Posted: 06 May. 2019 5 min. read

SAP licensing matters

Is Digital Access the solution to fearing non-compliance with SAP licensing?

Digital Access is the new licence model recently introduced by SAP to cover what is referred to as ‘indirect access’.  Indirect access has been a longstanding issue for SAP clients and its impact is generally difficult to estimate as it is not well understood by many organisations.

In essence, it refers to the access into an SAP environment by third-party applications; however, not all of these scenarios require additional licences.  An in-depth analysis is usually required to understand licence requirements for indirect access, as it is actually a very fine line between a customer being compliant and being liable for extra licences.

As a way forward, with Digital Access SAP licensing is no longer based on named users but on documents created within your SAP environment. Digital Access brings two main benefits for SAP and its customers. The first is that it provides clarity over indirect access and addresses customers’ concerns about potential significant and unplanned costs. The second is that it aligns with SAP’s aim to help their clients be more efficient and profitable through agile licensing models. SAP licensing costs were previously proportional to the number of staff members (i.e. other costs of an organisation)  while Digital Access indexes licensing costs to the level of business activity.

Do I need to migrate my SAP contract to Digital Access?  It depends. 

While SAP is eager to migrate their clients’ contracts to Digital Access, you are not required to do so. Based on your organisation’s usage of SAP, you may be in a better position to keep your current SAP contract and take the necessary controls in place to manage your licences.

If you would like to know more about SAP licensing, we would be happy to assist.

More about the authors

Elissa Hilliard

Elissa Hilliard

Partner, Risk Advisory

Elissa focuses on contract advisory services to clients so that they understand their existing contractual obligations from a commercial perspective. Using a holistic approach, Elissa specialises in contract risk evaluation associated with third-party ecosystems for the purpose of avoiding dispute, disruptive incidents and complete third-party failure. Elissa’s career began in IT and spans more than 15 years. She applies her knowledge gained through holding various operational IT roles, including procurement, commercial management, contract management and vendor management and has spent the last six years solely focussed on providing contract advisory and intellectual property services to clients.