If your organisation deploys software that does not match its licences then you will be deemed non-compliant by the relevant software authority.

That is one of the fundamentals of software asset management.

Every organisation that we have ever worked with suffers from this problem at one level or another, but there are easily implemented solutions that do not require tools...

At a basic desktop level, for example with Microsoft Office, if you use Office Professional media (CD) to create your standard build you must have Office Professional licences.

It is no good restricting the build to Office Standard applications (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) and purchasing Office Standard licences, if Office Pro has been used to deploy the software then Office Pro licences are required.

A simple check during the build phase would sort this one out - Deploy the right software

For a SAP system different levels of user access, for example read rights versus editorial access, require different types of licence (with huge cost implications).

Simple checks during the implementation phase and you are sorted - Deploy the right user access

Also, if you create user accounts for everyone that needs access, then a licence is required for every user account that exists.  Therefore you must delete accounts that are no longer required otherwise you will be liable for the licence.

A simple retirement process should be in place - Retirement

With many Oracle products a default installation includes all functionality.  However, you are often NOT liable from a licensing perspective if that functionality is not being used, but you must be able to prove that it is not being used.

In many cases that requires running a script to show that nothing is happening.  Without that proof, Oracle will want to charge your organisation for using that functionality, an example of which would be 'partitioning'.

Each software publisher's product will tend to follow one of these common examples in either style and substance.

So what is the solution?

As with all software asset management, you can either manage these issues at source, i.e. when the software is deployed/when the server is built, or once software is in production.

The best solution is to try to control as much as you can during the build phase, so that non-compliance is avoided from the beginning - Deployment knowledge

By not taking these simple steps your organisation runs the huge risks of running non-compliant software.

Should one of the authorities investigate, or the relevant publisher carry out an audit, you will incur the cost of the audit and any corrective action required, for example having to purchase lots of licences for software that is not needed - Non-compliance costs

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