The High Court in London has ruled in favour of SAP and against Diageo in an indirect licensing case concerning the use of mySAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) software on a Salesforce platform.
The case, SAP UK v Diageo Great Britain, adjudicated by Mrs Justice O’Farrell, concerned Diageo’s use of mySAP ERP software for the management of manufacturing, stock and supply chain, financial reporting and control, and human resources.
According to the text of the judgment, the drinks company and SAP had begun their software licence and maintenance agreement in 2004, and came into dispute after Diageo deployed two new third-party systems in 2012.
The first, Diageo Connect, allowed Diageo’s customers to place orders online, rather than through a call centre, by way of a Salesforce.com system that utilised data held in an Oracle database but also associated with an SAP software engine, SAP XI (SAP Exchange Infrastructure), now called SAP PI (SAP Process Integration).
The second system, Diageo Gen2, allowed Diageo’s sales staff to use an iPad to access, via a Salesforce.com application, customer data in an Oracle database associated with the mySAP ERP software.
SAP maintained that Diageo’s customer IT platforms, though based on Salesforce technology, connected back into mySAP ERP software and, accordingly, all Diageo’s ultimate customers (5,800 individuals) needed to be licensed as “named users”.
SAP brought its claim against Diageo in October 2015, seeking £54,503,578 in licence fees, in addition to £3,955,954 in interest, fees for back support and maintenance, and an injunction.
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