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Snow Optimizer for SAP Software Certification Report

Executive Summary

The ITAM Review, an independent community for worldwide ITAM, SAM and Software Licensing professionals, has certified Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software 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 product claims, being made by the offering, are being delivered in a live environment as promised.

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

This document includes the scope of the certification, the certification process, a brief summary of how Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software met the criteria & details of each customer reference.


SAP License Management Certification – Snow Optimizer for SAP Software

Author, AJ Witt, The ITAM Review, May 2020 certifies Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software for SAP License Management.


Summary

Product Assessed Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software
Certification Status PASS
Certification Standard ITAM Review SAP License Management Standard V2.0

https://www.itassetmanagement.net/2019/10/07/sap-license-management-standard-v2-0/

Certification Expiry 30th June 2022
End user customer assessments European Supermarket/Retailer, Germany

Utility Company, United Kingdom

Certification issued by The ITAM Review, Swindon, Wiltshire,

United Kingdom

www.itassetmanagement.net

Assessed by AJ Witt, Industry Analyst, The ITAM Review

Snow License Optimizer for SAP Software Certification

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 or interviews 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 or via web conferencing.


Assessment

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

Question Snow Response
How does your implementation help organisations identify and remove inactive SAP users? Inactive users are identified via an aggregated view, showing all users and the day count since their last login. With a few clicks, customers can view candidates for removal and push changes out to the satellite systems
How does your implementation help organisations 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 your implementation allow organisations to assign the correct user type against active users and authorisations? Rules identify user license optimisation based on stipulated conditions and leveraging factual data within the SAP systems. A rule can be run to identify a given named user license type based on role assignment (authorisations).   By executing the ruleset, one can visualise the recommendations for licence optimization. Once recommendations are accepted changes are pushed to the satellite systems automatically and will 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 your implementation support your organisation with on-going monitoring and optimisation of SAP licensing? Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software underpins a proper SAP license management process whereby users are continuously being optimised, inactive users are being expired and compliance for users and engines is always visible. Alerts and notifications facilitate proactive management of SAP licensing.
How does your implementation help organisations identify and manage indirect access / digital access to SAP products? Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software provides granular detail on which interfaces are accessing SAP, 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.   In addition, customers can see all the digital objects being generated and the user detail behind it.   The solution gives customers the data to compare old and new Indirect/Digital Access licensing models and track respective compliance.
How does your solution help organisations manage SAP licensing against specific business metrics / SAP packages? Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software collects engine measurement results and enables the administrator to capture consumption for each engine metric. We are also able to manage the information about self-declaration engines.
How does your solution help organisations manage S/4HANA, both on-premises and in the cloud? License management for S/4HANA with Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software works in the same way, and with the same level of support, as for SAP ECC. This applies to S/4HANA on premises, private cloud and any kind of hosted scenario. S/4HANA public cloud support is on the current roadmap but not yet available

General Observations – Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software

Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software was previously certified to version 1 of this standard. It is available as a standalone product, or as an add-on to an existing Snow License Manager installation. In the latter case, data gathered by Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software is surfaced within Snow License Manager, providing a single dashboard view.

Customers note that the tool has a rapid time-to-value, once initial configuration is complete. Snow provide configuration support and it is recommended that you take up this option as much of the configuration work will be carried out by your SAP Administration (SAP BASIS) team rather than the ITAM team. Once initial configuration has been completed the system has two main user groups – SAP BASIS & the ITAM Team. As such, it is vital that you include your SAP BASIS team in product selection and configuration, in order to ensure that it meets your needs. This holds true for any SAP Management tool.

Customers report that Snow support is responsive and good, and that there is also the option to engage experts from Snow’s partner network. There is no managed service option available direct from Snow although they do provide ongoing technical consultancy in addition to standard support services. This consultancy includes baselining services and Digital Access Assessments – using the data from Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software to determine whether the digital access licensing model is better value than traditional licensing.

In the course of this certification process it has been clear that Snow continue to invest in Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software. There is a strong roadmap and new features and fixes are released frequently. Major releases are planned to update the product to the latest SAP optimisation use cases as soon as possible after they are released. The next major product update is planned for August 2020.

Overall, the tool delivers against its use case and is backed up by good support and consultancy services. It is important to note that you don’t need to have any other Snow products to deploy Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software, although it does also integrate with Snow License Manager if you have that deployed.

Assessors Recommendation

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

Customer References

Reference #1 – European Supermarket

For this certification process The ITAM Review interviewed a large European Supermarket based in Germany. The interview was conducted remotely in April 2020.

This reference operates in the supermarket/retail sector with a highly distributed network in terms of retail locations and operating divisions. This requires the ability to gather data from many separate SAP systems operating under a single centralised contract. They have a SAP user base in excess of 50,000 seats and have a very mature IT Asset & Contract Management practice, the team having been established in 2010.

They use Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software as a standalone tool, with the rest of the IT Asset Management tooling from other providers. In keeping with many other organisations using this tool there are users within the IT Asset Management team and also in the SAP BASIS teams across the organisation.

They selected Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software from a long list of 8 suppliers and a shortlist of 5. Implementation across the distributed IT environment took 2 months. Within 5 months from project start, the reference was able to conduct a complete licensing measurement group-wide within just a few days.

Following implementation and completion of the initial optimisation process, the key day-to-day benefit is in user management – identifying unused licenses and allocating users to the right license. Full automation of the necessary periodic SAP LAW reports also saves considerable time (generated in seconds rather than in days).

Snow helped with implementation and provided functionality in a new version of the tool specifically requested to meet the reference customer’s need to manage their distributed SAP environment.

The reference recommends the product for any large organisation with a distributed and complex environment to manage. They also see that there would be value in the tool for smaller organisations needing to manage user accounts.

Reference #2 – United Kingdom Utility Company

The second end user customer reference for this certification process is a large Utility company based in the UK.

They have been a Snow customer since 2013/2014 and so felt that Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software was the obvious choice when looking for an SAP License Management tool. As Snow License Manager (SLM) customers they appreciate that Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software results are surfaced within SLM, providing a single view of their assets. Prior to deploying the tool, they relied on a manual tracking spreadsheet that didn’t have the required level of detail and required excessive effort to keep updated.

The primary motivators for deploying the tool were cost management and being able to extend mature Software Asset Management (SAM) processes to SAP licensing. However, on deploying the tool the customer found that they already had a reasonable grip on SAP spending and were well optimized. Despite this, they still generate value from the tool in driving continuous process improvement as it enables them to uncover holes in existing processes.

The reference customer uses Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software for annual LAW submissions with the aim of improving the time taken to make those submissions. They don’t currently have a need for the indirect/digital access capabilities so were unable to comment on those features, nor are they an S/4HANA customer.

They were happy with Snow’s onboarding support, consisting of 4 days of technical expertise for configuration and knowledge transfer. Since then they have received good support.

Overall, the reference customer primarily leverages the tool for management, control, and visibility rather than cost-saving with the biggest benefits being in the Access & Authorisations (A&A) team. The A&A team also use Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software to build new user/role profiles to ensure that the optimum license is issued to each user.

Downloadable version

Click here to download a PDF version of this Certification Report


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 © 2020 The ITAM Review / AJ Witt / Enterprise Opinions Limited, all right reserved worldwide.


About AJ Witt

A former IT Asset Manager, AJ is Industry Analyst for The ITAM Review. He's interested in hearing from end users of ITAM tools and also vendors. He enjoys writing about the SaaS Management market, practical aspects of ITAM operations, and the strategy of major software publishers. You can connect via email (aj.witt@itassetmanagement.net) or LinkedIn. AJ enjoys cycling, music, and spending time with his family.

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