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S/4 HANA, Digital Access and Cloud Transformation: Our SAP experts set out the licensing trends to watch out for

 

I recently sat down with the SAP team at Livingstone to glean some exclusive insights and top trends for organizations to look out for. So, without further ado:

Meet our SAP team leads

Mietske Van Ravesteijn, SAP Practice Lead:

“As SAP Practice Lead, my roles entails setting up the strategy for the SAP team, supporting customers with SAP contracts and overall project responsibility for the SAP engagements. I also support pre-sales, as well as managing and coaching the Livingstone SAP Team. Overall, my focus is on the commercial side of things.

On a day-to-day basis this can involve answering customers’ license requests or other IT questions which might impact their SAP estate - explaining trends, advising them on SAP policies, how to negotiate a contract, how to mitigate risk whilst ensuring compliance, and advising them on what good looks like with regards to SAP contracts.

My previous experience working at SAP as a global account director and program manager provides me with invaluable insight when supporting our customers. I also have a wealth of technical knowledge, having started my career as a programmer.”


Alex Meijer, Senior Consultant SAP Licensing:

“I work as a Senior License Consultant on the team, focusing broadly on data analysis and auditing. My expertise lies in digging deep into the data in SAP systems for technical assessments, compliance analysis, and contract reviews. This plays to my strengths and experience – having previously worked for 7 years as a license auditor at SAP and a further 4 years as SAP practice lead at JNC Consultancy.  I also have an MSc in Applied Physics and Numerical Modelling and worked as a Researcher before joining Livingstone. For organizations facing particularly complex compliance challenges, I’m the go-to guy.

For in-depth compliance analysis I analyse usage data from the point of software use rights and map this against a full contract review – evaluating an organization’s systems against their contracts, software use rights, and other SAP documentation. This process allows me to provide detailed insights to our customers, which are particularly helpful when it comes to an SAP audit and mitigating risk.”


Marco Claassen, Senior License Consultant:

“I specialize in supporting customers with contracts – including entitlements, negotiations, and renewals. My previous role as Manager of the Contracting Department within SAP itself gives me an insider’s perspective on the process, meaning I can now give Livingstone Group customers behind-the-scenes insight into this area, including for legacy tech and products that others may be unaware of.

I advise customers on all areas, including pricing models, software use rights, and what the language used in contracts actually means. Often, customers will have several SAP contracts, with potentially thousands of products! It’s my job to help them make sense of all of this, so they know exactly what they have and where.”

 

SAP trends to watch

I asked the team for their insights into future SAP trends, and they all agreed - the top three trends all organizations should be aware of are: Cloud transformation; S/4 HANA; and Digital Access.

  • S/4 HANA: many SAP customers will have already started to migrate their business systems from older, legacy infrastructure to S/4 HANA - as SAP support for the current ECC systems is due to finish in 2027. Because it impacts business-critical systems, migration to S/4 HANA requires significant planning and resources – so don’t be fooled by the distant deadline, and act sooner rather than later.

When migrating, organizations ought to consider whether to undertake a full contract migration – where an entirely new contract is agreed between the customer and SAP – or a product conversion, where only a proportion of solutions are converted to a new contract. There are pros and cons to each approach, so take the time to work out the best fit for you organization, and bear in mind that S/4 HANA product prices increase at variable rates.

  • Digital Access: SAP’s Digital Access model was introduced back in 2018. Following this, the Digital Access Adoption Program (DAAP) was introduced in May 2019 and offered SAP customers a significant discount to move over to this new model. The DAAP has now been extended until December 31st 2022, affording organizations a second chance to make the most of this offer and prepare for making the move.

For those organizations that choose to stay on SAP’s Legacy model, this may prove complex in the long-term – as this model is no longer fit for purpose, which will consequentially make compliance and audits more challenging.

Whether you choose to make the switch or not, Livingstone lays out the best way for organizations to adapt in its our latest video series of SAP Briefings

  • Cloud transformation: This is perhaps the simplest trend, but is no less impactful for that. In short, SAP is implementing a (perhaps belated) move to the Cloud. When migrating their SAP landscape to the Cloud, it’s important that organizations understand the difference this will make. In general, a Cloud transformation allows for greater flexibility and agility, as well as innovation, meaning more new products and features.

 

While being aware of the advantages of the Cloud, what’s most important is for organizations to understand what works best for them. For many, a hybrid approach may be the best choice, with a mixture of Cloud and non-Cloud products and licenses. Organizations will also need to consider different Cloud options – namely public, private, or hybrid – as well as which Hyperscaler to work with. Take the time to fully understand your current SAP usage, contracts and Bill of Materials (BoM) to figure out the best move for you.

 

Learn how Livingstone Group can meet your SAP needs

Visit our dedicate SAP Page

If you’d like to learn more about upcoming SAP trends and how to prepare, make sure to tune in to our new SAP Briefing Series.

Livingstone Group SAP Briefing Series Thumbnail

Our independent consultants already work with many of the world’s largest and most complex organizations, using their specialist expertise to advise on all things SAP: whether that be contract renewals, negotiations, audits, compliance, and much more.

For more information, please email us on info@livingstone-group.com or fill out this form and one of our experts will be in touch.

 

About the Author

Livingstone Group | SAP Briefings Blog | Kate Hawgood, Head of Marketing

Kate Hawgood, Head of Marketing

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