back to article IBM tightens Passport Advantage licensing terms

IBM software customers should be on their guard following changes to the fine print of the giant’s Passport Advantage program. IBM reworded part of Passport Advantage late last year, The Reg has learned, putting more onus on the customer than ever before to keep clear and accurate records of their software use. The changes …

  1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    More and more it seems the incentive to keep away from any of the big software vendors is huge.

    This is not a rant against paying for software/services, but at the complexity and opacity of the terms of said licenses.

    Tux - a friendlier license ->

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        GPL as "complex" really?

        Its quite simple really: I give you my code with the condition that if you modify/improve it for distribution, you make said changes available to others. That way we all benefit.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. beany

    audit tool

    Its a good job ibm make it really easy to audit your estate. Oh wait, no i'll install WAS and DB2, be expected to maintain them all and confirm they are working and valid, oh and allocate servers to run it. Then i'll isntall adapters on all ibm software because none of them are configured to support the audit tool.

    Shame ibm, shame. I refuse to configure this for customers, wheres the liability if i do.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM Notes

    Easy. If you want to track the timing of increased use of IBM software, just graph the number of incidents raised to your helpdesk by your poor user base.

  4. MrMeme

    The accountants can't make/save us any more money, so send in the lawyers.

    It's an old fashion shakedown.

  5. LicensingSAM

    Seeing the wood through the trees!

    I work with lots of Vendors, LSP's, Consultants and Partners and every one has their own idea of the panacea which is obtaining compliance prior to that fateful day that the letter arrives requesting an audit.

    Sadly as I recruiter in this space, even I can see the smoke and mirrors that certain tools and service providers state is their key offering to prevent what the Vendors are honing in on ie non compliance.

    I read with interest that one of the Enterprise tools has been approved by IBM; rather than focusing on the potential issue, this means that IBM Enterprise users should massively prefer Flexera over Snow and Aspera to ensure they stay ahead of the game - in my view that is a decent bit of one-upmanship in the quest for utopia. I do not blame the Vendor for wanting to ensure that users pay for what they use and reading some of the comments above are almost tantamount to people screaming "that is not fair" - it is quite simple, you committed to the purchase, now comply with the terms!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this more of an incentive for revenue increase?

    I thought this went beyond the scope mentioned as the EULA change extends to the customer having the IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT) installed and "report-to-home" as a license requirement. The tool is meant to collate usage report on the PVU usage where warranted. If it can't its as noted in the thread that it needs to be able to provide the report at IBM's discretion?

    In any case here is my customer business check-off:

    1) Make sure that you (as the customer) includes in the project scope the implementation of the ILMT server fully operational and tested by you. If not make sure you have clearly defined SAM (Software Asset Management) policy, process, and procedure to manage this as IBM has tightened the license noose. Cause once you're in you get no chance to guessing Rumpelstiltskin's name, if you don't know it - get your cheque book out!

    2) Is this the only application that can deliver the solution you want? Ask yourself this question at least 7 times. Why? this is the magical "Why" question you need to ask yourself 7 times to get to the root cause of Why you would want to solve one problem in your business to create a world of pain elsewhere.

    Also there was reference made to other software vendors, particularly Microsoft. Microsoft licensing rules only change with each version, so if you stay with one version of Microsoft software you're only governed by that versions release EULA. Here on the other hand no matter what version you have the EULA can change. I'm no lawyer or legal adviser but there has to be some protection to the consumer to mitigate against this sort of activity - just asking the question.

    But as one comment made above it makes sense to stay away from big software organisation, and if they acquired your software move on before they can audit you!

    It even may make sense to build it yourself in house and keep the license cost to a minimum, but offset it against in house FTE costs - do your TCO review. As senior business owners know there's no mitigation of paying for the business benefit but rather which world of pain are you prepared to embark on.

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