201910.17
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IBM Software Audits Complicated by Diverse License Types

Businesses that have endured software audits from industry groups like the BSA and the SIIA or from software publishers like Autodesk likely are familiar with the basic audit process of counting the total number of installations for audited products and comparing those installations against the number of licenses previously purchased to support them. There are…

201909.05
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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…

201908.13
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Don’t Short-Sheet the Internal Analysis in an IBM Audit

One of the most critical steps 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 company…

201905.03
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Eight lessons learned representing clients in IBM Audits

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 such a review will be forthcoming at some time…

201904.17
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Arguments Against ILMT – What Does and Doesn’t Work?

Each of the major software publishers has one or two tricks up its sleeve – tricks that often are missed by licensees – affecting how its server products may be used in virtualized environments. For example, Microsoft SQL Server requires a minimum of four core licenses per vCPU, even if the actual number of vCPUs…

201901.04
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New ILMT Policy Could Increase Financial Exposure in IBM Audits

IBM may be making it more difficult for IBM customers to qualify for sub-capacity licensing in virtualized environments.  As many companies who have been audited by IBM have learned, it is sometimes difficult to demonstrate that the company has met all the criteria necessary to avoid licensing the full capacity of the virtualized environment. With…

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…

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…