Constellation Sees An Alarming Increase In Inquiries
Constellation has received an alarming increase in inquiries about an unethical vendor sales practice coined as “trolling for indirect access”. Indirect access is when a vendor claims that a client is accessing their perpetually licensed software in an unintentional manner or inappropriately licensed manner.
One vendor uses a definition of, “any individual or machine that accesses the computing capabilities of the software must be a licensed user”.
Another vendor sees it as “any time a system is accessed by a non-vendor system, a license is required to access that data”
In fact, a rash of inquiries over the past two quarters has raised the alarm bells among software customers.
Unethical Sales Leaders Endorse This Practice To Make Their Numbers
While this practice is nothing new, the pickup by vendors raises serious issues as to why this practice remains in their sales play books. Constellation identifies five reasons why vendors continue this practice:
- Open up dormant accounts. After pleasant introductions, new sales reps will use this technique to further deals. Former sales reps agree this is a shake down for cash technique.
- Drive sales through fear of audits. Audits are used to start the discussion. Unsuspecting customers who no longer have context about the original contract may fear breach of contract.
- Scare customers into making additional purchases. Threats are used to set expectations. The vendorsoften waives the issue if the customer buys additional licenses as a “compromise”
- Force compliance into new licensing policies. Vendors use this as a way to drive conformity to new license models. The move from concurrent usage to named users was one example.
- Meet territory sales goals. Unscrupulous sales managers suggest this technique to meet their numbers. Sales reps are told they are defending the vendors license rights.
It All Starts With An Innocent Sales Call From A New Sales Rep