Thursday, April 15, 2010

Software Licensing - Gaming the System

It seems in a number of my recent conversations with a major software publisher (who has one of the most complex licensing structures going)...that they keep referencing companies that "Game the System" and what a wrong thing that is to do.

Question - when they make the rules, can you really ever "Game the System"? Don't get me wrong, we specialize in helping customers get creative with how to reduce their licensing costs for their software...but if it's allowed within their convoluted licensing terms, how can you be doing anything wrong?

Take the IRS for example (since it's April 15th), their rules are complex (far more complex than any software publisher) but they expect you to take advantage of every credit that you are entitled to through their rules. They don't call foul and say you're "Gaming the System" when you take advantage of rules that work in your favor. Why should a software publisher?

LOL - yes, I did just compare this software publisher to the IRS...LOL!

Frankly, the ones who write the rules hold the cards - if you can work within those rules and minimize your costs, who are they to complain? If they don't like it, they can change their rules.

What do you it possible to "Game the System" in a negative way?

1 comment:

Martin Thompson (The ITAM Review) said...

Great article Cynthia.

In the world of finance the tax man issues the same tax return to everyone.

Taxes can be paid at face value, or a good, ethical accountant will look at your tax bill and assess it against all the individual characteristics of your particular situation.

The taxman does not have the time or money to apply all these idiosyncrasies to every company and individual, but is happy to look at your review if it is presented in the right manner.

It’s about tax efficiency not tax evasion.

Similarly software companies implement millions of different options and SKU variations in order to maintain their competitiveness in the market - a company can choose to take the publishers quote at face value or involve a specialist to assess if it's the right fit for them.

It's about software license optimization not "Gaming The System".