Can you have a conversation with my customer about FUEs ?
This is often a phrase used by colleagues from our Customer Success team, that reach out to me asking to have a conversation with their customers, to help them understand what an FUE is, but more importantly why it is important and what it is that they can do to control, monitor and influence it.
Unfortunately, my observations are that most customers start to give attention to this topic at the worst possible time, post go live. At this point, the business users are eager to focus on running their business and reaping the benefits of their investments in SAP S/4HANA Cloud. This delayed realization often results in a moment of sudden clarity accompanied by pain and rework, which can be disruptive.
Personally, I strongly believe that the concept and topic of FUE should be a natural by-product of a well-executed implementation, not a disruptive post-implementation headache.
With this in mind, I shall also try to distill some actions and habits that you can adopt before, during, and after your implementation to make this topic work for you and maybe along the way help to elevate your enterprise architecture maturity and improve your workflows and processes.
Whilst the original intention of this ‘write-up’ was to produce one blog, as details were added in quickly became evident that we needed to break it up into two parts.
The first (this one) will focus on defining and explaining what an FUE and the FUE concept is.
The second part will focus on those tips and suggestions that you can apply during the lifecycle of your implementation and adoption journey.
I would also at this point be remiss to not mention the valuable inputs and suggestions from my colleagues in the Solution Management, GLAC and SAP S/4HANA RIG teams that contributed to this blog.
Understand what we are talking about.
Whilst the aim of this blog is certainly not to delve into commercial topics, I have to at least make sure that there is an understanding of what the acronym FUE which I have already used several times stands for and means, otherwise, this blog will be moot! So let’s start with a definition.
FUE - A Definition
FUE is an acronym that stands for Full Use Equivalent. It is the aggregation method by which a Customer may allocate individuals’ access to the Cloud Service in accordance with the ratios set forth in the respective Cloud Supplement, Service Description Guide or Service Use Description. (I have also seen others invariably refer to it as Full User Equivalent or Full Usage Equivalent).
Every customer that signs an SAP S/4HANA Cloud (whether public edition or private edition) contract, will have a reference to it in their contract – i.e to make it simple, there will be one line that says Cloud Service: SAP S/4HANA Cloud…edition, Usage metric: FUE – and Amount: a number of FUEs. That is the quantity of FUEs a customer has purchased and is within a validity period entitled to use. So, I have not really explained in detail what an FUE is, and here I am already introducing another concept, that of Use Type, but is also necessary to understand. The Use Type speaks to the person, the physical user that will be logging on and directly using the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system. Depending on the capabilities and authorizations afforded to that user, a Use Type can be determined. A Use Type can be one of 4 possible classifications, which are as follows:
Advanced Use Type
Core Use Type
Self-service Use Type
Developer Use Type
FUE and Use Type: Connecting the dots
So, at this point, we have mentioned the terms FUE (which is referenced in the contract) and Use Type (which is determined based on the authorizations and capabilities a user has access to in the system). But how are they connected? Well, each Use Type can be expressed as a ratio of an FUE, as presented below:
Use Types available in SAP S/4HANA Cloud and correspondence ratio to FUE
And using a concrete example, where we have users across all Use Types.
Sample scenario converting Use Types into FUEs
You can download from SAP support an FUE calculator to help you in this calculation.
The next question you will then probably have is, how do you determine the Use Type under which a user should be classified? For this, I would first direct you to the SAP Trust Centre and download the SDG (Service Description Guide – for private editions) or SUD (Service Use Description Document – for public edition).
In the SAP Trust Centre, (1) enter the search criteria to limit the number of hits, then (2) click on the link that corresponds to your version of SAP S/4HANA Cloud to open the corresponding pdf document.
Check and download the SDG or SUD for your edition of SAP S/4HANA Cloud
This document will recapitulate the ratios indicated above, as well as indicate for a Use Type (e.g.: SAP S/4HANA Cloud Core use) the system capabilities (e.g.: Sales Order Management and Processing) associated with it, thus allowing you to determine the classification of a given capability. However, the SDG/SUD will simply call out a capability (e.g.: Sales Order Management and Processing) not what it covers in detail.
Sample extract from the SDG, listing the system capabilities of a Use Type
If you have made this far, then you are able to understand how a given system capability should be classified as. However just going on the title of this capability, will not necessarily be evident to you what this capability provides, so you will probably want to know in more detail, functionally what this capability allows a user to do in the system.
To do so, to understand functionally, what a given capability allows a user to do in the system, then you will need to look at the FSD (Feature scope Description) document, which can be found on the SAP help website of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud version you are utilizing.
For SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, the link is here, then click on the Feature Scope Description (1) link as below.
Availability of the FSD for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition
For SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition (PCE), you will find this in the SAP help of the SAP S/4HANA on-premise version, for the latest 2022 (1) version the link is here, then click on the Feature Scope Description (2) link as below.
Availability of the FSD for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition (PCE)
In the FSD search for the capability you are interested in to find out more about. In this case, we will use the example we have used previously “Sales Order Management and Processing”. Once you have found the corresponding entry in the document you will have the details of that capability.
Functional/technical details of a capability can be found in the FSD
You could also make this example work in reverse. I.e. My user has to be able to create and change sales orders. Based on that information, you would search for this feature in the FSD document, which would give you the title of the capability (“Sales Order Management and Processing”), and armed with that information you could then in the SDG/SUD, determine the Use Type/classification of this capability.
Connecting the dots between the SDG/SUD and FSD
The last step that we need to cover, now that we know how to determine the Use Type/classification of a capability, is how to do we determine the Use Type/classification of a user, that uses a set of these capabilities in the system.
In the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system, the authorizations and capabilities afforded to a user will be determined by the role(s) that are assigned to the master record of that business user. Depending on your design choices and setup, a given active user might have one or more roles assigned to him.
In SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, you can see such details in the “Maintain Business Users” (1) app, as below, where we see:
(2) The various role(s) assigned to this business user
(3) The Use Type (Price Category) of each assigned role
(4) The Use Type of the business user in question, on the basis of the role(s) assigned to them
Example Business User app, showing the role(s) assigned to a business user, in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition
You can similarly in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, see the role(s) assigned to a given business user, via transaction SU01.
Example Business User record, showing the role(s) assigned to a business user, in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition (PCE)
In addition, please note:
The metric FUE applies to physical business users that access the system DIRECTly – which should not be confused with technical (communication) users used in the context of integration scenarios that access the system INDIRECTly,
The consumption of FUEs is always measured as a whole number,
The Use Type Classification “Self-service” affords a user all display rights in the system
The Use Type Classification “Self-service” affords a user all approval rights in the system
If a user has been given capabilities that cover more than one Use Type classification, it is the Use Type classification that consumes the most FUE that will be used to classify that user. E.g., a user is given a mixture of Self-service and Advanced capabilities. That user will be classified as Advanced. The number of capabilities given to a user is irrelevant.
I hope you have found this blog useful. That it has for you demystified what an FUE is, how you calculate it on the basis of the Use Types of your users, how a Use Type relates to an FUE, and that the Use Type of your business users is determined by the role(s) assigned to them. If you have any follow-up questions, then please do not hesitate to ask them below. However, if you have any questions that are of a commercial nature, they will not be answered here, and I would encourage you to engage with your CSP or usual SAP Commercial contact.
Before we move on, to part 2, I also hope that in the thick of this information, one other important detail/object name has not gone unnoticed, and that, is that of the Business Role(s) – that are assigned to the business user(s). Much of the second part of this blog will focus on this object as so much hinges on or is connected to it.