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Image: SAP’s New Indirect/Digital Access Licensing Policies. What’s in it for you?

Licensing policies for Indirect Access to SAP enterprise software systems have traditionally been extremely complicated, leaving many IT managers open to costly surprises. In April 2018, SAP announced a new Indirect/Digital Access pricing policy with the hope of simplifying the rules for Indirect Access licensing and minimizing license audit surprises.

The new Indirect/Digital Access pricing model addresses the licensing rules for accessing the SAP Digital Core without directly logging into the SAP system. It’s relatively clear that a license is required for a human user accessing the system directly or indirectly. The view gets a lot cloudier when it comes to third-party applications, devices, bots and other automated systems that require access to the Digital Core.

What’s different now?

Determining if your organization can realize significant savings on your SAP licensing costs requires understanding the new SAP pricing model, which is no mean feat. SAP now defines Indirect Access as “Digital Access” and calculates license requirements based on the type and number of system-generated business records or “documents” created via third-party access to the Digital Core.

SAP has identified nine different document types and assigned a multiplier to each type to determine pricing. There is a cost associated with the initial creation of each type of document, but no additional cost for reads, updates, deletes or creation of the additional documents automatically generated in the system when the first document is created. The more documents created in your system, the less you’ll pay per document.

SAP is also offering existing customers options to ensure the new pricing schedule meets their needs:

  1. Do Nothing: The best option for organizations that do not create a lot of documents (e.g. orders) in their use of the business suite, and essentially want to maintain a status quo.
  2. License Exchange: Customers can select existing user licenses to exchange for order licenses and receive a credit to use as needed. A license exchange is the best option when migrating to S/4Hana using a piecemeal ‘System Conversion’ approach.
  3. Contract Conversion: Customers receive a credit for the value of all the equivalent user licenses in their existing contract to put toward a newly configured SAP S/4Hana-based solution.

Still sounds pretty complicated? Flexera can help.

FlexNet Manager for SAP Applications already automatically collects and analyzes all your organization’s usage data. You’ll be able to access comprehensive and accurate insights about your document activity to better guide your licensing requirements.

To accommodate the SAP pricing changes, FlexNet Manager for SAP Applications is continuing to evolve with the following enhancements already in the works:

  • Improvement of the rules engine to account for ‘Document’ licensing to ensure compliance and optimization
  • Updates to the user consolidation logic for changes to Human Indirect Access and Static Indirect Read
  • Introduction of ‘What If’ scenarios to proactively manage ‘Digital Access’
  • Addition of compliance and optimization dashboards for ‘Digital Access’
  • Management of changes between SAP ECC and S/4Hana licensing scenarios

Armed with the information already available in your system that can be gathered and analyzed by FlexNet Manager for SAP Applications, you’ll be able to determine what’s the best path for you to take to realize maximum value from SAP’s new Digital Access pricing.