Electricity distribution across Asia-Pacific markets is a complex business requiring the ownership, operation and maintenance of extensive networks, the connection and installation of electricity to thousands of premises every year, and a host of related and other activities. Performing these functions efficiently entails running proven applications backed by reputable vendors to manage important activities such as customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning.
For one leading regional electricity distributor, this meant turning to Tier 1 multinational software vendors, including SAP, for applications that could help perform business-critical tasks at scale. Efficient and cost-effective support is as important to the distributor as the functionality of these applications – and this prompted the distributor to turn to a third-party support provider for its SAP system.
In 2021, SAP informed the distributor of plans to conduct an extended audit of its SAP enterprise resource planning system deployment. This exercise required the distributor to gather detailed usage and process data and compare that data against contracts, entitlements, indirect access definitions and licence definitions.
The detailed audit was the most comprehensive the distributor had faced with SAP – and being non-compliant was not an option due to the significant cost implications. Just how significant depended largely on whether support was provided by a third party or the vendor itself – in which case charges were often considerably more negotiable.
Third Party Support Provider Recommends Invictus Partners
The distributor turned to its software support provider which recommended it work with Invictus Partners to help clean up its SAP environment and provide in-depth audit detail to SAP. The distributor met with Invictus Partners to confirm the organisation met its requirements for experience and capability and quickly realised – given Invictus Partners had worked with the support provider on similar SAP audit projects – that it was the ideal partner. In particular, the distributor was impressed by skills and knowledge of Invictus Partners team members that had formerly worked with SAP and other Tier 1 software vendors. Being able to negotiate a fixed price based on its SAP footprint also helped ensure the engagement met the distributor’s needs.
Over a five-month SAP Software Licence Review and Audit Advisory engagement, Invictus Partners worked closely with the distributor to develop a range of options and negotiation strategies to use during the audit. The exercise was twofold, featuring:
1) An SAP Software Licence Health Check, that enabled the distributor to gain a clear understanding of existing actual usage versus entitlements for its SAP software, and work with Invictus Partners on remediation and mitigation. Invictus Partners also provided estimates of the commercial impact where it confirmed the distributor might be exposed. The advisory firm conducted the review as a mock SAP audit to ensure the organisation could apply Invictus Partners’ findings to its audit defence.
2) An SAP Licence Audit Advisory, in which Invictus Partners worked with the distributor to manage the SAP audit process, challenge SAP’s findings where required and to support the distributor in the commercial negotiations with SAP.
Years of Experience and Deep Understanding
Through the engagement, Invictus Partners brought to the table years of experience and a deep understanding of SAP’s licensing policies, terms, auditing process and methodology and applied these to support the distributor through every step of the audit. In advance of the audit, Invictus Partners guided the distributor’s SAP team about where to focus preparatory activities, reviewed system usage, identified where and how to refine the organisation’s SAP footprint, interpret definitions of use and obtain a clear picture of compliance before communicating the data with SAP.
The engagement included support for the distributor through negotiations with SAP over compliance. Invictus Partners’ responsive, detail-oriented approach to understanding the distributor’s processes ensured the success of the project.
Rigorous SAP Audit Process Completed
The calibre and experience of Invictus Partners’ people meant the organisation had all the information needed to handle the rigorous SAP audit process.