201908.15
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Avoid Pitfalls When Deploying ILMT for IBM Software

IBM software is expensive. In some cases, very expensive. While this may represent a necessary cost of doing business for many companies with mission-critical software solutions developed on or using IBM applications, all IBM customers clearly are incentivized to maximize the value of their software expenditures with Big Blue. For an increasing number of those…

201908.13
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Don’t Short-Sheet the Internal Analysis in an IBM Audit

One of the most critical steps of any business faces in any software audit is conducting an internal analysis of deployments to entitlements, preferably before any audit data is shared with the auditors. That internal review serves several purposes, including (1) identifying deployments for which a company’s license documentation may be lacking, thereby giving the…

201907.31
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Releases of Liability as Part of Licensing Deals – How Hard to Push?

Software publishers know that the vast majority of their customers are, to varying degrees, out of compliance with the terms of license agreements governing their use of the publishers’ software products. Especially in larger enterprises, managing and maintaining a company’s license position is a daunting and maybe even impractical task, especially given the increasingly complex…

201907.30
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Disguised Software Audit Clauses

Agreements often contain clauses allowing the parties to review books and records, “Books and Records” clauses. These are often boilerplate clauses included in agreements without much consideration from the contracting parties. When a Books and Records clause is used in a software agreement without a software audit clause, it can lead to serious consequences. It…

201907.24
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Trust, But Verify with Third-Party Software Vendors

Enterprise-level software solutions often are very complex products requiring a level of expertise that may be outside the experience or skill sets of generalist IT teams. Many businesses therefore rely on the services of independent software vendors and consultants to evaluate their needs for particular solutions, to procure the required licensing, and to deploy and…

201907.23
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Control Software Audit Disclosures By Keeping an Eye on the Audited Entity

In many cases where we are retained to assist companies targeted for software audits after software-deployment data already has been submitted to the auditing entities, we have the regrettable obligation to let our clients know that they have disclosed too much. Over-disclosure can cost a company millions of dollars, and it is typically very difficult…

201907.19
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Effective Audit-Response Policies Can Be Vital in Responding to Software Audits

Businesses often have close relationships with software vendors, and that closeness usually is in direct proportion to the extent and importance of those vendors’ software products in the businesses’ network environments. However, despite their best marketing efforts, software vendors’ interests always will remain aligned primarily with their own bottom line, and that often means that…

201907.18
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Know When to Say When in Response to Auditors’ Requests for Information

Software audits can be intensely frustrating ordeals for businesses to navigate. Many publishers will go to great lengths to cajole their customers with assurances of amicability and license-optimization opportunities, but most IT managers know that the reality of audits in almost all cases is anything but friendly and fraught with pitfalls. However, the first things…

201907.02
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Microsoft’s Auditors Are Not Infallible

Microsoft licensing is a complex, multi-faceted undertaking, with different rules and license metrics applying to different products. In the context of software audits initiated by Microsoft, it is important to keep in mind the fact that the auditors hired to perform those investigations are fallible human beings and that they can (and do) make mistakes…

201907.01
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To SAM or Not to SAM? The Differences Between a Microsoft SAM Engagement and an Audit

In recent years, Microsoft seems to have been shifting an increasing volume of its license-compliance resources toward what it calls Software Asset Management (SAM) reviews. These “optional” engagements typically are proposed by Microsoft personnel with whom a company has not had any prior interactions, and the company often receives no advance warning or introductions from…