Reducing Cognos Licenses – Will I still be in compliance?

Reducing Cognos Licenses can be tricky and we understand that the needs of your business change overtime, whether it’s due to moving to a different software solution, finances or re-organizations.  Every now and then a client may want to reduce the number of licenses they renew.  This can lead to a gray area regarding licensing compliance.  If you originally purchased 100 Authorized User (AU) licenses and you want to reduce them to 50, you cannot continue to allow 100 users to use the software.  Only 50 AUs can now use the software.

Stepping back for a moment, when you purchase your IBM software it comes with one year of Subscription & Support.  The purchase of your software means it’s yours in the state that it was received and you own it now free and clear.  The Subscription & Support portion means that you are now entitled to upgrades, fix packs and to be able to make Service Requests.

Once your Subscription & Support expires, you can continue to use your IBM software product.  It’s yours. You own it.  However, you can no longer receive fix packs, upgrades or make Service Requests.  Now, you may think, “I don’t need to renew.  My product is working fine and I won’t need Support.”  Not necessarily true.  Like other software products, many of them rely on Microsoft, Java, web browsers, etc and when changes are made to those specific software items, it may require you to download a fix pack for your IBM product.  If you are not current on support, you cannot receive the fix pack.

So that leads to the gray area of our initial example.  If you are only renewing 50 AUs of your initial 100 AU licenses, then you cannot have any AUs from the 50 dropped licenses in the system.  The reason is that if you are not paying the support of your dropped 50 AUs and you have installed an upgrade or fix pack, you would then be considered stealing that improvement for 50 licenses that you did not pay support on, since the improvement would be applied to the product and not by specific user.  Remember, IBM reserves the right to audit your compliance and can fine you if you are not in compliance.

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