SAP Self-Declaration: Annoyance or Opportunity?

By Jim Hussey


August 25, 2020

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If you’re an SAP customer, you’re likely familiar with the vendor’s annual contractual requirement to submit an SAP Self-Declaration and Measurement Plan. While this requirement is an annoyance for many customers, it can actually be something far more positive.

First, let’s back up and discuss the notion of self-declaration and why it’s interesting in the current context of Software Asset Management and software license audits. In SAM circles, we often talk about the significant challenges and internal strife a software audit produces within the organization. SAM professionals work hard to establish audit-ready operations to minimize the effect of software audits from the likes of Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and others – the threat of audits is always lurking in the background, and they are always unplanned and unbudgeted.

SAP has chosen a different approach to measuring license compliance that has the potential to minimize the level of unplanned audits. By establishing an annual contractual requirement to submit the SAP Self-Declaration and Measurement Plan, SAP has handed SAM professionals a unique opportunity: the ability to plan for an audit.

So why is it that so many firms struggle to take full advantage of this opportunity provided by SAP? They have access to USMM, LAW and the associated Notes as well as the Passport tool that enable them to inspect usage, deployment and indirect access. These can be reviewed in advance of submitting the self-declaration data and used to proactively manage the need for true-ups or additional purchases.

Leveraging SAP Self-Declaration to Your Benefit

NPI advises SAP customers to view this requirement as an opportunity to optimize their SAP environment and establish absolute clarity of their SAP usage requirements. This will maintain accuracy and efficiency of SAP spend while ensuring alignment to business needs. As we assist organizations with taking full advantage of the self-measurement process and reporting requirements, there are multiple additional benefits that emerge when truly embracing this submission exercise.

1. SAP Product Ownership

Regardless of the length of time your organization has utilized SAP products, we find many SAP products with owned entitlements do not have a documented internal owner. Validation of the Consolidated LAW report usage levels and the additional SAP products that are not part of the self-measurement process provides SAM and Sourcing professionals the opportunity to identify internal ownership gaps. Working with IT and business leaders, it is important to identify owners or identify specific products for potential exchange or retirement.

2. Reconciliation: LAW Output vs. Entitlements Owned

Perhaps it is because many firms wait until the last minute to execute the self-measurement process, but we continue to see self-declarations submitted with no comprehensive review against entitlements. While many of the metrics in SAP agreements are not ‘user-based’, often it is these few products with NUP metrics that drive substantial true-up findings. Aligning LAW output against entitlements owned will enable targeted investigation and potential remediation to ensure the environment is properly maintained or at minimum anticipate the required additional purchase.

3. Optimization: License Management

The annual self-measurement requirement provides the opportunity to validate that licenses are being properly managed, including harvest and reuse. This also helps SAM professionals identify process and control gaps that can be remedied with likely benefit beyond the SAP footprint.

4. Digital Access: SAP’s Passport Tool

While indirect access has always been a bit subjective in definition, we see the continued investment as a means to help clients identify both interfaces and the associate volume. When combined with your internal list of interfaces, Passport output will enable internal teams to quickly identify and prioritize interfaces based on Digital Access implications. This is a great time to get comfortable with the Passport Tool as there are many in the SAP community who see this as a potential addition to the annual self-measurement process.

5. SAP Self-Measurement Trending

When you embrace the annual SAP requirement and go beyond the specific technologies included in the measurement plan to cover the full SAP estate, SAM and Sourcing professionals can develop insightful usage-based analysis of the SAP environment over time. This will continue to support identification of items no longer in use or those that require additional funding.

In summary, take advantage of this opportunity! It will save you substantial money year over year while ensuring your SAP renewals are aligned to your actual usage requirements.