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Make IT a priority during a merger, or pay the consequences

FAST IiS & ManageSoft offer software licensing advice to Merging Businesses

Predictions are that 2009 will see a spate of mergers, acquisitions and consolidations, not only for merits of scale, but also to improve profitability and efficiency during difficult economic times. Most recently it was announced that the UK’s second biggest building society, Brittania is to merge with Co-op Financial Services and many more within the banking sector are likely to follow suit. However, how many will stop to think of the software licensing implications of such a merger and the resulting exposure to financial and compliance risks?

Patrick Gunn, VP EMEA ManageSoft said, “Neglecting due diligence in this area could be costly, which is why an analysis of software licensing should be a major part of the M&A process. Businesses need to be aware of license compliance risks and understand the value of software as an asset, which usually outstrips the value of hardware. Software publishers target companies undergoing mergers and acquisitions for audits because they know that these companies are at high risk of being out of compliance. Shared ownership of software licenses is rarely included in the original licenses, giving software publishers an opportunity for increased revenue.”

John Lovelock, Chief Executive at the Federation Against Software Theft and Investors in Software (FAST IiS) said, “With the enormous financial uncertainty across the UK and the rest of the world, this year we are expecting a growing trend of businesses becoming acquisition targets. It is important when a company buys or merges with another it needs to know what it is taking on and conducts a robust due-diligence beforehand”.

“This must include scrutinising the licensing position and understanding the license implications for the merged entity. In an ideal world, there would be time to gather any detail missing, but corporate transactions usually take place under enormous pressure. We urge all companies contemplating a merger or acquisition to consider the importance of software licensing,” added John.


Having a mature Software Asset Management (SAM) process in place can save money, ease integration and ensure licence compliance during what is usually a very complex time.

Editors note: If you would like an article offering a guide to avoiding licensing exposures and evaluating and assessing the risks during a merger, than please contact Nicola Males at 01932 847322 or nicola@vanillapr.co.uk.

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About FAST IiS
In September 2008 the Federation Against Software Theft and Investors in Software joined forces to advocate distilled, simplified and unified messaging on software asset management (SAM) and software licence management (SLM) best practice to the end user community. The strength of the two reputable brands encapsulates a holistic approach to driving the professional use of software across the industry and the globe.

The Federation Against Software Theft was formed in 1984; it was the first organisation globally to champion the professional management of legitimate software and protect publishers rights. It aims to reduce, restrict and or lessen the incidence of unauthorised dealings in computer software.

The Federation by way of the FAST IiS brand is a not-for-profit organisation that is limited by guarantee and wholly owned by its members. It works on many fronts to promote the legitimate use of software and protect its members’ rights through education, enforcement, lobbying and promoting standards and best practice in business. www.fastiis.org

About ManageSoft

ManageSoft is the leading supplier of Enterprise Software Management solutions for asset recognition, license entitlement, and contract management. We enable a quick asset, contract, and entitlement baseline to be established, immediate notification of compliance drift from policies and terms, and recommendations for resolution. Our products are based on open industry SAM, ISO and ITIL standards and ManageSoft contributes to defining future standards with membership in FAST, IBSMA, IAITAM, BSA, and Microsoft SAM. ManageSoft has developed key business partner relationships with Microsoft (Gold Certified), Siemens services, and VMware. Our European headquarters is based in Maidenhead, UK. Websites include: ManageSoft.com, Desktop2Datacenter.com, and ManageSoft.co.uk.

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For more information, contact:

Nicola Males
Vanilla Public Relations
T: +44 1932 847322
E: nicola@vanillapr.co.uk




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