SAP pricing for Indirect / Digital Access

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Most businesses are rapidly moving towards digital transformation. Mobile devices, automation, AI, Machine learning deeply modify the way customers access SAP ERP. As a consequence, SAP adapted its license model to this new digital age. 

Direct Indirect Access SAP

SAP software, regardless of the method of access, must be licensed appropriately. In 2018, SAP introduced a new Indirect or Digital Access licensing model, with the meaning of simplifying its rules.

SAP identifies 3 types of access to the Digital Core which represents your SAP ERP:

  • Direct Human Access : direct use based on user license.
  • SAP Application Access : use of an SAP ERP system via another licensed SAP application.
  • Indirect/Digital Access : use of the Digital Core from third party applications, devices, bots or other automated systems without directly logging into the SAP system.


In the former SAP licensing, the metrics for your amount calculation was essentially the number of full-time users.

For SAP Application Access, you as SAP customer already pay the specific license costs for the SAP systems. 

Here is an overview of the topic in this video by SAP: ERP pricing for the digital age

With Indirect / Digital Access, the focus is on business outcomes and no more on direct users. Licensing is now based on nine document types generated from the Digital Core.

    1. Sales Documents
    2. Purchase Documents
    3. Invoice Documents
    4. Manufacturing Documents
    5. Quality Management Documents
    6. Service & Maintenance Documents
    7. Time Management Documents
    8. Material Documents
    9. Financial Documents


The cost arising out of Indirect / Digital Access is associated with the initial creation of these types of documents in SAP systems by third-party interfaces. There are no additional costs for reads, updates or deletes of documents created. The price per document is inversely proportional to the documents volume generated in the SAP system.

At this stage, few SAP customers using Indirect / Digital Access are fully compliant with their contract terms. Many are not aware that this type of usage may need to be licensed.

The fast digitization of your business could have a significant impact on your IT budget due to inaccurate license usage reporting from 3rd party systems.

We can help you:

  • Ensure your compliance with SAP’s measurements and avoid penalties;
  • Forecast your Digital Access costs based on accurate measure of your current documents creation;
  • Analyze the impact of the new licensing policy on your company;
  • Avoid the risks of double-licensing users or over-licensing for documents creation;
  • Choose the appropriate IT scenario supporting your business;
  • Identify the best licensing model for your use;
  • Make sure you pay a fair price for your SAP licenses;
  • Integrate aspects related to Indirect / Digital Access when switching from the ECC to S/4HANA or jumping to S/4HANA Cloud.