First point is that PVU (Processor Value Unit” is THE metric and remains so at all times, even when Sub-Capacity “Sub-Cap” licensing is used. What differs is that the licensable capacity of the software usually reduces when “Sub-Cap” is used. The issues that trip up many a customer of IBM is that the requirements for “Sub-Cap” are not met and consequently they are billed by IBM at Full Capacity.
To be able to use Sub Cap Licensing the following criteria MUST be met, it is not just a matter of using virtualisation technology and then benefiting from "Sub-Cap" licensing. The criteria are:
Agree to IBM’s sub-capacity licensing terms
Use eligible virtualisation technology
Use eligible processor technologies.
Use eligible software products.
Use the IBM License Metric Tool or “ILMT” – This, much maligned and at times troublesome tool is a mandatory requirement for sub-cap and the lack of it is the reason many organisations get stung for large sums during an audit. This needs to be deployed, with agents on all devices, and regular reports generated & retained for IBM to inspect if they wish.
That said, your customer may be able to build a commercial case for IBM granting sub-cap even where full-cap is the contractual letter of the law. In these cases the choice of partner is important.
Lastly on PVU’s & “Sub-Cap” do make sure that the count of processors available to your customers servers is as you expect. It is very easy for a customer to assume one thing and then find that servers have not been capped, as a result the licensable capacity is significantly higher than expected. If you can do this check before the audit starts - great !
Small Transactions Post Audit Letter
These are generally not held up and proceed normally. Where we have seen them held up is where the organisation is in dispute with IBM, or the small purchases are to plug gaps in the entitlement that the auditor has intelligence are non-compliant.
There is also a commercial consideration for your customer too. It may be of commercial benefit to hold new purchases and settle up at the end of the audit, if they have some compliance spend it may well be worth leveraging that for a discount on anything they may have needed to buy anyway. Additionally, talk to the IBM SME’s about their future demand if there is any compliance spend, bringing forward purchases and increasing the transaction size will usually enhance discounts.
Lastly, if you are seeking advice from anywhere do make sure that you are getting independent advice. Some companies, particularly in the IBM space also work FOR IBM and as a result are not as end customer focussed as others. We recently had an instance where a customer was looking for a SAM company to help his organisation with their licensing and had decided to call them after he returned from holiday. On his return from holiday the SAM company he had chosen had already been in touch asking to kick off an audit for a publisher….