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Due to the increase in Digital Business and Transformation, SAP recently revamped its Licensing model to bring in more transparency for customers to help them consume and use the SAP applications optimally and also to reduce the anxiety levels around the issue of SAP indirect access.

It majorly classifies itself in - Direct Access / Indirect Access

Direct (Named User  / Package / Database) License - This has been the traditional licensing model followed  by the customer's so far. With the shift from SAP ECC to SAP S/4 HANA there has been an impact of functionality wise purchase of licenses (Packaged License - priced by business metrics). The functionalities which were directly available in SAP ERP system (some post activation) are not completely accessible in S/4HANA. Hence we now have to understand it in more detail the implications and different options of purchasing the various SAP licenses required for the Business.
SAP S/4HANA Simplification List gives you a basic understanding on License impact, eg - SAP S/4HANA leverages MDG-S for supplier distribution. The MDG-S license is not part of the SAP S/4HANA license.

Indirect License - SAP systems data accessed via IoT, 3rd party applications or other digital access based on transactions/documents processed by the system itself. SAP identified nine document types that represent system generated records of commonly valued business outcomes from the Digital Core which will be part of the license, for any other document types there shall be no additional charge

Options for existing ERP Customers

As per the new model Document Licenses is required when indirect access triggers the creation of certain sales or invoicing related documents. For more details -  SAP ERP Pricing for the Digital Age: Addressing Indirect/Digital Access

SAP also separated License Sales from Audit and Compliance which will help the customers to separate their ongoing SAP usage commercials with the new requirements (i.e new software package purchase).

There are certain License Audit Tools already available for use of the customers (License Audit Workbench / Measurement Program (transaction USMM) for measuring users and engines)

Licensing SAP Software - A Guide for Buyers

SAP Global License Audit and Compliance Update


Rupali S
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