Trends Report

Let's Clear Up The "Indirect Access" Mess

Systems Of Engagement Will Cause Unexpected Software Costs Unless Buyers Take Action To Clarify Their License Agreements

November 8th, 2013
Duncan Jones, null
Duncan Jones
With contributors:
Christopher Andrews , Ben Jennings


Forrester sees an increase in questions from clients about licensing disputes caused by so called "indirect access" scenarios. In these cases, software sales teams have told clients that they are underlicensed, based on broad interpretations of contracts' definitions of terms such as "user," "use," and "access." This interpretation does not accurately reflect the changing nature of software products and, ultimately, inflates user quantities beyond what clients are willing to accept. This problem generates many complaints from sourcing and vendor management clients, and it is set to get worse, as new, user-driven "systems of engagement" reduce direct use of back-end "systems of record." This report explains why indirect access is a growing problem that the software industry can fix and proposes a simple, clear guideline for suppliers and buyers. It also suggests ways to work with your software providers to embrace our proposed solution and clear up unnecessary confusion.

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