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9 Ways to Jumpstart License Compliance and Minimize Risk in Your SAP Landscape

by Stephen DuBravac | SAPinsider, Volume 16, Issue 4

October 9, 2015

A firm grasp of licensing requirements is critical to the success of your SAP investment. Step through nine tips for minimizing your licensing risk and enhancing compliance.


To optimize their SAP investments, organizations need to understand the licensing requirements for their SAP solutions, and how to ensure appropriate licensing and minimize risk. Minimizing licensing risks involves optimizing direct, indirect, and package licenses. In addition to using standard transactions USMM and SLAW, organizations seeking further assurance on compliance and optimal returns on SAP investments often complement these standard transactions with additional tools. In addition to these tools, organizations should adopt best practices focused on improving direct license allocations.

Optimizing SAP License Compliance

Below are nine ways to jumpstart managing licensing compliance for your SAP software.

1. Ensure License Ratios Sound Right

Ratios for named categories (for example, developer or full professional) for your deployed SAP licenses should make sense given your organization’s business model and employee count. When these ratios seem off, use that as a guide to locate suboptimal license allocations.

2. Combine Access Cost Management with Access Risk Management

This takes work out of the system, allows managers to make better decisions during approval and recertification activities, and enables administrators to simultaneously manage access risk and license compliance during role design and development tasks.

3. Make License Reviews Part of Business Planning

Using “what-if” simulations and trend analysis during business planning helps administrators understand how and when a growing employee population will impact licensing requirements. Simulations also enable administrators to understand how changes will affect license consumption, requirements, and costs.

4. Continuously Audit Your SAP Software Licenses

Software license audits are on the rise, and performing these audits can be disruptive to staff and budgets. Having familiar tools and processes in place that run continuously and are integrated with ongoing operations dramatically reduces disruptions.

5. Use a Ruleset for Assignments

Codifying rules for assigning named license categories eliminates confusion on why license types are assigned and reduces the costs of ongoing license management.

6. Understand Usage Data

Detailed user transaction histories showing which transactions were used, and when, enable administrators to determine if allocation rules are well defined.

7. Integrate License Management with Role Management

Role design and maintenance are often the root cause behind expensive, improperly allocated licenses. When license management and role management are integrated, administrators understand the cost effects of unused, poorly designed roles.

8. Enforce Policies and Controls for Inactive and Duplicate Users

Inactive and duplicate users are two common drivers for overspending on licenses. Controls can identify and remove these users to ensure that entitlements are only assigned to valid users, to avoid overpayments, and to free staff from tedious work.

9. Change the Frame from License Compliance to License Optimization

Investments in SAP software are intended to help people be more productive. Enterprises may be compliant, but still may overspend on license and maintenance fees because people have too much or little access or are insufficiently trained. A license optimization mindset means organizations do more than count licenses — they review usage patterns and role assignments and seek to optimize their SAP investments.

Learn More

To learn more about additional ways to jumpstart license compliance in your SAP landscape, visit us at

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Stephen DuBravac
Stephen DuBravac

Executive Vice President
Security Weaver

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