Software Licensing for Businesses
Each piece of software that you purchase for your business will come with a license stipulating what you can and can’t do with it, and it is essential that you fully understand the terms of the license to ensure that you stay legal. Understanding software licensing for businesses and purchasing the correct licenses for your needs can also help your business to save money. Most off-the-shelf software packages come with a single-user only license, and thus if you want more than one person in your company to use the software you would have to purchase multiple copies, which can work out expensive.
Why is software licencing for businesses important?
Some businesses don’t understand software licenses or simply to choose to ignore them, and that can land you in some serious trouble. Computer software can be expensive and some organisations believe that they can ‘get away’ with ignoring software-licensing terms and do things such as installing software on multiple computers when the license is for a single-user only. Using software outside of the license terms is classed as piracy and could lead you open to prosecution.
What happens if I use unlicensed software or break the license terms?
Fines can be heavy, with one company in 2007 being fined a reported £250,000 for using unlicensed software. It is best to ensure that your business is using the correct software licenses and stays legal from the beginning. Further advice on software licensing is available from the Business Software Alliance.
How do you select the correct software licensing for businesses?
The main things you need to think about when purchasing software licensing for businesses are what you are going to be using the software for, how many people will use it and on how many computers it will be installed. If you are using the software in your business then first of all you need to ensure that the license allows this and that it’s not designed just for non-profit organisations.
Whatever your industry, analyzing your IT needs is essential to keep costs down and ensure all hardware and software meets your requirements in the long-term.
3 Reasons Your Business Should Be Using Licensed Software:
1. Using Software That Is Not Licensed Is Against the Law
Before using or buying software, it is important to understand the laws around it. A software licence is a legal requirement for any consumer wishing to use computer software, and failure in having one is a breach of copyright law and can land you or your business in danger of being prosecuted or fined.
Therefore, all software should be legally licensed before it is used.
Software licenses can be overwhelming and confusing to decipher, but it is important that you read them to uncover the exact terms of the license as well as its restrictions.
Most software licenses are single-user only, so if it is detected that more than one person is using the same software, your software license can be revoked, and your account could be deactivated.
Therefore, if you’re wanting to purchase Microsoft Office software, for example, is it important that you do so from a credible and reliable source, to save you from encountering these problems.
2. The Right Software Licensing for Businesses Can Save You Money
When you buy software it usually comes with a single-user license.
While it is important to note that a single-user license can sometimes be used across multiple devices that are owned and used by one individual (refer to the specific terms and conditions to be sure of this), it is not allowed, lawfully, to be redistributed or used by multiple people.
Therefore, if multiple people need to be using the software, you might consider purchasing multiple software packages, each with its own single-user license, but this can work out as expensive. So, by researching and finding software packages that are suitable for multi-users, depending on how many users you wish to grant access to the software, you can save money overall.
For instance, you can purchase Microsoft Office Professional 2013 with one license for around $299.99, or buy a multi-user license that covers two PCs for $449.00, which works out cheaper.
Large businesses or schools will be better off looking into volume licensing – a program for when organizations need multiple product licenses but not necessarily multiple copies of the software, and these are usually discounted at a reasonable price.
The same goes for students at universities and colleges, as a single-user licenses cannot be used across a whole course or year group, for example, but would require a volume licensing program.
3. Receive Around-The-Clock License Support
Microsoft Office licensed software comes with 24/7 tech support, so whatever your query regarding your software or license, you can access help quickly.
You can even have your software installed for you by a specialist, completely hassle-free, if you’re unsure about how to do it yourself.
Licensing support for Microsoft Office doesn’t stop at Windows. Even if you are an Apple user you shouldn’t rule out the importance of getting acquainted with software licensing.
For example, it isn’t uncommon that Mac users are unsatisfied with the alternative apps provided by Apple that replicate Microsoft Office programs, but sometimes Microsoft software is not designed to be compatible with Apple like it is compatible with Windows.