Fearful of aggressive audits?

auditThe Campaign for Clear Licensing (CCL) is passionate about software and believes that software publishers should make reasonable profits to, in part, plough back into R&D to continue to develop innovative software that end-user organisations will build their businesses on.

Unfortunately for some software publishers they cannot deliver revenue growth through selling new software to new customers so look to squeeze revenues out of existing customers under the guise of auditing and protecting their IP as the means of delivering growth. An article published on ITAM Review (“Attachmate sue Mobistar for $6M“)  details an example of this with Attachmate’s alleged 4.5 million Euros (around 6.12M $USD or 3.57M £GBP) claim for alleged illegal use of a product called ‘ReflectionX’.

In our opinion this is an all too frequent tale of software publishers aggressively auditing their customers.

In response to this CCL is developing an audit code of conduct (CoC) per software publisher that we advise all end user organisations use to protect themselves against these often painful and unbudgeted vendor activities. CCL will lobby software publishers to recognise these CoC’s to build better more robust relations with their customers.

CCL Guidance on Auditing

Three rules we’d always advise our members to follow with audits:

  • Play fair. Only accept audits or sign agreements with audit clauses if the software publishers agrees to adhere to the CCL Audit Code of Conduct which describes fair behaviour during an audit.
  • Adhere to SAM best practices. Understand the business value and agility delivered to IT departments by being ‘Audit Ready’ and keeping accurate software records.
  • Blow the Whistle. Let us know of any inappropriate audit behaviour so we can alert our members and escalate issues with software publishers.

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