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Why we still need a SAM tool for SAP

I read more and more often - even from former companions - that cloud computing makes a software asset management (SAM) tool unnecessary. But how can a cloud function without management?
Myrja Schumacher, USU Software
17 October 2023
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

With the increasing complexity and yet difficult migration of SAP applications to the cloud, such a statement confuses the already highly challenged SAP license manager. So, the answer to the question whether a license management and optimization tool is still necessary is: Yes, definitely!

The fact is the complexity of licensing. SAP systems are known for having a complex and multi-layered license structure. There are different license types, such as user licenses or engines, packages and line-of-business (LoB) products for specific applications.

Allocating and managing these licenses can be a challenge, especially when companies use multiple SAP applications and modules. A license management and optimization tool can help keep track of licenses, monitor their usage, and minimize potential compliance risks.

Named user licenses only have to be licensed for the use of the Digital Core. Users who work exclusively in the line-of-business applications can use the free user type "S/4 Hana Technical SAP Engine User (HF)". It is then sufficient that the respective Engine is licensed.

Since January 2022, there has been a user for read-only access in S/4. The most favorable user type in the S/4 price list contains, in addition to the classic self-service functions, rudimentary rights in Supply Chain Management, Asset Management and Manufacturing and, since January 2022, also general read rights and rights for releases in the Digital Core.

Check whether you can restrict the permissions for users on engines. In most cases, an inexpensive Productivity Use license is sufficient for the remaining accesses to the Digital Core. If necessary, small changes in the work processes can save a lot of money if only a few User Core functions have to be used. Check, especially before switching to S/4, how many Professional licenses you really need, taking into account that read accesses and releases are included in the cheaper licenses. Our experience shows that up to 35 percent of Professional licenses are no longer needed.

Cost savings: A license management and optimization tool enables companies to use their SAP licenses more efficiently, thereby saving costs. For example, the tool can help identify unused or underused licenses and reallocate these resources to other users or systems.

Compliance and audit readiness: SAP conducts regular license audits to ensure that companies comply with agreed license terms. A solution can help companies prepare for such audits and ensure that they meet SAP's requirements.

Transparency: A license management and optimization tool provides companies with better governance and transparency over their SAP licensing. It enables centralized management and monitoring of licenses and ensures that all users have the right permissions.

Operational efficiency: SAM tools automate aspects of license management and reduce manual effort and errors. They streamline processes such as software provisioning, license tracking, entitlement reconciliation, and reporting.

Although SAP in the cloud offers many benefits, the need for a license management and optimization tool remains. The complexity of SAP licensing, the potential for cost savings, risk mitigation, compliance requirements, flexibility in the cloud, and improved governance are all reasons why companies should continue to rely on such a tool. By using a license management and optimization tool, companies can use their SAP licenses more efficiently, reduce costs and minimize compliance risks.

Myrja Schumacher, USU Software

Myrja Schumacher is Senior Product Manager at USU Software.

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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.