IBM Licence Management

How can we advise you?

Optimise licensing position and negotiate contracts.

Respond effectively, minimise disruption and negotiate settlement.

Cut costs, maintain compliance and increase security.

Outsource management and optimisation of ILMT.

Prevent contractual breaches when moving off IBM support.

Manage IBM licensing in IBM Cloud or a third-party platform.

Truly independent IBM licensing advisory to help you make sense of the IBM software lifecycle and comply with IBM terms.

IBM is one of the most complex software vendors to manage. With over 200 licensing metrics and continually changing requirements, it can be difficult for organisations to keep on top of their rights and obligations.

Invictus Partners can help you with all aspects of your IBM software licensing and the seemingly inevitable audit challenges. Proactive action is key to minimising your risk of significant financial penalties when the IBM auditors come knocking.

Chat to an expert

“Invictus Partners includes a number of former senior IBM team members who have extensive knowledge of the vendor’s licensing structure.”

Heidy Liu, Head of Service Delivery, NSW Land Registry Services.

IBM Software Licence Management: Keep software usage in line with IBM licence entitlements.

We provide expert licence management and advisory across all IBM product portfolios. Our IBM Licence Advisory Services are available as separate engagements or as an end-to-end service.

Phase 1

IBM Compliance

Phase 2

IBM Software Licence Optimisation

Phase 3

IBM Contract Negotiation Support

Phase 1

IBM Compliance Review

The purpose of an Invictus Partners IBM Compliance Review is to detect any licence compliance issues, design remediation strategies specific to your organisation, and uncover any potential cost savings across your IBM estate.
We do this in three steps:


  1. Contract/Entitlements Review – Review IBM Passport Advantage Agreement (IPAA), obtain and consolidate entitlements via Proof of Entitlements (POE), and analyse quantities and metrics for IBM software.
  2. Usage Review – Inspect IT architecture to gather IBM usage data across the environment and gain visibility of what IBM software is installed on which servers.
  3. Baseline Position – Compare entitlements and usage from the reporting outputs versus IBM usage rights terms and conditions

Phase 2

IBM Software Licence Optimisation

Optimising your IBM estate and remaining compliant can be challenging. The Invictus Partners IBM Licence Optimisation Service reviews your licence models and metrics to determine optimal licensing structures. We reveal where there is overspend and overconsumption, assess architectural change impacts and their effects on licence requirements, and optimise your IBM licensing footprint accordingly.

Phase 3

IBM Contract Negotiation Support

Our team draws on extensive experience with IBM negotiations to identify the best licensing and contractual terms for your organisation, conduct price benchmarking, and help you negotiate with IBM to achieve the desired outcomes. Many of our team members are ex-IBM executives who understand IBM’s processes from the inside out.

IBM Licence Audit Defence: Minimise disruption and avoid IBM software audit penalties.

IBM audits are inevitable, but financial exposure doesn’t have to be. Invictus Partners IBM Licence Audit Defence minimises the impact of a software audit on your organisation, significantly reducing the stress and hours involved in managing the process and providing the required audit data every step of the way.

IBM PVU sub-capacity licensing is the cause of exposure in most IBM audits.

Capacity-based licensing can be a cost-effective licensing model for organisations with fluctuating demands or those looking to optimise costs. However, organisations can easily fall out of compliance in this area of IBM licensing, due to changes in virtual environments or by not meeting all the eligibility requirements. Our team has seen this issue come up time and time again in audits, and we aim to pre-empt these exposures by educating clients about capacity-based licensing and ensuring you stay within your licence limits.

Our IBM Licence Audit Service breakdown

Invictus Partners can help you defend against an IBM audit in three phases, which are available as an end-to-end service or as separate engagements.

Phase 1

IBM Internal Audit

Phase 2

Active IBM Audit Defence

Phase 3

IBM Audit

Phase 1

Internal IBM Software Audit

Invictus Partners can conduct an internal audit on a proactive or reactive basis (upon receipt of an audit notification), depending on your situation. We develop IBM catalog-based scanners that detect IBM software on almost any workstation or host.

If your organisation is facing an impending audit, our team will start by advising you on the most appropriate way to respond to the IBM audit request. We then help you gain the required time from IBM to perform an internal audit prior to data being shared and brief the business on the potential outcomes.

In our experience, investing time into this baseline phase dramatically improves audit outcomes for clients and reduces the amount of support hours required during the subsequent defence and negotiation phases.

Phase 2

Active IBM Audit Defence

Invictus Partners actively manages the process of data flow between parties, protecting your staff and contractors from (inadvertently) making damaging admissions or sharing information that is recorded in IBM’s audit findings and can be used against you.

Phase 3

IBM Audit Negotiation

Unlike accepted legal practice, IBM auditors presume guilt and the onus is on you to prove your innocence. Our Audit Defence experts can help you reduce each individual product compliance claim to a minimum or zero. We have successfully defended many government and commercial organisations against multimillion-dollar claims, most of which resulted in either a greatly reduced or nil payment to IBM.

Has your organisation been notified of an IBM Software Licence Review? We can help.

The manner in which you respond to an audit notification and liaise with IBM in the ensuing weeks can have a great bearing on the outcome and the magnitude of any settlement. Invictus Partners ensures you are aware of your legal obligations, and then works with your in-house technical and legal teams on the most appropriate response strategy.

As a general rule, we advise our clients to take control of communications, avoid data-sharing at this early stage, and limit access to IBM auditors. Once the auditors have access to your systems and environment they will use their tooling and processes to arrive at a Draft Licence Position (DLP), at which point it’s too late to take any remedial action.

You need to know where you stand before sharing any information with IBM. Providing data in any form in response to an IBM audit request can significantly impact the audit outcome. For the purposes of an audit, you are only obligated to provide information relating to the specific devices where IBM software is installed.

We can manage the IBM audit process from start to finish on your organisation’s behalf, or work with your team behind the scenes on:

  • Managing communications and data sharing with IBM or their appointed auditor (usually Deloitte or KPMG)
  • Briefing and advisory to your in-house legal and executive teams
  • Briefing staff on engagement protocols.

IBM Software Asset Management: Be ready for IBM audits and in control of costs at all times.

A lot goes into managing and optimising IBM software. The good news is, there’s an easier way. Invictus Partners can review and monitor your IBM environment on an ongoing basis with our IBM Software Asset Management (SAM) Service. This includes:

  • Monitoring servers for the potential running of IBM software in line with Passport Advantage entitlements.
  • Advice on how to meet obligations set down by IBM in the Passport Advantage contractual requirements.
  • Monthly reporting on the deployment of all IBM software products against current entitlements.
  • Detection of any over- or under-deployment or misuse of IBM licences, and suggestions for remediation.
  • An agreed number of support hours per month to assist in-house SAM, legal, and/or risk management teams during the audit and compliance cycle and ongoing.

On most occasions, this service commences with a baseline audit. We assess the current tooling you have in place and how fit-for-purpose it is (including ILMT, if present), review your reporting outputs against entitlements, and check the existence and versions of any administration consoles for IBM software.

Reporting requirements for IBM Passport Advantage Agreement (IPAA) and International Program Licence Agreement (IPLA)

The terms of IBM’s IPLA and IPAA stipulate that an approved tool must be used to measure usage of entitlements against certain metric types. Currently, the approved sub-capacity metering tools include IBM Licence Metric Tool (ILMT), HCL’s BigFix Inventory, and Flexera One.

Even with all the tooling available, some IBM products will still require a manual look-up to track consumption. Invictus Partners can handle the manual extraction of this data for you and incorporate this into our SAM services as per your organisation’s requirements.

Managed Services for ILMT (IBM Licence Metric Tool)

The best way to guarantee acceptable consumption data on IBM products licensed under a sub-capacity metric is through the use of ILMT. By acceptable, we mean acceptable by an IBM auditor.

Invictus Partners can take over the management of your existing ILMT install, and provide the support, knowledge, and report collateral you need to effectively manage your licence usage and stay compliant with IBM.

ILMT-as-a-Service: ILMT/BigFix Managed Service

Invictus Partners ILMT-as-a-Service (ILMTaaS) is ideal for clients whose IBM software is licensed by the more complex IBM licensing metrics including sub-capacity metrics known as Processor Value Unit (PVU), User Value Unit (UVU), Resource Value Unit (RVU) Tiers (terabytes), or Tokens. Our ILMT-managed service frees up your ILMT/BigFix physical server and human support resources by providing:

  • A set of monthly usage and compliance reports maintained for IBM’s mandated period (currently 24 months)
  • A quarterly audit snapshot
  • Support to rectify any over-licence deployments and ensure the right actions are taken to address any potential issues
  • Advisory to ensure that any IBM Passport Advantage terms and condition changes do not impact your existing contract (IBM regularly announces updates to IPAA)
  • Support and maintenance of ILMT, including patch updates and upgrades as they become available.

Our ILMTaaS is performed by highly skilled ex-IBM software licensing and auditing personnel and is completely independent of IBM business partners or governance channels. Our reporting is secure and confidential, with all data held on our own private servers.

ILMT installation support

If your organisation doesn’t already have ILMT in place, we can quickly and efficiently set it up and run it as a service for you.

Ongoing ILMT optimisation

We configure your ILMT instance to enable ongoing comparisons between the installed and entitlement environments and make adjustments accordingly.

Using an alternative IBM licence management tool? We can help.

We tailor our IBM SAM services to your environment and preferred tools. Whether you’re using an IBM-approved tool on its own or in combination with another SAM tool such as ServiceNow to manage multiple vendors, we can help.

IBM & Flexera One

Flexera One is a SaaS-based certified alternative to ILMT. There are two versions of this tool:

Flexera One IT Asset Management (by Flexera)

Flexera’s offering does not currently support all virtualization technologies eligible for IBM sub-capacity licensing, so organisations must continue to run ILMT for any non-supported environments.

Flexera One with IBM Observability (by IBM)

IBM’s offering is completely eligible for sub-capacity reporting of IBM software and is also certified for licence reporting for Kubernetes container environments through integrations with IBM Licence Services.

ILMT integration with ServiceNow

ServiceNow ITAM is not an approved alternative to ILMT, but the tools can be integrated such that ServiceNow becomes the single source of truth and can be reported from. A well-implemented combination of both ServiceNow and ILMT provides a comprehensive insight into usage and deployment of IBM software, whilst at the same time meeting IBM compliance requirements.

Download our ServiceNow ITAM datasheet

ServiceNow asset management optimisation

IBM Third-Party Support Licence Advisory: Ensure a risk-free transition off IBM software support.

Third-Party Support is a viable option for many organisations, but extensive due diligence is required to minimise the risks and costs of such a move. Invictus Partners can provide expert IBM licensing advice before, during, and/or after a move to Third-Party Support.

Extend the life of systems reaching IBM End of Support (EoS) without breaching contracts.

IBM’s support model requires customers to upgrade End of Support (EoS) versions or pay more in extended support costs. In most cases, the licences for IBM “legacy” software are perpetual, allowing organisations to continue use without an active Support and Maintenance agreement with IBM. Invictus Partners can identify any contractual blockers or hidden contract payouts before you decide on Third-Party Support.

IBM Third-Party Maintenance Provider Selection Support

Invictus Partners can also help you choose the best-fit TPM provider based on your organisation’s needs. We have experience across the two major IBM support providers:

Rimini Street IBM Support

Rimini Street provides Third-Party Support services for a range of vendors including IBM, for which they support all platforms and editions of Db2.

Origina IBM Support

Origina is an independent specialist in Third-Party Support for IBM, catering to all versions of IBM and HCL software on open systems and mainframes.

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IBM Cloud Migration Licence Advisory: Demystify IBM licence information when moving to public cloud environments.

IBM has one of the more generous licensing types when it comes to cloud licence portability but is extremely litigious when it comes to enforced use of its authorised tools only for the measurement of virtualised environments.

Licensing considerations for IBM Public Cloud

IBM Cloud offers IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS capabilities via public, private, and hybrid cloud delivery models. IBM currently offers financial incentives for customers that adopt its cloud offerings in the form of entitled discounts. Now is the time to act if your organisation is considering a transition to IBM Cloud, as these discounts will likely not be available if IBM makes moving to the cloud mandatory for its customers.

As with any cloud adoption, proactive licence management and usage monitoring is necessary to avoid compliance violations and excess payments. Invictus Partners can help you understand your current IBM licence position and rightsize your licensing structure for IBM Cloud to ensure you benefit from cost savings.

IBM cloud compliance on third-party public clouds

IBM operates on a Bring Your Own Software Licence (BYOSL) model for Eligible Public Clouds (EPCs), which allows organisations to deploy licensed IBM software on IBM-approved public cloud platforms (AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, among others) under the terms and conditions of your licence agreements. This allows you to use the on-premise licences you already own under your IPAA and IPLA.

However, just because you can move your existing on-premise licences to your third-party public cloud environment, doesn’t mean you should. Invictus Partners can help optimise your IBM licensing ahead of a move to AWS, Azure, or GCP to avoid licence-related cloud cost blow-out.

Download our IBM Licence Services datasheet

IBM license optimization service

The Invictus Partners difference: ILMT & IBM Licensing Experts

The Invictus Partners team consists of former IBM vice presidents, IBM Software Line of Business Executives, former IBM compliance practitioners, IBM contract professionals, and business analysts.

We have over 60 years of combined IBM licensing experience and can effectively assist you through the entire IBM optimisation and audit process. Through our in-depth knowledge of IBM’s licensing and approach, we have developed a proven methodology and strategy that strengthens your position, reduces your risks, and ensures you are treated fairly throughout the licence optimisation and audit process.

IBM is known for its aggressive audit practices, and Invictus Partners specialises in debunking the majority of what are unusually spurious claims well before they are monetarily quantified. We use our extensive IBM knowledge and experience to deliver the best possible financial and business outcome for our clients by actively defending each and every negative compliance finding.

Russell Sands


Russell is a 25+ year veteran of the IT industry holding numerous account director roles spanning major software vendors including IBM, Oracle, and Computer Associates, as well as start-ups, ISVs, local system integrators, and service providers. The most recent projects, where he was ultimately responsible for the outcome of the project and ongoing relationship with the customer include:

  • ERP recommendation & feasibility study – public sector
  • Audit defence and Microsoft review – utility
  • Ongoing SAM and advisory – global manufacturer
  • Design, development, launch and support of mobile app – large country-wide NGO
  • Complex data projects – major bank
  • Integration & data project – social insurer.allows her to offer the best advice for a positive outcome on vendor audits and software audits.

Talk to our IBM & ILMT Consulting experts

Sue Hope

IBM Practice Lead

Sue is a 36+ year veteran of the IT industry holding numerous Brand Unit Executive roles across IBM. Her experience and knowledge of IBM products, processes, and channels is extensive. In her roles, she was responsible for total Lines of Business from P&L, Sales & Inside Sales, Technical, and Marketing Operations. Her knowledge of the customer base and experience helps her to advise customers on the best-possible action for a positive business outcome for their organisation. Sue has been involved in assisting many customers with the optimisation and management of their IBM software platform. Her understanding of the contractual process allows her to offer the right advice, helping clients secure an optimal outcome on vendor and software audits.

Case Study

NSW Land Registry Services outsources ILMT management and successfully defends IBM audit with Invictus Partners

Client streamlines software portfolio on AWS

Case Study

NSW Land Registry Services outsources ILMT management and successfully defends IBM audit with Invictus Partners

Client streamlines software portfolio on AWS

Got questions about Invictus Partners IBM Licensing Support & Management?