Walldorf, 05.18.2017 - According to a British court decision, software companies can demand additional licence fees when other applications access their software for the purpose of exchanging data. Although this specific judgment on "indirect usage" doesn’t directly apply to users in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, the topic itself has long been cause for discussion among members of the German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG). The DSAG has been in close contact with SAP about this. Now SAP has published a statement (http://news.sap.com/sappire-now-modern-pricing-modern-times/) outlining their position on indirect usage. While DSAG welcomes the fact that SAP is addressing the issue, it considers the statement to be insufficient.
Indirect usage to SAP software is a highly topical issue – as confirmed by numerous recent media reports. In one example, it was recently reported that a brewery group has established reserves of approximately 564 million euros for covering the financial risks of any lawsuits from SAP.
Essentially, the issue of indirect usage can be seen in two ways: on one hand, there’s the question of whether users are accessing SAP software directly or indirectly. This form of use is subject to licensing. Depending on usage, customers may need a corresponding user right in the form of either a “Named User License” or a software engine. On the other hand, unfortunately, within SAP there hasn’t been a clear definition or even guidelines for indirect usage. As of today, however, SAP has started clarifying their pricing models for various scenarios of indirect usage. Nevertheless, the DSAG feels that SAP’s announcement is insufficient since some of the issues are certain to require more suitable clarification.
“The DSAG has long been concerned about indirect usage, and we do welcome that SAP is moving in this direction after so many years,” explains Andreas Oczko, DSAG Board Member for Operations / Service & Support. Nonetheless, the DSAG points out that SAP’s own document on pricing models for indirect usage hasn’t been fully developed at this point – essential issues remain unresolved and many other aspects ignored, and the DSAG itself had advised against releasing any announcement at present. In particular, the SAP document mostly covers instances that are already well known, yet some of the legal aspects get left out. This only increases uncertainty among SAP customers and serves to hinder essential investments in future software.
“As German-speaking SAP user group, we therefore recommend that SAP customers devote as much effort as possible to assessing SAP’s conditions and consider a thorough review,” Andreas Oczko explains. The DSAG likewise recommends getting in contact with the DSAG office so that all involved can discuss the relevant issues, proceed to advise SAP in a focused manner, and in doing so help develop guidelines that work for everyone.
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The German-speaking SAP User Group (Deutschsprachige SAP-Anwendergruppe) e. V. of Walldorf, Germany, is an independent special interest group that represents all SAP users in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The group’s mission is to encourage the realization of SAP solutions that meet members’ needs and to promote the exchange of experiences and information both among SAP customers as well as with SAP. Founded in 1997, DSAG is a registered association (eingetragener Verein) with more than 3,200 companies with more than 60.000 registered DSAG-members. DSAG is currently one of the largest SAP user groups and influencing channels worldwide.
www.dsag.de, www.dsag.at, www.dsag-ev.ch