What is the License Management Services Program? The purpose of the License Management Services (LMS) program is to assist customers in obtaining the goal of legal licensing throughout their enterprise IT environment. While we are concerned about contract compliance, this will be an educational process that will provide customers with the ability to assess themselves on an ongoing basis and provide them a methodology for maintaining contract compliance going forward. Customers will also establish a baseline for license ownership and usage that will allow them to look back to that point to know what products are owned and deployed in their environment.
The LMS Program is a global program that encompasses all Enterprise and Master License customers.
Who will perform the work? The review will be conducted by members of the LMS team of Business Objects. It is possible that involvement by a third-party organization will be utilized for on-site work, but the review would still be overseen by internal team members.
Who will be involved from my organization? Because of the many components of most enterprise customers’ IT environments, and the breadth of any compliance review, involvement in the review may require input from any of the following: CIO, IT director(s), Business Unit IT Managers, Network/Systems Administrators, Purchasing Manager, Contract Administrator, and employee users of products.
What will be reviewed? The LMS team will seek to determine your compliance with the terms of your contract and to understand your internal controls over software asset management (SAM) as it relates to the purchase/usage of software. For a more detailed overview of the process, please refer to the above process narrative.
How long does a typical review take? Since all organizations are different, the amount of time a review will take depends on many things. The size of the organization; the complexity of their IT environment and the deployment within that environment; the availability and cooperation level of key players; the on-site versus remote approach; these all play into the length of the review.
Most on-site reviews will not take more than 5 business days to complete, but may last longer or even significantly shorter. The length a remote review can take is difficult to determine, due to variances in time between correspondences.
It should also be noted, that from the time of notification to the customer until the final closure of the review, the process may take from 6-10 weeks.
What can I do to prepare once I’m notified of an upcoming review? You can prepare by collecting as much information as possible prior to the review, including purchasing data, usage data, IT environment information, etc.
You can also contact the software company or the independent auditor when you have questions, so as to mitigate as many issues as possible prior to the review.
What if I am not legally licensed? Are there penalties for non-compliance? The contract states:
Section 9.8: If, as a result of Licensor’s audit, it is determined that Licensee owes Licensor additional fees, then Licensee shall bear the reasonable cost of Licensor’s audit and pay all past-due fees in accordance with the terms of this Agreement.
If the review shows that you are not in compliance with your contract, the software company asks that you purchase the required number of licenses shown as the variance on the findings sheet and all associated Maintenance fees back to the last co-term date or a reasonable alternative date.
What benefits can my organization receive from a compliance review? The License Compliance Program is designed to be an educational experience for the customer. The review process can provide a forum where product licensing questions can be addressed and SAM principles and best practices will be reviewed. It can also provide an alternative feedback channel for the customer.
Because of this process, you will have better insight into your usage of software assets. In today’s Sarbanes-Oxley environment, this kind of information and the internal controls around it can be immensely beneficial. The process will also help IT management establish a pattern of software legitimacy within the organization as a whole.
How can I know that results of the review are accurate? The compliance review process is designed to engage the customer in all aspects. From the outset, the customer is an integral part of the review process. All aspects of the review will involve someone from the customer’s organization and be as transparent as possible. All license usage data will be drawn directly from the customer’s IT environment as well.
At the conclusion of the review, the customer will recognize the accuracy of the results because they will see how those results were arrived at, having been engaged throughout the entire process.
How will results be communicated? During the closing meeting, the final results of the review will be presented to and discussed with the customer.
The results would be sent to the customer prior to the closing conference call of a remotely conducted review or self audit.
Phara E. McLachlan
Chief Executive Officer
Phara is the Chief Executive Officer of Animus Solutions, has over 20 years of strategy and operations, technology and consulting experience in Americas, Asia and Europe. Phara founded Animus with a passion for assisting organizations reduce costs and manage risks while enhancing revenues and growth by optimizing their people, technology and business operations.
Phara specializes in IT and software asset management, organization and change, process improvement, customer and user experience.
More recently, Phara and her talented team have been advising clients with virtualization, customer experience strategies, and working with clients on managing and maintaining compliance on their IT and software assets.