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This is what SAP indirect access means

In 2018, ERP-software company SAP has introduced a new license model. This model gives indirect access to SAP systems. According to the company, this model is way better than the old one, because it is not based on the number of users anymore. Instead, it is based on functional usage. The new model affects the core applications SAP S (4HANA), SAP S 4HANA Cloud and SAP ERP-applications. You, as a client, are able to choose whether you want to keep using your current model or want to use this new model. SAP indirect access is a vague word. Not many companies understand what it actually means. We do not blame you, because it is not very easy to understand. To make it clearer for you, we are going to explain it to you briefly.

SAP indirect access

There are many ways to explain to you what SAP indirect access exactly means. To stick to the facts: SAP describes indirect access in 1 sentence: ‘’SAP data use by an end user or by an application which is not via SAPGUI’’. Like most software companies, SAP loves to use jargon. Which is nice if you are also familiar with software and software licenses, but if you do not have affinity with all of this, it could be quite incomprehensible to you. We will explain two important words that are connected with SAP indirect access (and SAP in general). 

SAP definitions

  • Named users

Remarkable enough, SAP distinguishes their named users in two different groups. The first one is real people who use the SAP system. The second one is, instead of people (who are in fact living entities), systems or applications. These systems or applications use an account for exchanging information between both systems by having an interface. You need licenses for both type of named users.

  • Indirect access

So, for indirect access you do need licenses. But what does the word itself mean? Indirect access is about the exchange of data between a user, the system of an application and the SAP system. Here for, it is important to have a dialog or prompt mode between the user of a system (or application) and the system of SAP itself.

The effect on your business

As a SAP customer, SAP indirect access could have impact on your business. This impact is not really positive, on the contrary: nobody is waiting for this kind of impact. Ok, interesting, but what is the impact exactly? To explain it in a few words and as simple as possible: Indirect access can have a large nasty financial impact on your company. For example, you have an SAP license. But your staff likes to work with Salesforce (which is often experienced as more user friendly and easier to understand). If you use SAP data through a Salesforce application, SAP can make you make you paying fines. Even if your SAP applications are properly licensed and the Salesforce application as well. So Think properly before you want to try to do this.