Every week we share our expert TIP with you.
#33 Make sure you possess the correct document(s) to show your proof of license
What does a publisher consider to be proof of license? And do you have the related documents available within your organisation?
The challenge with software purchases is to stay aligned with Software Asset Management. Who keeps track of the license entitlements and their renewal? And in case a publisher would approach your organisation to show your proof of entitlement, would you know what documents sustain this proof and where these documents are located?
It is very important to have a process in place that ensures software is purchased correctly and proof is stored in a centralised manner. Having this kind of process in place will make the life of a Software Asset Manager and the team a lot easier. If there is a need for a license, the requester for the software would know what to do in order to retrieve the license. This can be facilitated by means of a ticket or request to set the process in motion.
In case there is no process in place, it becomes much more challenging. The requester for the software still has the need for a license, but it will be purchased decentralised and probably without proper knowledge of the entitlement. This is suboptimal for several reasons, one of which is that the proof of license will be sent to the requester for the software instead of the Software Asset Manager or the responsible team.
Document(s) that can be seen as proof of entitlement are sometimes straightforward. The proof of entitlement document is sent and the title of the document is as such. In other cases, it will be harder to examine what documents state real proof. As soon as the licensor, in this example the publisher, has sent the license key (as requested by the organisation) they have fulfilled their end of the agreement. This means there is a binding agreement between the licensor (publisher) and licensee (organisation buying the software). Documents containing a license key, a delivery note, a counter-signed contract or an invoice can be considered examples of proof of license with regards to the document’s contents. This differs per publisher.