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SAP License Management Certification: Snow Optimizer for SAP Software v2.0

Executive Summary

The ITAM Review, an independent community for worldwide ITAM, SAM and Software Licensing professionals, has certified Snow Optimizer for SAP Software v2.0 as suitable for SAP License Management.

ITAM Review’s SAP License Management Certification is designed to help worldwide ITAM Review readers identify tools suitable for managing SAP Licensing and provide tool providers with an independent verification of their SAP License Management features.

The process of certification includes developing an open standard for measuring SAP License Management with help from the ITAM Review community, assessing tools against the standard, then visiting existing customers to verify products claims being made by the offering are being delivered in a live environment as promised.

Snow Optimizer for SAP Software v2.0 exceeds the requirements of The ITAM Review SAP License Management Standard v1.0. Features were verified as working and delivering significant ROI as promised via two onsite customer visits.

This document includes the scope of the certification, the certification process, a brief summary of how Snow Optimizer for SAP v2.0 met the criteria details for each site visit performed.


SAP License Management Certification – Snow Optimizer for SAP Software v2.0

Author, Martin Thompson, The ITAM Review, October 2017 certifies Snow Optimizer for SAP Software v2.0 for SAP License Management.

Summary

 

Product Assessed

Snow Optimizer for SAP Software v2.0
Certification Status PASS
Certification Standard ITAM Review SAP License Management Standard V1.0

https://www.itassetmanagement.net/2017/10/05/sap-lm-standard/

Certification Expiry 31st October 2019
End user customer assessments Large corporate in Germany, July 2017

Large corporate in Switzerland, August 2017

Average end user customer score 98%
Certification issued by The ITAM Review,

Basepoint Business Centre, Rivermead Drive, Westlea,

Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 7EX

United Kingdom

www.itassetmanagement.net

Assessed by Martin Thompson, Owner and Founder, ITAM Review

www.linkedin.com/in/martinthompson


Scope & Limitations

The information contained in this review is based on sources and information believed to be accurate as of the time it was created. Therefore, the completeness and current accuracy of the information provided cannot be guaranteed. Readers should therefore use the contents of this review as a general guideline, and not as the ultimate source of truth.

Similarly, this review is not based on rigorous and exhaustive technical study. The ITAM Review recommends that readers complete a thorough live evaluation before investing in technology.

Independence

The ITAM Review is 100% privately owned, vendor and service provider independent and impartial. The ITAM Review does not supply or sell SAP Licensing or SAP License Management Tooling, nor does it consult or in any way advise on SAP Licensing.

This certification has not been authorised or in any way blessed by SAP. This is an independent certification to recognise providers who can help manage SAP licensing and audit risk to an open standard.

Copyright

You must not publish, sell, distribute or reproduce this report or any part of this report without the permission of the author.

Throughout this report, the author refers to brands, products and trademark names. Rather than place a trademark symbol at every occurrence, we hereby state that we are using the names only in an editorial fashion with no intention of infringement of the trademark.

This publication is Copyright © 2017 The ITAM Review / Martin Thompson / Enterprise Opinions Limited, all right reserved worldwide.


Introduction

Certification of SAP License Management Tooling

ITAM Review’s SAP License Management Certification is designed to help worldwide ITAM Review readers identify tools suitable for managing SAP Licensing and provide tool providers with an independent verification of their SAP License Management features.

The certification objectively assesses tool capabilities against open, published standards as decided by ITAM Review readers.

If you are an IT Asset Management Professional

The ITAM Review SAP License Management certification helps you identify tools that support your management of SAP License risk. It provides the confidence to buyers to highlight those tools that not only have the features required to manage SAP but that the features have been supported by trusted professional references of customers using the tools in live environments.

The Certification Process

The SAP certification process is as follows:

Step 1. What are the desired outcomes?

The ITAM Review, in collaboration with ITAM Review readers, builds a standard for capabilities.

Step 2. Does the product or service meet those outcomes?

The ITAM Review studies the capabilities of the product or service provider via questionnaire and briefings. The first objective is to understand if the solution meets the certification standard.

Step 3. Are the customers experiencing desired outcomes?

The ITAM Review visits two (2) existing customers to verify that the products claims being made in step 2 are being delivered in a live environment as promised. End user customer visits are completed in-person.


Assessment

The assessment below outlines how Snow Optimizer for SAP Software meets the criteria for the ITAM Review SAP License Management standard:

  • How does Snow Optimizer for SAP Software help organizations identify and remove inactive SAP users?

Inactive users are identified and removed via an aggregated view showing all users and the day count since last login, with a few clicks customers can view candidates for removal.

  • How does Snow Optimizer for SAP Software help organizations identify and remove duplicate users?

Duplicates are identified and removed via rules and algorithms, the system can identify both identical duplicates and close matches. An example of an identical duplicate is if there are three unique logins for Fred Bloggs. A close match is when there might be a login for FBLOGGS, BLOGGSF, FREDB and so on. Both approaches take away the heavy lifting of identifying duplicate users. Comparisons can also be made by email address or other specified criteria.

  • How does Snow Optimizer for SAP Software enable organizations to assign the correct user type against active users?

Rules can apply license changes upon certain conditions. For example, a rule can be run to invalidate user accounts for any user who has not logged in for 180 days. Another rule example is if CPU consumption is below a certain threshold the user could be changed to a limited professional user. The rule sets enable optimization to occur that suits the unique conditions in your environment and SAP contract. By executing any recommendations, license optimization happens immediately within the SAP system and will therefore be reflected in any future measurements requested by SAP via LAW reports.

  • Once an initial baseline and compliance position is reached with SAP – How does Snow Optimizer for SAP Software support your organization with on-going monitoring and optimization of SAP licensing?

Snow Optimizer for SAP Software enables optimization to be performed manually at will or automatically in a “set it and forget it” optimization fashion. One customer reference stated that whilst reconciliation could be performed automatically, he preferred to do it manually as it was quick, easy and he could see the fruits of his labour first hand.

  • How does Snow Optimizer for SAP Software help organizations identify and manage indirect access to SAP products?

Snow Optimizer for SAP Software provides granular detail on which channels are accessing the SAP infrastructure, the connection type and the volume of communications sent and received. Customers can differentiate between users with legitimate access and third-party automated systems with continual access. The solution provides a technical picture of what is going on that will need to be interpreted by an expert in SAP to establish and manage risk.

  • How does Snow Optimizer for SAP Software help organizations manage SAP licensing against specific business metrics/ SAP packages?

Snow Optimizer for SAP Software enables the administrator to set measurements appropriate to each engine metric.


General Observations – Snow Optimizer for SAP Software v2.0

  • Since our last deep dive of Snow SAP’s capabilities in 2014 the UI looks a lot smarter.
  • In terms of implementation – Based on the experiences of end user references I recommend seeking support for initial implementation and license management, even if to start with, unless you have a dedicated SAP Licensing and contracts guru to hand. It will de-risk the upfront implementation complexity and allow the vast majority of organizations to realize enormous savings, and then it could revert to a business as usual function to manage on an ongoing basis.
  • Snow Optimizer for SAP Software can be implemented on a set-it-and-forget-it automated basis. Continually harvesting unused capacity whilst you sleep. But this is only on the basis that you have the executive power to do so. This is an internal politics rather than technical constraint.
  • Finally, I would say the product is not complex per se, but knowing SAP licensing and optimization properly whilst not disrupting your users is complex. Take external advice given the financial stakes involved with SAP. Dedicate someone to it or get someone in quarterly to do it for you. The ROI has got to be one of the biggest no-brainers in SAM.

Assessors Recommendation

  • Snow Optimizer for SAP Software v2.0 exceeds the requirements of The ITAM Review SAP License Management Standard v1.0
  • Customer references verified features work in live environment as promised
  • We therefore certify Snow Optimizer for SAP Software v2.0 for SAP License Management

Reference Visit #1 – Swiss Corporate

For this certification process The ITAM Review visited a Snow Optimizer for SAP Software customer in Switzerland, a large end user corporate with 10s of thousands of employees.

The company claimed that whilst an organization can have lots of different user types within SAP to suit your company, a shop-floor user, a procurement user and so on, it’s very difficult to tell what they are without using a tool. Prior to selecting Snow, the organization evaluated various different technologies but preferred something that worked within the SAP infrastructure.

The company claimed it took them five days to set up the system and get the information required. This was achieved with Snow consulting. The whole project of selection, negotiation and results was said to be three months.

The customer cited a “Steep learning curve” to differentiate the different license types and understand the system. As an independent observer, I say this was to do with the complexity of SAP license types and codes rather than something Snow could overcome. The customer referred to the complex process of identifying license codes and identifying which license types they referred to.

The customer stated they had received four requests for “measurement” from SAP since using Snow Optimizer for SAP Software with no issues.

Measurements are run once a month and actions to optimize taken accordingly.

If the company identifies a user not making use of a license they change their status to “test”. A practice not disputed by SAP for this company. But that is not to say it would be universally accepted.

It is estimated that ROI is in the tens of millions of Swiss Francs by saving thousands of named user accounts.

Reference Visit #1 Ratings

Customer Service 10/10
Value for Money 10/10
Customer Support 10/10
Overall Satisfaction 10/10
Customer Loyalty (NPS) 10/10
Overall Score (%) 100%

Reference Visit #2 – German Corporate

The second end user customer visit for this certification process was with a German SAP customer. Again, the company was a large end user corporate with 10s of thousands of employees and hundreds of different SAP systems.

The company has been using Snow Optimizer for SAP Software since 2013 and cited transparency and cost savings as motivation for managing SAP Licensing.

“The main driver was a lack of transparency with the normal SAP measuring methods. We wanted to have a solution which allows us to make a deeper inspection of the user records, and of the system usage itself, to see where our possibilities are to optimize our license landscape.”

The company loads data from hundreds of systems and subsidiaries once a month, then a formal measurement is taken once a quarter. Due to the large distributed nature of the company, optimization actions are not taken immediately but department heads are notified, e.g. You could save X euros if you removed these inactive users in your system. Whilst it is possible to automate this process within Snow; this large corporate’s SAP team could only act in an advisory capacity and were not empowered to override local decision-making.

The company has a large footprint of SAP Engines to measure, named users and databases. The company does some work outside of Snow Optimizer for SAP Software due to some specific nuances they had negotiated with SAP unique to their industry vertical, but the bulk of the heavy lifting done within the solution.

During the interview the organization said they had managed to remove two thousand named user licenses in the first half of the year, equivalent to millions of euros in six months, and this is not exactly low hanging fruit since they’ve owned the system for over four years. This demonstrates the enormous financial opportunity with SAP license management. The customer stated that due to contractual commitments the savings were not direct, but the unused licensing could be used to lower costs of future purchases, saving new capital spend.

Full implementation across all subsidiaries has taken several years because the company has hundreds of SAP installations across many countries. Completion is also a moving target since the company is acquisitive and is always adding new infrastructure into scope of SAP License Management.

The customer also mentioned spending significant time conducting in-person meetings with workers council representatives to provide assurances that their objectives with SAP License Management were to save the company money and not monitor individual user behavior. When asked for advice on how to negotiate with workers councils for SAP License Management this organization recommended lots of communication, limit access to the SAP License Management system as much as possible and emphasize the objectives of the project (save money not spy on employees).

Similar to the first reference, the customer mentioned a steep learning curve when getting started. “The main directory can get overloaded”. Again, as with the previous reference, I’m not sure this is something Snow could overcome due to the complexity and flexibility of SAP Licensing.

Reference Visit #2 Ratings

Customer Service 10/10
Value for Money 10/10
Customer Support 10/10
Overall Satisfaction 8/10
Customer Loyalty (NPS) 10/10
Overall Score (%) 96%

 


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About Karen McAllen

Karen McAllen is Operations Director for The ITAM Review. Connect with Karen on Twitter or LinkedIn or better still come and meet Karen at our Events!

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