Reported misunderstandings of IBM licensing rules and problems with visibility of software usage across its 6,800 employees has cost Fresno County in California US $2.3 million in a settlement with IBM.
Although the final settlement figure was reduced from an original US $4.5 million, the unbudgeted cost is still substantial and should stand as a warning sign to other organizations that do not have an effective Software Asset Management (SAM) program in place.
For a commercial organization, US $2.3 million in unbudgeted cost would be at best inconvenient. However, for a public sector organization that owes it to some 930,000 citizens to spend their tax dollars responsibly, it’s impossible to shrug off.
NOTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY
According to one of Snow’s IBM licensing experts, Ruben Claes, the settlement is “nothing out of the ordinary” and no more than a “nice deal” for IBM, who regularly reap bigger figures thanks to their worldwide audit activities.