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IBM radically changed the Passport advantage agreement; do you know how it impacts you?



What happened and how does this impact you?

On February 1st 2023, IBM made a major update to the Passport Advantage license agreement that will impact all customers, with some customers impacted as soon as May 2023. Niall Eddery explains all below.

What are the changes?

The changes with the biggest impact are:


  • In addition to having to generate quarterly sub capacity reports, there is now a requirement for customers to generate annual reports on all IBM software deployed, retain them indefinitely and provide them to IBM on request.

  • You will then be required to buy licenses for any shortfalls shown in those reports, even if they were short term accidental deployments that were quickly rectified.

  • While it is not yet clear how IBM will deal with customers that have not met these requirements, we expect they will be pushed into the IASP program where IBM customers effectively pay to get audited on a quarterly basis.
  • IBM has added language that allows them to charge customers 2 years’ back maintenance on compliance issues, even if found outside an audit. This means customers need to be vigilant with all data to be shared with IBM, even as part of support and renewal conversations.

  • If you want to reduce the number of licenses with maintenance/ S&S, you will need to prove how much software is deployed 30 days prior. If you don’t do this, you will be obligated to maintain at existing levels, and therefor unable to reduce costs.

  • For customers with environments that are ineligible for sub capacity, IBM has provided detail on how these should be dealt with.


How can Livingstone help?

If you are unsure of how these changes impact your organisation, or don’t have the resources and skills internally to manage these changes we can help:


  • Do you need help understanding the changes? Get in touch, we’ll get on a call and explain them to you.

  • Do you need help understanding your risk? We can do a one-off baseline Effective License Position to show you what risks an audit will find.

  • Do you need help with the tooling? Not sure how to configure ILMT? We have a dedicated team that can do health checks, installation, upgrade or just configuration.

  • Do you need help doing the reporting? We can help with a managed service designed for your organisation to get you compliant.

  • Have you received an audit letter from IBM? Our audit support service will help you manage the audit and get the best outcome.

  • Are you already in the IASP Program? We can help manage the program and validate the reports. We recently helped one customer where the IASP reports wrong to the tune of over 40% of the value of their annual IBM spend.  


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Topics: Effective License Position, Passport Advantage Agreement, IBM