As software infrastructure is stretched between on premise, public clouds, and hybrid clouds, keeping software in compliance is a significant challenge.
Sorting through all the FUD and getting straight answers from vendors on the proper way to license software in this complicated world is not easy.
Some vendors have turned to software license audits as an easy way to generate additional revenues. Michael Corey, co-founder, COO, LicenseFortress and Don Sullivan, product line manager, business critical applications, VMware discussed current software license trends, the difference between Oracle policy and your contractual obligations, licensing Oracle on a virtualized environment, and licensing best practices, during their Data Summit Connect 2021 presentation, “Database Licensing: Best Practices and Pitfalls.”
“The lessons learned here should be able to be put to good use in multiple verticals,” Corey said.
To understand the world of licensing, Corey introduced the concept of patent trolls, which is a derogatory term used to describe the company that uses patent infringement claims to win court judgments for profit or stifle competition.
During a software audit the licensee has the burden of proof to show that usage was in compliance with license terms.
Gartner has documented that vendor-imposes and revenue-motivated audits are increasing for organizations of all sizes and industries.
“The reason this works is, most of the time they’re right,” Sullivan said. “To what degree have these companies done this is what is needed to be found out.”
There is a trend of authorized third parties doing audits for companies because it generates revenue, Corey explained.
A best practice is to verify is a request is an official audit, Corey and Sullivan noted. When an audit happens, enterprises need to prevent scoop creep, which means companies need to document the audit scope and only supply information needed to fulfill the requirements of the audit.
For any vendor they should have a single point of contact, Corey and Sullivan pointed out. This person will control the messaging. Involve legal counsel early in the process to avoid problems later, they continued.
Training staff in license compliance is a must. Training increases the chance that staff will not make a costly mistake.
An annual software compliance audit is no longer enough, organizations need to proactively check for software compliance.
More information about Data Summit Connect 2021 is available here.
Replays of all Data Summit Connect 2021 sessions will be available to registered attendees for a limited time and many presenters are also making their slide decks available.