At the end of last year voices were raised that the next SAP license model regarding Indirect Access is just around the corner. This suspicion was confirmed by some articles in trade press. Especially an article by Stefan Autengruber (License Ethics) with Peter Faerbinger’s commentary in the German “E-3 Magazin” makes you sit up and take notice as an SAP customer.
The German Federal Association of IT Users VOICE e.V. filed its first antitrust complaint against SAP at the beginning of 2018. In response to that, SAP then presented the new “Indirect Digital Access” model. VOICE’s response to that? A new antitrust complaint, as the new model contradicted the same EU rights as before. As a logical consequence, a third license model from SAP has to follow now …
How will the new license model look like?
The new licensing model has to be created in such a way that it no longer infringes EU rights. According to Autengruber, SAP will consider the following points: “First, the pure data exchange remains (becomes) license-free. Secondly, data exchange using SAP functionality will be subject to a fee. Thirdly, Named Users and documents are too different about the industries; comparable (and appropriate) measurement units are needed.
This results in the following SAP strategy: The third model for Indirect Access will be presented in spring 2019: The model will be transaction-based and makes any program access that is triggered externally subject to licensing. Pure data exchange remains (becomes) license-free.”
From transaction-based to document-based and back again
Thus, the currently document-based license model will be converted back to a transaction-based one. A note from the SAP price list supports this suspicion: “Customers are advised to consider the new position ‘SAP OpenHub for S/4 HANA’. Attention: There is no OpenHub technology in ‘S/4HANA’. Why a product with a license requirement for something that doesn’t exist? If you take a closer look, you will notice that SAP does not adhere to its own nomenclature. In ‘SAP OpenHub for S/4_HANA’ there is a blank. This means it is no longer a ‘S/4HANA’ product. I assume that there is a typing error and request that SAP correct this product name to avoid further confusion. If SAP OpenHub for ‘S/4_HANA’ were not a ‘S/4HANA’ product, there would be multiple license requirements for data exchange, which would have fatal consequences.”
Maybe there are other reasons?
Peter Faerbinger, publisher and editor-in-chief of the E-3 Magazin, sees further reasons behind SAP’s approach to push the topic of Indirect Access even further: “This SAP license model has become one of the most important ‘weapons’ in the Walldorf arsenal. Why? Cloud computing is a successful model, but not for SAP. […] Either license revenue is increased by Indirect Access or additional cloud users have to be gained. As this approach is stringent, but perhaps not entirely legal, SAP will try a new licensing model.”
Although we all thought that everything has been said about the topic of Indirect Access, it seems as if there are still problems waiting for us to come. Stay up to date, we will inform you as soon as new information is available.