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Did you know? If you don’t have the right licensing in place you could be fined!

There have been several incidents of small businesses being investigated and fined by software licensing authorities over recent years. Many will have seen references on the internet to firms such as property advisors Matthews & Goodman that were forced to pay a settlement of £17,500 for under-licensing various Microsoft software on 75 of their office PCs and 3 of their servers. In other reports, a design agency called Inca and an asset management firm, Fortune Asset Management, were also caught and had to pay £15,000 and £18,500, respectively. Contrary to popular belief, these authorities also target smaller businesses - and they do have teeth! They can (and do) issue fines that are legally enforceable in the UK.

Normally with software such as Microsoft office, you would purchase a product key and that key should be used for that specific computer. However, many businesses try and cut the cost by using the same key for more computers than they are licensed for. Similar issues can arise when it comes to other programs such as Adobe Photoshop. You may have software installed on several computers, but often people don’t realise they may have a license install it on a single PC.

Another big issue is antivirus software. Among several others, many businesses choose to use AVG’s free antivirus software. However, a large proportion of free software like this example is not free if it’s used in a commercial environment. That is to say, it’s ok to use it at home but it’s not ok to use it on a PC belonging to a business. It common for people within businesses to be unaware of just how many licenses they have for a product, and this could land them in very hot water.

Often when small businesses encounter issues with their computers, staff members don’t know how to go about fixing them. Even if businesses have dedicated IT staff, the solution to certain issues (particularly product licensing) may not be so obvious.

We have an array of tools to complement our extensive experience of supporting business networks. We’re able to quickly identify the cause of many issues that you may have across your complete Windows PC-based network. We offer solutions and can either fix them for you or advise your IT team as to the most important issues to resolve - making your IT systems more efficient.

As part of our services, we can provide a detailed list of the majority of commercial software along with a licence count and often the licence code that was used to activate each installation. This can be used to verify your records and correct any licensing shortfalls.

To find out more or to book a network or software audit, contact us TODAY on 0115 824 0825 or contact us via our website.

 

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Article by: Eddie Palmer
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