Misleading Next Steps from ASUG on Indirect Access

What This Article Covers

  • An Analysis of ASUG’s Article on Next Steps for ASUG Members
  • Questions ASUG Does not Want to be Asked


In a previous article, I analyzed false information provided by ASUG on indirect access. In this article ASUG so discredited themselves that it is interesting to see what else ASUG publishes on the topic. So we will be analyzing their quotes from this article here.

The Bottom Line

It is ASUG’s resolute view that if you are appropriately licensed today with SAP, you are fine and should resume the more important work of delivering technology innovations for your company.

If you believe you are appropriately licensed and you are hearing otherwise from your SAP account team, I want to hear about it directly from you. ASUG’s job is to advocate on behalf of you—the customer—and we remain steadfast in that commitment.

Wrong. And ASUG is incredibly dishonest on this point and is not disclosing the control that SAP wields over ASUG. ASUG can’t even write an honest article about indirect access. ASUG allows customers to come in and tell obviously false stories about implementations, and when unflattering information comes out about implementations in presentations, they don’t post the powerpoints on the ASUG website. They are clearly SAP’s puppet on any number of issues related to SAP.

The ASUG Board of Directors, who are made up of 14 SAP customers just like you, discussed this extensively during Annual Conference last week. I can assure you that there was not a single person on the board who felt otherwise. We are unified behind you. (Read more about the discussions at our Executive Exchange event on Monday here.)

This is simply a lie. In ASUG’s previous article on indirect access ASUG’s Biased and Inaccurate Coverage of SAP Indirect Access, illustrated numerous lies that supported SAP’s position 100%. In fact, it is difficult to see how ASUG’s view is different from SAP’s. ASUG is unified behind SAP. They owe their careers to SAP and they will follow SAP’s instructions and do whatever SAP says.

What Does “Appropriately Licensed” Mean?

Appropriately licensed means that if you have been undergoing regular license audits without issue, and you are having regular conversations with SAP regarding your application architecture and you are in sync with SAP, then it’s time to move on and move forward.

False. “Appropriately licensed” is a term of propaganda. I covered this in the article How to Best Understand SAP’s Faux Change on Indirect Access, appropriately licenses is a term that seeks to provide validity to a concept which is false, which is SAP legally unsupportable enlarged definition of indirect access. What I call Type 2 indirect access which I covered in the article Type 1 Versus Type 2 Indirect Access. Just because a company does not comport with SAP’s enlarged definition does not mean it is “under licensed.” In fact, contrary to ASUG’s statement, all SAP customers are subject to an indirect access claim because SAP’s enlarged claim of indirect access means that any system connected to SAP would fall under indirect access. Unsurprisingly, ASUG is simply repeating SAP’s position on this topic.

Has SAP done enough to help customers understand this? No, which is the sentiment that we share with DSAG, our German user community partner. (You can read DSAG’s view on the topic here.)

Right. However, ASUG is nothing like DSAG. DSAG writes articles that criticize SAP because they do represent their members. The most ASUG will do is stated that “SAP has not done enough to help customers understand this.” Which is not really an admission of anything. Secondly, ASUG is being deliberately obtuse and is gaslighting their readers and members. They know full well that SAP keeps indirect access deliberately opaque because they want to spring indirect access claims on customers without their customers having any idea how to respond. This is another example of a straight lie by the author. It would be impossible for this author to not know this.

I am confident, however, that this issue has SAP’s full attention, and that there is more concrete, actionable information to come from them.

The actionable step is very simple. Buy millions of dollars of SAP software, (preferably S/4HANA and HANA). Those are the concrete actionable steps ASUG has to offer.

What Steps Should I Take Next?

If you have concerns and want clarification, talk to ASUG first.

Not only should you not talk to ASUG first, you should not apprise ASUG in any way of your indirect access concerns of claims brought by SAP. ASUG is under no obligation to its members and I would guess will report your conversation to SAP.

Take your pick of the following names and email addresses at ASUG. Each of us have been in extensive conversations with our members and key SAP leaders, and the group has published several articles on this topic:

Yes, take your pick of compliant SAP puppets who are pretending to be impartial to share your information with.

If necessary, we can also connect you with a licensing expert who has been working alongside us from the very beginning of this issue. Last week, I did speak with one member company (and I know there are others) who engaged an outside firm—at a sizeable expense—to study this issue. This pains me greatly because dollars spent with that outside firm are dollars that can’t be spent on innovating on behalf of your customers.

It makes little different how much of a licensing expert anyone at ASUG is if they have no independence from SAP. But SAP really wants you to contact ASUG. No doubt, ASUG would be your preferred mediation partner according to SAP. That way SAP can obtain information from ASUG that can be used against you in the indirect access claim that they bring against your company.


This issue warrants all SAP customers’ attention and eyeballs—it’s no time to bury your head in the sand and hope this all works itself out.

ASUG believes, and has expressed this to SAP, that the vast majority of customers are doing everything possible to play by the established rules and are great citizens of the ecosystem. Of course, there are outliers. But let’s not allow the outliers to cause disruption for the rest of us.

I want to hear your voice. Let me know if you are hearing things differently from SAP. As always, together we can and will continue to move forward.

Again, ASUG continually assumes that SAP’s indirect access claims are reasonable and legal. Notice their sentence regarding the “established rules.” This implicitly endorses SAP’s perspective on indirect access. However, if this is true..

  • Why are other software vendors not also enforcing these types of indirect access claims against customers?
  • Why, after non-SAP applications being connected to SAP systems without any topic of indirect access being brought up, is indirect access such a major issue now?

These are the questions that ASUG does not want its members to ask.


Indirect Access Contact

  • Interested in Independent Information on Indirect Access?

    Have you noticed that so much of the information published on indirect access is slanted in SAP's favor? We perform more research on indirect access than any other entity. Why not put that knowledge to work for you?

    • We can be used to answer a specific question.
    • We can provide more details on existing research or to perform new research.

    If you have an interest in hiring us to obtain independent research on indirect access, fill out the form below.


Who is the Most Accurate Source on SAP?

Want to find out? See... A Study into The Accuracy of SAP