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Maintaining Compliance Against IBM’s Audit Strategy

Thought-Leadership by Louise Lindholm
on December 29, 2015

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In 2014, IBM announced a massive restructuring from a hardware, software, and services company to a Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Social and Security focused corporation. The shift to a value focused company is driven by demands from the market, and IBM is taking the ultimate consequence of it and making it their forte. Since 2000, IBM has acquired 143 companies to their portfolio, making it a nightmare for license managers to keep track of their IBM assets.

With all these major changes to the IBM portfolio, it is no wonder that so many companies are looking to third party organizations for advice on how to ensure they remain within compliance. For example, IBM does not educate its customers on license metrics; customers are left to fend for themselves, unless they seek advice from third parties, such as the IBM channel partners, who actively work with IBM licensing every day.

With the IBM’s transition comes new revenue streams but also added focus on current streams, such as the dreaded software audit.

Consider the below statistics regarding IBM’s compliance audit strategy:

To make things even more confusing, IBM has made subtle changes to the wording in many of its agreements. Take the below example from the Passport Advantage Agreement, which was modified August 2014:

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In the old messaging, IBM was very submissive to the needs of the customer, whereas the new version indicates a much more overt insistence that IBM will conduct its audit by inviting a third party to come onto the customer’s premise.

The next criteria to ensure your compliance safety is to understand that IBM recognizes certain Software Asset Management (SAM) tools:

  • The IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT) helps IBM Passport Advantage customers determine their full and sub-capacity processor value units (PVU) license requirements, which is mandatory

  • IBM Tivoli Asset Discovery for Distributed aggregates the data of distributed platforms to help maintain the inventory of installed software and hardware.

  • IBM BigFix (previously Software Use Analysis) is a suite of products that range from Compliance to Inventory to Lifecycle.

And on written exception basis, IBM has accepted data from:

  • Flexera, the only non-IBM related product, is a third-party solution that IBM recognizes as premiere partner for managing IBM licenses.

With an auditing strategy of every three years or whenever changes to purchasing patterns emerge, maintaining peace-of-mind regarding your IBM compliance can be a challenging task. If you would like a quick consultation to discuss your IBM strategy, click the banner below and complete the following form for a SoftwareONE IBM Specialist to reach out to you.

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Topics: Core Infrastructure

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