What You Need to Know About SAP Digital Licensing for Your Business

The German-based software company, SAP, is one of the largest providers of enterprise resource planning software in the world. The company produces software that can handle sales and accounting, supply chains and distribution, human resources and many other business processes. Covering such a wide area has led to issues with licensing, leading to penalties and lawsuits in recent years. To make sure your business is covered, you need to know about your SAP software license. 

Your Current License Agreement

One of the problems with software licensing is the changing nature of technology. Licensing that made sense five years ago may not cover the way that you are doing business now. Unless you made special provisions at the beginning, your current license only covers human users using SAP software on computers at your place of business. If you run a large, complex business, there is an increased probability that you are pushing the boundaries of your license. 

Indirect Access

When a third-party software program interacts with SAP software data, it is known as indirect access. For licensing purposes, the third-party software is considered an extra user. Such indirect users are not covered by standard SAP license agreements. For some businesses, indirect access may not be an issue at all. But for others, it could be a major risk. This is why every SAP user needs to assess their risk. You need to know what programs are interacting with SAP data beyond a read-only level. If the program is exchanging or otherwise manipulating SAP data, it may count as indirect access, and you could be penalized for breaking the license.

Additional Costs

In April of 2019, SAP released a new licensing model based on the reality of digital access. The new model charges customers by the number of times the system is accessed, whether it is a human or digital interaction. The business is paying for how often it uses the software in any form. For businesses that have both human and digital users, this license may be more expensive but will protect them from any penalties for license breaches. For companies that use SAP software in a more traditional way, the standard user license is still an option.  

Technology continues to change the way we think about business. With each change, there are new legal issues to consider. When it comes to SAP licensing, a digital licensing agreement may be the best solution to cover your business. 

Want to learn all there is to know about licensing for your business? Come to the Licensing Expo!

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16 Jul 2019

By Corey Taylor