What is SAP Digital Access?

Short Answer

SAP Digital Access is a license model introduced in 2018 that enables SAP to capture license and maintenance revenue associated with third-party access to its software.

In-Depth Answer

SAP Digital Access is intended to compensate SAP for how its software integrates with third-party applications in ways that legacy metrics did not contemplate. This access, referred to as indirect access (or use), may potentially be licensed as user-based or legacy metrics for sales/service and purchase orders. That said, the driver for a new metric dates back to 2017 when SAP won a multi-$M court case against its own customer, Diageo, a global drinks company.

Indirect access is of course quite common here in the 2000s, so customers should not be caught by surprise. To alleviate its customers’ fears over audit-driven financial leverage, SAP created the Digital Access Adoption Program (aka DAAP) to transform the ill-suited legacy metrics to Digital Access via pre-defined contractual terms and discounts. The protections offered by DAAP are scheduled to end in 2022 after having been extended again by SAP from December 2021. It seems plenty of customers have still not dealt with their indirect use problem.

In any case, SAP refers to its Digital Access metric as outcome-focused, i.e., what business requirement is served by its software via nine defined SAP Digital Document types. SAP offers its audit organization–GLAC–to assist with all the required Calculus, but, its wise to work with an independent advisor such as Remend to assess the best path forward.

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