Licence Audit Defence

One Partner for all your Software Licence Challenges

For Software Vendors, audits are a legitimate way to protect licensed-software usage across their client network. However, for customers, licence audits are time-consuming, disruptive, and often result in large, unbudgeted financial penalties for non-compliant findings.

It’s standard for major software vendors to perform periodic license audits on major business or public sector organisations. The principal vendors exercising these audit rights are Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Adobe, IBM, Infor, Citrix, VMware, and Autodesk.

To identify audit targets, vendors analyse purchase history, infrastructure age, announcements to the market, and other corporate activities. They approach each audit systematically and comprehensively to ensure their products are being used within contractual agreements.

Even with good Software Asset Management practices in place (which few organisations manage to execute) each vendor brings their own unique challenges, such as compliance tools requirements, changes in metrics, or restrictions buried deep in legacy contracts that may be inadvertently overlooked.

Organisations need a proven counter strategy that’s easy to utilise and minimises the numerous risks businesses face in terms of licensing and compliance.

The best way to navigate this maze is to fully understand the vendor, their drivers, methodologies, and interpretations. With our team’s average tenure being 25+ years of vendor experience, we’re here to help guide your team through the challenges and complications of these business-critical processes.

52%

Organisations have been audited more than twice in the past 18 months

21%

Organisations were charged more than $1m for license true up

42%

Application Vendors have updated their virtualisation compliance / licensing policies

75%

Organisations are out of compliance with software

How Invictus Partners reinforces your defences

Prior to any software audit, it is vital to know exactly where you stand, which ensures you can proactively control the process rather than follow vendors’ lead.

At Invictus Partners, we use a three-phase approach to ensure a seamless software audit for your business:

  1. Internal Audit and Baseline position
Using the same licence audit methodology as vendors, we help your business understand its baseline position of installed software compared to your licensed entitlements. This provides insights into vendors’ likely position on your licensing, allowing us to determine if your software and systems are over or under licensed. Invictus can determine any risks, potential breaches, or other items that may lead to non-compliant findings.
  1. Remediation measures
Equipped with a clear understanding of root causes for your software licensing exposure, Invictus develops the most effective Remediation Strategy for you to help guide you through the implementation process.
  1. Negotiation Advisory
Our experience and knowledge of negotiating in-house benefits your organisation as we equip you with the right responses, insights, and negotiation strategies. This negotiation approach considers critical objectives and identified outcomes during the Licensing Requirements Analysis and remediation phases. If your business receives a vendor audit indicating you are non-compliant, we can provide a vital second opinion, typically lowering the initial financial claim using our tested negotiation techniques. Invictus Partners has a proven methodology and strategy that strengthens your business position, reduces risks, and ensures you’re equipped with the right insights to navigate this complex but crucial process for your business.

Factors leading to Non-Compliance

  • Complexity of software license contracts
    • Challenges related to virtual environments, such as IBM Sub Capacity; Oracle Database (soft partitioning), and SAP (indirect access by third-party applications)
  • Sharing of user accounts or multiple logins
  • Cross-border and cross-data-centre usage
  • Software acquired over a number of years often being subject to differing licensing terms
  • Migration to IAAS, sizing mismatch to on premise and licence portability
  • Disaster recovery
  • Consistent coverage – every functional environment must use the same support and subscription services level
  • Lack of licence ‘hygiene’ and need for system clean-up