User lobbying leads to flexible SAP license policy

Protracted lobbying efforts by user groups have pushed SAP AG to alter its software licensing policy.

With the changes, customers are now able to replace existing on-premise software licenses and associated maintenance fees with other products in the enterprise software maker’s portfolio. The maintenance bill of customers making changes will need to remain the same, “at a minimum,” according to SAP.

The new policy also allows users to partially terminate licenses and associated fees without adding new products.

For instance, if a customer had 100 licenses in one product family and wanted to discontinue 90 of those products, the 90 licenses will be “valued with the list price at the time of purchasing, and then from the list price you could deduct the standard volume discount, if eligible,” said Jens Bernotat, SAP vice-president for strategy and business development. He said the resulting price will be used to calculate the maintenance payment for the 90 licenses.

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The customer will not see their total bill go up, SAP said.

User groups welcomed the changes and were generally happy with them.

However, Philip Adams, chairman of the United Kingdom and Ireland SAP user group said, the software maker could have gone a bit further and allowed users to “park” licenses they are not using.

Under the new system, he said, once customers have terminated a license, they cannot switch be switched back on.

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