Protect Your IBM Portfolio for Software Asset Management
Why is IBM licensing so challenging? The vendor is one of the world's largest software providers with over 30,000 software products, each with its own licensing structure. There are more than 100 license metrics, and complex algorithms that change per usage situation.
During an IBM audit, these challenges can have a high cost. Software Asset Management is more difficult as IBM’s product portfolio grows more complicated with software acquisitions. Your IBM licensing and software license compliance can seem like a maze where the walls are always moving.
Want to escape the IBM maze?
There is a dizzying list to track. That list includes user-based, user value units (UVU), resource value units (RVU), million service units (MSU), storage capacity units (SCU), and processor value units (PVU) — to name just a few.
PVU is tricky because its calculation rules are based on the virtualization type and kind of topology, as well as hardware information.
Tier-based metrics like RVU, UVU and SCU are really difficult because they require specific data like connectors, printers and storage in terabytes, and calculate that against the numbers collected.
IBM is a confusing software vendor. There are endless contracts, complex metrics, countless products, and unclear entitlements. This is especially difficult when you do a software license audit. Let’s talk about how your processes and people can help.
Processes! To be effective for audit defense, your management of IBM licenses needs to control how much data is being used and understand how you’re allowed to use the licenses. It’s important to set up processes that let you check this usage.
People! Have a dream team ready to go: technical lead, project manager, application manager, legal officer, and procurement person. Together, they can internally review your data for missing records or errors, defending the software license audit before it’s given to the IBM auditors.
Did we mention tools? Using a professional Software Asset Management platform will lower the confusion. A SAM tool can pull together the required IBM data quickly and accurately — data that is also documented and verifiable. Now you can react and negotiate from a position of knowledge.
ILMT has a lot of flaws
The IBM License Metric Tool is required to determine your licensing requirements for full and sub-capacity PVUs. But ILMT has a reputation for not giving a full view, and that unreliability is typically in IBM’s favor
Should you pass on Passport?
IBM has two Passport Advantage Agreements (PPA) that offer licenses, subscriptions, upgrades and support in a discount group. Sounds great, right? But Passport has issues that you need to watch for, such as not properly accounting for legacy product licenses.
You need to see Passport and non-PPA
Passport Advantage gets trickier when the account doesn’t recognize the license purchases made outside of it. You need to consolidate all of your Passport and non-Passport records into one system.
Tracking the portfolio changes
IBM is rapidly acquiring other companies. As they transition a product, you need to proactively track its name change and versioning. Under the Passport Advantage contract terms, you’re required to trace today’s “transformed” license back to the original Proof of Entitlement (PoE).
IBM Value Baskets are difficult
IBM offers an “all-you-can-eat” account, in which you can buy licenses until the account is empty, or give back licenses to refill it. The trick is knowing when the Value Basket is nearing empty, and not going over the pre-paid amount.
Varied rules for non-production servers
Each IBM product has different licensing for non-production servers. Some are free, some require full licenses, and some can use a fixed, reduced license. It’s important to look individually at every server situation.
Passport Advantage isn’t always reliable for tracking purchases, and ILTM will typically find audit results in favor of IBM. So what can a maze runner do?
To keep your licenses in compliance and keep your costs low, you need a strategic approach to managing your licenses, and a strategy for negotiating the differences. This is where Aspera tools and services comes in, helping you navigate the IBM labyrinth of Software Asset Management (SAM).
Let Aspera’s tools and services help you find the quickest route out of the IBM labyrinth.
The strategic platform for simplifying SAM. Aspera SmartTrack covers all the important vendors like SAP, Oracle and Microsoft, and accurately calculates complex metrics for every device: servers, clients, mobile, and cloud. Identify up to 30% savings in software licenses, and reveal high-risk compliance gaps.
Rapid Vendor Analysis for IBM delivers a fast, complete overview your IBM licenses and what you’re actually using. Then our experts analyze your situation and explain how to reduce those IBM costs. It’s a hassle free, risk-free service for SAM that doesn’t require installing or buying a tool.
Need help with your Software Asset Management program? Our in-house experts can manage some or all of your software licenses, and find the best costs at the lowest audit risk. Ask about our Managed Services for partial outsourcing or our full-service package of License Management as a Service (LaaS).
The success of this project is the reward for designing a large-scale process of change. Alongside significant time and cost savings, we succeeded in raising awareness for software license management in the group.
Hirsa Navid, License Manager, Business Development Austrian Federal Railways BCC IT GMBH