Firstly, let’s differentiate between software licence management and software asset management to frame the story:
- Software licence management is where licences are procured, applications are deployed, maintenance on licences are paid (or not) and eventually the licensing is replaced, retired or disposed
- Software asset management is where the process, people and technology is in place at a mature level to substantiate a number of the tasks with licence management coupled with additional processes that span across ITIL processes and possibly now even into security / cyber and HR management.
Back to the story… In 2008, a Dutch law enforcement employee accidentally ordered 13,656 licences for a special home working edition of Microsoft Office. Whilst this order is now known to be in error this resulted in a payment to Microsoft for these licences just short of €3m.