Beware of software vendors
What’s the easiest way for software vendors to make money? If you said selling software you’d be wrong. Actually, it is performing software license audits on organizations like yours. Well, you say you have nothing to worry about, you are compliant. But are you?
Track software deployment
Here’s some questions you need to answer ‘yes’ to before you can rest easy. Are all my Citrix and virtual software deploys counted? Are all my software installs offshore and in field offices part of my utilized count? Do I trust my tools implicitly to give me definite deployed vs. entitlement information? Are my metering and harvesting tools deployed on all applicable hardware? If you responded “Umm…” then you need to tighten your belt by closing the gap on the questions posed above.
Manage software maintenance contracts
Each and every company that utilizes software typically has a maintenance renewal contract in place. This allows companies to utilize the vendor for maintenance, questions, and general help. If you want to mitigate any risk exposure you could proactively assess your risk months before the maintenance term date. Some maintenance renewals are millions of dollars for some organizations. Nobody wants to find out twenty days before a renewal term date that they are over deployed by thousands. There is no time to mitigate that issue. If you proactively assess your risk you will have time to mitigate any exposure that is presented.
Share vendor status cards among departments
Creating a one-stop scorecard for you audit exposure is a useful tool. You can focus on your top vendors to keep track of, the ones you know you may be in trouble with, the heavy hitters. Part of the scorecard content should be renewal amount, information on the vendor, the number of assets, term date and a red/ yellow/ green status. The scorecard can be utilized by the asset managers, upper management, procurement, and finance. It is a one-stop picture of software compliance.
Never call the software vendor
Have you told everyone in your organization to NEVER CALL THE VENDOR FOR ANYTHING!! ? What do I mean? Well sometimes all it takes is an innocent call and suddenly the vendor has stumbled upon some leverage for an audit. To avoid attention from the auditors, make sure you tell folks in your organization to call the IT asset management department first for all software maintenance related questions. Sorry, but the vendors are not our friends.