June 19, 2018
Author: 
Tomás O'Leary

For many software asset managers the issue of post-warranty licensing is never given a thought. And that’s just the way IBM® likes it.

As your software reaches ‘end of life’ you will come under increasing pressure from your account manager to purchase an upgrade. Once the new software has been deployed, the old version is forgotten – even if you are subjected to an IBM® software audit.

Unfortunately, being trapped in the perpetual upgrade cycle may mean unnecessary disruption during testing and deployment (and unjustifiable expenditure). Especially as ‘end of life’ is not the same as ‘no longer useful’.

Deliberately confusing licensing terms?

IBM® knows that SAMs are tight on time, leaving them unable to properly investigate the full details of licenses. They also know that most managers are relatively risk averse when it comes to legal terminology.

By making software licenses long, complicated and full of legal jargon, SAMs can be frightened into following the advice of their IBM® account manager – almost invariably an upgrade at the earliest opportunity.

If complex licenses terminology can drive more sales, IBM® is unlikely to change their terms any time soon. Which could put the SAM on a collision course with their CFO.

Perpetual licenses permit perpetual use

One of the most important details of all IBM® licenses is that you have the right to use that software for as long as you want. This means that even after IBM® withdraws support for a specific version, you are still entitled to use it – even in your production environment. If you’ve ever been through an IBM® audit, this explains why the auditor is interested in software that is not being used too.

Although your IBM® account manager will argue against it, there is nothing to stop you redeploying your fully licensed software in any way you choose. And there is no obligation to take out a maintenance contract from IBM® if you choose to do so (just bear in mind that you will not get OEM support for new installations of depreciated software). In this case, there’s nothing stopping you from choosing IBM® third party support to assist.

This perpetual license also allows you to keep production systems online for as long as you like, maintaining the platform stability that your operations team craves. IBM® will eventually refuse to provide further maintenance contract extensions, but the software is yours to use as your business needs.

Your license does not need an accompanying IBM® maintenance contract

Because they are often sold – and renewed – together, you may assume that both are required to maintain compliance with an IBM® software audit. The reality is that they are completely separate entities, and you are free to drop IBM® maintenance coverage at the end of your current agreement.

Many organisations choose IBM® third party support because it gives them back complete control of their application infrastructure. They can choose if and when to upgrade, maintaining stability and availability – factors critical in modern corporate IT success.

Help is available

Having spent many years helping our clients pass IBM® software audits, Origina is well versed in the specifics of most IBM® applications. Contact us today to see if we can support your IBM®(R) products. We also maintain a central database of the licenses that cover these applications.

Even if you don’t opt for IBM® third party support, we know their licensing rules inside out and can help you prepare for an IBM® audit.

To discuss your entitlements and how Origina can help you reclaim control of your IBM® software estate, please get in touch.

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