Clarify the fine print; define usage rights

Software license types and definitions vary from one vendor to another. Failing to clarify what the license types are and what the definitions mean in your software contract can cost you money! Before you sign on the dotted line, always ensure you have clarified and understood what it is you are buying and make sure that license types and definitions are clearly stated in the software contract.

Software suppliers are adept at auditing users and finding businesses where their software is being used in breach of the license types or definitions in their contract; the net result is usually an unexpected and unbudgeted invoice arriving on your finance directors desk asking for payment for the actual software usage. If you don’t want to get caught out, then make sure you know what you’re signing when a software supplier presents you with a license contract. Look particularly at the number of users allowed, the type of users (ie, named, concurrent, employee, cpu, affiliate, professional, lite, etc etc), the geography of use (ie, on one site, across multiple sites, in subsidiaries, outside the UK, etc), and also clarify the definition for each license type (ie, what does ‘concurrent’, ‘cpu’, ‘lite’ etc actually mean?). Also check to see what happens if you were to outsource your IT function; does your software contract allow free and easy transfer of use to an external party?

A little time spent up-front prior to signing a contract can save you a lot of wasted time and money later!

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