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Aspera LicenseControl for SAP Software Certification

Executive Summary

The ITAM Review, an independent community for worldwide ITAM, SAM and Software Licensing professionals, has certified Aspera LicenseControl 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 products claims being made by the offering are being delivered in a live environment as promised.

Aspera LicenseControl 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 Aspera LicenseControl for SAP® Software met the criteria & details for each customer reference.


SAP License Management Certification – Aspera LicenseControl for SAP® Software

Author, AJ Witt, The ITAM Review, July 2020 certifies Aspera LicenseControl for SAP® Software for SAP License Management.

Summary

Product Assessed Aspera LicenseControl 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
Certification issued by The ITAM Review, Swindon, Wiltshire,

United Kingdom

www.itassetmanagement.net

Assessed by AJ Witt, Industry Analyst, The ITAM Review


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 supports your organization to become compliant and minimize 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 Aspera LicenseControl for SAP® Software meets the criteria for the ITAM Review SAP License Management standard:

Question Aspera Response
How does your implementation help organisations identify and remove inactive SAP users? Inactive users are identified and transparently displayed with an aggregated view based on various criteria.   Viewing different scenarios is possible with different settings for the number of days since the last logon.   With a few clicks, customers can display candidates for removal, and deactivate and lock them in the target system by ending the individual account’s validity.
How does your implementation help organisations identify and remove duplicate users? Duplicates are identified using rules and algorithms, the system also recognizes close matches.   Comparing and matching can be carried out by typical attributes such as e-mail address, login, display name, first name, last name, department, and cost centre – which can be combined depending on the customer’s naming conventions.   A global identifier is created and can be written back into the SAP accounts. Customers can also use this global identifier as the consolidating criteria within the LAW2 measurement.
How does your implementation allow organisations to assign the correct user type against active users and authorisations? Our rulesets enable an optimization that meets SAP’s standard definitions and the special conditions in the customer environment and SAP contract.   The ruleset can cover each user on the SAP price list and automates the license classification for our customers. We can create rules based on general criteria, as well as usage-based and authorization-based rules. A combination of the different rule types is also possible.   If a customer needs to assign licenses based on authorizations due to contractual agreements, we use the Aspera authorization ruleset functionality. It performs the same classification of licenses but is based only on assigned authorizations. With just a few clicks, individual license types or license type mappings can be changed and adapted in the ruleset.   By executing any recommendations, license optimization happens immediately and will be transferred into each SAP system, so the results are reflected in any future measurements requested by SAP via LAW reports. Using the integrated process manager ensures regular reconciliation and continuous compliance.
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? All steps in the solution – import and optimization of data, and determination and write-back of Named User license types – can be scheduled with our process manager. The master ruleset, which has been optimized to meet the customer’s Named User license portfolio requirements is then regularly applied. The solution works automatically, providing the company with an up-to-date compliance report.   Various dashboards and monitoring functions provide an overview of possible problems in SAP systems or potential licensing risks in a pre-defined interval.
How does your implementation help organisations identify and manage indirect access / digital access to SAP products? LicenseControl for SAP® Software can sort all technical users based on CPU time, dialog steps, and number of executed reports. For each technical interface user all created documents for Digital Access can be imported and analyzed. With a few clicks, the SAP customer then receives a priority list of the “most expensive” interface users. Those users are assessed by our SAP license experts to determine if they used SAP “friendly” or “non-friendly” traffic. The result is a complete overview of the financial risk and the detailed cost for each technical interface.   Since January 2020, LicenseControl for SAP® Software can import Digital Access data with the new Passport Solution functionality. This is more precise than the SAP estimation notes and only imports SAP “non-friendly” documents.   Those interfaces’ financial license risk under the legacy model for indirect access is analyzed by importing 3rd party products and their employee list to cross check with existing SAP Named Users.   Our customers can then easily compare the different license models for indirect access and decide if the legacy model or Digital Access is their best choice. Our SAP license experts support our customers to make the best decisions.
How does your solution help organisations manage SAP licensing against specific business metrics / SAP packages? The SAP measurement data of packages or engines based on the LAW2 report can be mapped to the correct contract items and to the metric engine document in the support portal.   In one overview, customers can see what SAP measured with the LAW, what was licensed, and if the measurement result of SAP is reliable.   More than 40% of all packages and engines are incorrectly measured by the USMM and LAW, so they need a correction with SAP notes or manual configuration.   This important information is displayed in one view within LicenseControl for SAP® Software for each SAP product the customer has licensed or uses. Up to date LAW2 reports can be imported to automatically update the previously created report, giving the customer a current overview of their current licensing positions.   This feature allows our SAP customers to take the right actions before they transfer the official measurement results to SAP.
How does your solution help organisations manage S/4Hana, both on-premises and in the cloud? LicenseControl for SAP® Software uses the Named User simulation analysis to forecast potential costs in the S/4HANA world. This helps customers simulate different license scenarios under S/4HANA. For example, comparing how the allocation of Named User licenses with new S/4HANA metrics would change when migrating via contract conversion or product conversion. This reveals cost-saving potential that SAP customers can use against their S/4HANA license purchases, both on-premise and in the cloud, and allows SAP customers to make the best decisions on how to migrate to S/4HANA or assign licenses when already migrated.   LicenseControl for SAP® Software also simulates the move from SAP ECC Named Users to SAP S/4HANA Use Types using the Aspera master ruleset and automatic assignment of the most cost-effective SAP S/4HANA licenses   Even after the change to S/4HANA, LicenseControl for SAP® Software analyzes all transactions with S/4HANA for every SAP account. The new S/4HANA licensing contract is shown in the solution and the actual usage is constantly monitored with automated rightsizing of license type.

General Observations – Aspera LicenseControl for SAP® Software

  • Aspera LicenseControl for SAP® Software is a very mature product with an experienced Product Management and technical team behind it. The roadmap is clear and there is a commitment to rapidly adjust the product to meet potential SAP license policy and metric changes.
  • Scenario modelling is strong, particularly S/4HANA migration and readiness assessments. LicenseControl for SAP is the only tool with a full S/4HANA ruleset, enabling organisations to plan and simulate migrations to S/4HANA. With these migrations typically taking many years LicenseControl for SAP is fully equipped to enable management of hybrid/transitional environments. These assessments enable organisations planning an S/4HANA migration to negotiate from a position of strength because likely costs will be understood ahead of deployment.
  • LicenseControl for SAP is the only solution with a complete ruleset for authorisation-based licensing, enabling transaction mapping for all your SAP users. This is necessary as SAP are moving from license measurement based on usage to measurement based on authorisations.
  • Deployment is flexible with options including on-premise and hosted. The solution is available standalone from other Aspera products. The completely agentless technical approach means that Aspera LicenseControl for SAP® Software can be deployed in a matter of hours.
  • Installation & onboarding is performed by Aspera SAP Licensing Experts.
  • Aspera estimates a license optimisation using the tool will yield a minimum of 10% of the annual cost savings from a customer’s SAP Named User Licenses. This enables an expected ROI to be calculated ahead of deployment, providing strong support for the business case for the tool.
  • Key to the success of the tool is the detailed and highly configurable Aspera license allocation ruleset. This proprietary ruleset may be thought of as being similar to the software recognition service built into general purpose SAM tools.
  • SAP License Management is complex, Aspera recognises this and their Tool plus Service approach enables organisations without teams dedicated to SAP License Management to optimise their SAP estate and derive the best value from deploying LicenseControl.
  • Service engagement options range from installation support all the way through to a full managed service.
  • The limited-use version of Aspera’s SmartTrack reporting and dashboarding product enables summary reports to be generated from the comprehensive & highly detailed LicenseControl for SAP data.
  • The product provides rich functionality for the measurement of digital and indirect access.

Assessors Recommendation

  • Aspera LicenseControl 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 Aspera LicenseControl for SAP® Software for SAP License Management

Customer References

Reference Visit #1 – German Automotive Manufacturer

For this certification process The ITAM Review interviewed an Aspera LicenseControl for SAP® Software customer in Germany, a large end user corporate with tens of thousands of employees.

This customer has been using Aspera LicenseControl for SAP® Software for many years. It is used to manage diverse SAP systems across multiple semi-autonomous business units. This diversity was an obstacle to optimisation and was the primary motivation for deploying an SAP License Management tool. Using the tool the customer has been able to centralise and consolidate SAP contracts and simplify the license types deployed using contractual user types. They have customised the out-of-the-box ruleset to meet their needs and cite this flexibility as a benefit of the product.

The output from the toolset is used to directly drive contract negotiations with SAP and the ability to consolidate user and account information enables further cost efficiencies through cost allocations to departments and divisions. This allocation method enables targeting and governance at a divisional level – for example highlighting divisions where licenses are allocated inefficiently.

This customer has just started using the tool to simulate and model potential migrations to S4/HANA. The ITAM Manager uses the tool in conjunction with SAP Operations consultants and cites the ability of the tool to provide a non-technical user with insight into the performance of the SAP Operations team.

They find Aspera service to be very flexible with a reasonable response time for questions and requests. They have made use of consultancy days with Aspera for user training.

Overall, they are happy with the tool and are long-term users – it has clearly become an essential component in their management of software licenses.

Reference Visit #2 – Multinational Retailer

The second end user customer is multinational retailer for luxury goods headquartered in France. They have been using the product for 3 years. It was selected in a 3-way competitive RFP, winning on functionality and price. The lead user was familiar with using the tool in a previous role as a consultant and as such can be considered an expert user.

They manage approximately 4000 users with the tool across 9 production and development systems. They also use the tool to measure indirect access. The primary motivation for deploying the system was cost management and it has delivered against this requirement. From spending in the region of €200k the tool enabled them to deliver on a target of zero additional SAP expenditure in the first year. This meant that the tool paid for itself several times over within the first year.

As with the first reference this customer has extensively customised the standard ruleset to meet their needs. This flexibility, along with the consultancy services available from Aspera, is consistently called out as a great strength of the product. The customer also praised Aspera’s support and customer service, citing how they developed additional functionality for the product at their request. We have seen this customer-centred approach from Aspera for other products in their portfolio too.

In day-to-day usage they import data on a weekly basis from the source SAP systems. They use this data to identify optimisations to write back to SAP and work with their BASIS team to do this. The BASIS team use the tool regularly to check on inactive users and perform a bi-annual reconciliation.

One area they see for improvement is in reporting. The product does not allow standard views to be customised when performing license allocation simulations. The workaround is to export to Excel and it’s an area where the product lags behind Aspera’s SmartTrack product.

Overall, they find the product “really easy to handle, really easy to deploy” and are pleased with the ROI it provides, backed up with excellent support and consultancy.

Downloadable version

Click here to download the PDF version of this Certification

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 is based in the New Forest where he enjoys cycling, walking, spending time with his family, and keeping chickens

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