Looking Back and Ahead with Identity and User Management Transformation at SAP

The Identity and User Management team at SAP has been working on transforming the login experience to make working with SAP easier.

From supporting more than 11,000 websites with SAP Universal ID to enhancing user experience (UX) on a range of topics, a number of recent updates have impacted our customers and partners.

Now Available for All Users: SAP Universal ID

In late 2019, SAP Universal ID, our solution to the SAP.com complex login system, went live. The approach of a centralized account allows users to log on once, by linking all existing SAP accounts (S/P-users).

In 2021, we focused on introducing the new login approach at reasonably paced user-driven migration and platform adoption. Beginning in 2021, we supported 140 light integration sites; now, we are supporting more than 11,000 sites. SAP Universal ID support is also automatically included in all newly onboarded platforms.

In 2021, more than 220,000 users — a 200% increase — created an SAP Universal ID. We are now focusing on user adoption and creating the best possible user experience by requiring all existing users to migrate to their SAP Universal ID this year.

As of the second quarter of 2022, SAP Universal ID will be the default authentication to SAP.com and we will continue to support the 11,000 platforms with SAP Universal ID.

If you don’t already have an SAP Universal ID, you can create one here — just three steps in two minutes and you’re done.

Additional Updates: Enhancing User Experience

The user experience with our tools is important to the Identity and User Management team and we have worked on a few key elements to aid users with ease of use, increased security, and enhanced usability. Here are some of our usability achievements:

  • S-user Creation and Replication Improvements: In the past, when an admin created an S-user and/or updated existing user authorizations, it took three to four hours, which was an unacceptably long wait time. By optimizing our backend system, we have cut down this time to less than 10 minutes and we will continue to work to increase the speed.
  • User Policy Documentation & Whitepaper: The Identity & User Management Policy offers a transparent outline of the defined standards and guidelines for SAP and our users and customers when creating both SAP Universal IDs and company associations through S-user IDs. Additionally, our white paper, One Identity for Life, provides a general understanding of why it is important to build and transform user management while breaking down our “One User” approach.
  • Email Domain Governance: To enhance customer/partner security, we are now highlighting users that no longer match company email domains. Additionally, in the first half of this year, we will no longer allow email address changes to a non-governed domain [super/cloud admins can override this]. This continuous effort will help reduce company risk while allowing more governance over non admin users. Read more about the email requirements here.
  • User Management Tool Compliance Checks: To enhance user compliance, we are continuously implementing additional checks in the user management tool to help manage users, protect data, and support compliance with data protection regulations. We are now checking and highlighting wrong email address formats, as well as if an email address or DL email address is shared or if it is not uniquely used on the same customer number (Duplicate Check). In addition, with the newly introduced Email Domain Check, we provide the next level of data protection and management for administrators and end users. Check out the email guidelines page to learn more.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication Enablement: To continue our enhanced security efforts, we now have implemented a more secure password sign-in method on some SAP platforms/sites, requiring a time-based one-time password multi-factor authentication. This method, which is available to all SAP users, reduces the chances that a malicious actor can take control of an account and is easy to enable. For more support on activation, visit the multi-factor support page.

Looking Forward: 2022 Road Map

Much of the work done in 2021 was the foundation for us to build upon for 2022. Here’s a look at what we have been working on so far, along with what is to come this year, from the Identity and User Management Team:

  • Tying new S-users to SAP Universal ID is now live for users with an existing SAP Universal ID. Activation and linking is now a one-step process that can be done via the activation email or directly in the SAP Universal ID Account Manager.
  • Migrating the SAP ONE Support Launchpad profile to the SAP Universal ID Account Manager.
  • Implementing a new user-centric approach and process to create administrators for new customers or new cloud deals, giving them the autonomy to select the right person to fill this role.
  • Implementing new multi-factor authentication methods for more choices and different levels of control for end users, allowing those to be set within the user’s SAP Universal ID level.

We look forward to bringing you many more exciting innovations throughout 2022!


Kevin DeVilbiss is head of Identity and User Management at SAP.