Even if you are convinced that you know all about proof of licensing already please read this post as time and time again we come across the same simple mistakes...

Bottom line
Make sure you store all licence records in one place and absolutely retain the original documentation.

In 2008 I worked on a project where all licence details were keyed into a licence management tool then all the original documentation was destroyed.

The thought was that they now had everything recorded, that is all they needed, why waste money on storing documents.

In a word - oooops...

Bottom line = If your organisation cannot prove ownership of its licence entitlement, then no entitlement exists.

As a rule the only proof that the authorities will accept is original documentation produced by them. A summary in a spreadsheet or licence management tool without the original documents to support it will absolutely not do.

The incredible part of this story is that it all happened under the guidance of one of the UK's so called leading compliance authorities on what to do and what not to do.  Their name rhymes with 'last'....

For all the detail on Collecting evidence see the Library...

Effective use of your time
Warning - Hiring a temp to pump licence details into a licence management tool can be a dangerous approach.

The key is to record the right information so that working out your licence position is as easy as possible - What does it license?

Unless the person/s recording such detail has a modicum of understanding for what is important, you can spend a lot of time and achieve very little of use.

For each product the minimum that needs to be recorded is as follows:
  1. Publisher
  2. Product name
  3. Product version
  4. Product edition
  5. Licence model (Install, user, processor etc based)
  6. Quantity

If these 6 elements are not obvious from the licence documentation then some research has to be done to define them.

The most challenging of these can be defining the licence model which I discuss in the next article...

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