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Digital Access and how to avoid an unfriendly audit by SAP

March 17, 2021


Peter Rattey







In our last survey in the webinar, which was very well attended, thank you, it became transparent that between 50 and 70% of companies have still not dealt with the topic of SAP Digital Access/SAP Indirect Access.

These companies are very likely to receive one of the first unfriendly SAP audit in 2022!

What makes us think that? So far, the market has been quiet on this subject and SAP will not actually approach customers regarding Digital Access and  SAP Indirect Access until their migration to SAP S/4HANA.

That is correct for the time being! Until the end of 2021, there is also still possible protection for all those who have not yet dealt with SAP Digital Access and SAP Indirect Access, but have already submitted to SAP that they will participate in the DAAP (Digital Access Adoption Program).

Here’s another little reminder in a nutshell. DAAP is voluntary participation in the program to determine SAP Indirect Access based on 9 defined document types.

If these are triggered from external sources and created in SAP systems, they are subject to a charge. As a sweetener, SAP offers a 90% discount on the SAP Digital Access documents found in return. As a special bonus, SAP is even waiving possible additional charges over the last few years, when such documents were already created indirectly.

This is the current status.  Which leaves some confusion it can be said as no company has to accept this type of licensing. So you can sit back calmly and say, “No, we won’t go along with that!”

Well this would actually be the logical reaction as well. Why should a company voluntarily accept new licensing and spend money on top of it if you are not forced to?

And possibly your company has qualified for such an SAP audit!

But first let us come to the explanation why there is still significant reservation on the subject at SAP at the moment.

On the one hand, the technical basis for counting these documents is not yet really mature and is also prone to errors. Secondly, this topic is still being disputed in court as to whether it is legal to introduce digital licensing in this way.

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So SAP relies on voluntariness and gives certain incentives. Even for new customers who start immediately with SAP S/4HANA, SAP Digital Access licensing is not mandatory for the reasons mentioned.

But why should you do it anyway? We as VOQUZ Labs advise to do so and also support in ensuring the correct determination of these 9 documents created!

We don`t expect the courts to overturn this type of licensing in its entirety. Furthermore, SAP’s Digital strategy is to switch largely to digital metrics rather than the old SAP user licenses. Thus, more and more licensing will be based on digital metrics in the future.

But the most important point is the completely open risk that a company accepts if it sits out or completely rejects this unresolved issue.

If a company rejects licensing according to the definitions of SAP Digital Access or does not care about the issue at all, SAP is completely free to negotiate this point and to initiate an investigation in the systems (unfriendly audit) to determine how much SAP indirect access there is.

Now, not only these defined documents from SAP Digital Access are on the negotiation table, but any activities between SAP and non-SAP technology. Every read, write or change can now be licensed  through indirect usage – Legacy model

Once that is negotiated, back-maintenance is added on top making the overall situation worse.

So a negotiation according to defined specifications is certainly better. In SAP Digital Access, all externally triggered activities besides the generation of the defined documents are free of charge. So all you need to know is exactly how many such documents are generated in your company per year and by whom. We can determine this exactly for you with our SAP license optimization software samQ.

What we can also do for you is uncover the miscounting, double licensing and third-party products that are particularly cost-intensive. From this information, we put together a negotiation and optimization strategy for you, with which you can then approach SAP in the DAAP and negotiate the best possible cost-optimized SAP licensing result based on complete data transparency.

Best to start this year, then your company can still take advantage of the 90% discount.

So it’s worth it!


Peter Rattey

Peter Rattey is the founder of VOQUZ Labs. He invented samQ and is still intensively involved in samQ's further development. Peter is one of our most experienced advisors.


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