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…

201702.06
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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…

201701.18
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IBM’s Standard Audit Clause is a Time Bomb

It is standard practice for software vendors to include clauses in their license agreements giving the vendors the right to invoke audits or some other mechanisms to ensure that the licensed products are used in a way that is consistent with agreed licensing restrictions. Most software consumers would agree – perhaps grudgingly – that such…

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…

201610.09
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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…

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…

201607.10
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Top Three Challenges in Standard IBM License Agreements

IBM software licensing can present an array of interpretive and compliance challenges for even the most sophisticated licensees. Here are three of the most important things to keep in mind when planning to license IBM products under the company’s standard-form agreements (which, for the vast majority of IBM customers, are essentially the company’s only agreements,…