Managing IBM licensing is a challenge for all organizations. The complexity and financial risks are frequently underestimated until there’s a license audit that results in a large unbudgeted compliance settlement.
Where an organization want help to better manage their IBM licenses there is the option of the IBM Authorized SAM (Software Asset Management) Program.
My Complete guide to IBM Authorized SAM (IASP) Program goes into detail but if you’d like a summary of the reasons why you might want to consider joining the IASP Program keep reading.
#1 License Audit Exemption
If you meet the requirements of the IASP Program you gain license audit exemption (protection). IBM formally altering the standard IBM contractual terms to waive their audit right for clients that are participating in IASP. There are conditions but the certainty this benefit brings will appeal to many organizations.
#2 Help Preparing an IBM License Position
When you sign up for IASP the first project your IASP partner will undertake is to help you prepare a accurate license position. As they do this every week they will have the people, tools and processes to do this quickly and accurately. This will immediately lower the time resources from your team might have had to spend on this important task.
#3 Help optimizing your IBM License Position
When your IASP partner has prepared your initial license position they will also apply their experience to look for ways to efficiently use the licenses you have. Your IASP partner will want to validate the business case for choosing them as the IASP partner so will want to find ways to reduce your license demand where possible.
#4 Time to resolve license compliance gaps
Most organizations entering the IASP program will have license compliance gaps. Some of these gaps can be resolved with additional time once they have been highlighted. Examples include deploying ILMT agents, migration of systems or down grade of editions. This extra time can significantly reduce the license requirements once implemented. The IASP program grants this flexibility.
#5 Time to upgrade operating systems
A common license compliance gap is when you don’t comply with IBM sub capacity rules, specifically supported operating systems. Not being able to avail of sub-capacity license rules for even one server can potentially create a large license shortfall if you are forced to switch to full capacity,
When you join the IASP program IBM are open to agreeing an extension on the time allowed to upgrade operating systems to a compliant version.
#6 No additional back support costs
When your IBM license position has been optimized you may still have license short falls. Some of these short falls may be a number of years old. Where you need to buy additional licenses it will be at the same discount levels your organization already gets. No additional back support costs.
#7 Retain agreed pricing for new licenses
Where a client needs to buy additional license to close a compliance gap they retain their discounts and discounted pricing. This is in stark contrast to the costs if the gap is found in a license audit.
#8 IBM License Expertise on demand
Once you are onboarded to the IASP program your partner will be available to answer questions related to IBM licensing. They will have deep expertise in all of your IBM products including mainframe licensing. This avoids having to hire expensive and difficult-to-retain IBM license expertise. This also frees up resource that originally maintained the IBM license position to do more business critical activities.
#9 Wider range of SAM tools to manage IBM licensing
IBM sub capacity licensing requires that you use specific tools to monitor consumption. These are BigFix, ILMT (ILMT Lite) and Flexera. When you join the IASP program the list of tools expands to include SNOW, ServiceNow, Certero and Aspera. The assumption is that the IASP partner will ensure the sub-capacity calculations for consumption are correct. This can greatly reduce the costs of managing IBM licensing if you already use these tools.
# 10 Regular monitoring for changes
When you engage an IASP partner they will review your deployment of IBM products monthly, not just the quarterly ILMT audit snap shot reports. They will look for any change between the different months. The benefit of this comparison is it highlights any changes that may have impacted licensing early, allowing time to investigate and correct if required.
Ultimately the IASP program gives an organizations confidence that their IBM licensing is well managed and that there is no unbudgeted financial liability accumulating for the business.
If you organization has a significant investment in IBM licensing and a history of poor management the IASP program is worth a closer look.
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