SAP creates licensing model for the Internet of Things

A new pricing model for indirect use should set it up. With its announcement in April, SAP created one thing above all: a new licensing model for the Internet of Things. But when does it apply and what does it mean for customers?

On April 10, 2018, SAP presented a new sales, audit and pricing model for so-called indirect use, which was developed in close cooperation with user groups, customers, partners and analysts. The new approach is intended to ensure that customers will be able to use their SAP licenses more easily and transparently in the future. It differentiates between direct / human (human access) and indirect / digital user access (digital access) and, according to the software manufacturer, creates clear rules for licensing, software use and compliance. How are the innovations to be assessed?

It is initially unclear whether the announcement by SAP will already be included in the new price and conditions list (2018/2) or will only be included in a later PKL. The topic of indirect use has repeatedly unsettled SAP customers since the end of 2014. 

From this point onwards, the SAP sales department had increasingly confronted the user companies with the topic. The main problems in determining indirect use since then have been the interface analysis and the determination of external (indirect) users via third-party applications. In addition to the number of users, the appropriate named user license type had to be determined.

To cushion this problem, those responsible for SAP had defined exceptions, some of which were based on the licensing of so-called engines / packages. Even back then, for example, orders were counted instead of users if the SAP customer had this licensed. The largest software house in Germany expanded this approach with the announcement in April.

How good is the choice for existing customers?

The press release said: “Digital Access – Access via third parties, Internet of Things ( IoT ), bots and / or other digital access that can be licensed on the basis of the transactions / documents processed by the system itself.” To date, SAP did not have a license model for the “Internet of things“- this has now changed. Existing customers should now be able to choose between the two models” SAP Named User “and” Transactions / Documents “.

Read more about the new license model from SAP:
SAP regulates indirect use new SAP’s new license
menu is not tasty for everyone

A possible downer: SAP customers will probably have to decide 100 percent in favor of one or the other variant. However, a choice per application would certainly be in the interests of the customer, since some third-party applications send only a small amount of data to the SAP systems and others are operated by fewer users. For user and license monitoring,SAPThe announcement goes on to provide suitable tools.

Conclusion: “Intended use” is a thing of the past

SAP has a model for billing the “digital transformation“- for example the Internet of Things ( IoT ) – was created. From SAP’s point of view, this was important in order to create clarity. Existing customers did not previously know what to expect. This uncertainty is now decreasing However, it remains to be seen that SAP will recover from its unfortunate sales behavior over the past three years.

It should be noted, however, that there will soon be no such thing as the “intended use” of the “SAP Business Suite” and in the future “SAP S / 4HANA” and “SAP S / 4HANA Cloud”. There used to be interfaces to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to import and export data. After all, that was the purpose of a central ERP solution. In the future, customers will have to pay extra for this based on the transactions / documents – but they are already used to that with indirect use. The announced clear separation between license sales, audit andCompliance ultimately no further.

Originally published in German May 23, 2018 Computer Woche (Computer Week) Magazine,2549

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