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The STAR analysis can help, but - if used incorrectly - it can also burn money

January 29, 2024


Peter Rattey



Considering SAP's STAR for determining your future S/4HANA user licenses?

I've been preaching this for months in my podcast on LinkedIn: I warn our customers not to use any analysis without due care and attention if the basic data might not be correct. STAR can be of great benefit, but it can also cost a lot of money.

Should STAR be based on activities or authorizations?

At the 2018 DSAG Annual Congress, SAP clarified the question of whether licensing should be based on activities or authorizations.

Clear statement at the time and documented in writing: Licensing would still only have to be based on activities. According to the SAP employee presenting at the time, the authorizations were an SAP idea for future licensing under S/4HANA. However, the statement was later dropped and anyone who wants to can continue to license according to the activities used.

In addition, SAP introduced USMM2 at the time, whose functionalities could be licensed according to authorizations, which would then also provide compliance. However, this method comes at a very high price because almost every user is licensed at a higher level than necessary. If you have a big wallet, you can buy compliance at such a high price. Personally, I don't know of any company that would use these functions. Automatic optimization using a tool such as samQ makes more sense.

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The STAR analysis:

This kind of activity is a wake-up call for the community, a certain percentage accepts it and SAP suddenly has more sales without much effort whether this is intended or not. Here, a seemingly technical analysis promises to make the tedious and unpleasant task of matching very easy.

My personal approach to such announcements and campaigns is to wait and see. Nowhere is the German saying "Nothing is eaten as hot as it was cooked" more true than with SAP announcements (yes, it's German, but you get the point :-)).

And here too, as far as STAR is concerned, SAP remains reserved when asked directly about the usefulness of the tool.

But now to the practical part, which we will discuss in detail in our webinar on January 31, 2024:

STAR does indeed have its advantages if you use it correctly. We have broken the tool down into its individual parts, analyzed it and rated it accordingly. It's not all bad (just kidding 😊).

BROCHURE – the benefits of our products!

samQ® - License Optimizer for SAP® Software - VOQUZ Labs

samQ License Optimizer automates and centralizes all SAP licensing processes to optimize your costs, reduce risk and guarantee compliance.

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The importance of an optimized SAP License Landscape:

If I take the STAR analysis and simply put it over my current authorization landscape, I get a nice picture of the current state of disorder. However, if I first optimize my license landscape according to activities - i.e. determine which license each user needs in each system in a cost-optimized way and then carry out the STAR analysis - I get a certain delta. It is important to eliminate this delta now, but also to ensure that such a delta is prevented as far as possible in the future. If the SAP service is used in conjunction with the STAR analysis, then this delta is simply added to the invoice.

As already mentioned several times, licensing according to authorizations is not necessary. Ultimately, SAP will look at what users have used in the systems without having the correct license during checks, i.e. unannounced audits and that's fine. But on the other hand, many compliance problems arise if you lose sight of your authorization concept. And let's be honest: which company believes that the authorization concept is or will be permanently updated if no software ensures this?

This means that a company has two "leaks" where money is lost. The first is over-licensing because it is difficult to manually monitor who needs what on a daily basis, and the second is excessive authorizations that contradict compliance and, in the worst case, form the basis for fraud and irregularities.

Conclusion: Yes to SAP STAR - but with a license optimization tool like samQ that does the groundwork.

It's not called S/4HANA transformation for nothing. Simply switching from old to new is not a transformation, but a changeover with legacy issues. Automating and eliminating manual processes, on the other hand, means saving costs, establishing security and cost efficiency in the long term and creating the basis for a truly intelligent transformation.

How that works?
Get practical and highly useful answers from our experts in our on-demand webinar:



Peter Rattey

Peter Rattey is the founder of VOQUZ Labs. He invented samQ and is still intensively involved in samQ's further development. Peter is one of our most experienced advisors.


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