I first came across Discount Licensing back in 2005 when they were introducing the concept of reselling licence agreements for insolvent companies. If a company were to go bust they could salvage some value from the agreements for the administrators.
It’s not a new concept, but I thought it might be worth revisiting given the current climate and level of mergers, acquisitions and divestiture activity I keep hearing about.
Since I last spoke to them they have since broadened their scope to ‘broker of second hand Microsoft volume licensing’ i.e. selling on used licences from both solvent and insolvent companies.
They argue that a software licence is an asset owned by the business and can be divested from the business like any other asset. If an organisation were to split into two it might consider divesting it’s existing agreements between those two new entities. Similarly that organisation could choose to divest their assets to another organisation entirely.
They claim Open, Select and Enterprise agreements can be re-sold. Subscription based licensing such as software assurance are excluded.
Don’t expect your LAR to be warm to the idea, whilst Microsoft does not appear to be against it – they don’t exactly promote it either.
Last September saw changes to the terms and conditions which attempted to restrict this sort of activity, but Noel Unwin of Discount Licensing says his company is still able to divest disused licenses while staying within Microsoft’s licensing terms.
See this Outlaw Article for more details.
Have you any experiences with this sort of activity?
About Martin Thompson
Martin is also author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management.
On a voluntary basis Martin is the Chief Agitator at the Campaign for Clear Licensing, a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the SAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770 and board member of Free ICT Europe which supports the ICT secondary market.
Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.