10 Checks to make before you cancel IBM S&S and reduce your IT costs

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by | January 28, 2020

When the annual IBM Support and Subscription (S&S) renewal comes up for review in your organisation the perennial question is asked is “do we really need IBM S&S for all products, can we cancel any of them?”  The answer very often is yes you can.

The easy but very expensive option is to pay the IBM S&S without checking in more detail.  In many organisation there are products you should not be paying S&S for. There are many reasons why you should cancel IBM S&S. But knowing you could cancel IBM S&S and actually doing it can be daunting.

Once you have found what you think are products that IBM S&S can be reduced or cancelled on these additional checks should give you extra confidence and prepare the business case.

#1 Is it a perpetual licence?

It will state clearly in your agreement and in your S&S renewal what the license type is. Most of the older products are perpetual.  This means you can continue to use the product after you have cancelled S&S. If it’s not perpetual you will have to stop using it immediately which may not suit your users or the business.

#2 Do we own the license?

Is the license owned by your organisation?  This is not always clear. It may be part of a larger agreement which your organisation is benefiting from.  There may be doubt over the current ownership due to a merger or divestiture. Before you can cancel you need to be sure you own it.

#3 What will the impact be on discount levels?

Your organisation received discounts from IBM depending on the Band level and amount spent each year.  This is called Relationship Suggested Volume Pricing or RSVP. You may find that the cancellation of support does not bring as big a saving as you might expect once a change in discount levels has been taken into account.

#4 Is the license bundled with another product ?

Many IBM licenses entitlements are actually a bundle of products under one product or suite (part number).  You will need to check that support for all of the products in a bundle can be cancelled. This can be further complicated by “free” products that have been included in a bundle that you may now need to license separately if you cancel S&S.

#5 Is the license bundled with another service?

Some license entitlement has been included as part of a service provided by an IBM business partner (BP).  When you pay S&S you are actually paying for both the license and the service and you lose both if you cancel S&S.  It may also be the case that the license has special conditions that mean you can only use the license while you avail of the service from the BP.

#6 Are there standards compliance issues e.g. PCI, SOX, HIPP, etc?

Some applications or systems may be covered by an industry standard which means cancelling support on a component of that service creates a compliance issue for the entire service. You’ll need to check with the service and product owner for the impact on standards compliance if you cancel S&S

#7 Do you have an alternative support option?


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