A: The IBM audit process can take a few months to a year or more, depending on the size of the network or products and services used by the company being audited by IBM. While IBM likes to say that its audit process is not disruptive to a company’s business operations, the audit process can be extremely expensive and use significant resources. Hiring experienced legal counsel can help minimize business interruptions due to IBM’s audit process.
A: In most contracts, IBM includes an audit clause that requires a company to keep records of its system and tools for an independent auditor to verify compliance with its licensing rules. IBM requires compliance during the time of the agreement and while the customer continues to use the IBM products. For example, in some instances in IBM contracts, the duty to comply with licensing obligations remains in effect for up to 2 years after the contract has been completed or terminated and the products are no longer in use.
A: IBM has an aggressive auditing department and strives to audit each of its customers at some point during the professional relationship. IBM seems to prioritize certain cases where it believes that there likely is a compliance gap between what its customers own and what they have installed.