For the most part we no longer go to a store and buy a disc. Then you’d come back to your office and install the software on our machines and enter a license key for use. Now many software programs aren’t even downloaded and software licensing is much more complex. If you understand the licenses of the software you are using, you can avoid fines and save money.
What is a Software License
A software license gives you permission to use a program in a particular way. For example, if you had ten licenses for a program it may mean one of several things. One option is that ten people can use the software concurrently on any machine. Other licenses are specific to the machine and allow for it to be used on ten different computers. Certain licenses prohibit looking at the source code while others are open-source and have fewer restrictions.
When you click “I agree” on the End User License Agreement (EULA), you are agreeing to their terms. It is in your best interest to review the terms set out in the EULA. Knowing if a license is perpetual or a one year license will help you plan your budget. It will also keep you out of trouble should you be caught using unlicensed software.
Proper License Management
When you have an IT person on staff, part of their job should be to manage the licenses and to find the most economic way to use the software. If you work with a technology outsourcing company, they can manage your licenses. A technology professional knows if a site license, bulk license, or individual licenses would be the most economical option. No matter who manages your software, you need to keep the license keys and documentation proving you are using it properly should you be questioned about it.
The Business Software Alliance offers rewards to people who report improper license usage and businesses can face fines. You may recall the two Indiana businesses who paid over $500,000 in fines in 2011 for illegally using Microsoft, Symantec, Corel, and Autodesk software. You never know when a disgruntled employee will look for a payday by reporting your company.
When you work with an IT services company like Toucan Technology Group you can be assured that you have the proper software licensing. That means enough licenses for each computer or employee, not too many or too few. Money can be wasted by not properly managing your licenses in either direction. If you are looking for a local IT services company, call Toucan and set up a no obligation consultation about our services for your business – 317-376-4874.