What is the Campaign for Clear Licensing (CCL)?
The CCL is a not for profit global organization providing end users with a voice for positive change to address absurdly complex licensing models, sharp sales practice and aggressive auditing tactics.
Why is this needed?
Software licensing and software asset management are extremely complex disciplines, with huge margins for error. Only the very specialist licensing experts fully understand some of the most complex licensing models such as SAP, IBM and Oracle, and even they struggle to keep up with the regular changes that software vendors make to their licenses.
End users need the opportunity to have a voice, an outlet to help them combat any miss-understandings, lack of knowledge base or even advice about their own environment without the fear and the threat that the vendors are then going to knock on their door with an audit letter.
The CCL is even more important for those IT Managers or SAM Managers that have a very small team dealing with SAM and licensing, as their ‘team’ effectively becomes the whole CCL membership community from around the world. They may be the only employee ‘doing SAM’ at their organisation, but with the CCL they now have a whole team of people who can assist, guide and pass on knowledge to them so they can improve their SAM estate.
End users need a voice; vendors, 99% of the time, will win any arguments or gain a positive financial outcome in the favour from an audit. This may be down to the fact that the organisation didn’t have the funding for a SAM team, or they didn’t have any licensing professionals. Vendors bank on their users not knowing the ins-and-outs of their licensing terms and conditions, that’s why they don’t try and simplify them. That’s where the CCL comes in, to help people understand the complexities of the software they’ve installed.
In their own words
The Campaign will be effective because of its members so it is down to you and me to bring balance to the software world and provide end user organizations with a voice.
In an interview with ZDNet, CCL CEO Mark Flynn stated that the CCL thinks,
“End-user organisations need effective representation because everybody wants to be legal, everybody wants to invest in software. But often-licensing agreements are incredibly complicated. You often need a law degree as an IT person or a buyer really to understand them.”
Flynn continues to state
“software vendors are huge organisations with financial muscle behind them. The muscle that we have is the collective membership that we represent. If we are the mouthpiece for that collective, then vendors have got listen to what the issues or grievances and changes are that their end users want”.
Organisations can now join!
The CCL have recently announced membership packages for corporate organisations:
- Your first year CCL corporate membership subscription (Limited to one named user; Normal Cost: £2,495) is Free of Charge
- Become a leader in the campaign for clear and manageable licensing programs
- You will be free to use the “CCL VIP Member” logo in your email footer, website or blog
- Ability to influence and shape the CCL agenda from the outset of this incredible journey
- Introduce 5 friends and peers to CCL from other organisations and get year 2 corporate membership (5 named users per organisation, Normal Price: £2,495) free of charge for your organization
What the CCL wants in return
- Take an active role in prioritising the software vendors to focus on and key topics to address
- Take part in monthly on-line surveys
- Manage and take active part in forum(s) and Special Interest Groups
- Make regular contributions (respond to questions posted and kick-off new questions etc.) to the forum(s) you are running or subscribed to
- On a weekly basis log into the CCL site to review forum activity making quick and simple comments e.g. thanking people for their contribution, acknowledging new questions and reaching out to other VIP members or escalate to CCL staff for help with any questions
Becoming a member of the CCL will provide organisations with the opportunity to have their voice heard, and make a real difference to the software-licensing world. Users have the chance to talk to their peers, anonymously, about the issues they are facing with software licensing or software asset management.
Making a difference
The CCL are not going down the same route as FAST or the BSA, they are simply trying to support the community and end users with their software licensing and software asset management. They are a unique, fresh, new body that aims to be the first organisation that is purely focused on the experiences of the end user.
There is an understanding that vendors are not going to change their licensing models any time soon, as for them it is all about making revenue and ensuring that they combat piracy, which is fair enough. What isn’t fair is making licensing models so complicated that IT or SAM managers actually fear using the software, just in case they breach a term or condition from page 75 of the EULA. Licensing will always be complicated, but vendors should at least provide some sort of free support to users so they fully explain and understand their licensing metrics, without the fear of that lack of knowledge being fed to auditors.
The CCL are there to be the voice for the community. They aim to be a collective of users from around the world who can assist each other with any licensing or SAM issues that they may be having, without the fear or threat of software vendors getting involved. The CCL see themselves as a safe haven for information to be communicated between peers, without judgement and with the end result being community driven advice and opinion.