The Campaign for Clear Licensing (CCL) has now set its sights on IBM and SAP after going to war with Oracle over its licensing terms.
As the "next most prolific [software] auditors after Oracle", said the CCL, "We are calling on all IBM and SAP customers with direct experience of the companies' licensing and auditing practices to share their experience, so that the CCL can direct its activities to the areas that require the most attention."
Customers of these two can log their experiences through CCL online surveys. The CCL intends to share initial survey findings at its next member round table on 2 February, where it will invite further debate from members and formalise the "focus for an engagement" with IBM and SAP.
"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," said Mark Flynn, CEO for the Campaign for Clear Licensing.
He said: "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, said Flynn, who "do not fully understand the publishers' licensing" is also "a common cause of contention" when dealing with IBM and SAP.
On Oracle, Martin Thompson, chairman and founder of the Campaign for Clear Licensing, said: "Our engagement with Oracle and its users has so far been invaluable, but we are far from finished. We have been able to raise awareness within both Oracle and its customers of significant shortcomings in Oracle's licensing practices.
"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."
The CCL will be hosting an Oracle Licensing Seminar in New York on 29 January.
In response to the CCL campaign over Oracle licensing, Debra Lilley, a director of the UK Oracle User Group (UKOUG), said in a blog: "Could Oracle do better? Yes, but they have made a great start. The need for clarity is not unique to Oracle, it is an industry concern but one Oracle has recognised.
"Oracle, as CCL tell us, were the first software vendor to meet with the CCL, locally they introduced CCL to UKOUG - they did not hide."
She added: "UKOUG will continue to facilitate dialogue between Oracle and our members and continue to share our learnings with the wider Oracle user group community until it [licensing] is no longer a concern."
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