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Microsoft 14% job cut is a sign of things to come?

Jul 17 2014: Published by under Microsoft,Microsoft: News You Can Use

The recent 18,000 job cut decision made by Microsoft is largely from the Nokia acquisition. It’s also about streamlining the management structure. It’s expected that Microsoft’s sales force will diminish appreciably over the next three years or so. With its redefining of itself as a “devices and services” company, the need for sales, support, and other services for many, many on-premise deployments evaporates. It’s beginning to happen….

Read the article here.

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Study: Microsoft Is #1 Software Auditor

Jul 16 2014: Published by under Microsoft,Microsoft Enterprise Agreements,Microsoft Licensing Compliance,Microsoft Licensing Tip,Microsoft Software Assurance,Microsoft Windows,Microsoft: News You Can Use

Flexera and IDC conducted a survey of 1,828 software and enterprise executives and found that 58 percent of respondents reported getting audits from Microsoft within the last year.

Following Microsoft in audit frequency were:

  • Adobe
  • IBM
  • Oracle
  • SAP
  • Symantec

Microsoft is now the top issuer of software audits for the second year in a row (this same survey is conducted annually). The survey also stated that 63 percent of respondents reported receiving audits in the last 18 to 24 months. Only 17 percent of the total respondents indicated that they had “never been audited.”

Those odds are not in favor of escaping an audit – best to be prepared!

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What is Multiplexing?

Jul 15 2014: Published by under IBM,licensing

Multiplexing allows multiple signals or users to use the same portal to access a program or application. The term was originally used to describe multiple telephone calls that can be carried simultaneously on one wire.

When licensing software by the user metric – named, authorized, application- vendors define users as the number of unique individuals accessing the program on the ‘front end’. The number of access points for those users is not a factor for these sorts of user licensing. This would also cover the concept of ‘shared id’ set-ups in your environment. 100 users sharing one log-on and password are still 100 users. Also be aware that devices may also require a user license; it is not always an individual person.

Here is a sample of what a license metric definition referencing multiplexing may look like:

(this is from IBM for authorized user, http://www-01.ibm.com/software/passportadvantage/about_software_licensing.html)

[IBM’s] Authorized User is a unit of measure by which the Program can be licensed. An Authorized User is a unique person who is given access to the Program. The Program may be installed on any number of computers or servers and each Authorized User may have simultaneous access to any number of instances of the Program at one time. Licensee must obtain separate, dedicated entitlements for each Authorized User given access to the Program in any manner directly or indirectly (for example: via a multiplexing program, device, or application server) through any means. An entitlement for an Authorized User is unique to that Authorized User and may not be shared, nor may it be reassigned other than for the permanent transfer of the Authorized User entitlement to another person.

Note: Some programs may be licensed where devices are considered users. In that case the following applies: Any computing device that requests the execution of or receives for execution a set of commands, procedures, or applications from the Program or that is otherwise managed by the Program is considered a separate User of the Program and requires an entitlement as if that device were a person.

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Satya Nadella’s 3,187 word memo

Jul 11 2014: Published by under Microsoft,Microsoft: News You Can Use

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent out a 3,187 word memo to employees yesterday, which addressed his vision for Microsoft at the start of the company’s new fiscal year. The memo was made public and doesn’t include anything we haven’t really heard before. M&A will pick up, more partnerships are in their future and a strategic focus on productivity are highlights. Productivity both internally and externally are his goals – internally by creating a shift in culture within Microsoft and re-prioritizing employee responsibilities and externally by helping customers “get stuff done”.

This memo doesn’t tell us that there will be any major changes right away – we are thinking more of a gradual shift to more cloud based services and possibly refining their product lines to better address customer needs. As always its a wait and see kind of thing with Microsoft!

If you are interested in reading the entire memo, it can be found here.

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Miro Consulting at 2014 World of IT Financial Management!

Jul 10 2014: Published by under Compliance,Contract Lifecycle management,Contract Negotiations,Cost Containment/Negotiation,licensing,Microsoft,Microsoft Licensing Compliance,Miro News,Oracle Licensing Compliance,software asset management,Software audit,software license

Next week, Miro’s Tim Hegegus will be presenting at the 2014 World of IT Financial Management on Optimizing Software License Investments. If you happen to be attending or in the area check it out! More details below!

2014 World of IT Financial Management 

Session Title: Optimizing Your Software Licensing Investment

WHO: Tim Hegedus, Senior Managing Analyst, Miro Consulting

WHEN: July 18th @ 1:00 PM

WHERE: Dearborn Inn, a Marriott Hotel
20301 Oakwood Boulevard
Dearborn, MI

DETAILS: Every organization faces common challenges with software licensing including how to optimize licensing; how to decrease spend, and how to avoid over and under licensing. Software vendors create such complex licensing and compliance rules, adding to the challenge.
Miro Consulting’s Tim Hegedus will discuss:

  • Microsoft, Oracle and IBM licensing types and key areas of difficulty
  • Future changes in licensing
  • Negotiating better terms
  • Proactive software asset management
  • License rebalancing & compliance
  • Support & renewals
  • 3rd Party Support
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Office 365 Price Hike if you don’t have Software Assurance

Jul 02 2014: Published by under Microsoft,Microsoft Enterprise Agreements,Microsoft Software Assurance,Microsoft: News You Can Use

Microsoft published its August pricing list, which shows a roughly 15 percent increase to Office 365 prices for its Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers that don’t have an active Software Assurance (SA) plan.

While prices for Office 365 have trended downward since its inception and subsequent revisions, this increase is a sharp change in direction. It is likely a move driven by Microsoft’s desire for to initiate – or perhaps sustain – critical mass of commercial Office 365 accounts. Much of Microsoft’s previously released numbers for Office 365 were private individuals and smaller firms. BUT, a shift is appearing with more organizations moving to hosted services, with Office 365 being an important driver due to more pliant work environments, BYOD, and a re-direction (though not necessarily a lessening) of costs.

Starting in August, Microsoft will expand discounts to its Office 365 E1, E3 and E4 subscriptions. Such a discount combines an attractive price point with the leveraging of the existing investment in Software Assurance.

For Microsoft, it means continued annuity revenue.

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IBM POWER8 built for Big Data

Jul 01 2014: Published by under IBM,licensing

POWER8 processor technical information has been released through the OpenPOWER Foundation (formed in August 2013 by IBM, Google, Mallanox, Nvidia and Tyan). IBM expects this move to solve problems for the data center ecosystem by allowing derivative products. POWER8 will be available to more customers and wider markets, and this will also bring innovation to the POWER platform.

Dave Vellante said at IBM Pulse 2014 that IBM will still make gains with this model:
o “We’ll sell our intellectual property, just like an ARM model, to those who want to take it and use it within their market. It’s a license model.
o We’ll sell Power chips to those buying motherboards from Tyan, and deploy within their internet center. That’s a chip sale from IBM.
o The amount of innovation these partnerships are driving allows IBM to bring phenomenal innovation to their clients.”

He also said POWER8 would be ideal for rapid pace innovation and dynamic, hybrid cloud. You may recall I blogged earlier this year about IBM’s $1 billion investment in Linux and other open source technologies for IBM’s Power Systems servers. Besides the PowerLinux servers, IBM now has five Power Systems Linux centers globally and a no-charge development cloud for developers to test and port x86-based applications to the Power platform.

OpenPOWER introduction
POWER8 roadmap

 

 

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Another day, another BSA fine

Jun 26 2014: Published by under Compliance,Software audit,software license

The BSA just found an engineering design company to be non-compliant with their Autodesk software –  resulting in a payout of over $50,000.

The company, Project Options Ltd, was outed by a “confidential online report” that was submitted through the BSA website.  Likely a disgruntled employee or perhaps even a competitor.

The fines, which added up to over $50,000 included fees for new licensing they had to purchase. The company has said before being discovered by the BSA, software licensing was not a priority. Not only did they find a licensing gap – the audit by the BSA discovered that some of Project Options’ contractors had downloaded and used unlicensed software – woops! 

The good news? Software licensing is NOW a priority for this company – and hopefully others will learn from their mistakes!

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What if I find unlicensed IBM software on my servers?

Jun 25 2014: Published by under IBM

If you find unlicensed IBM software on your servers, what should you do?

Needed
If you need the software, license it. IBM’s stance is purchase before deployment (unless you have another contractual arrangement such as self-reporting deployments for capped enterprise). License as soon as possible after discovery, especially if found while verifying the accuracy of your quarterly ILMT (or other IBM licensing tool) report.

If you put off the purchase until an IBM audit, you will not be in a favorable position. The least that could happen is you will be required to buy the necessary licenses and pay support in arrears for as much as 24 months. If you are not abiding by the IBM software licensing agreement in other areas, the negotiation during the settlement phase could be steeper.

Don’t Need
If you don’t need that software, deinstall it as soon as possible there’s no grace period for mistakes, and if you have ILMT or another tool generating a paper trail for a future audit, there will be a record. If an audit finds it instead of you, that’s worse than you finding it on your own and taking care of the situation. You may deinstall the software still and negotiate for a term license to cover the usage period, rather than buying a regular license.

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What Are The Chances of an Audit by IBM?

Jun 24 2014: Published by under IBM

What Are The Chances of an Audit by IBM?

• If you own or use IBM software – Good.
• If you tell IBM of changes to your environment but bought no software. – Better than good.
• If you show a reckless or carefree attitude towards licensing. – Great.

Gartner’s polls still show IBM leading all other software vendors with auditing. An IBM audit is not a once in a lifetime, or even once a decade occurrence. IBM’s plan is to grow their software revenue to 50% of all revenue by 2015. Audits will generate revenue.

Has your hardware changed since you bought the software? Changes to hardware leads to changes in software licenses required for any licensed by core-based metrics.

Has the metric changed or is this software from a company IBM acquired and you didn’t check the converted metrics and quantities against your usage? Even if you have not changed your usage at all, IBM may have underestimated or the metric is different enough that guessing your usage may lead to an incorrect conversion. Know the products, know the licensing rules and keep track – be prepared for the eventual, inevitable audit.

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