Eight lessons learned representing clients in IBM Audits

Julie Machal-Fulks  Comments (0)
IBM regularly informs customers selected for an IBM license review or software audit that it reviews the license position of all of its customers worldwide. That means if your company has not participated in a software license review with IBM, the odds are very high that suc......

Are Mandatory Software Inventory Tools on the Horizon?

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Software licensing compliance is a complex task to manage. The metrics for measuring compliance often are a challenge to gather, and those metrics typically are different from software publisher to software publisher. This means that software asset management (SAM) teams nee......

Software Piracy

Rob Scott  Comments (0)
Software piracy audits conducted by the BSA and the SIIA threaten small and medium sized businesses. As the economy tightens, software publishers such as Microsoft, Adobe, and Autodesk hide behind software piracy enforcement groups to pursue customers accused of installing m......

Responding to Autodesk Audits

Julie Machal-Fulks  Comments (0)
The BSA and SIIA are not the only organizations pursuing business for software copyright infringement. Though it is a member of both the BSA and SIIA, Autodesk, which manufactures the popular design software AutoCAD, often pursues audit targets on its own. The audits begi......

Top Tips for Responding to an Autodesk Audit

Keli Johnson Swan  Comments (0)
Autodesk routinely sends letters to businesses that it suspects may be using Autodesk software products without adequate licensing, both in order to confirm those suspicions as well as to address any license-compliance discrepancies. Typically under threat of a federal lawsu......

Is Microsoft Trying to Kill Self-Hosting?

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Earlier this year, with no fanfare (which is perhaps unsurprising), Microsoft implemented a significant change to its Product Terms pertaining to Software Assurance (SA) benefits that likely will have a significant licensing impact for companies that have taken advantage of ......

Forming a Texas Series LLC

Stephen F. Pinson  Comments (0)
The limited liability company “LLC” is a popular way to structure a new business venture in Texas. The primary reason for forming an LLC is to obtain protection from personal liability for the owners of the business. Owners who are planning to form new business entities......

Be Wary of Changes in New SPLA Contracts

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Companies that have long relationships with Microsoft know that the company’s form licensing agreements have steadily evolved over time, and typically for the worse. If software licensing can be said to have any “natural laws,” certainly the First Law could be paraphra......

Customer Access Under Microsoft MSDN Developer Licenses

Rob Scott  Comments (0)
Microsoft’s MSDN subscription licenses often create license compliance problems.  These problems arise because it is extremely easy to over deploy Microsoft software using MSDN media because it includes a vast array of Microsoft products with limited deployment controls.......

SQL Server Licensing Strategies for SPLA

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Licensing Microsoft server products in any environment can be a challenging undertaking, given the complexity of some of Microsoft’s licensing rules. However, licensing Microsoft products for commercial hosting environments under a Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA......

Microsoft SPLA Audit Look-Back Periods

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
In a typical Microsoft audit of software licensed under perpetual licenses, the auditors usually will compare installations of Microsoft products against licenses owned, and Microsoft will require the audited business to purchase additional licenses required to cover any gap......

Microsoft Audit Roadmap

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Microsoft offers an array of software licensing options for its business customers. However, during an audit, the timing and course of the project typically follows a fairly well-worn path:

Beware the Mandatory SAM Engagement

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
For several years now, Microsoft has offered some of its customers the “opportunity” to have third-party licensing consultants (selected by Microsoft) review those customers’ Microsoft product deployments and determine whether those customers have all of the licenses n......

Running Windows Server in Clustered VMs Carries Risks

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
Many businesses running virtual servers with shared physical infrastructures have encountered significant audit exposure arising from the fact that, according to Microsoft, the physical machines in a clustered arrangement may be “running” any number of Windows Server ins......

SPLA-Audit Exposure Difficult to Estimate

Rob Scott  Comments (0)
One of the first steps we typically recommend to businesses facing software audits from any source is to try to estimate the financial exposure related to those audits. Doing so allows a company to allocate its resources more efficiently and to set aside reserves or make oth......

SPLA Basics: Who Needs a SPLA?

Christopher Barnett  Comments (0)
We write extensively at this site about some of the finer points pertaining to licensing software under Microsoft’s Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA). However, some businesses new to the model often ask us much more basic questions, like: What is SPLA, and is it r......