A real headache? BELTUG highlights software license issues


A recent BELTUG Challenge on software licensing with SAP, Microsoft and Oracle was very successful in highlighting the main issues linked to licensing software in a corporate environment. The general feeling is that software licensing has become too complex and dynamic, making it very hard to properly manage software licenses, including the associated license and maintenance/support cost. This situation is causing ICT managers many concerns regarding compliance, budgeting and management.

Combined with a perceived increase in software licensing compliance audits, it is perhaps no surprise that enterprises and organisations would like software licensing to be simplified, predictable and manageable. Abrupt changes in pricing and unannounced modifications of “Terms & Conditions” can seriously strain the relationship between a corporate customer and a software supplier. Similar issues can also be detected on the level of software maintenance/support contracts.

With this in mind, BELTUG would like to urge software vendors to:

  • Simplify software licensing philosophies without sacrificing licensing flexibility
  • Review maintenance/support contract philosophies, in particular for outdated software
  • Clearly explain your licensing and maintenance/support contract philosophy at the beginning of the sales process
  • Improve communication and documentation of changes to essential licensing and maintenance contract documents
  • Clearly explain the integration of BYOD, cloud and mobile device trends in your licensing and maintenance/support contract philosophies

We advise BELTUG members to increase your awareness of software licensing best practices by:

  • Applying established IT Asset Management (ITAM) and Software Asset Management (SAM) practices within your organisation
  • Documenting and sharing:
    • Common software licensing and auditing practices
    • Rights and duties applicable to software license compliance audits
    • License and maintenance/support contract negotiation tips

The three reports documenting the BELTUG Challenge on software licensing together with the 23 January BELTUG X-change on software license auditing with Deloitte mark the end of the trial phase of software licensing as a BELTUG focal points. Given the overwhelmingly positive feedback, there is no doubt software licensing will remain on BELTUG’s agenda. BELTUG members can view the three reports from the challenge here (after logging in).

The BELTUG opinion on software licensing complements the reports covering the software licensing Challenge was published in Data News on 16 December and can be found here. The presentations from the BELTUG X-change on software license auditing with Deloitte are available here.

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