This is a short (and not entirely serious) post to have a quick whinge about the way IBM Lotus Domino licenses are renewed.
So, here I am a SysAdmin for my company wanting to login to IBM Passport Advantage to renew my licensing. As a SysAdmin, I'm happy to be shown C++ code, HTML, you name it - it's all good to me. It's only when non-computing financial terms are mentioned that my eyes start to glaze over.
One of the things that happens every year with our renewals is a process of reconciliation. First of all, I try to work out how many licenses of IBM's software I'm using and how many they think I'm using. This often means that I will want to add a license or two because although I try to anticipate growth (and buy additional licenses in readiness) the truth is that the business changes its mind so quickly that sometimes you install more than you've paid for.
Luckily, the extra software usually doesn't get installed until after I've already used up all my "safety planning" licenses. So, come September (renewal time for us) I usually haven't been flaunting copyright laws for very long.
So why does this matter?
Well, the whole renewal process takes a bit longer and a few more brain cells, than I'd like. I'd rather delay an implementation and keep my renewal dates the same than end up with two Domino products with different renewal dates. It just doesn't work for me.
I'll admit upfront that I've never been much of a fan of passport advantage - it's just too fiddly for my liking but I figure that even if I can't just go in there, add a few licences and hopefully add some licenses of new products, like Quickr, I should at least be able to tell what IBM thinks I've got - without needing vendor assistance.
Sure, when I get to the clients, it's great, I can see exactly how many Lotus Notes clients I have. Servers though... that's tricky. It's hard enough trying to remember the difference between Enterprise and Utility servers (and which one is used where in our organisation) without trying to figure out the whole processor value unit business.
There's a nice little button on the passport advantage screen that says "hide PVU Configuration". I liked the look of this and thought "wow, if I click this it might show me how many instances of the software I have - or at least it will hide those words which are making my eyes glaze over. Must click button.... arrgh..."
Anyway, I'm not sure what clicking that particular button did but it didn't make those numbers go away and it didn't make passport advantage simple enough to figure out on my own.
After a minute all that boring non-IT stuff started swirling and I felt myself losing consciousness. Luckily, I managed to click the [X] on the browser tab just as I slipped from my chair.
I guess there's still a place for the IBM business partners after all.