The American airline JetBlue has halved the number of named users required for SAP with proactive user management.
I recently met with Mukarram Syed, General Manager for IT Corporate Products and Vijay Thillainathan, Security Engineer of JetBlue Airways in New York. They discussed their approach to SAP license management and how they managed to reduce their SAP named users by 500.
JetBlue at a glance
- Founded 1998
- 22,000 employees
- Sixth largest airline in the USA (based on available seat miles).
- Connections to over 100 destinations
- Revenues $7BN (2017)
- NASDAQ: JBLU
Interestingly, their enormous saving on SAP named users stems from a security focused project to provide housekeeping around user logins rather than Software Asset Management per se – but the result has delivered a fully optimized SAP License Position to ensure they are making best use of their growing spend with SAP.
With a holistic approach to managing users, from Human Resources including new hires, position changes and terminations as well as back end systems – JetBlue has significantly reduced the security threat of dormant user accounts and financial waste of duplicate and unused named user accounts.
There has to be a better way
Prior to implementing a software asset management solution, the JetBlue team found establishing a baseline with SAP licensing a very convoluted and frustrating process.
According to Mukarram,
“Due to the changing SAP Account Executives every few years, the process of establishing the license inventory and validating it becomes quite cumbersome. It took us several iterations to get our inventory right”
The team resolved to find a better way to manage the SAP Licensing from being able to forecast licensing growth to classifying users and reporting the actual usage.
End-to-end user management at JetBlue
In the interests of security and efficiency, user authorization at JetBlue is based on position in the company. So a user will be assigned privileges within SAP based on their position assignment
User profiles are tightly aligned to Microsoft Identity Manager and HR systems. So when a user leaves the company or moves to a different position, all systems are updated accordingly, from SAP access to the name badge used to enter the building. The single source of truth behind all of this is the employee ID number; a unique identifier used across both HR and IT systems.
Building a business case from real data
JetBlue chose samQ, an SAP License Optimization Tool from VOQUZ, to take the heavy lifting out of managing their SAP estate.
Sharing his experiences of the selection process, Mukarram says:
“As part of the evaluation process I had certain criteria in mind. A priority was the ability to install the software within the SAP environment and follow a similar SAP workflow – with the same look and feel”
“VOQUZ fit the bill, right off the bat. They have an SAP add-on, which we could install on any system and it didn’t have any stringent hardware requirements”
The JetBlue team stated that they found VOQUZ to be flexible in their approach and didn’t insist that the company purchase a whole SAM system.
“When we looked at other SAP license management software, they were selling it as a package. We had to buy some other things but we were looking strictly for SAP License Optimization Software without any strings attached to it”
“I felt like VOQUZ’s company culture is similar to ours from a flexibility perspective, the mutual respect and the way we operate at JetBlue is very friendly. Our culture is always customer-oriented. I felt the same from the VOQUZ team.” Says Mukarram.
JetBlue completed a Proof of Value (POV) of samQ, testing its capabilities within their environment, so that they could build a business case for the software based on real data:
“They agreed to a POC for me, which was very important. I wanted to see the numbers before I could commit to any software purchase. They did a License Assessment for us, and then we were able to optimize our SAP position, look at the real numbers and real savings. I was able to put real data in my business case from a savings perspective of what the software would do for us. That made it easy to get approval for this software purchase.”
The proof of the pudding is in the eating
It would be an understatement to say the team is pleased with the outcome of choosing samQ License Optimizer for SAP by VOQUZ; it has allowed the team to be freed from the tedious work of SAP housekeeping and focus on more interesting activities:
“The realization of savings that came with the product has been remarkable. The software takes the guesswork out and really makes you more agile, in that you can focus your time on more strategic activities and let samQ do this tactical stuff via an automated system. It has been very powerful.”
The team uses samQ to reconcile their license position and consolidate user profiles to avoid double paying for named users.
“The automatic user-classification feature is pretty awesome” says Vijay, “The tool classifies named-users based on their SAP transaction usage and maps activities to compliant and cost-efficient license types, which is very powerful.”
The key saving for JetBlue was from removing named users that are no longer required. This is a task that can be easily overlooked in busy IT environments but leads to multiple million-dollar savings.
“We were able to save 500 named-user licenses that were not being used. We reallocated those licenses in areas that had shortfalls and allocated against growth,” says Mukarram.
The optimized License Position with SAP ensures that, as the company grows, they continue to make the very best use of their investment in SAP.
Learn more about VOQUZ here: www.voquz.com
|JetBlue Score for VOQUZ – SAP License Management|
|Customer service and responsiveness||10/10|
|Value for money||10/10|
|Likelihood to recommend VOQUZ||9/10|
About Martin Thompson
Martin is also author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management.
On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.
Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.