One of the most common concerns about SAP deployments isn’t pricing – it’s the complexity of SAP’s licensing agreements. When surveyed, 95 percent of SAP users in the UK and Ireland believed the licensing structure was “overly complicated.” This causes a two-pronged problem: Organizations are unable to fully optimize their licensing spend, and they are at risk for compliance-related fines.
This challenge is driven by the breadth of their licensing entitlements, which can make a SAP investment difficult to maximize. While some broad categories of licenses do exist, underneath the surface level they become much harder to comprehend. Here are three examples of broad SAP user licenses:
Professional User – These named users can perform operational tasks and roles, such as system administration and management.
Limited Professional User – These users are similar to professional users, but their roles are limited by the terms of the software license.
Employee User – These users are not permitted to use SAP on someone else’s behalf, and are limited by the terms of their software licensing agreement.
While user licenses can become much more complex, these are three general categories that all SAP teams should be very familiar with. Be aware that the definition of each named user type may be different among customers – or even for the same customer – based upon the agreement at the time of purchase. In addition to this, customers should be familiar with package licenses, database scale licenses, and how these license types are utilized throughout their organization.
If organizations are not well-versed in the capabilities and limitations of their SAP licenses and unique metrics, they will be at risk for compliance issues. With a wide range of programs and licenses, it’s very common for organizations to not understand their restrictions. For example, some organizations are unaware that SAP does not allow integrations between SAP and other software. Other organizations may not be aware of how their license restrictions become more intense with each new version of SAP.
Without this knowledge, IT teams aren’t just at risk of operational costs spiraling out of control – they’re at risk of penalization and fines.