From the desk of: Sam C. Chan

Software Licensing Standard Procedures

May 19, 2005

This was taken from our Intranet forum (BCW). Originally an internally circulated document that was shared with selected reseller/consultant clients. It has since been re-classified as client-wide communiqué.

It has come into my knowledge that there are wide-spread cases of resellers charging for software licenses and subsequently failing to actually provide them.

Backgrounder: For business users, it's preferable to obtain software via licensing, as opposed to purchasing multi-copies of retail packages. The benefits are manifold: significant discounts, less physical inventory, better proof of compliance (direct with vendor), simpler deployment and administration. The clients receive paper or electronic certificates, in place of physical product packages.

At Bravo, we have for years prescribed a strict policy of demanding the seller to furnish vendor inquiry information at the time of invoicing, so that we may (on the clients' behalf) verify that the licenses are valid, active and properly registered to the correct owner. In cases where we're the seller, we furnish the information per our policy, and inform the clients of their duty to verify. This eliminates the negligence and out-right fraud.

For small non-skilled resellers that don't have hefty consulting revenue attached to the sale of products, the temptation to keep the entire software fund is tremendous. When the public is educated on our prescribed policy, checks and balances are restored and the temptation reduced.

As consultant, you're charged with the duty of overseeing the transactions. Part of it is the establishment and enforcement of checks and balances. Strict adherence to our policy will alert you to any administrative errors on your part and avoid embarrassment and appearance of suspicion later on. This policy is considered mandatory and non-compliance reflects very poorly on your professionalism and ethics.

As client, it is in your best interest to ensure that you're getting what you paid for. Failure to do so could expose you to major legal threats. The mistakes and/or fraud of your seller do not shield you from liability to the theft of services and intellectual properties. Moreover, one may infer that a reseller engaging in a dishonest (and illegal) transaction is likely not acting in the best interest of the client in areas of technical decisions and execution.

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