Certero for SAP Applications performs the complex analysis of licenses across your SAP estate, whether direct or indirect, and creates an optimized view.
It simplifies the challenges of managing the different license types and provides visibility of how SAP is really used, giving you an up-to-date view of your license position and compliance. Armed with that information you are able to ensure that you use what you have, buy only what you need and negotiate contracts based on facts.
Certero for SAP Applications resides on a Windows platform outside of your SAP systems. This means it does not impose additional resource demands on SAP systems as it performs its complex analysis and optimization, thus having a minimal impact on your normal SAP business operation. Certero for SAP Applications is highly scalable, regardless of how many systems, users or roles exist in your organization.
It is available with flexible deployment options including on-premises, Cloud and Hybrid.
Inventory of SAP Systems in a Controlled Environment
With Certero for SAP Applications, nothing is installed on your SAP systems. This is important, as any SAP license management solution must have minimal impact on the SAP systems that help operate your business. Designed with this consideration in mind, Certero’s solution uses SAP standard interface technology (remote function calls or RFCs) to extract data and update SAP in a performant manner. This is the only demand on your SAP system, as from that point data is fully managed within Certero for SAP Applications: all reporting and analysis is performed outside of SAP, removing any risk of affecting business critical systems.
This approach has an additional benefit where organizations have multiple SAP systems: all of the data is pulled together into a single reporting platform, providing a complete SAP inventory. Again, all of the analysis and optimization can be performed in Certero for SAP Applications without any risk of impacting production environments.
Custom or Non-Standard License Metrics
With Certero for SAP Applications, all of those elements that were once a challenge to track and monitor become straightforward. Your SAP Administrator defines exactly what needs to be measured using out of the box capabilities:
- Named User licensing is managed by the creation of a ruleset that is configured in line with your SAP contract
- Package measurements can be defined to extract the data relevant to either SAP standard metrics or customer-defined metrics. Measurements can then be run or manually entered
The results from the user and package analysis feed directly into the license reporting to provide a real time view of compliance against even the most complex of custom metrics.
Certero for SAP Applications will also produce trend reports against the bespoke metrics to provide a day-by-day or month-by-month account of the measurement. This is exceptionally useful where the bespoke metrics are defined against a fixed number of SAP systems across a defined period of time, as you can see the ‘trend’ and start predicting future utilization.
Risk Analysis and Control Module
The Sarbanes Oxley Act, and its European equivalent, places clear responsibilities on companies establishing and testing procedures and internal controls for financial reporting. A key part of this is understanding and managing risk, particularly where it relates to the use of computer systems.
With regard to your SAP system there are 2 main areas that need to be considered in this context:
- Segregation of duties – users with a combination of access that can lead to financial loss
- Critical access – users that have a single level of access that is deemed critical
Certero for SAP Applications Risk Analysis and Control Module has been specifically designed to help you deal with these challenges and is only available from Certero. Information is provided on users and roles that have the potential to perform and carry out actions associated to risks. It offers:
- Rulesets – enables the analysis of risks in one or more SAP systems
- Owners – can be defined and associated to a risk or critical action
- Roles – analysis of assigned roles and authorizations to help identify potential conflicts of interest
- Usage – role and transaction usage by user to help identify where risks may have been realized
- Violations – notification of violations allowing action or mitigation to be undertaken
This facilitates an understanding of the scope of sensitive functionalities and segregation of duty conflicts behind key business processes, as well as enabling the identification and mitigation of any conflicts among the SAP user population.
SAP License Optimization
Certero for SAP Applications presents your licensing opportunities and risks by reporting on your baseline position and then the optimal position based on usage, yet still aligned to any specific contract terms that may affect the license.
This is a representation of your current license assignments across your SAP systems after applying named user normalization and license reconciliation. This is similar to what you would submit to SAP using their standard tools (i.e. LAW).
The optimal view takes into consideration how each individual actually uses each specific SAP system and recommends a license type per system they use which is then consolidated to the highest license type across systems which should be allocated to the user in question. This is a deep and complex analysis that often results in users needing a lower value license, or in some cases no license at all. Both of these outcomes represent a significant cost reduction opportunity, or provide leverage for negotiating with SAP across your entire enterprise.
All of this analysis and optimization is completed outside of SAP, so users are able to analyze, optimize and review as an ongoing process, thereby ensuring SAP licensing is kept as streamlined as possible. Certero for SAP Applications will even cater for “what-if” scenarios, allowing you to explore different approaches to licensing your SAP estate.
During the collection of data from multiple SAP systems, Certero for SAP Applications performs normalization of all users’ accounts to help identify what’s needed in terms of named users who have access to SAP, along with the highest level license each requires.
This initial set of data provides what Certero for SAP Applications calls a “basline” compliance position, which is the license requirement based on what has already been allocated to individuals across your SAP systems.
All of the usage data that is associated with the individuals is also collected. This includes, among other things, the role assignments and CCMS data. These elements, together with other intelligence about the configuration of your SAP systems and your license entitlement, are used to provide optimized compliance reports and highlight any areas for streamlining Named User licensing.
Another complex area to manage is the measurement and validation of packages (formerly known as engines). First, we have the SAP standard metrics for a relatively small number of packages. These packages are measured by LAW and you have little or no visibility of your compliance until LAW is run, which means that there is a high risk of being out of compliance and being faced with un-budgeted expense. The measurements may also not be correct as you may not have actioned any notes and patches related to each measurement.
Then there are the customer defined metrics where it is left to you to either disclose manually collected data or information from company reports to ensure the measurement is complete.
Certero’s solution collects the measurement data, both calculated and manually entered, and ensures that the numbers are correct so that any dispute with SAP over a particular metric can be resolved.
Indirect access has been a contractual reality for some time. It is a complex topic full of grey areas and it not simple for you to assess whether an interface with another application, reporting tool or portal constitutes indirect access or not. SAP audit activity is becoming increasingly focused on identifying indirect access within their LAW measurement and, if found, the penalties can be significant. Most SAP customers need help to first identify and quantify the exposure so that they can mitigate the risk and optimize the size of any exposure prior to discussions with SAP.
Certero can handle the identification of indirect access and work with you to identify the licenses, if any, required to assure compliance while making sure that you are not over-licensed. We can also advise of the best way to handle discussions with SAP regarding your usage.
Certero for SAP Applications will ensure your organization is optimally positioned to manage licenses with minimal administration and manage risk, while benefiting from the ability to offset freed licences against net new licenses should the organization be buying more SAP.
Easy-to-use, flexible, highly automated, you can proactively manage your SAP estate and optimize usage. Makes the complex straightfoward
Removes complexity and reduces manual effort required to assess the optimized license position, by performing a deeper and more relevant analysis of your deployed SAP systems. You can then update SAP with the changes to licenses and retire any idle users identified, so that LAW will then report on your true license position
You can rest easy, safe in the knowledge that there won’t be any nasty surprises and in discussions with SAP you will be presenting them with their own data
Rules-driven, rich-data approach eliminates those tasks which previously had to be carried out by SAP licensing consultants, probably on multiple spreadsheets
No threat of disruption to your business-critical operations as nothing is installed on SAP
Offers the highest level of optimization. From day one you start to see the value of Certero
Remove the mystery and complexity of SAP licensing, putting you in control, optimizing utilization, minimizing cost and assuring continuous compliance
Risk analysis reporting helps address financial and security control challenges. The system can be set up to provide notification of violations allowing action or mitigation to be undertaken
All Certero’s SAM solutions are designed to run either independently or together holistically and optimally on the Certero Management Platform. This means you have the benefit of a common database and user experience is consistent throughout the platform. Administrators can reach operational competency quickly and with minimal training overhead, whilst on-going support is simplified and overall costs reduced
Parameter driven BI reporting transforms all your raw data into useful knowledge, allowing you to manage all your software assets across your entire IT estate efficiently, effectively and dynamically
With Certero in your corner, you’ll never be unprepared for a licensing conversation with SAP again
Read the whitepaper to learn more about the challenges of SAP licensing and how best to address them.
Watch the Certero for SAP applications video and see what it might be able to do for you.