BSA Packs a Real $ Punch with Unlicensed Software Claim Settlements: Avoiding the List

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This week, the BSA published another list of companies with expensive non-compliance settlements for software publishers Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec Corp, McAfee and others. Rather than repairing the damage to budgets, public opinion and goals caused by a failed audit, Eracent suggests the less expensive route of software asset management as a practical way to maintain compliance while increasing financial efficiency.

Last week, the BSA published a list of 19 companies whose combined settlements were $2M, along with the requirement to remove the unlicensed software from publishers Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec Corp, McAfee and others.

The immediate repercussions of an adverse audit like these are to the corporate image as well as a financial event. Funded IT projects that are important to the success of the company may have to be delayed. Asset management, financial and legal staffs must rework their schedules and budgets while coping with the exhaustion and upset caused by the audit. Investors, partners and competitors will consider this information as part of their evaluation of the company, which could potentially have long term consequences. “IT organizations need to raise IT Asset Management on their priority list,” states Steffani Lomax, Vice President and Co-founder of Software Success Partners, a Dallas-based IT Asset Management consulting firm. “The potential for an audit, as well as government regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, and the need to operate on leaner IT budgets are compelling reasons for companies to establish a reliable IT Asset Management program.”

The alternative to reaching a settlement with your publishers is to build the processes necessary to correctly manage software licenses. “Rather than wasting resources and important budget dollars repairing the damage from an audit, organizations should invest in real software asset management business practices, structured to fit the organization and providing the data needed to make the organization compliant and financially efficient., “ states Jenny Schuchert, Vice President of Marketing for Eracent, Inc. “Software asset management is certainly easier for organizations that are highly standardized or centralized, but that doesn’t mean that decentralized organizations cannot benefit from effective software asset management practices.. The greater the complexity, the more the organizations must rely on their tools.”

Compliance equates to purchasing the correct number of licenses for the software that is installed within the organization. This process is far from simple, due to the complexity of licensing, the volume that organizations have to manage and the number of data sources, all of them with different ways to describe the same software purchase.

To prove compliance, organizations must relate this purchasing information with snapshots of what is actually installed in the organization. With Eracent’s EnterpriseEM™ organizations are finally free of the repetitive and time-consuming task of building spreadsheets to prove compliance. Instead of filling in a total number of licenses on a field in a report after extensive manual scrubbing, EnterpriseEM starts working for you early in the process. Using Eracent’s extensive software knowledgebase, purchasing records from any source are translated so that the comparison to software installation data is automated. EnterpriseEM then takes that same versatility and applies it to the wide range of discovery data sources, automating the actual tally and reconciliation process in a repeatable and sustainable way. An apples-to-apples comparison without retooling your entire environment offers cost effective compliance management.

Every organization is responsible for using software correctly and none are immune from audit. EnterpriseEM keeps you off the list this year and the next without starting over.

About Eracent: Eracent, Inc. is a global provider of IT asset management solutions for organizations who require accuracy and accountability for their asset inventory while maximizing their IT investment. Eracent offers a full suite of IT asset management solutions that solve tactical and strategic business goals with technology that is easy to use and designed for today’s multi-platform complex environments. Eracent’s ease of implementation includes compatibility with most popular enterprise software applications and has been used to enhance the value of such widely used solutions as Microsoft® SMS™ (MSFT), IBM® Tivoli™ (IBM) and Altiris® Software Delivery Solution™ (ATRS). To learn more about Eracent, visit Eracent Software Solutions.

All product names are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.


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Jenny Schuchert
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