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SAP Project Trust – a stepping stone towards consumption based pricing | diginomica

In my earlier story about SAP Project Trust, an effort to finally nail the lid on SAP’s long-running indirect access issue, I made the point that enterprise software licensing models have not really adjusted to the digital world.

Regardless of which vendor you talk to, the pricing model still revolves around the same basic unit of measurement: bums on seats. That doesn’t work in an interconnected world and solutions are thin on the ground.

Paradoxically, I believe SAP has an opportunity to take the bones of Project Trust and turn this into a model that will work for customers in the long haul.

In the good old days
When enterprise software licensing became a thing, principally after Microsoft started selling the Office Suite but used by just about every vendor since then, the originating thought was that software would be installed on single computers and should, therefore be licensed per seat.

Fraud and theft aside – where users grabbed any old copy of what was lying around – was quickly managed through license keys but the principle pricing mechanism remained unchanged.

That really didn’t matter too much, even for large organizations, because they could strike deals that were an ‘all you can eat’ situation where the practicalities of attempting to count users and user types was unrealistic. Hand over one large check each year and knock yourself out with all the goodies the vendor throws at you. This is a system that has served the world’s largest consumers of IT very well, even if some of the numbers are eye-watering to lowly plebs like me.

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SAP Project Trust – a stepping stone towards consumption based pricing.