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Intelligent solution for S/4 license measurement

It is common knowledge that SAP is not satisfied with the success rate of migrating customers to S/4. Many members of the SAP community tend to take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to migrating to S/4 Hana.
Hendrik Ramke, Sandmeier Consulting
November 6, 2023
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

There are several reasons for this. Firstly, transformation projects, especially S/4 projects, are extremely complex and can take several years to complete. A successful transformation requires the evaluation and introduction of new technologies as well as the redesign of processes and license landscapes. Secondly, SAP's strong focus on the cloud with probably the most expensive marketing campaign in the company's history, Rise with SAP, is not really going down well with most SAP users.

On the contrary, most customers still prefer local installations. Nevertheless, one thing is certain: users will be forced to migrate their old ERP systems to S/4 Hana by 2030 at the latest. This may still be a long way off, but the licensing costs associated with such a migration should by no means be underestimated.

An attentive SAP customer dealing with the licensing aspects of a migration to S/4 will recognize that customer orientation leaves a lot to be desired. The numerous changes in terms of engine functions and metrics, non-functioning reports and unclear interpretation bases make the successful evaluation of an S/4 conversion without the risk of costly additional claims an almost impossible challenge for the customer.

In order to create security in this situation, an intelligent solution is required that reliably closes the gaps (deliberately) left open by SAP and provides the customer with clear recommendations. Sandmeier Consulting has been working on such an intelligent solution for some time. License One brings light into the darkness. But what are the stumbling blocks in an S/4 survey?

An example scenario concerns the risk involved in determining a valid digital access volume. Although SAP positions itself as "supportive" and provides the Digital Access Estimation Report and the Passport Report as an SAP note, SAP assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the results. This makes little sense from the customer's point of view, especially considering that both reports are prone to errors. Consequently, these reports cannot be regarded as a binding basis and require their own intelligent interpretation. A step-by-step approach in which results are critically evaluated, carefully reviewed and informed decisions are made is the only sensible approach to determining reliable digital access volumes.

It is necessary to evaluate the relevant interfaces in the estimation report. These are compared over the assessment period and checked for plausibility using the Passport report. It is crucial to create comparison scenarios, including best and worst case scenarios, and to consider economic aspects such as "new purchase with credit" or "subsequent purchase". It is also important to define price scales. For each document type, License One performs an individual plausibility check of the documents subject to licensing determined by SAP using the data from the estimation report for this document type. This approach makes it possible to determine an investment-proof volume.

Another scenario that is characterized by a lack of transparency and uncertainty relates to license measurement based on the assigned authorizations. Under S/4, the actual usage is no longer used as the basis for license measurement, but rather the assigned authorizations. Unfortunately, a historically grown SAP authorization concept in most cases involves a considerable amount of over-authorizations, often due to "saved" administrative management. However, this cost saving often proves to be a boomerang under S/4 and leads to a drastic increase in the license value after the STAR service in many customer projects. Although the STAR set of rules is not a contractual basis, it is used by SAP for remote audits.

Unfortunately, even this tool provided by SAP is not error-free. The challenge is therefore to identify inconsistencies in the STAR rules and to perform the measurement on the basis of a well-founded deviating set of rules. With the help of Samplic's STAR in License One, errors in the STAR rules were identified and corrected in a meaningful way, enabling consistent license measurement based on authorizations.

Unfortunately, there are numerous other aspects and scenarios in an S/4 survey that are characterized by considerable uncertainty and where SAP customers cannot rely on support from SAP. Without this expertise, SAP customers run the risk of using incorrect or only partially correct assumptions as a basis for upcoming S/4 negotiations or measurement submissions.

Hendrik Ramke, Sandmeier Consulting

Hendrik Ramke is Senior Solution Consultant, Director Sales & Marketing at Sandmeier Consulting

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Working on the SAP basis is crucial for successful S/4 conversion. 

This gives the Competence Center strategic importance for existing SAP customers. Regardless of the S/4 Hana operating model, topics such as Automation, Monitoring, Security, Application Lifecycle Management and Data Management the basis for S/4 operations.

For the second time, E3 magazine is organizing a summit for the SAP community in Salzburg to provide comprehensive information on all aspects of S/4 Hana groundwork. All information about the event can be found here:

SAP Competence Center Summit 2024


Event Room, FourSide Hotel Salzburg,
At the exhibition center 2,
A-5020 Salzburg

Event date

June 5 and 6, 2024

Regular ticket:

€ 590 excl. VAT


Event Room, Hotel Hilton Heidelberg,
Kurfürstenanlage 1,
69115 Heidelberg

Event date

28 and 29 February 2024


Regular ticket
EUR 590 excl. VAT
The organizer is the E3 magazine of the publishing house AG. The presentations will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected SAP partners. The ticket price includes the attendance of all lectures of the Steampunk and BTP Summit 2024, the visit of the exhibition area, the participation in the evening event as well as the catering during the official program. The lecture program and the list of exhibitors and sponsors (SAP partners) will be published on this website in due time.