Do you have an audit phobia? Here is what to do

With software audits on the rise post-Covid, it's easy to develop phobias from the resultant chaos. Our SAM Director, May Turnbull, is here to remind you that you aren't alone!

Published on 14th June 2022

Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

John F. Kennedy

I’ve headed this blog with a very powerful quote from John F Kennedy. This literally can be applied to anything in life, but for SAM (Software Asset Management)/software licensing; this particularly rings true. I have spent the majority of my life around software audits from the likes of Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, VMWare etc. etc. And today, my friends, I come to you with prescription for that Audit Phobia keeping you awake at nights….you simply need to get out in front of it and embrace it head on.

You will know from my previous blog ‘Software Vendor Audits: Keeping a Low Profile’, that there are things that you can be wary off in terms of audit triggers. Things like:

  1. An unjustified drop in your spend
  2. Growth or mergers without adjustments in order numbers
  3. Lack of communication with your vendors/manufacturers

But my key advise then, that still stands strong today is around being proactive about managing your assets. You need to get out ahead of the looming chance of an audit and embrace it head on. Don’t shy away from negotiating either, vendors would much rather sweep some things under the rug than lose your custom.

This negotiating should actually start at the beginning of any vendor audit by the way. Right at the get-go when you are discussing scope and time scales. Don’t allow yourself to be bullied into unrealistic time frames. Many of my customers are indeed facing one of the below when they are approached for an audit:

  1. Mergers/acquisitions that are underway
  2. Infrastructure Changes/Upgrade projects
  3. Key staff absences

These are all reasonable justifications to delay an audit and if the vendor is half sensible, they will usually entertain a postponement in lieu of the above. Be sure to consider these globally, if applicable, when considering the full scope of the engagement as well. Collating global data will require longer timescales that local endeavours.

When in doubt, make sure you partner with an establishment like EasySAM who have experience in these communications and the backing from strong legal partners like Addleshaw Goddard should discussions get heated.

So in a nutshell; get out in front of it, be fearless and bring back up. Good luck!

Written by:

May Turnbull

Director

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