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Migrating S/4 licenses: A Case for SAM?

Are you in the process of converting to S/4 Hana? Then you are probably familiar with the licensing difficulties that accompany such a change. Software Asset Management (SAM) can help lead the project to success.
Lauran van Eyck
November 29, 2023
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

In customer projects, we repeatedly find that companies have no clear strategy or little awareness of the complexity of SAP licensing and the associated costs. This is also reflected in a DSAG/ASUG survey: almost 50 percent of companies rate the S/4 migration as more complex than expected.

Before the migration of SAP licenses can begin, important decisions need to be made that will influence the rest of the process: Should the old SAP ECC system with its contracts, data and settings simply be converted? Would it make more sense to set up a new ERP system that is perhaps better equipped for the future? Should we jump on the Rise-with-SAP bandwagon and rely on S/4 Hana Cloud?

An as-is analysis of existing contracts and users is essential for understanding the requirements in the S/4 universe. Selecting the right SAP user types can be challenging. On the one hand, the transition to a user-based access model with only four user types offers a great opportunity to exploit potential savings. After all, not all SAP users need a user license for S/4 Hana. On the other hand, Hana and S/4 place high technical demands on the quality of master data. For the SAP transformation to succeed, it is important that the data used meets the high SAP requirements. What can SAM do for SAP users?

SAM enables SAP users to use their SAP licenses more efficiently and thus save costs. Unused or underused licenses can be identified and these resources can be reallocated to other users or systems (re-harvesting). License overlaps or double payments can be identified and avoided.

SAP conducts regular license audits to ensure that companies comply with the agreed license terms. SAM helps companies to prepare for such audits and ensure compliance. The tool provides a precise overview of license usage and provides data for audit reporting.

A license management tool provides better governance and transparency over SAP licensing. It enables centralized management of licenses and ensures that all users have the correct authorizations. SAM can also assist with the creation of license reports and communication with SAP on licensing issues.

Automate and optimize

SAM tools automate various aspects of license management and reduce manual effort. They streamline processes such as software provisioning, license tracking, entitlement reconciliation and reporting. This saves time, improves accuracy and allows IT teams to focus on more strategic initiatives.

Although the new SAP S/4 licensing model offers a number of advantages, the need for license management and optimization in the context of software asset management remains. Know-how and a strategic approach are required on both the technical and economic side. Because with S/4, SAP customers become more transparent. SAP is no longer reliant on customer self-disclosure when it comes to evaluating permitted user types and compliance issues. Instead, SAP determines SAP usage - often without transparency for the user companies - and confronts customers with the results. Proactive license management is required to ensure compliance and to at least be able to deal with SAP on an equal footing. Good software asset management covers all complex and time-consuming tasks that SAP users are unable or unwilling to handle themselves due to a lack of resources, time and knowledge. It is the key to getting the best out of the project from an economic point of view.

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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.