Hats Off to IBM for it's new dedicated Licensing and Compliance site.
Launched on the 17th February the site is a comprehensive, easily navigated resource for both SAM beginners and experienced personnel alike.
Quoting Wes Mantle from the Licensing and Software Sales division: "We hope our Licensing & Compliance website will be a go-to resource for IT executives and SAM/license managers, providing clear guidance for measuring deployment effectiveness and navigating software verification process in an efficient, fair and timely manner."
The 'Licensing' section offers a good starting point with links to related subjects and material, and also provides particularly good graphical representations of IBM's many agreement structures along with key terms and clauses, while the 'Measurement' section covers the array of metrics and topics across on-premise, cloud and mainframe platforms.
If short on time, on everyone's list should be a read and review of the new licensing Guides that include:
The guides have been re-written in a much more readable and informative style covering all fundamental licensing subjects including the often misunderstood virtualization, backup and recovery, and non-production environment rules and obligations.
Of course the site wouldn't be complete without covering IBM's Verification approach, which includes audits, self-declarations and the IASP program. Interestingly, the section doesn't make reference to IBM's new, hosted, software management tool ESMT. The Enterprise Software Management Tool is described as an enhancement over the functionality currently provided by PA Online, providing "a full software inventory which details the number of licenses currently deployed and the number of licenses available to deploy. This can be updated in real-time to reflect any changes in requirement, meaning you always have a contemporaneous view of your IBM license position".
What's not clear is how the tool will actually operate in order to provide the view of "how many licenses have been used, where and by whom". This seems to imply some degree of discovery across the client landscape - on an ongoing real-time basis - which would come with its own complexities and certainly, concerns. We'd be keen to hear from anyone who has or is looking to adopt this approach - please comment below or get in touch!
What's not raised cynical eyebrows though is IBM's view of the benefits of being in compliance:
... we can all agree on that!
So set aside some reading time and work your way through the site - it will be a valuable use of time, and ensure you bookmark it as you'll no doubt have cause to return on numerous occasions!