SAP Indirect Access continues to affect companies
Just a few weeks after the UK court ruled that Diageo Great Britain Ltd. is required to pay additional license and support fees to SAP for Indirect Usage, another situation that involves Indirect Usage of SAP software arose.
Recently, American beverage producer Anheuser-Busch InBev was sued in a similar case to the one of Diageo, but with an addition that pales the previous case. According to the software vendor, AB InBev has also infringed on the copyright law by using SAP software without valid user licenses which resulted in a $600m claim.
We might not see the outcome of the lawsuit between SAP and AB InBev, as there are some delicate details and amounts involved, but we still can learn a lesson.
One question many may ask themselves is whether this situation could have been avoided. Short answer: yes. Long answer: if an active license management process would have been in place, this situation wouldn’t exist.
According to some voices in the license management market, the claim against Anheuser-Busch InBev is part of SAP’s practice of requiring license fees for any “indirect access” to its systems, being it from sales, customers or suppliers. This is something that scares customers with complex systems and infrastructures, especially if they don’t actively keep track of and manage their licenses. However, even the ones who strive to be compliant are scared by the minor technology changes that can potentially create major risk when a software audit is triggered.
In a recent meeting of the ITAM Review’s SAP Special Interest Group, the fact that users are worried about their SAP licensing position was highlighted. And they have a reason: SAP just offered another piece of evidence that they are serious about their auditing strategy and continue to approach customers in all major markets.
Are you aware of your license compliance position related to SAP or do you want to understand if you might face any compliance risk? Read our article about the most common issues related to using SAP software.
If you still have any questions, feel free to contact us and one of our specialists will help you.
Richard is one of the managing partners at B-lay. He started to work in the license management industry in 2004 and worked for almost 10 years at Oracle as regional director of compliance. He uses his knowledge of enterprise software vendors (such as Oracle, SAP, IBM and Microsoft) to educate, equip and enable software end users in their challenges regarding proper software license management. Richard holds a master’s degree in IT, from University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.