5 “facts” about software audits you shouldn’t believe

The management of software licenses is a science in itself. Because even experienced software asset managers can sometimes get into a spin with the crazy complexity of license agreements. And assume that even your IBM account manager doesn’t really know the exact terms of use and licensing of your applications. Out of this situation some myths and legends as well as some flat untruths have developed around the topic of IBM audits. Here are five of them you shouldn’t fall for:

1 A vendor can force you to buy new licenses.

FALSE – The contract between you and IBM refers to a specific application and a clearly defined number of licenses. As a rule, you will need one license for each active user of the application or another (freely defined) measurement method. If, for example, a changing group of employees accesses an application, licenses are often shared, which is okay as long as the number of users working in parallel does not exceed the maximum number. For example, you do not need a separate license for each user. However, if you do not pass an IBM software audit, you are required to purchase the missing licenses. In addition, you will be charged the maintenance fees for these licenses retroactively for two years.

2 A vendor may force you to upgrade.

FALSE – As you approach the end of use of your software, the more pressure IBM will put on you to upgrade to a newer version. In fact, IBM’s suspension of support can be a non-negotiable, unavoidable event that makes an upgrade the only option available. But the fact is, you have unlimited licenses. That means you can use the software as long as you want, even after the service has ended. The only problem is that IBM no longer offers support and maintenance for such older application versions. But … you have full control over the upgrade process and can therefore choose not to upgrade.

3 License management is simple.

FALSE – License management would really be as simple as some claim if the position of software asset manager didn’t exist. But as organizations today continuously install, uninstall, mothball, reactivate and archive applications – not to mention changing usage locations and deployment modes – SAMs are urgently needed. Keeping track of all these changes is an extremely complex task. And that’s one of the main reasons why IBM audits are not passed. But no matter how simple or complicated the management of software licenses may be for you, you should always keep your inventory lists up to date – or prepare yourself mentally to go through all further software audits. If you are not completely sure about this topic, the best thing to do is to inform yourself about the Origina IBM® License Audit Services.

4 License Audits can be avoided.

FALSE – Audits cost time and tie up resources. That’s why SAMs naturally try to avoid them by all means. Over time, the industry has been misled to believe that software license audits can be avoided if you keep your feet still, follow IBM’s upgrade path, and buy all the products and solutions proposed by the account manager. That may seem logical at first glance, but in reality it’s complete nonsense. Every company is audited by IBM at some point. So don’t waste your time and energy avoiding audits, use them to keep your inventory clean and ensure compliance with the terms of use.

5 An external partner can protect you from IBM software audits.

FALSE – An external partner like Origina can help you prepare for an IBM audit, but they can’t prevent you from visiting Big Blue. If any company tries to make you believe it can, it’s a flat lie. We’re not saying that an external partner can’t help you. For example, Origina offers post-warranty support for older IBM applications and provides comprehensive advice on IBM licensing and compliance issues, etc. For most companies, these value-added services are so valuable that they can more than make up for the inconvenience of an IBM audit.

Enough with the fairytales

You would like to learn the real facts about IBM audits and how you can minimize the impact of an audit? Talk to Origina and get to the bottom of things with us.

Origina are partners at SAMS 2019!
Strategic software asset management in times of change, new licensing models and increasing audits – Europe’s largest SAM annual congress is entering its 8th round! Current information on the program, speakers and registration can be found at: www.sam-strategies.de

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