Panic Time! The OpenText™ Micro Focus Merger
In August 2022, the Canadian software firm OpenText™ announced it would acquire the multinational software and information technology Micro Focus in a deal valued at US$6 billion, expected to close in early 2023. The last time Micro Focus was a big news story in our industry was back in 2016, when it acquired Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software business segment.
Hundreds of companies and organizations use OpenText™ and Micro Focus software to power their businesses. If you’re one of them, what does this merger mean to you? In a word – panic!
More Audits Are On The Way
If your company or institution uses OpenText™/Micro Focus software, you need to take this merger seriously, and here’s why:
Both companies already have a reputation for being particularly aggressive auditors. It’s well known that they will go after odd details in your licensing agreements (ones you never noticed before) and either not let them go or use them as leverage in your next round of negotiations.
And now, OpenText™ and Micro Focus must deliver for their shareholders and investors in the form of increased market growth and prove that the merger was a smart business move. To accomplish it, they have two options:
Option 1 – Release new, better software and deploy sales to convince companies to buy it.
Option 2 – Audit existing customers and claw back as much dough as possible. (It’s well known in the industry that 40% of software publishers use audits to make up shortfalls in their sales revenue.)
Which option is the fastest and easiest? Option 2, of course.
What You Need To Do Right Now
If your company or organization uses OpenText™ or Micro Focus software such as RightFax, RedDot, ARCSight, or even Attachmate, it’s pretty much guaranteed an audit is coming your way. Don’t wait until they contact you to prepare.
You need to get right with your licensing now.
The first order of business is to conduct an internal audit. Run your reports out of your CMDB and/or your Asset MDR. Locate all your software and make sure it’s all been purchased.
Next, examine your licensing agreements with a fine-toothed comb. Make sure all your purchases align with the terms and conditions you agreed to.
What if you find discrepancies? Panic! (just kidding – sorta)
The strategic decisions you need to make in order to protect your company from potentially devastating fines and penalties are solely dependent on having the correct data. You want to find out if you’re over if you’re under, and if you’re at risk.
If your reporting indicates you would be in trouble during an audit, have a serious conversation with your Sys/Admins about your CMDB/Asset MDR to find out why your reporting is so off. There could be a myriad of reasons, and you have to ask the right questions to get to the bottom of it, such as:
- Have we been deploying software without buying it?
- Have the terms and conditions online changed, and are we following the rules?
- Was any of the software installed because of a requirement or necessary component to another system?
- Were any changes made to the computing environment? Maybe a virtual server was moved to a different (unlicensed) farm, or a backup server was bought online into the production environment.
How To Fix It Before The Auditors Arrive
You’ve heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – it certainly applies here. Start making plans to get things right immediately.
*If your reports show you’re using more software than you have licenses for, DO NOT immediately purchase more. That kind of activity in your account will almost surely trigger an audit. Instead, draw out those purchases or consider an upgrade or replacement if a system update is imminent.
If you see you have licensed software you’re no longer using – get rid of it! Uninstall it and purge it from your system right away.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Panic Time
Your ultimate goal is when the auditors arrive, your CMDB/Asset MDR reporting shows that all your software has been purchased, can be tied back to purchase orders, and your usage lines up with the terms and conditions you agreed to.
If your team’s not up to the task due to staffing issues or lack of experience, feel free to reach out to me. I’m not a consultant; I’m a coach! While I uncover your “gotchas,” I’ll train your team so they can carry on after I leave. In this way, you’ll always be prepared and can protect your company, your budget, and your reputation from aggressive auditors from the likes of OpenText™ and Micro Focus.