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Organisational piracy claims not so clear cut, according to Acresso

Acresso : 22 May, 2008  (Technical Article)
Larger organisations need clear software asset management capability to track all software and licenses and prevent accusations of piracy.
Acresso Software voices concerns about UK organisations being branded as thieves for committing software 'piracy' in the Business Software Alliance's (BSA) annual report, published this week.

The software license management specialist believes it is a highly complex area. Vincent Smyth, RVP Sales, Acresso Software, comments: 'From our experience, very few organisations purposely commit software piracy. An IT manager is faced with an incredibly large and complex collection of software applications that have grown over the years, and unfortunately many find it impossible to have a holistic and comprehensive view of their software infrastructure to resolve the question of who needs what kind of software. For this reason, organisations are often under-buying, but also over-buying software licences.

'The biggest organisations are often the ones most affected by this lack of clarity - the larger the user base, the greater the complexity - and very few IT managers in blue-chip organisations which are likely to be highly regulated would deliberately look to avoid license fees. In fact, we are even finding that IT managers frequently over-buy licences to cover their backs and stay compliant.

Smyth concludes: 'It's great that the BSA is highlighting the problem of ISVs not being paid revenue that is rightfully theirs, they need to take circumstances into consideration more. Technology is now available to determine usage demographics at a granular level, ensuring that employees that need a particular piece of software are fully equipped, and those software licenses that sit on people's desktop unused get re-allocated. With Forsythe Technology stating that as much as 20 per cent of all installed desktop software is unused and becoming shelf-ware, conducting a thorough audit can end up saving a business a lot of money.'

Acresso Software's FLEXnet solution tracks and monetises usage of new and existing software to maximise an organisation's software investment.

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