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A truly fair solution? - SAP® introduces new pricing model

On April 10, 1818, SAP® introduced the new sales, audit and pricing model "ERP Pricing for the Digital Age", which aims to regulate indirect use ("indirect access") more transparently. The model was developed in close collaboration with user groups, customers, partners and analysts.

Whether the new pricing model for indirect use is truly fair, transparent and for the benefit of SAP customers is not certain according to Dr. med. Jan Hachenberger (Partner, Executive Board Member and licensing expert at ConSalt).

What’s new?

The new model is a real novelty and no longer bases indirect access (digital access) to the number of users (users) but relies on a transactional metric.

Indirect Digital Access / Digital Access - This occurs when devices, bots, or automated systems access SAP®; or if persons, devices or systems use SAP® indirectly via an intermediary software of another provider - for example, a non-SAP® frontend, an in-house developed customer solution or the application of a third-party provider.

Unlike in the past, Digital Access now licenses "documents" based on transactions / documents processed by the system itself. This includes:

  • Sales Document (counted at line item level)
  • Invoice Document (counted at line item level)
  • Purchase Document (counted at line item level)
  • Service & Maintenance Document
  • Manufacturing Document
  • Quality Management Document
  • Time Management Document

which are multiplied by a value of 1.0, as well as

  • Financial Document (counted at line item level)
  • Material Document (counted at line item level)

which are multiplied by a value of 0.2.

This includes the creation of a "document". Reading, updating or deleting documents will not be charged.

In addition, SAP® introduced new organizational and governance rules that provide for a strict separation between the sales organization and processes and the auditing organization and its processes.

Where are potential problems?

According to Dr. Jan Hachenberger, SAP® is primarily utilizing the new model as “transactional” or “value-added” licensing system to generate short term revenue growth.

If the SAP® customer requires more and more SAP® licenses because of increasing "Sales Documents" orders, the additional costs for software licenses for indirect use plus the associated maintenance fees are inconsequential. However, the costs become critical when, fewer orders or, in the case of an optimization - with the introduction of a new order process, the number of orders managed with SAP® decreases. It goes without saying that SAP® does not refund the license fees paid beforehand, regardless of how much the customer is struggling or how much the customer is trying to optimize his processes.

What remains is the continual optimization of licenses so as not to run the risk of buying the wrong or too many licenses and, at the end of the day, being penalized for these wrong decisions with long-term care fees.

What’s next? What should I do?

SAP® has been rolling out the new sales, audit and pricing model since April 2018 and has announced that it will provide more training materials and tools in the coming months to facilitate understanding of the new licensing terms.

Basically, existing customers can decide whether they want to stay with the existing model or switch to the new pricing model, depending on which model fits better with their SAP® and third-party applications.

Customers who have not yet licensed or new customers will not be offered this Option.

Do you need assistance?

We are happy to assist you with the question of which model suits your needs and ensure a systematic license management for continuous monitoring and optimization of your licenses. Contact us today.

About the Author

Portrait Dr. Jan Hachenberger

Dr. Jan Hachenberger is Partner and Executive Board Member of ConSalt Unternehmensberatung GmbH. On behalf of the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) e.V., Hachenberger is a delegate and representative of Germany and continues to develop the international standard for IT Asset Management. With a doctorate in political science and a degree in business administration, his goal is to develop ConSalt Unternehmensberatung GmbH into the leading German consulting firm for IT and software asset Management.




  • #Hachenberger
  • #indirect access
  • #pricing model
  • #SAP

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