Apologies for the wait, we're overwhelmed. Yes, this is the hospital. You need to what?! Do a software licence audit?

Vendors slammed for 'lack of proper judgement' during the pandemic


Software vendors have been targeting hospitals with licence audits while medical units find themselves overstretched with patients due to a surge in global coronavirus cases.

According to research from the IT Asset Management Forum, which counts Vodafone, Danske Bank and Procter & Gamble among its members, vendors have sought an uptick in revenue via audits of hospitals.

Melody Ayeli, chair of ITAM Forum, said it was alarming to see the number of hospitals reporting audits during the height of the pandemic.

"Targeting hospitals with a licence audit during an international health emergency, which essentially could take away from their efforts to gather resources and work on plans to minimise the toll of this virus, indicates an unfortunate lack of proper judgement from these vendors," said Ayeli, who is also head of IT asset and configuration management at Toyota North America.

In the ITAM Forum study, 46 per cent of organisations said they had experienced an increase in audit requests from vendors during the pandemic. Meanwhile, 50 per cent of respondents said they thought the risk of audits was getting higher, while 12 per cent said they expected the risk to increase.

Ayeli said software publishers should not be using audits as a surreptitious sales tool during the pandemic.

Crystal ball cloud

Your Microsoft reseller can now predict when you’re ready to buy more stuff or dump Redmond

READ MORE

"The ITAM Review's poll aligns with the feedback that we have received from our members and peers in the industry, that software audits have increased considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Audits are a common route for software publishers to increase revenue, so this behaviour may be unsurprising during a recession as vendors face their own financial challenges. However, interrogating customers for even more money during their struggles in an international health and economic crisis does not demonstrate a spirit of partnership, nor does it align with most vendors' messaging to promote the overall good of our communities."

ITAM Forum founder Martin Thompson, a long-time software licence campaigner who helped organise the survey, said respondents also reported that some vendors are desperate for a little bit of revenue, just to put something on the books.

There are more desperate vendors, happy to accept any kind of commercial product proposal, as long as some form of revenue is achieved

One respondent said: "There are more desperate vendors, happy to accept any kind of commercial product proposal, as long as some form of revenue is achieved," according to Thompson.

He added: "I hear anecdotally that software publishers are stepping up recruitment into their licence management and audit teams for 2021. As the repercussions of the pandemic slowly filter through the economy and therefore to publisher sales numbers and share price, everyone should anticipate more desperate behaviour from certain publishers."

In the survey, Micro Focus and Oracle were among "least helpful" during an audit, while Microsoft and SAP were among the "most helpful". IBM managed to earn the moniker of both "best" and "worst". We've asked ITAM how this works.

Oracle declined to comment while Micro Focus has yet to respond to our request.

ITAM Forum survey was based on responses from 82 organisations worldwide polled between August and September 2020. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021