The usage of SAP software via third-party systems interfaced to SAP is known as Indirect Access or Indirect Usage.

In many SAP contracts, this kind of usage needs to be licenced in the same way as direct usage of the SAP software would be including package and named-user licensing.

Individuals using the SAP software indirectly in a way that meets SAP’s definition of a named-user may require a named-user license.

The definitions that give rise to Indirect Access licensing risk lie in the contract and are not always clear and obvious. As such many organisations are not aware that this type of usage may need to be licensed. As such Indirect Access licensing fees can be significant and unexpected.

To find out more click below to read our Indirect Access article.

Indirect Access Article →

Indirect Access Services

JNC offer a number of solutions to organisations who want to address Indirect Access risk. Services typically align with three scenarios:

  • Discovering risk
  • Dealing with known risk
  • Responding to a non-compliancy claim raised by SAP

Indirect Access Risk Assessment

The purpose of an Indirect Access Risk Assessment is to determine if the contract gives rise to Indirect Access risk and to establish if the Systems Landscape contains third-party systems and interfaces that would need to be investigated. Typically, 2 or 3 days effort to complete.

The Process

A basic contract review looks at the contractual inclusions, exclusions, specific wordings, and clauses which could give rise to indirect access licensing risk or permit that kind of usage.

The business workshop involves engaging with integration specialists and systems owners to identify possible indirect access. The results of the contract review would define the potential risk position. The Risk Report summarises the contract review and business workshop findings which could include identifying little or no risk or recommendations for further steps to address potential risk identified.

Deliverable – Risk Report

Indirect Access Review

The purpose of a full Indirect Access Review is to perform a comprehensive evaluation of Indirect Access risk and to quantify any potential licensing liability discovered. With actual risk discovered real decision can be made about the most effective business strategy for dealing with it.

The Process

This process includes a more comprehensive contract review. All contract documentation including all material purchase artefacts needs to be reviewed to establish the full risk potential. The business workshop and systems evaluation look at creating a full map of all interfaces between, to and from the SAP software and the systems or application being interfaced. The nature of the usage and the exchange of data then needs to be evaluated and documented.

The risk evaluation then considers the usage evaluation with the contract review to assign, no, low, medium or high-risk factors to each system and interface. The indirect Access Report then provides a summary of finding and risks and provides a quantification of the potential risk based on what licensing the business may require and what would cost if discovered by SAP.

The final benefit of the report reflects on consultation between JNC and the client to establish how to deal with the risk however big or small. Where medium or high risk is identified this most likely includes the discovery of usage that is not and should be licensed. No or low-risk usage can be covered by writing a business case to illustrate compliant usage should SAP ever knock on the door asking about Indirect Access.

Deliverables – Indirect Access Report, Risk Evaluation, Business Cases, & Recommended Actions.

Indirect Access Defence

The Indirect Access defence service is provided to organisations who have already been approached by SAP regarding potential unlicensed Indirect usage or who have been presented with a bill for licensing fees for unlicensed indirect usage SAP believe they have established.

The primary aim of our Indirect Access Defence service is to prove compliant usage, where a compliance business case would be written to support that conclusion. Other outcomes can be to determine the liability versus SAP’s claim and to advise on an engagement and negotiation strategy that results in an improved commercial outcome for the client.

Aside from regular license audit related non-compliancy, JNC have dealt with Indirect Cases ranging from six to nine figures and have an excellent track record in successfully avoiding Indirect Access claims in full, or achieving significantly improved results where unlicensed Indirect Access is discovered but neither to the extent that SAP claim or that requires the level of licensing that SAP claim.

The Process

Considering the risks involved a full and comprehensive contract review needs to be carried out. The usage in question needs to be evaluated to define the nature of the interface, the data flows, data being exchanged, how the system is being used and by who. The contract analysis can then be considered to establish if this usage is already licensed if it needs to be licensed and what licensing is required.

A business case is then written which provides a clear, structured, and compelling argument supporting compliant usage, or that illustrates our evaluation of the usage and how we believe it should be licensed. It is then necessary to develop a response strategy.

This guides the customer in executing further communications with SAP with a view to bringing the dispute to a full, final, and satisfactory outcome. JNC also offer support through the process until this is achieved.

Deliverables: Business Case, comprising of Usage Evaluation and Contract Review Outcomes and Response Strategy.

JNC SAP License Audit Simulation

An Indirect Access Review is a standard optional component of an SAP License Audit Simulation.

For organisations who want a full enterprise-wide view of compliancy including Indirect Access risk an SAP License Audit Simulation is advised. Click the link below to view our Audit Simulation service.

Audit Simulation →

Indirect Access Impact Assessment

Talk to JNC about your future enterprise systems technology roadmap and applications integration strategy to understand the impact your future plans will have on licensing. JNC will perform a contract review and establish any entitlement and limitation on indirect usage.

We will provide a report informing you, in view of your SAP contract how your planned usage needs to be licensed and a quantification of the licensing costs based on known licensing options. We break the cost and risk down by the cost of licensing compliantly and the risk-based incorrect licensing.

As many licensing scenarios can be negotiated JNC can also provide advice and guidance on target outcomes and negotiation strategies to ensure organisations get a good deal on the licensing required to support future technology developments. Don’t rely on your SAP sales rep to offer you the best deal!

Expert Witness Legal Support

If an Indirect Access dispute has already escalated to legal litigation, JNC can act as an expert witness for SAP licensing compliancy and indirect access licensing.

JNC has supported some of the worlds top law firms with our SAP Licensing expertise, and have significant experience of being involved in the legal process. Our expertise can be the key to building and present a successful case.

The key to dealing with Indirect Access is to get informed, know where you stand and get prepared for a licensing audit.

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