Cherwell IT Service Management Blog
Resources, Best Practices, and Solutions for ITSM Pros

Kris Barker

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Introducing Apptria Technologies

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You may have heard rumblings about this, but it’s now official: today we announced the spin-off of a new business entity that will focus its development efforts exclusively on further expansion and enhancement of the software catalog used within Express Software Manager.We’re all very excited that our software recognition offerings are receiving additional resources and focus; this is great news

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$1.3 Billion Ruling in Oracle-SAP Piracy Lawsuit

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Imagine your company were forced to pony up $3.3 million in damages for software license infringement. Unbelievable though it may seem, this was the actual amount of the judgment in a 2007 piracy lawsuit against an unnamed international media firm. The ruling broke the record for the largest copyright infringement penalty in the BSA’s history–a record that towered far above

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Ernst & Young Survey Validates True Motives Behind Vendor Audits

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An article caught my eye this morning in Manufacturing Business Daily summarizing the results of a recent Ernst & Young survey that focused on software asset management philosophies and practices among software vendors and their customers. Before discussing the results, I should point out that I’m pretty skeptical about studies conducted and published by firms with a commercial interest in

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IBM Sues New York Brokerage for $1.7 Million in Illegal Software Use

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Ouch! A New York-based brokerage company, Euro Brokers, is being sued by IBM for an undisclosed amount for allegedly downloading unlicensed software valued at more than $1.7 million. According to an InformationWeek article, Euro Brokers was once a legitimate IBM customer, having purchased licenses for Informix database software. But a software audit performed by KPMG revealed that over the course

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The Indelible Link Between Healthy IT, Optimal Software Utilization, and Long-Term Business Success

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It probably comes as no surprise that research shows having your IT house in order is good for business. The Harvard Business Review published a report a few years ago stating as much, but the fact is, this notion is truer today than ever before. Innovation in information technology and management of that investment is directly related to the ability

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Join the Industry’s First Software Audit Forum

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I am very excited to announce the launch of the industry’s very first Software Audit Forum, an online community designed to bring together IT professionals interested in seeking advice, exchanging knowledge, and sharing lessons learned about software vendor audits and license compliance. The Software Audit Forum invites questions, answers, and discussions on a variety of topics including software vendor audits,

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Windows, BYOD, and the Multi-Device Environment: What Does It Mean for Software Licensing?

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Bring your own device (BYOD) is a burning topic in many organizations, especially for IT staff. Until recently, security issues have occupied the lion’s share of the BYOD debate, but we’re now seeing more frequent discussions about the software licensing implications of BYOD and multiple-device-per-user scenarios, especially as it relates to Microsoft licensing. Given these discussions and the pervasiveness of

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Debrief on IAITAM 2010 Annual Conference

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To be completely honest, I’ve never been much of a tradeshow enthusiast. Between a pesky L5 vertebrae (I’m 6’2″ and no, I don’t fly first class), the difficulty keeping up with the torrent of email, and a seemingly futile quest to perfect my “elevator pitch” on the tradeshow floor, I’d rather my time out of the office be spent sipping

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Takeaways from Last Week’s SWID Summit in DC

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The following blog post, written by Kris Barker, is in reference to the Software Identification Summit, which was held in Washington D.C. on May4th. According to TagVault, the event sponsor, “The software identification summit is designed to provide a forum for all software ecosystem members to discuss the future of software identification and discuss how these issues can be addressed

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Be Very Afraid: BSA, Pirates and Malware, Oh My!

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I just stumbled upon a rather frightful Business Software Alliance (BSA) report revealing the relationship between software piracy and internet security. The report concludes that the higher a country’s piracy rate, the higher their malware infection rates. (Read the entire report here.) The BSA offers two primary reasons for this phenomenon: Individuals running software that was illegally obtained often don’t

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Software Audits On The Rise: Fact or Fiction?

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When the global economy first sank into recession, dozens of reports were published in which technology analysts speculated that software vendors would rely more heavily on software audits—and the resulting financial settlements—to compensate for lower revenues. In tandem with this, organizations targeted by vendor audits were expected to have a higher rate of non-compliance because software asset management initiatives would

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Behind BSA Software Audits: Fact or Fiction?

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I just read an utterly scathing column in ComputerWorld in which James Gaskin blasts the BSA for what he claims is a common practice of using “extortion tactics” that are especially punitive to small businesses. In his indictment, Gaskin lists a number of grievances he suggests exemplify the “Big Three” software vendors’ (Microsoft, Adobe, AutoDesk) contempt for small businesses. Gaskin

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Should Open Source Publishers Get On The BSA Bandwagon?

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An article featured in a South Africa technology portal popped up in one of my feeds today, and I couldn’t help but take the bait. The column, entitled “Open Source Against Piracy,” contends that open source software developers should consider becoming members of the BSA. As I best understand it, the reasons given are twofold: The BSA perpetuates a belief

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Reflections on TagVault’s 2012 Software Identification Summit

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TagVault is a non-profit organization that serves as a registration and certification authority for software ID tags based on the ISO/IEC international standard.] For those of you who have, at some point in your lives, been frustrated and/or overwhelmed by the ominous challenges related to software recognition, you may be aware that there’s an international effort dedicated to solving the

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The “Great Thaw” of 2010 — IT Spending Gathering Steam

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Finally, some good news for the battered tech industry: The Big Chill is over. According to both Forrester and Gartner, IT spending in 2010 will continue to thaw, with Forrester expecting 8.4% growth in the U.S. and Gartner predicting 5.3% growth worldwide. Though anticipated spending levels are hardly what I’d call “sizzling” compared to years past, after the IT spending

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Software Asset Management: Mission Critical or Nice-To-Have?

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In my last post, I briefly mentioned my view that executive management generally views software asset management as a “non-critical” IT initiative. I am here to argue that, especially in a poor economy, software asset management becomes all the more “mission critical.” At first blush, I admit this position might seem a bit somewhat self-serving, given that my paycheck hinges

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March Madness: The BSA is on a Roll

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It’s been a big month for the BSA. Since the beginning of March, the BSA has issued press releases documenting five U.S. settlements totaling close to $525,000 (see the list of losers below). Over the years, I’ve attempted to ferret out patterns that would suggest certain types of organizations may be at higher risk of a BSA software audit; but

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Fuzzy Math on Malware-Piracy Connection

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A follow-on to last Friday’s post about the BSA’s recent worldwide study linking software piracy rates with the proliferation of PC malware: Jeff Williams, principle group program manager for Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center, announced that Microsoft has come out with a report revealing that malware infection rates are directly correlated with the reluctance of those running counterfeit copies of Windows...

The IT Budget and the Bottom Line: Tactics to Avoid Software Budget Surprises

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Getting to the root of unplanned software-related expenditures can be harder than herding cats because of constantly shifting variables; the changing size of your user base, evolving workforce needs, and annual adjustments to renewal costs and support agreements are just a few of the things that can cause software budgets to spiral out of control. There are, however, a few...

“Non-Compliant” Took On New Meanings In 2009

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If you Google the term “software vendor audit,” you’ll find no shortage of information on the topic, particularly related to how to avoid and/or survive them. Frankly, though I try to stay on top of all the current research and frequently talk to customers who provide good anecdotal insight, I’ve seen very little recent material that sheds any new light...

Effective License Management Can Strengthen the CIO-CFO Partnership

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Here’s an interesting article about the relationship between CIOs and CFOs, written by Scott Rosenberg of Miro Consulting. In the column, Rosenberg asserts that CIOs and CFOs frequently don’t see eye-to-eye not because of competing agendas, but because budget is typically prioritized and allocated based on the profitability of any given division. Ironically, therefore, CIOs often find themselves with inadequate...

20 Years of Software Identification Challenges Will Persist Well Into the Standardized Tagging Era

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The following bylined article can also be found in the April issue of IAITAM’s ITAK Magazine and the April edition of FAST IiS Kaleidoscope. Since the dawn of the desktop era, IT departments have struggled to keep track of software installed across their corporate networks. Accurate software inventories are crucial to ensuring installed applications are properly licensed, understanding whether or...

De-Brief on IAITAM’s Annual Conference

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I recently attended the 2009 IAITAM Annual Conference, Las Vegas style. And although I’m sure everyone was equally tired of the “What happens in Vegas …” response to just about any statement that could be taken two ways, the conference as a whole was great. It’s an event that impresses me more every year: solid attendance (even in today’s challenging...