LicenseFortress Launches as Standalone Company to Ensure Enterprise Software License Compliance

LicenseFortress has launched as a standalone entity to focus on database software license management and audit protection service with a financial guarantee.

Originally part of VLSS, a consultancy founded in 2005 with a focus on Oracle and VMware technologies, LicenseFortress was spun out as a standalone company in October 2017.

“About three years ago we realized that customers were coming to us over and over again about licensing questions and as a result we rolled out the LicenseFortress product in February 2016. We have been releasing iterations of it since that time, and then in October 2017, we formally separated out the company,” said LicenseFortress co-founder and CEO Dean Bolton.

Initially focused on Oracle Database and related software, the company is about to release LicenseFortress for SQL Server and also has other platforms and software on its roadmap, including Windows OS, Red Hat OS, and virtualization platforms.

“Organizations’ infrastructures are getting stretched across the cloud,” said Michael Corey, a LicenseFortress co-founder and past president of the IOUG. “They had a hard enough time managing their infrastructure when it was on-premise only and now with on-premise, software as a service, and hybrid cloud, there is a lot of uncertainty about the proper way to license software in these very complex environments." It can be difficult to find information on the correct way to handle licensing, said Corey, adding that the pressure on organizations is being turned up as the frequency with which software vendors conduct licensing audits increases. To help them be certain they are in compliance, said Corey, LicenseFortress does real-time license compliance monitoring and alerting and provides a guarantee, as well.

The idea is to make sure that a company doesn’t get caught unaware that they have incorrectly licensed a software vendor’s product. “It is really about trying to help companies prevent that and control their environment and know what is running so they can take action before an audit occurs,” said Bolton.

At the beginning of an engagement, he explained, LicenseFortress will go in and do an internal assessment which is essentially an unofficial audit  with the LicenseFortress product. As part of that discovery process, LicenseFortress catalogs the installations and features to pull the information together. That information is then cross-checked against what the customer believes has been purchased to determine whether the company is in compliance and, if it is not, the customer is given options to get back in compliance, said Bolton.

“This is a big problem with big dollar amounts associated with it,” said Corey

LicenseFortress has three tiers of service: DiscoveryStandard, and Premier. said Bolton.

LicenseFortress Discovery is just the discovery portion of the product, offered with a free 60-day trial, and on a paid basis after that. License Fortress Standard is for monitoring software use without a guarantee. “We do the internal assessment, we set up the monitoring, and we can continue to update the customer environment as they move forward with new projects and new installations to make sure they stay in compliance while using our service,” said Bolton. LicenseFortress Premier includes those capabilities plus the guarantee as well. “If a customer is audited under the Premier guarantee we will handle the audit on their behalf and if necessary we have relationships with top law firms throughout the U.S. and the EU and around the world that can go to court. And, finally, there is an insurance policy that we have in place to pay for anything if we happen to be wrong,” said Bolton.

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