • needs (what are the business needs with regard to licence management? What are the elements that determine an optimal configuration?)

After this initial assessment phase (which is also supported by software recognition tools for retrieving the installed data and related usage rights), the user and engine data is analysed.

The production of reports is automatic: using Snow Optimizer for SAP® (SOS), , a detailed view of currently contracted and allocated SAP® licences can be obtained. The tool verifies compliance and determines risks even with regard to indirect usage, because it is able to measure HTTP and RPC connections to and from SAP®.

Connections and users are reconciled with System Measurement data. All in a matter of hours, when it used to take weeks.

But the real value of our contribution lies in optimisation.

The CIRFOOD story

During one of our events, participants were able to hear how CIRFOOD, an Italian catering company, saved 23% of its licence budget by applying an optimisation plan.

With more than 11,000 employees , the cost of licences weighed heavily on the IT budget. At the "Software Asset Management for Enterprise" event held at the Kilometro Rosso, Giorgio Spaggiari , Head of ICT Systems and Infrastructure, described how this was achieved by creating comparative models for the scientific allocation of the best licence.

Thanks to the detailed and real-time reports produced by the tool, rules were devised to be applied in order to obtain the best allocation scenario. In this way, automatic flows could be activated to "clean up" sub-optimal situations and keep recurring costs under control.

Analysis of utilisation made it possible to eliminate inactive licences and to review subscription plans that exceeded actual needs.

Here are some examples of set conditions:

  • deactivation in case of user inactive for more than 90 daysor disabled on Active Directory
  • dimensioning of the licence plan, if higher than actual use (from Professional to Limited Professional etc.).
  • allocation of test licences to test users for development environments
  • determination of User Types that do not require a licence

The results were then seen:

With the automatic and scientific allocation
of the best licence, we achieved a 23% saving.
(Giorgio Spaggiari)


The optimisation of compliance verification - what used to take days is now feasible in a few hours - and the setting up of automatic optimisation scenarios allow you to focus on a very important aspect of the relationship with the vendor: negotiation.

We at WEGG are experienced licensing consultants and provide help with contract definition (review of offers, analysis of licensing clauses, benchmarking on discounts, etc.).

In doing so, we take several elements into account: presence of RPAs, contract definitions, choice of new metrics... Just in December, the facilities to switch to the Digital Access model expire.

*SAP® *SAP® and other SAP® products and services mentioned are registered trademarks of SAP SE *SAP® and other SAP® products and services mentioned are registered trademarks of SAP SE (or a subsidiary of SAP) in Germany and other countries.

02-s pattern02

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