SAP responds to User Group feedback with the Digital Access Adoption Programme

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Since the high-profile legal action SAP took against Diageo and InBev, many members have been concerned about whether they were going to suddenly be deemed under-licenced because of what SAP calls ‘indirect access.’

I won’t go over all the history, but we’ve been outlining your concerns to SAP for a number of years now. It responded last year by launching the digital access licencing model – we were broadly supportive as we could see the benefits for new customers. However, we also noted that it didn’t address the fears of many of our members. Therefore, alongside other user groups globally, we asked SAP to publicly reiterate the promise it made to SUGEN in November 2017 when it said customers would be able to adopt the new digital access licensing model, without incurring further costs if the business value/scope of their usage of SAP stays the same.

Over the last year we’ve continued to ask SAP for these reassurances and highlighted members’ concerns about the financial impact of the new model. As part of SUGEN, alongside ASUG and DSAG we have continued to hold discussions and workshops with SAP, providing feedback on the concerns of customers in relation to the concept of indirect licencing and associated costs. Key areas of focus have been predictability, transparency, consistency, and fairness.

During this time there have been delays in SAP rolling out measurement and auditing tools that enable customers to analyse the financial impact of the new licencing model. As such, our members have continued to be concerned about their licence positions.

Through a blog this week SAP announced the digital access adoption programme. As part of the programme, SAP is giving customers a way to measure the financial impact of adopting the digital access licencing model and seems to be providing a level of financial predictability. The blog is a little light on detail, but there are some interesting percentages noted on slide 8 and 11 of this document.

While this is not the solution many of you wanted, we are glad we’ve been able to influence SAP and improve the situation for members, who until now have had no real idea of what the cost implications of the digital access model might be. Many elements of the programme still need to be clarified, not least the need for the financial options to be described in a much clearer way, with realistic and concreate examples of how each would play out in the real world.

We also need clarity on whether we really are talking about two licence scenario’s – the legacy and the new document-based model, as from discussions and feedback it seems there will be scenarios where customers will have a mix of document and user-based licensing. For customers this creates concerns around double charging.

As we unpack the detail behind this new programme, we’ll be sending you more information and also get your feedback at the appropriate SIGs. In the meantime, if you have specific question please email Vicky.Lane@sapusers.org.

Ultimately, we’ll continue to push SAP for further clarity, transparency and fairness towards longstanding customers who have always believed they have been adequately licenced.

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