LearningCenter Post113

Software Licensing Assessment – Delay Leads To Regret

Regret… We’ve all been there and hate this feeling. I want to talk to you about regret and the software licensing assessment or pre-audit. It’s a truly terrible feeling knowing that you could have done something differently, something that could have changed the way things unfolded.  Maybe, its missing a loved one’s birthday or maybe its wishing you had spoken up when you really know you should have said something.  In my case it could be when I said “yes” to hot sauce on my lunch burrito…Just sayin, the software audit experience can be much more painful if you aren’t ready for it.

I feel like there are two types of regret that we commonly experience.  When we regret “DOING” something or alternatively when we regard “NOT DOING” something.  In the Software Asset Management world, I think we often regret the NOT DOING or not taking action earlier.  We find out too late that there was something wrong… Lapsed support, changing licensing rules that affect compliance… general non understanding of product use rights, the list goes on and on and there are some serious potential consequences at play when you “DO NOTHING”. The worst part is that in almost every case,  if we had only known about it we could have taken simple actions to make the issue go away.

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Specifically, in the software licensing world, regret usually settles in when a software publisher notifies you that your organization has been selected for a software compliance audit or, a Software Asset Management (SAM) Engagement.  Pro Tip – they are basically the same thing!   The auditors come in,  run their scripts and turn over their ultra conservative Estimated License Position (ELP) which reveals something you didn’t expect.  Perhaps it was a server that accidentally provided indirect access to much of your organization to a software application (which they are all not licensed for).  It could be that the proof of licensing entitlement that you thought was rock solid isn’t being accepted by the auditor.  Maybe you didn’t implement or properly deploy a good software asset management tool or a SAM Managed Service?  Either way it opens the door to a costly settlement and casts clouds of doubt on your competence as a Software Asset Management Professional.  This is never a good place to find yourself.

So, What Can you Do About It?

I could write a novel about how to build a SAM practice….Oh wait we basically did on this blog, but, I’m going to assume you have some things in place.  If you need ground floor guidance or just a thumbs up from a third party of experts who help others deal with or prevent the regret I’ve described,  just drop us a line and we can talk. I strongly recommend a software licensing assessment.

Bring in an friendly outside auditor who understands how the software vendor will act and behave.   Don’t bring in a software re-seller who says they can do it.  They’ll do it for free but,  ask yourself why…there is some truth to the old saying that you get what you pay for.   Is a software vendor funding it?   How much business intelligence are you just giving away? Who profits from selling additional licenses if there is a compliance gap found?

When MetrixData 360 does software vendor assessment on a specific software publisher, we run them as closely as possible to the way the publisher themselves would run it. How do we know that we are running them the same you are wondering, Many of our internal resources are ex-auditors that have experience running hundreds of audits and understand not only the licensing but, also the internal objectives of the software publishers.  MetrixData 360 will ask for the same sorts of data from you (and help you get it if you don’t know where/how to get it).   We will prepare a report for you (like the one on the right) and coach you on how to bridge any licensing gaps. We do this to make sure there are no surprises in a real audit. We recently completed a software licensing assessment for a company targeting OpenText. We uncovered an initial gap that could have resulted in a claim in the tens of millions of dollar range.   Luckily, we identified it and the client was able to take a few simple actions to eliminate the exposure!  Do you think they were glad they engaged in a software licensing assessment?  You bet they were, absolutely no regret there!

Software Licensing Assessment – What Can I Do To Learn More?

We really want to help you.  Software licensing and SAM is our passion and we are always willing and happy to have a discussion with folks!  Just click the button below to book some time to talk and we can just on a call.  There’s no commitment and frankly the SAM community is pretty small and tight knit.  We’re honestly just interested in licensing and SAM discussions.


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