IT Jungle: Auditing Your IBM i Software Maintenance

IT Jungle just posted my new article on auditing your IBM i software maintenance bills. In this article, I go over basic IBM i software maintenance, gathering the information you need to make sure you’re not paying more than your supposed to, and some things to try when renegotiating maintenance.

Check it out by clicking here.

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About Joe Hertvik

Joe is the owner of Hertvik Business Services, a service company providing written white papers, case studies, and other marketing content to computer industry companies. He is also a contributing editor for IT Jungle and has written the Admin Alert column for the past ten years. Follow Joe Hertvik on Twitter @JoeHertvik. Email Joe for a free quote on white papers, case studies, brochures, or other marketing materials.
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One Response to IT Jungle: Auditing Your IBM i Software Maintenance

  1. This is an excellent article Mr. Hertvik with “easy” to do steps. Easy because the steps make perfect sense and can be completed in practice (not just in theory). The quotation marks imply that there’s quite a few obstacles to gathering the information, especially in larger enterprises, where information such as maintenance agreements and contracts are in the hands of only a few individuals.

    I work for a company called Aspera that has specialized in software license management tools and consulting for over a decade. (Managing maintenance agreements and costs is included in the umbrella term software license management). One of the fundamental tasks we complete with our customers in every project is gathering license, product use rights, maintenance, and contract data. Especially in large organizations, the original maintenance agreements can date back 10, 15 or more years and often are long lost by the time the company realizes the value (saving potential) in properly managing the assets.

    The good thing is, after 13 years of business we’ve found ways to find out and document the information contained in the lost originals (e.g. “terms of the purchase, the original software maintenance agreement, how much the vendor originally promised to charge me for yearly maintenance, and any exit clauses that may be in force.”). Invoices from the vendor (as you mentioned) and End User License Agreement (EULA) are good sources to look into. In the past it was common practice to obtain physical evidence of licensing, often called EULA. These documents are typically centrally archived or were handed over to the users of the software. In the absence of information or with very expensive licenses this document should be considered, as EULAs contain extensive information.

    Another good source for information are the suppliers. Most are able to give a detailed overview of licenses and maintenance purchased through them. Information that can be provided include publisher names, product names and version, order numbers, delivery documents, and related figures, e.g. invoice numbers, contract numbers, and pricing. Although requests to suppliers should be made with caution, because it may lead to unwanted sales efforts. And if you’re already in negotiations this is not the route to go – asking the supplier for these documents should be done well in advance of any maintenance and license agreement renewals.

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