SAP’s response to the current crisis

In the summer of 2020 I wrote an open letter to Christian Klein (CEO, SAP SE).

At that time, the aim was to find out what SAP had done for its customers during the pandemic and some suggestions for how it could support companies in financial distress.

Now that six months have passed and this difficult pandemic situation is our new normal, I’m reflecting again on my ideas and what has transpired since then.

I received a kind answer from Christian Klein.

He wrote that he listens to suggestions from the SAP community and that he does take this seriously. That made me very happy.

I would like to say very positively that there was no price increase in 2020. The maintenance costs have not increased any further. Our customers have reported that, if necessary, they have received an extension of the payment period for maintenance costs. Others were able to negotiate a payment plan with SAP. This clearly shows me that SAP empathises.

Unfortunately, Mr. Klein did not respond to my suggestions: for example I wanted to see SAP suspend audits for a certain period of time, but this did not meet with approval. On the contrary, in the last six months we have seen more and more “advanced” audits among our customers.

In a so-called “Advanced Audit”, in addition to the usual information such as LAW, LMBI, self-declaration and database reports, “System Data Extracts” are also queried in Excel format. In the development environment, this involves data from SUIM, E070, DEVACCESS and USR02, for example.

In this environment, the SAP audit team is obviously looking for users who need a developer user license. Why so many confidential details to be sent to the SAP remains open. In the productive environment, additional data is requested from, for example, SUIM, USR41_MLD, USR11, ST03 / ST03N, EDIDC and SM59 (“Show ABAP, http and TCP / IT Connections”). In this environment, indirect use is sought, presumably with the aim of persuading customers to buy SAP Digital Access licenses.

Our SAP customer survey (also conducted in summer 2020) on the topic of SAP Digital Access , which we carried out with our partner Complion AG, showed that SAP’s efforts to establish the new SAP Digital Access pricing model for the licensing of indirect use were not yet successful implementation has been .

The conclusion of the survey was: “The call of SAP customers to make licensing more transparent is still loud, but doubts remain about the fundamental legality of SAP’s demand for additional fees for indirect use.

At the same time, those responsible for the license endeavour to gain more security when assessing requirements and negotiating with SAP. The only thing that is certain at the moment is that there is (still) no question of “transparent and reliable access” in digital access, and so it will remain a “lifelong, but severely limited, trusting relationship” for the time being. “Regardless of this, so my perception, SAP tries to “pursue” the topic of indirect use more and more worldwide.

But back to the topic “What has happened since then?” On September 1, 2020 there was the press release “SAP starts the BacktoBest initiative to support companies in the next phase of the corona pandemic.” (see their Press Release:)

Health and safety and with the workspace booking app, employers can guarantee a safe return of their employees to the office and be able to react quickly to any problems that may arise.

In addition, SAP draws a positive conclusion on the use of the free SAP online training courses, see press release from September 16, 2020

And October 29, 2020 “University Competence Centers support digital teaching in times of pandemic”.

As a final example, I would like to mention the collaboration between SAP and PwC. See press release from November 18, 2020: (English version is available via Google Translate)

The jointly developed solution is intended to support authorities in the pandemic in making informed decisions.

That is certainly a good approach,  in view of the fact that our fundamental freedoms are currently being severely restricted. This is only possible in a democracy if the proportionality of such restrictions is constantly checked and monitored. In addition to a public discussion, reliable data is essential.

It will be exciting to see how things continue.

On January 27th, 2021 Christian Klein will give an outlook.

RISE with SAP:The Introduction (An exciting announcement from SAP.)

Stay safe and happy.

Guido Schneider

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