There is continued, perhaps increasing, confusion in the industry about the discipline of Software...
Since it unveiled its document-based Digital Access model last year, SAP has been encouraging its customers to switch from its Named User based licensing model for SAP indirect access to the new model. SAP recently launched the Digital Access Adoption Program (DAAP) to entice customers to make the switch with discounts on document licenses.
Customers measure their documents with SAP, choosing a financial incentive option and an existing conversion policy to trade in their legacy licenses for the shiny new document licenses under Digital Access. SAP states DAAP was created based on feedback from SAP customers who fear high costs, uncertainty, and lack of transparency around the document licensing.
SAP Digital Access Adoption Program may mean higher licensing costs
It sounds easy. And, it is easy if accuracy isn’t your top priority in SAP license management. But, if you want to understand what you’re measuring, then Digital Access is much more complicated. DAAP is a way to ensure SAP customers tune out the drive for accuracy in favor of switching to Digital Access, so SAP can collect more or faster licensing fees.
Let’s break down how the program works to see if it’s right for you.
Control your risk and avoid extra costs using new SAP license management guidelines. Leading experts in the field explain how to choose the best SAP licensing model to meet your organization’s needs.
SAP Digital Access Adoption Program – Step by Step
1) Choose a measurability option:
- Your company and SAP’s Global License Audit & Compliance team identify the estimated number of documents created by your current indirect access
- You implement support packages that contain the SAP Passport tool and document counting capabilities, which identifies the estimated number of documents created by your connected non-SAP software.
2) Choose a financial option:
As this diagram shows, Financial option A is overall more expensive, but it gives you wiggle room for future growth. Option B is the less expensive option, but for 5% less cost-basis you get 15% less licensed documents. On the other hand, you also have a lower maintenance base, so if your document count decreases instead of increases in the next year, you don’t add to your maintenance baggage.
It’s important to note that SAP offers an incremental volume discount in groups of 1000 documents purchased. Within the Q2 2019 price list there are several different price ranges which decrease every few thousand documents (ie: 1-1000, 1001-5000, 5001-10000, 10001-15000). This means that the more documents you license from SAP, the lower the cost per license.
In some cases the per document price can be lower for Option A (with the higher overall numbers) but this is not necessarily the case. Make sure you calculate your specific need in detail before making a decision.
3) Check for possible conversion policy options:
Are you aware of all your company’s purchases with SAP? Check them for indirect access- licenses, like Sales & Service Order Processing/Execution, Purchase Order Processing/Execution, or SAP Named User licenses that are no longer needed – especially SAP Platform User and other Named User licenses explicitly bought for indirect access scenarios.
You can check with SAP for options to convert those licenses into document-based Digital Access licenses as stated within the “Conversion & Extension Policies” of the Digital Access Adoption Program Overview.
Should You Try the SAP Digital Access Adoption Program?
SAP is offering a helping hand to its customers with a comparably affordable price. It’s also dialing down the effort its customers and SAP itself must put into analyzing their data to reach an accurate overall document count – and we recognize this effort.
There is still a long way to go. Customers will always prefer more transparency and accuracy before making a huge investment. Both of which are still lacking. As our team explored the issue, questions remained about SAP’s document-counting accuracy, like how does SAP count documents in its Passport tool? When a document is deleted, why is it flagged? Will it still be licensed? And why aren’t “cancelled” documents given a “cancelled” status? Are they at risk of being counted?
Until those questions are addressed, there is a risk you could pay more after your DAAP incentives expire.
The new document-based licensing model was created so SAP can measure it. The old Named User based indirect access model isn’t transparent for anyone, SAP or the customer, so SAP is unable to measure it and, therefore, it is hard to charge for licenses for that access.
If you take a step back and look at the big picture, the most important question is still if SAP has the legal right to claim money for SAP indirect access at all. The new price model does not change the legitimacy of this case. Our gut feeling is that SAP has no right to claim licenses for indirect or Digital Access. This raises another question: As customers accept the new price model does this mean they accept requirements for additional licenses?
Remember, the old Named User based indirect access model still exists and it works, so any decision should always be calculated, analyzed, and then compared to see if Digital Access is both the logical short-term (those nice-looking financial incentives) and long-term (maintenance, creating additional documents or downsizing documents) option.
SAP license management advice
If you’re still tempted by DAAP’s discounts on document licensing and willing to pay for your SAP indirect access or Digital Access, then the best strategy for approaching Digital Access starts with a thorough risk analysis of your different indirect access options. What would a Named User based indirect access licensing cost your company for their top 3 interfaces? And what would a document count based Digital Access licensing cost your company?
USU’s SAP experts and consultants can support you in finding those answers.
When you know your current costs with SAP indirect access (Named User licenses) and your potential costs for Digital Access (documents licenses), you know which model is best for you. You have the transparency to choose between sticking with your current licenses or converting them for the Digital Access licenses you know you need – and you got that transparency without blindly jumping into a new, mysterious licensing scheme.
Vera joined USU in 2014 as a Consultant and Account Delivery Manager. In her current role as Project Account Delivery Lead, she worked closely with enterprise customers in the automotive, financial, healthcare, and manufacturing verticals to deliver optimized software license positioning. She earned a Master of Science degree in Business Information Systems from RWTH Aachen University.