In a recent survey 63% of businesses said they’d been audited by at least one software vendor for licence compliance over the past 12 months (Source IDC Media). Furthermore, more than a third of these respondents had paid more than £200,000 for audit settlements and penalties.
Compared to what customers might pay for software if negotiated prior to an IBM audit, the additional license fees charged can be significant. We estimate that organisations may be paying up to 100% more than they should be for additional Maximo licenses.
Who is affected?
This issue relates to Maximo V5 onwards, where licenses are issued on a role-based named user basis. Maximo has no mechanism to ensure that a customer's user count exceeds their licences, nor does it to limit users’ access to Maximo modules within their licensed roles. As a result, IBM rely on an audit system to ensure that users remain compliant with their license agreements.
This is all very well, but IBM assume that any user, without the appropriate entitlement, represent a requirement for a new license and, following the audit, this is invoiced at the full list price automatically, plus up to two years of maintenance. Trying to resolve things and persuade the auditors that the situation is any different can be both time consuming and frustrating. Recent changes to the audit clause wording in IBM’s Passport Advantage contract also make it harder for users to negotiate once an audit has taken place. It is, therefore, far better to be ready and ensure that you stay compliant.
By conducting an internal review, your organisation can eliminate such compliance risks. To assist with this process, we offer a Pre-Audit Review service to measure user registrations and permissions against license entitlements, along with recommended actions. This independent review, covered by an NDA, adopts a similar approach to that used by IBM and their auditors, however, it also differentiates between registered users, secondary users and self-service users to ensure that customers are billed accurately for each license.
As well as identifying the accidental deployment or misconfiguration of Maximo users, which can be solved with simple system reconfiguration, audit reviews may also highlight genuine over-usage which can be addressed by additional licenses. Users can then engage with our customer support team, who can negotiate the most cost-efficient price for any additional licenses required without any financial penalty associated with an IBM audit.
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