How to start the user counting and get the right results?
When you perform a user count (especially as part of an audit), you need to use the SAP measurement program called USMM. This program calculates the number of user types per measured system. However, USMM does not take into account the same users that are classified or measured over multiple SAP systems. In case we would only rely on the USSM results, user “X” from our previous example would be counted both as a professional user and a limited professional user; a situation in which one individual would be licensed twice.
In the past, SAP introduced a multiclient user to overcome this situation. This multiclient user was a user type in the USMM program and could be used to classify users in another system as “already licensed”. In the example of user “X”, it would be classified as a professional user on the system PRD and as a multiclient user (not limited professional) on the system HRP. This solution did not last long. Multiclient users had to be classified manually, costing a lot of time and money. End users did not pay attention to register their multiclient users (or remove them when employees left the organization) still resulting in incorrect user counts and compliance discussions. In short, multiclient user classification simply did not provide an effective solution.
License Administration Workbench
In order to find a solution for this problem, SAP developed the License Administration Workbench (LAW). On paper, the LAW tool provides attractive benefits, including:
- Automatic count of the same users classified on multiple systems
- Calculation of the users’ base according to SAP’s licensing rules (e.g.: limited professional user is included in professional user, and therefore will be counted as professional user only)
- No more manual classification of multi-client user
But how effective is the LAW tool in practice?
Throughout multiple years dealing with SAP audits, it became very clear that many customers struggle with the LAW tool. The most common issues we noticed are:
For the tool to be able to recognize the same person classified on multiple systems, the end user has to define the specific criteria for the LAW tool to consolidate the users.
This can be one of the following:
- email address
- second name and first name
- account number
- phone number
- personalisation object (codes created by SAP customers to group users based on specific common criteria – e.g.: users in the finance department will be defined by one code or users in the same geographical location will be defined by one code)
If you choose “email address” as the unique identifier, you need to be sure that the email address of the user is maintained in exactly the same way across all the systems. In large companies, this is typically a big challenge.
Errors & bugs
The LAW tool is prone to technical issues. These can be caused by updates (or a lack thereof), or by program measurement outputs from USMM. There could be several reasons. Some errors will not allow the administrator to proceed with all required steps in the LAW tool or, worse still, the administrator will be allowed to proceed, but the outcome will result in an incorrect count. For this reason, we strongly recommend that any errors encountered during a LAW consolidation are dealt with. They should not be ignored. Instead, administrators should seek the appropriate technical solution, ideally in conjunction with an SAP expert who is readily available to advise accordingly.
Although LAW performs the consolidation automatically, it nonetheless requires a technical person with a solid SAP understanding to execute all the steps effectively, and to analyze the outcome. Please note that there are 2 different versions of LAW:
- LAW 1.0 (original version)
- LAW 2.0 (new version)
The newer version (LAW 2.0) includes more features and functions than the original version (LAW 1.0), such as processing HANA and Sybase measurement results besides SAP ERP.
LAW 2.0 is only available to customers having a certain SAP Basis version (system administration platform for SAP Applications) in combination with the proper support package (a collection of correction SAP releases to fix the bugs in your systems).
Hence, you can use LAW 2.0 if you have one of the following combinations:
- SAP_BASIS 7.02 as of Support Package 13 (released in March 2013)
- SAP_BASIS 7.40 as of Support Package 02 (released in May 2013)
- SAP_BASIS 7.31 as of Support Package 13 (released at the end of 2014)
- SAP BASIS 7.50 as of Support Package 05 (released in October 2015)
- SAP BASIS 7.51 as of Support Package 01 (released in October 2016)
- SAP BASIS 7.52 as of Support Package 02 (released in October 2017)
Most of the customers are not able to use the newer version of the tool due to the above mentioned versioning limitations.
You need to have a good understanding of both versions and how to use them in order to identify which one is suitable for your systems.