By Patrick Gunn
Recent research findings from FAST in the UK revealed that one software supplier audited 50% more businesses in 2009 than in the previous year. I believe this to be a reaction to the difficult economic times. Most software vendors have intensified their efforts to ensure software license compliance as a means to preserve their revenue during the downturn.
The larger the software publisher, the higher the risk of a software license audit. In fact, the result of an audit can potentially be one of the largest unbudgeted expenses for an enterprise. Unless organizations have their own optimized software asset management solution, they are pretty much at the mercy of software vendors when the auditors come knocking.
An Adobe software audit at a multi-national company is a case in point. This company was able to eliminate a large seat-count Adobe license liability worth over $3.8 million by using a next generation software asset management tool to accurately recognize installed software. The company proved to the Adobe auditors that it actually had a free Flash Player installed as opposed to the several hundred dollar Flash Professional.
When defending against an Adobe audit, pay special attention to the following:
• Inventory and asset recognition:
Collect and analyze inventory for all computers to accurately list all the installed Adobe products. You should include all versions and editions of the different products too. For example, if you have three versions of Adobe Acrobat installed, then the inventory analysis must accurately report all of these versions.
In addition, you must be able to accurately determine the versions and editions of Adobe suites installed versus the component products. This can have significant cost implications for you – Adobe suites cost less than the individual components. Not recognizing the Adobe suites can therefore affect your software license liability.
• License management:
The common Adobe volume license agreement is Cumulative Licensing Program (CLP). The product use rights (PURs) for each Adobe product purchased under CLP can differ, from product to product and version to version. For example, Acrobat 6.0, 7.0 and 8.0 may all be installed on the same computer and it will only consume one license. However, this is not the case for the older versions of Acrobat, where each installation consumes a license. Hence, the importance of accurately reckoning installations and applying use rights correctly.
With an enterprise license optimization program in place, your organization will be ready the next time the auditors come knocking.