201910.29
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What is a Microsoft SPLA Verified Self-Audit?

If you provide commercial hosting services using Microsoft’s Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA), you may become a target of an ever-increasing variety of license audits from Microsoft and its vendors.  The latest flavor of a Microsoft SPLA audit is the verified self-assessment or VSA.  The SPLA verified self-assessment differs from both the independent audit and…

201910.24
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Costly Software Audit Mistakes

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) are organizations that represent software publishers seeking to enforce the copyrights in the products they publish.  In furtherance of this goal, these entities routinely send letters to businesses they believe may be infringing their members’ copyrights by failing to satisfy the requirements…

201910.16
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VMware Licensing: Common Questions about Licensing Rules and Restrictions, Part II

Virtualization can reduce the number of physical machines required in an environment and have several other benefits, but it can also require an understanding of complex technical and licensing concepts. Failure to properly license the environment can subject the company to unbudgeted licensing and compliance fees. The following list includes several common questions and concerns…

201910.15
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VMware Audits: What You Need to Know About Licensing Rules, Part I

It is not unusual for companies to use virtualization technologies to reduce costs, ensure redundancy, and reduce physical size of the network. Some of these companies are turning to VMware to manage their virtualized environments. Virtualization can involve complex technical and licensing issues. Failure to properly license the environment risks subjecting the company to unbudgeted…

201910.10
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Avoid Mixed-Mode Microsoft Licensing Whenever Possible

Most Microsoft software products – especially server products – can be licensed under multiple different models and metrics. SQL Server probably is the best example of a product that presents companies with multiple decision layers when analyzing new use cases: • Commercial Hosting or Volume Licensing? Companies need to determine whether a particular use case requires…

201910.09
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Autodesk Targets Architects In Software Audits

Autodesk routinely conducts software audits to determine whether businesses have unlicensed copies of its software installed on their computers. Architecture firms typically represent a significant portion of the targets of such audits – many such firms are heavily reliant on Autodesk software due to Autodesk’s dominance in the market for computer-aided design software and due…

201910.08
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GDPR Protection: Better to be Safe than Sorry

So far this year alone, about 80 companies have been assessed hefty fines—one as high as $201 million—for violating the requirements of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Act. While most were cited for “insufficient technical and organizational measures to ensure information security, others were cited for not complying with general data processing…

201910.03
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Negotiating Technology Contracts: On-premise vs. Cloud and Hosted Software

More and more businesses are considering accessing hosted software rather than purchasing on-premise software.  They are also placing data in third-party public or private clouds instead of selecting on-premise software.  This article will explain the key considerations and contractual provisions when deciding to utilize a hosted software cloud solution versus on-premise software solutions. KEY CONSIDERATIONS…

201910.02
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Bad Advice That Can Get You Sued for Software Copyright Infringement

In recent years, many software publishers began using software audits as a means to increase revenue by penalizing customers for perceived compliance issues. Software publishers often conduct direct audits, or audit through companies such as the BSA | The Software Alliance (“BSA”), or the Software & Information Industry Association (“SIIA”). Although many software users take…

201909.26
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One Easy, Preventative Step to Reduce Exposure in Autodesk Audits

In the universe of software-copyright enforcement programs, Autodesk’s may be the most active and vigorous. All businesses – even those not running Autodesk software – should take steps early and regularly to identify and eliminate any software-compliance gaps associated with Autodesk and other software installations. It is common for businesses owners to be surprised by…

201909.24
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Negotiating Contracts: 12 Key Terms to Negotiate in a Software as a Service or Cloud Service Agreement

Software as a Service and Cloud Service offerings have become ubiquitous digital platforms for many enterprises and small businesses in their quests to provide a single unified platform to their employees and customers. Providers offering Software as a Service and Cloud Services allow end users to access software and infrastructure remotely from any location and…

201909.19
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An Audit by Another Name: IBM’s new IASP Program

This year, IBM announced that it was going to present certain customers with the opportunity to participate in its new IBM Authorized SAM Partner Services (“IASP”).  In a recent webinar that it co-presented with KPMG, one of its approved IASP partners, IBM described the opportunity as an “alternative to an IBM audit.”  For IBM customers…

201909.18
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Is Hosting Microsoft Products via Third Parties a Good Option?

Most providers of hosted software solutions traditionally have delivered those solutions over the Internet from their own servers. However, an increasing number of businesses are interested in outsourcing not only their internal-use IT infrastructure but also the systems used to host their client-facing solutions. Doing so may allow a business to focus more on product…

201909.17
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Licensing Non-Employees to Access Microsoft Products on Your Servers

Many businesses have teams of third-party vendors to assist with their business operations or to provide independent services – like software development or website design – that require access to company servers. For Microsoft products like Windows Server that require additive licensing (usually, Client Access Licenses, or CALs) to support all such client access, the…

201909.12
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Which is Better: Microsoft SPLA or Microsoft Self-Hosted Applications?

Many businesses that identify a need to acquire “commercial hosting rights” in connection with hosted solutions incorporating Microsoft software have two options for acquiring them: through a Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) with Microsoft or through the Self-Hosted Application (SHA) benefit that is included with Software Assurance under an Enterprise Agreement or other volume-licensing agreement….

201909.11
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Negotiating Technology Contracts – Insurance Requirements

One of the most overlooked sections in a technology-related contract is the insurance section. Whether that contract involves IT services, development, Software as a Service or Cloud Services, the insurance section is just as important as the other risk-allocating provisions contained in the contract. Yet, in most of the contracts in the industry, the original…

201909.10
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New Developments in Negotiating Copyright Infringement Damages in Software Settlements with the BSA

The BSA | The Software Alliance (“the BSA”) investigates claims of software copyright infringement behalf of its member software publishers to determine whether any companies end users have unlicensed software installed in violation of The Copyright Act. The BSA has been granted a power of attorney to pursue claims relating to copyright infringement on behalf…