Contact us today!
(800) 588-4430

Telesys Voice and Data Blog

Telesys Voice and Data has been serving the Richland Hills area since 1994, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

How Software License Mismanagement Can Hurt Your Bottom Line

How Software License Mismanagement Can Hurt Your Bottom Line

Whenever you install software on your computer, you agree to certain terms put in place by the developer or vendor. Even free software, such as Google Chrome and Firefox, have terms that the end-user opts into during installation. One of the most important terms business owners need to be aware of are those that pertain to software licenses; if you aren’t, someone else will be.

How Software Licensing Works

Software licensing is everything but simple. Developers determine where and how often you can install the software, whether or not you can modify or redistribute it, and other terms. Installing the software means you agree to these terms. Most commonly, these terms are designed to protect the developer from having their software shared and distributed without them charging for it. This makes sense, it’s theft.

Interestingly enough, there have been some pretty wacky terms snuck into the license agreements of some programs. One of our favorites is Apple expressly forbidding users from using iTunes to create missiles and nuclear weapons. While we hope our clients are not weaponizing iTunes, there is a much more realistic concern that business owners absolutely need to be aware of.

Negligence Can Lead to Huge Fines

Depending on the software, when you install it and “activate” it, the software might phone home to the developer to authenticate the license. If the software sees that it’s been recently installed or is currently active elsewhere, it might report back and not let you use it. Alternatively, it might not immediately reveal that it sees multiple copies in use. The developer might even give you some lenience (sometimes you can install a copy on your work PC and on a laptop). If you don’t understand the licensing, you won’t know until the cease and desist letters come in.

Typically, software developers are prepared to catch this and offer ways for you to purchase additional licenses (although not all the time). They might even offer volume or site licensing which will help you save money when purchasing software for all of your employees. While you need to be careful not to upset the vendor by mistreating your software licenses, there are even bigger threats to watch out for.

Beware the Audit Monster

Organizations like the Business Software Alliance (BSA) issues audits to businesses that they suspect are misusing software licenses. For example, if they think you are running the same license for Microsoft Office or Windows across multiple computers, an attorney representing them will send you a very stone-cold letter that you won’t like. To make matters worse, the BSA even offers thousands of dollars to whistleblowers who report their own organization and promise full confidentiality. Got any disgruntled former employees? Organizations like this love hearing what they have to say.

Failing these audits can lead to huge, out-of-proportion fines and in some cases, jail time. If you’ve received a letter from an organization like this, it is extremely important to reach out to a trusted IT advisor immediately, as well as your lawyer. It’s best to not wait for this to happen, and make sure your software licensing is in check.

How to Prevent Software License Mismanagement

Like anything related to IT, the best course of action is being proactive. Documenting your software licenses, including how many you have, who is using it, and where it is deployed is a good start. If your software licenses include expirations or other terms, it’s important to track those as well.

Understanding the rules is crucial. Software developers aren’t out to screw you over, they just don’t want their product being stolen. If a program is allowed to be installed on a second device, it typically means the user can install it on their laptop or home computer. This does NOT mean you can split the license up across two users.

Having your network audited regularly is a good practice. Your employees might think they are being effective by sharing software with coworkers. The intentions might be good, but the repercussions can be serious. Telesys Voice and Data can work with you to audit your network and find issues like this, and help you resolve them if detected. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (800) 588-4430 to get the process started. We’re happy to be discreet, even if you have a trusted IT provider.

Comments

 
No comments yet
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Sunday, 22 April 2018
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Blog Archive

Free Consultation

Sign up today for a
FREE Network Consultation

How secure is your IT infrastructure?
Let us evaluate it for free!

Sign up Now!

Free Consultation
 

Tag Cloud

Security Tip of the Week Technology Cloud Best Practices Hackers Privacy Malware Business Computing Productivity Business Email Microsoft Internet Windows 10 Hosted Solutions Backup Computer Software Ransomware IT Services Network Security Managed Service Provider Smartphone Mobile Devices Android User Tips Google IT Support Workplace Tips Managed IT services Hardware Browser Communication Social Media Efficiency Disaster Recovery Business Continuity Outsourced IT Smartphones Innovation Data Management App Upgrade Data Holiday Cloud Computing Small Business Business Management Office Miscellaneous WiFi Server Office 365 Microsoft Office Windows Data Backup Facebook Remote Monitoring Encryption Spam Artificial Intelligence Network Gmail Big Data Internet of Things Phishing Hosted Solution Data Recovery Recovery Firewall Password Apps Robot Save Money Remote Computing Paperless Office Money Infrastructure Work/Life Balance Office Tips Chrome Tip of the week Passwords Employer-Employee Relationship Productivity Risk Management Apple Cybersecurity Avoiding Downtime Unified Threat Management Word Hacker Mobile Device Management Customer Service How To Content Filtering Saving Money Government VoIP Managed IT Business Growth Data loss SaaS Presentation BYOD Social Website Wi-Fi Tech Term Customer Relationship Management Outlook Windows 10 Telephone Systems Two-factor Authentication Document Management Settings Analytics Vendor Management Data Security Health The Internet of Things Applications IT Support Computers Alert Hacking Managed IT Services Mobile Computing Data storage Bandwidth Tech Support Computing IT Management Education Operating System Cybercrime Antivirus Virtual Reality Mobile Device IT solutions Safety Business Technology Wireless Technology Tablet Upgrades Wireless Automobile Budget Specifications Downtime End of Support communications Mouse YouTube Unified Communications User Collaboration Legal Scam LiFi Retail Vulnerability File Sharing Twitter Best Practice Politics Monitors Travel Lithium-ion battery VPN Identity Theft Google Drive Business Owner Automation Websites Physical Security Augmented Reality Going Green Virtual Private Network Taxes Marketing IBM HIPAA Running Cable Server Management Botnet Printing Mobile Security Samsung Competition Licensing Maintenance Bring Your Own Device Search Digital Payment Sports Storage Information Technology IT service Cortana Humor Virtualization Computer Care Administration Project Management Analyitcs Training Troubleshooting Chatbots Cyber Monday Error Cabling Cryptocurrency Knowledge Data Warehousing Technology Laws Alerts Network Management SharePoint Identity Phone System flu season Web Server VoIP Bitcoin Update Staffing Experience Lenovo Microsoft Excel Unified Threat Management Cooperation Touchscreen Downloads BDR 3D Printing Shortcut Fort Worth Administrator Disaster Cameras Digital Windows 8 Chromebook GPS Superfish Blockchain Domains business communications systems Staff Multi-Factor Security Law Enforcement Google Maps Network Congestion Unsupported Software 5G Compliance Entrepreneur Patch Management flu shot Uninterrupted Power Supply Permissions CCTV Spyware Emoji Tracking Application Public Speaking Internet Protocol Flexibility Google Calendar Gadget Users Display Mobile Data iPhone Hacks Regulations Fort Worth IT Solid State Drive Networking Fraud How To VoIP streamlines Operations Heating/Cooling Legislation Hard Disk Drive Current Events Social Networking DFW IT Service Net Neutrality G Suite Firefox Processors Laptop Hard Drives Virtual Desktop business network infrastructure Wearable Technology Servers Motion Sickness Motherboard Smart Technology Refrigeration Techology Internet Exlporer Assessment Supercomputer Halloween Google Docs Writing data services PowerPoint Software as a Service Help Desk Deep Learning Personal Information Fun Router Mail Merge Distributed Denial of Service Consumers Disaster Resistance IT Consultant Consultation IT Budget Scary Stories Social Engineering User Error IT Technicians Statistics Technology Tips Machine Learning Meetings Computer Repair Modem Address Managed IT Service Undo Proactive IT Hotspot Cleaning Notifications eWaste IP Address Mirgation Bluetooth Comparison Relocation Software Tips IT Sevices Webcam Corporate Profile Alt Codes Electronic Medical Records Google Wallet Cookies Redundancy Break Fix IT Consulting Language Quick Tips Printer Crowdsourcing Dark Data Environment Mobile Office Migration Black Friday Private Cloud Point of Sale WannaCry Typing Drones Nanotechnology Dark Web Data Breach Computing Infrastructure Time Management Access Control Buisness

Top Blog

Don't be Afraid to Replace Got an older PC that's causing you a lot of issues? Older technology is typically more expensive to run, and after a while, it's cheaper to simply buy a new desktop than it is to continue pouring money into something that always seems broken. It's a great time to buy wo...
QR-Code