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The new model of indirect use (Digital Access)

January 24, 2020


Peter Rattey





Those who attended the webinar on January 22nd, 2020 to get a clear and comprehensible update on SAP digital access may have been slightly disappointed. VOQUZ attended, too, so let us discuss the facts.

First of all: the already known basic SAP licensing terms were maintained – others can be understood as improvements or additional risks.

That means,

  • Those who already signed for the legacy licensing model for indirect access may keep it – but they don´t have to.
  • You can still let SAP assess your digital access – but you do not have to.
  • You can use the Passport-Method for document counting – but you do not have to.

However, according to SAP, all customers will soon have to pay for SAP indirect usage!

What is “Passport”?

It is THE revised counting method for SAP indirect use and no matter, what customers want to use in the future, the results of the “Passport”-counting method will always be a financial threat to the customer, because they are now saved in the SAP system. At least once a year, when SAP looks up the digital access counts for the annual audit, they will be basis for controversial discussion.

Many companies will then open their eyes in amazement, if they have not dealt with the topic before and then suddenly discover costs of up to 0.6 USD (list price) per SAP digital access document produced.

What does “Passport” change in the Digital Access counting method?

“Passport” is a technical solution based in tagging documents created within SAP systems with a passport identifier. If one of the 9 relevant document types counted in SAP´s digital access estimation tool has this “passport” identifier, SAP excludes the document from the total count, since it was created in another SAP System (in opposite to a non-SAP application) and is, therefore, not cause of SAP indirect use. This way, Passport corrects a counting error that was previously difficult to handle.

All documents of the 9 different types that don´t have a “passport”-identifier are therefore considered as created by external applications, that is, indirectly and by a non-SAP-application, and are therefore subject to a license charge.

All SAP customers are advised to urgently deal with this topic professionally by mid-April the latest, as this is when SAP’s DAAP 90% discount offer for digital access, which was announced in the last Sapphire, will expire – at least this is the last information from SAP.

What happens now, technically speaking? One should indeed pay very close attention to this or even better, use our software samQ to obtain document counts quickly and efficiently.

So, the well-known nine document types and in cases attached line-items are still counted, but – it is now irrelevant, whether they are created by dialog users or by technical users.

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What has “Passport” changed in the process?

SAP support packages with the passport functionality have already been published. Internally generated documents are now additionally saved in new table structures, which have been specially created for this purpose. In the annual evaluation, internal and SAP digital access documents are then counted separately, and the client is required to pay for last.

Still technically unresolved are licensing exceptions for SAP Digital Access, for which you should check every SAP count, for instance:

  • Is this a case of Indirect Static Read?
  • Is the data transactional or master data?
  • Are the documents subsequent documents? (e.g. invoice coming from a purchase order)

The good news is, we are already in the process of integrating this counting method into our license management tool samQ.

We recommend considering the questions listed below as soon as you can:

  • Does your company already have a contract for SAP indirect use?
  • Does your contract cover the full number of expected documents?
  • What does your SAP digital access financial risk exposure look like?
  • Does your company want to use “Passport” to license SAP indirect use in the future?
  • Has your company already made use of SAP’s DAAP offering?
  • Are there any contractually permissible ways to circumvent indirect use and thus save costs?

If any of these questions remain unanswered, you should clarify them soon, otherwise SAP may take care of it for you during the next yearly audit.

We´ll be happy to support you with licensing advice, cost transparency and, if possible, cost reduction.


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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