The Campaign for Clear Licensing (CCL) is calling on all IBM and SAP customers with direct experience of their licensing and auditing practices to get in touch and vent their feelings.
Its announcement comes hot on the heels of its recent scrutiny of Oracle’s practices where it concluded interactions were "filled with mistrust".
CCL intends to share initial survey findings at its next member roundtable in February, where will formalise the focus for an engagement with IBM and SAP.
Mark Flynn, CEO of CCL, said: “After Oracle, our members overwhelmingly called out IBM and SAP as the next most prolific auditors and vendors commonly associated with testing vendor-customer relationships.
“The issues raised by customers of IBM and SAP are not too dissimilar to those raised with other vendors, such as the additional complexity brought about by the practice of regularly changing T&Cs and product names, a lack of clarification by the vendor of its own licensing terminology and metrics, and the additional complexities brought about by forced product bundling.
"The use of external auditors who do not fully understand the publishers’ licensing also appears to be a common cause of contention when dealing with these vendors in particular. We will be looking into these issues and any others that our members highlight in the coming months, and hope that by exposing bad practice we can continue to work towards a more harmonious software licensing environment for vendors and customers alike.”
However, Martin Thompson, chairman of CCL, stressed that the work with Oracle is far from done.
“Our engagement with Oracle and its users has so far been invaluable, but we are far from finished,” he said. “We have been able to raise awareness within both Oracle and its customers of significant shortcomings in Oracle’s licensing practices and we will continue to work with them on behalf of our members to improve the licensing experience of its customers while we begin the same process with IBM and SAP.”
To find out more, visit CCL’s homepage.
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