Those who attended the SAP and DSAG webinar on January 22nd 2020 to get a clear and comprehensible update on digital access may have been left a little disappointed. VOQUZ attended too so let us discuss what we took from the presentation.
First of all the already known basic licensing terms were maintained. Others can be understood as improvements or additional risks. That means:
- Customers who are on legacy licensing contracts are not obligated to switch, convert or upgrade to SAP’s new Digital Access Licensing Model if they don’t want to.
- You can still let SAP assess your digital access but you do not have to.
- You can use the Passport Method for document counting but you do not have to.
SAP described in this webinar Digital Access as a fundamental piece of all S/4HANA license contracts and holds to the alternative legacy licensing model for indirect use based on user licenses for existing contracts, unless the customer prefers to change his licensing to the new model.
Let´s recap the facts so far: SAP obtained confirmation for their indirect usage licensing model in two legal cases and settled with its customers afterwards: SAP vs. Diageo in UK and SAP vs. Anheuser-Busch in the US. A complaint presented by the European IT user association Voice-eV in the European Union’s Competition Committee claiming, that the indirect use licensing model prevents free competition is still being reviewed in this Committee with no answer so far.
What is “Passport”?
Passport is SAP’s revised counting method for indirect use. SAP are now asking customer to install Passport so they can retrieve digital document count information as the basis for negotiating the Digital Access Licensing Model with customers. Passport will then be used as the standard tool for counting digital document and monitoring digital access. Furthermore, with Passport installed digital document counts will now be saved in the SAP system meaning a cumulative history of digital access data will be available to SAP in future audits. At least once a year, when SAP looks up the digital access counts for the annual audit, they will be basis for discussion and if customers are not careful managing the licensing risk or don’t fully understand the licensing conditions they have signed up for then these discussions could become very painful.
Many companies could be in for a shock if they have not dealt with the topic thoroughly and then suddenly discover costs of up to 0.6 USD (list price) per digital access document produced. Considering that for some digital document types the metric is “document line items” not just the document itself, so the costs can quickly escalate.
What does “Passport” change in the Digital Access counting method?
“Passport” is a technical solution which tags documents created within SAP systems with a passport identifier. If one of the 9 relevant document types counted in SAP´s digital access estimation tool has this identifier, SAP excludes the document from the total count, since it was created in an SAP System. Documents created directly within SAP systems by named users are covered by the rights of the named user license. These documents are not indirect access and should not be counted as digital documents i.e those that enter SAP from an external third-party system or source. This way Passport corrects a counting error that was previously difficult to handle.
All documents of the 9 different types that don´t have a Passport identifier are therefore considered as created by external applications, that is, indirectly and by a non-SAP-application, and are therefore subject to a license charge.
All SAP customers are advised to urgently deal with this topic by mid-April the latest, as this is when SAP’s Digital Access Adoption Program 90% discount offer comes to an end. This program was announced in the last Sapphire conference in order to encourage adoption of the Digital Access Licensing Model.
What happens now? One should indeed pay very close attention to this topic or seek expert help. Many customers are using our samQ software to obtain document counts quickly and make accurate assessments around the total cost of ownership for the Digital Access Licensing Model.
What has “Passport” changed in the process?
SAP support packages with the passport functionality have already been published. Internally generated documents are now additionally saved in new table structures, which have been specially created for this purpose. In the annual evaluation, internal and digital access documents are then counted separately, and the client is required to pay for last.
Still technically unresolved are licensing exceptions for Digital Access, for which you should check every SAP count, for instance:
– Is this a case of Indirect Static Read?
– Is the data transactional or master data?
– Are the documents subsequent documents? (E.g. invoice coming from a purchase order)
The good news is, we are already in the process of integrating this counting method into our license management tool samQ. We recommend considering the questions listed below as soon as you can:
– Does your company already have a contract for indirect use?
– Does your contract cover the full number of expected documents?
– What does your digital access financial risk exposure look like?
– Does your company want to use “Passport” to license indirect use in the future?
– Has your company already made use of SAP’s DAAP offering?
– Are there any contractually permissible ways to circumvent indirect use and thus save costs?
If any of these questions remain unanswered, you should clarify them soon, otherwise SAP may take care of it for you during the next yearly audit.
We´ll be happy to support you with licensing advice, cost transparency and, if possible, cost reduction.
Get in touch today to find out how we can help.