SAP license audits: three tips to avoid unpleasant surprises

A license audit is never a pleasure. Often badly, if not badly experienced, bad experiences pushed the association of French speaking SAP Users (USF) to look into the subject in February 2016 with the creation of a dedicated working group.

Result, A White Paper will be published at the end of the year. But with the upsurge of what the USF describes as “abusive audits and remedies,” this task force has decided to give three tips today.

“We have been contacted for several months by SAP users scalded by particularly aggressive licensing audits, resulting in adjustments that are quantified for some tens of millions of euros,” confirms Claude Molly-Mitton, President of the USF.

Practices that he condemns with virulence. For him, “[they] are very similar to a strategy of obtaining additional commercial income”.

Tips for “protecting yourself from audit pitfalls”

First advice. Upstream, it is necessary to define contractually – “and very clearly” insists the USF – audit clauses. These clarifications must relate to the frequency, the flow process, the measurable metrics and finally the mode of application of the contractual discounts in case of additional purchase of licenses.

During the audit, the association strongly urges “not to provide information or documents that are not essential or whose content is not exactly known”, for example, application maps or company flows. A second advice in the form of caution, therefore.

Finally, after the audit, the USF advises to formally ask SAP for a closing document of the audit.

And especially not to accept the start of a new audit without having closed the previous one.

Practices that impact S / 4HANA

The main lesson of the USF is that auditing, the key is played on the upstream phase, “according to the provisions that customers take even before the start of the process by the publisher” says Patrick Geai ( La Poste), Facilitator of the Working Group.

“To help users facing these situations, the USF wanted to deliver these first practical tips now, in order to protect themselves from the pitfalls of audits,” insists the association. He also warns SAP of these commercial practices, which he calls “largely contestable” in black and white.

“The situation of tension they create with users seems unconvincing, even as SAP tries to convince its customers to adopt its new solution S / 4HANA,” concludes Patrick Geai. As a threat?

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