What to do with your old SAP Limited Professional User licenses


The once-discounted SAP Limited Professional User Licenses are a good example of how complex the assignment of license types is in the SAP environment. But what should users do with the old licenses? It could be so easy….

Since publication of the SAP List of Prices and Conditions (PLC) 2014/4, SAP no longer offers its customers the license type “SAP Limited Professional User”. In the first six months after that, existing customers who had this license type in their portfolio could buy it on goodwill under the same conditions. But this was over by mid-2015 at the latest.

SAP customers had two options for continuing to buy cheaper license types. Option one was to purchase so-called special license types at the price of the old “SAP Limited Professional User”. These special license types had to be functionally delimited or restricted compared to the “SAP Professional User”. Many SAP customers took advantage of this opportunity.

However, as option two, SAP recommended to its customers to buy the new standard license types, which were even then far cheaper than the SAP Limited Professional User and are still today. This is still a good alternative. The best examples of these low-cost license types are the “SAP Logistic User” and the “SAP Worker User”.

Let’s take a look at the description of the “SAP Limited Professional User” in PKL 2013/4:

The SAP Application Limited Professional User is a defined user who is authorized to perform limited operational roles (without SBOP) supported by the software purchased. The usage rights also include the rights granted to an SAP BusinessObjects license. The limited usage rights of this limited professional user must be defined in detail in the software contract.

Spongy definitions

“Supported” and “restricted” are attributes that are not clearly defined. These so-called restrictions should have been agreed (” defined in detail “) between SAP and the customer at the time of purchase . However, since both the SAP customers and SAP key account managers are generally very busy people, in my experience these restrictions often remained undefined.

This courtesy has now been gradually expanded. There were customers who could shop at a ratio of 30 to 70, 40 to 60 and even 50 to 50. It’s all a question of individual negotiation tactics. In mid-2014, the German-speaking SAP user group (DSAG) announced to its members the ratio of 50 to 50 as the standard ratio of “SAP Limited Professional User” to “SAP Professional User”. Well naturally every SAP customer wanted to buy SAP user licenses under these conditions.

What also remained was a low price. In order not to give this low license price to customers indefinitely, SAP limited the number. Initially, a ratio of 15 to 85 was agreed in the SAP contracts. This meant that customers could buy a maximum of 15 percent of their professional user licenses at low prices (ie at the price of the “SAP Limited Professional User”). That was the “restriction”. Basically, it was a contractually limited discount from SAP. As already mentioned, the license type was not functionally restricted.

Extension of the restriction

However, that was perhaps not what SAP wanted. Is it reasonable to assume that for this reason, among other things, new, functionally-restricted license types were included in the PLC and the “discounted professional users” were deleted from the price list?

What does the typical user license landscape look like?

SAP customers usually have “SAP Professional User” and mostly also “SAP Employee User” in their portfolio. In addition, most have the “SAP Limited Professional User” licenses described above, as well as some of the inexpensive “SAP Logistic User” or “SAP Worker User”. Some customers also have a whole range of so-called special license types. They negotiated some of them themselves, while others bought them at the old discounted professional user price.

The more different user license types customers have in use, the more difficult it is to assign them to the SAP accounts. The “SAP Professional User” is generally allowed to do “everything” in the SAP system – except ABAP software developer but there are exceptions for this too. Each customer must interpret the descriptions of the restrictions of all other license types himself.

Numerous questions arise: What exactly is allowed Employee do with his SAP account to which a “SAP Logistic User” or a “SAP Worker User” has been assigned? What does the “may” refer to? Does “may” mean what he is entitled to or what he has actually used? SAP only offers the so-called classification aid in the USMM measurement tool. And what do you as a SAP customer do with your unrestricted but discounted “SAP Limited Professional User” licenses? As you can see, the world of licensing is complex.

Suggestion: walk

As described, the old “SAP Limited Professional User” has the same rights as the “SAP Professional User”, that is, both are – apart from the price – equivalent. For this reason, they can also be awarded equally. Since you can no longer buy them today, it would make no difference to SAP if they offered their customers the free 1: 1 conversion. The maintenance costs, which are always sacred to SAP, would not change. SAP customers only have one license type less in their inventory.

Why not suggest this to your SAP Key Account Manager. Perhaps he will respond and convert your “SAP Limited Professional User” licenses to “SAP Professional User” licenses for free. It makes no difference to SAP. Assigning user licenses would be easier for you. Should you be on S/4Migration, then you would have solved the question in the same breath: “How do we convert the old SAP Limited Professional users into SAP S/4HANA users?” You will then no longer have them in your inventory.

Alternatively, if your SAP Key Account Manager does not agree with your next purchase, you can do this in “SAP S/4HANA Enterprise management for Professional Use” licenses. From this point of view, the problem with the old” SAP Limited Professional User “will probably resolve itself in the next few years.

Guido Schneider

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