201704.11
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Are Artificial-Intelligence Software Audits Around the Corner?

Recent weeks have seen a number of news reports and announcements indicating that the Next Big Thing for audits – financial audits, at least, for the time being – is the use of artificial intelligence technologies to facilitate the analysis of large volumes of data in the context of audit-related activities. KPMG’s recent announcement was particularly noteworthy from my…

201702.20
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IBM’s Audit Rights Take a Turn for the Worse

The software-audit language contained in IBM’s standard license agreements never has been anything that anyone would mistake for customer-focused or even very fair contract terms. However, in August 2014, IBM released a new version of its Passport Advantage Agreement (PAA) that applied immediately to all new business that now is in the process of being…

201701.06
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Beware of IBM’s “Blue Washing”

Fans of Star Trek likely are familiar with the dreaded Borg – an alien race of cyborgs that survives and swells its ranks primarily by conquering other races and then absorbing them into the collective through brainwashing and physically altering them with Borg-y bionic body parts. Their creepy, trademark greeting to new races is always:…

201611.12
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Varicent Customers Should Plan for Audits by IBM

In April 2012, IBM announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Varicent Software, Inc., an Ontario-based publisher of analytics software for compensation and sales performance management. According to the announcement, Varicent’s customers include Starwood Hotels, Covidien, Dex One, Manpower, Hertz, Office Depot and Farmers. While corporate acquisitions of software publishers do not necessarily…

201608.18
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IBM Software Audit Step Number 1: Read the Contract

When first contacted by IBM for a “compliance review” (read: software audit), many business owners simply assume that the scope of the requested audit is within IBM’s rights under applicable licensing agreements. Alternatively, if they do request that IBM identify the basis for the audit demand, they take it at its word that those rights…

201606.05
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Tread Carefully When Deploying IBM Software in Server Clusters

Many businesses are realizing the processing and failover benefits of incorporating clustered servers in their IT environments. Having groups of servers whose processing resources are shared and centrally allocated means that server malfunctions can be remedied without compromising business functions that otherwise might need to be suspended until the appropriate fix can be applied. It…

201605.30
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The Basics of Sub-Capacity PVU Licensing for IBM Software

A processor value unit (PVU) is a unit of measurement that IBM uses to determine licensing costs based on the kinds of processors deployed on servers where IBM software is installed. A server’s PVU count is defined by the brand, model and number of physical processors running in the server and the number of core…

201603.19
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IBM Software Audits Involve Complex Licensing Rules

Business owners and managers whose companies have been targeted by IBM for a compliance audit often express surprise at the complex method IBM uses to determine the licensing requirements for many of its server software products, such as WebSphere and Tivoli. Many software vendors employ server software licensing frameworks that would be familiar to most…

201501.29
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Campaign for Clear Licensing Turns its Sights to IBM and SAP

Having shone its spotlight on Oracle’s notoriously complex licensing policies and often adversarial audit practices, the Campaign for Clear Licensing (CCL), a UK-based organization advocating reforms to software-licensing practices, now has shifted its attention to what it believes to be the silver and bronze medalists among enterprise software licensing’s worst offenders: IBM and SAP. CCL…

201402.06
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Beware IBM Acquisitions and Product Transitions

IBM software licensing can be a very complex knot to untie. While IBM does develop new products in house, many of its most popular offerings (Cognos, Tivoli and ILOG, to name a few) are the result of its active history of acquiring smaller publishers and then continuing to offer their products under the IBM brand….