July 2014 – The Crushing Blow of Software License Disputes

By IAITAM

2014 ACE Events
IAITAM 2014 Fall ACE update:

The Fall ACE lineup is posted on the IAITAM website so register now for the IAITAM 2014 Fall ACE at Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky Ohio, USA. The theme is “Tame your ITAM Jungle” for the event, and from what we’ve heard the past months, it is a jungle out there – between balancing the needs of the organization and fitting the program into organizational goals to the overwhelming issues of license compliance and mobility, the IAITAM ACE puts you together with industry experts and your peers that have cut a path through a similar ITAM jungle.

For questions or additional information on this or any IAITAM ACE event, reach out to your IAITAM Member Service representative today at info@iaitam.org or call +1.330.628.3012.

If you can’t attend this fall, register now for the Spring 2015 ACE in San Diego, April 28- 30, 2015!
Member IMUG’s
The IAITAM ACE IMUG session will be held for all those in attendance in Sandusky at the Fall ACE and not broadcast live.  Look for August’s schedule in upcoming Scoop.IT newsletters.

Go out to the IAITAM website to listen in to previous month’s recordings at this webpage (you must first log into the site with your Member ID): Strategic Information for IT Asset Managers

  Futures &Trends – 2nd Tuesday Building & Expanding – 3rd Tuesday Automation – 4th Tuesday
August Larry Shoup – A Discussion on ITAM 360 Larry Shoup – Current State of BYOD Jenny Schuchert – Automation

IAITAM Members can register for one or all and participate in none or all monthly.  For questions or to suggest a speaker or topic for the IMUGs, please email imug@iaitam.org.
IMUG Monthly Article: The Crushing Blow of Software License Disputes – Bank of America Faces a $300 Million Challenge from Tibco
According to an article from PCWorld, BoA (Bank of America) is being sued for $300 million dollars by Tibco[1], an enterprise software company, for illegal copy and distribution of their products. The lawsuit describes how BoA was utilizing Tibco enterprise software in a major IT project for its Merrill Lynch subsidiary. In question is an addendum to a 2010 licensing agreement that allowed BoA to deploy Tibco software solutions and their usage rights.

BoA is accused of stockpiling large quantities of Tibco software while license agreement terms were still active and then deploying the software after the licensing contract expired. What makes the situation even more interesting is that the article reported that Tibco contacted BoA with a “chance to make good” or provide a true-up timeframe, but “the bank refused” to take advantage of that opportunity. The decision to refuse is a difficult one to make since going to court means lots of extra time and expense regardless of outcome. And, since intellectual property (IP) law is all about protecting the IP holder and not the user, it is likely to be an uphill battle for BoA.

Neither organization typically wants their name associated with these sorts of situations. Tibco doesn’t want to appear like the “bad guy” or the bully, and BoA doesn’t want to appear disingenuous to their vendors.

In IAITAM education, we stress that it is critical to use software according to the contract and intellectual property laws, but we also acknowledge how difficult that can be and state that the best defense is to negotiate clarifications into the contract. But, no matter how hard organizations try, contractual breaches occur. In this specific case, we can only guess about the contractual details at the heart of this dispute. However, if your organization was in similar circumstances (hopefully of smaller size in every way), analyze what went wrong and consider changes to prevent something similar happening again.

The circumstances of this incident are generating comments. As stated in the article, BoA, under a proper licensing agreement with Tibco, purchased and utilized Tibco’s enterprise software. It wasn’t until after the licensing agreement expired that BoA had a massive rollout for an upcoming IT project. It was during this rollout that alleged copies of software were illegally made and deployed.

Frank Scavo, an analyst and managing partner for the IT consulting firm Strativa made a very good comment based on how this could have happened and what solutions should be in place. He said:

“The lesson for enterprise IT organizations is to keep track of your software license agreements and be sure you are in compliance…This can be really difficult for large companies, especially those that have grown through a series of acquisitions, like Bank of America has. The only solution is to do a better job of tracking software license compliance through use of an IT asset management system.”

Regardless of organizational size and structure, reducing risk from the software portfolio is a difficult and ongoing responsibility. Reading and discussing occurrences like this one reinforces how important the fundamentals of ITAM are and how large the risk is to the organization.

References: [1] http://www.pcworld.com/article/2454560/bank-of-america-illegally-copied-300-million-in-software-alleges-tibco-lawsuit.html#tk.rss_all

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Open iT, Inc.: OpeniT helps you succeed in your efforts to manage global IT assets. OpeniT offers best of breed metering and optimization software so you can stay compliant and make sure every new purchase is justified by actual company needs. Visibility into usage profiles of your IT users across the enterprise will also make sure you support the users better with the technology and training they need to get their job done. OpeniT provides dashboards with trends in usage from the enterprise level down to the individual user groups to help you work together with business leaders – to produce more value for your company for less cost.  http://www.openit.com/

SoftwareONE, Inc. – USA: The Software Asset Management (SAM) program from SoftwareONE eliminates the guesswork normally associated with the software licensing process. Instead, you make fact-based purchasing and asset management decisions that are backed by detailed information on deployed software and software application usage within your environment. Our consultative approach takes you step-by-step from an initial analysis to full deployment of an ongoing Software Asset Management program. Once we help you with implementation, you choose to transition responsibility to your own IT team or engage SoftwareONE to provide a fully managed solution. Whichever path you choose, you’ll be creating a tailored program that addresses your company’s software asset management needs for the long term. Whether you need a single snapshot of your software environment, or an ongoing program across your organization, SoftwareONE delivers the right solution for you to achieve the visibility, efficiency, and peace of mind you demand. SoftwareONE is a truly globally focused organization specializing in software licensing solutions. Our software licensing experts take a consultative approach to helping customers optimize their software spend while enhancing their relationships with software publishers and local service providers. SoftwareONE is globally headquartered in Stans, Switzerland and employs more than 1100 people in 60 countries. The United States headquarters is located in Waukesha, WI. http://www.softwareone.com/

 

Oracle Corporation: Oracle’s Global License Management Services is an organization that promotes the management, governance and awareness of the proper use and distribution for Oracle systems through expert services. Its goal is to provide the most up-to-date knowledge, best practices and tools to manage and maximize benefit from your Oracle license investment. The range of services is based on unique licensing expertise and proven methodologies. Each of its services has been designed to address specific requirements and to deliver long term value. FACT: • 470+ LMS Specialists globally • Operating in 114 countries • Over 20 years experience. http://www.oracle.com/

WhiteCanyon Software: WhiteCanyon Software is the world leader in secure data destruction. WhiteCanyon’s flagship product WipeDrive allows corporations and government entities to permanently and securely erase data from hard drives, removable media, and mobile devices in a cost-effective, secure, and socially-responsible way. WipeDrive is the only NIAP EAL 4+ certified data erasure software in the world and has been independently reviewed on a code-level basis to ensure it is secure and free from malware, backdoors or other attack vectors. WipeDrive is a comprehensive tool erasing all drive data including HPAs, DCOs and re-mapped sectors. According to the NIAP certification report, data erased with WipeDrive is “permanently destroyed as to make any type of forensic data recovery impossible.” WhiteCanyon’s customer list includes much of the Fortune 100 as well as most government branches including customers like Citibank, Boeing, GM, the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Air Force. http://www.whitecanyon.com/

 

PC Connection: PC Connection, Inc., Merrimack, NH, is a Fortune 1000 company with 2012 revenues of $2.2 billion. PC Connection, Inc. has three wholly-owned sales subsidiaries: PC Connection Sales Corporation, MoreDirect, Inc., and GovConnection, Inc., headquartered in Merrimack, NH, Boca Raton, FL, and Rockville, MD, respectively. http://www.pcconnection.com/

Concorde Solutions: Concorde Solutions is a leading independent provider of business analytics for managing software compliance, eliminating risk, measuring vendor performance and reducing spend across ‘Hybrid IT’. Concorde provides the ability for complex organisations to rationalise software usage and licensing, optimize contracts and reduce cost through Core Control, our SaaS SAM Platform. Clients see accurate results more quickly and have greater SAM functionality across more vendors than any other single SAM tool. Core Control transforms Software Asset Management into true Software Value Management. http://www.concordesoftware.com/

About IAITAM

The International Association of IT Asset Managers (IAITAM) is the largest organization providing education, certification and thought leadership to the management of IT as a business. IT Asset Management is the management of hardware, software, mobile and other technology to maximize the value to the organization.