Enhanced capabilities provide unprecedented insight into SAP license usage to enable license re-harvesting, optimal user classification, and reduced license spend
Maidenhead, UK – September 25, 2012 Flexera Software, the leading provider of Application Usage Management solutions for application producers and enterprises, announced today a significant upgrade to its FlexNet Manager for SAP solution. The new release has been re-architected to provide unparalleled performance, agentless (no transports) usage collection, and user-defined optimisation rules. This permits SAP license managers to take command and make informed decisions based on real usage data.
FlexNet Manager for SAP is part of FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises and built upon the FlexNet Manager Platform, which delivers hardware and software asset management for enterprises across 11,000 publishers and 325,000 application SKUs. The Suite also includes Software License Optimisation solutions for Adobe, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Symantec, and 20,000 engineering applications – automating entitlement-based license management to reduce software license, maintenance and audit costs, while maintaining license compliance.
Enhanced Decision Support and Control for SAP License Managers
SAP licensing is based on user roles, such as professional, limited professional, developer, and employee self-service. Typically, these licenses are manually assigned by an SAP administrator without the benefit of an analysis showing actual usage data. Making a non-optimal license assignment – such as assigning to a user a professional license when, in fact, she needs a lesser license – can cost thousands of dollars more than necessary. Optimising an SAP license estate requires accurate insight into how each employee uses the system to ensure that the least expense license type is assigned to each user. Frequently the result of optimisation is the discovery that an organisation is “over-licensed,” providing an opportunity for a reduction in future purchases (cost avoidance).
FlexNet Manger for SAP is the only solution capable of combining multiple license optimisation strategies to provide recommendations to SAP administrators, enabling them to achieve an optimised license position. These strategies include recommendations for the optimal license classification for each user, identification and removal of duplicate users, and identification of users that should be retired due to non-use. FlexNet Manager for SAP captures usage data from SAP systems and conducts automated, rule-based simulations that analyse employees’ actual usage to determine the lowest cost SAP license type for each user. This latest release provides additional refinements to SAP license optimisation, such as the ability to create and simulate user defined rules through an intuitive rules editor. When administrators are satisfied with the optimised license position, they can then update the SAP system state, which will be reflected in the next SAP License Administration Workbench (LAW) report. These refinements also allow organisations to predict the cost impact of contemplated changes to the SAP license estate by performing simulations for “what-if,” best case, and worst case licensing scenarios.
“The sophisticated analysis and reports provided by FlexNet Manager for SAP are unparalleled, empowering administrators to understand at a granular level how employees are using the system, along with key recommendations that, if implemented, can significantly reduce license spend,” said Alan Swahn, Vice President of Product Management at Flexera Software. “By instituting those recommendations SAP administrators will eliminate excessive costs due to miscategorised users and unused licenses.”
Increased Demand for SAP Software License Optimisation
Today’s announcement comes at a time of considerable growth for SAP, and a time of opportunity for enterprises to save on SAP license spend. According to IDC, in 2011 SAP was the 4th largest packaged software company with software revenues exceeding $15 billion and the fastest growing of the big five vendors, with a 16.5% growth rate in 2011 over 2010.
“It’s incredibly complicated to optimise software spend in order to ensure you only buy what you need, and use what you have,” said Amy Konary, Research Vice President - Software Licensing and Provisioning at IDC. “SAP’s licensing models are complex and not well understood by many enterprises. Without a system in place to track and analyse usage, it’s nearly impossible to align your needs with optimal SAP license classifications and quantities. And without these insights, it’s very difficult to negotiate a new purchase with SAP or respond to a software license audit.”
“Without the analysis and insights provided by FlexNet Manager for SAP, it is very difficult for organisations to purchase licenses and negotiate with SAP based on their real requirements,” said Swahn. “Our customers regularly reduce their SAP license spend anywhere from 5-35% once they are armed with this knowledge.”
Unified Software License Optimisation for the Entire Software Estate
FlexNet Manager for SAP’s new architecture also leverages the capabilities of FlexNet Manager Platform to deliver a next generation SAP Software License Optimisation solution. The Platform enables CIO’s, CFO’s and IT Asset Management leaders to centrally manage and optimise software spend across the entire software estate. The new release enables SAP shops to utilise FlexNet Manager Platform capabilities, including the license management dashboard, contract management module, and Cognos-based business intelligence, trend analysis, and reporting. Business users can access SAP license management reports through a web browser.
“The architectural changes to FlexNet Manager for SAP empower executives, finance and IT business managers to gain valuable insight and control over SAP software, optimise license spend based on actual usage, and access an executive dashboard that provides key usage and compliance reports,” said Swahn. “No other solution delivers this level of information, transparency and control to business stakeholders.”
 Worldwide Software 2012-2016 Forecast Summary, Patrick Melgarejo, June 2012