IBM / Softwarelicensing

Understanding the IBM IASP Program

The IBM IASP (IBM Authorized SAM Partner Services) Program is:

  • An alternative to traditional IBM audits.
  • Involves continuous monitoring of IBM software usage by an approved IASP partner.
  • Includes an agreement with IBM, exempting from IBM-initiated license compliance checks for a term, typically three years.
  • Requires quarterly or annual compliance reports.
  • Offers advantages like potentially discounted rates for license shortfalls and waived back maintenance.
  • Raises concerns regarding audit independence and insight into corporate strategies.

The IBM IASP Program is a crucial aspect of IBM’s software licensing and management strategy.

With the program, IBM aims to ensure that its clients are using its software in a compliant manner while also providing them with the necessary resources and support to manage their software assets effectively.

This article will provide a comprehensive guide to the IBM IASP Program, including the steps involved in enrolling in the program, the primary and secondary IASP configurations, and the licensing verification approaches employed by IBM.

What is IBM IASP?

ibm iasp
  • IBM has introduced the IBM Authorized SAM Partner Services (IASP) program for selected customers.
  • The program is designed as an alternative to an IBM audit, and customers who qualify for the program will work with an approved IASP partner to continuously monitor IBM usage.
  • IBM customers can be recommended for the program by IASP vendors, or they can request inclusion themselves.
  • Selected customers will enter into an IASP agreement with IBM, which allows them to forgo any license compliance verification activities initiated by IBM during the agreement term (usually three years).
  • The customer will hire an approved vendor to perform licensing review services using IBM’s license metric tool (ILMT) or other approved tools.
  • Compliance reports will be produced quarterly for PVU-based licenses and annually for non-PVU-based licenses, which the customer can review for inaccuracies, but must provide to IBM as scheduled.
  • If a license shortfall is identified, IBM will allow the customer to purchase licenses at a historically discounted rate and waive any back maintenance payments.
  • The program’s benefits include more confidence in IBM’s licensing, a review conducted by a third-party experienced in IBM license reviews, and avoiding unexpected license compliance reviews.
  • Concerns with the program include the possibility of IBM conducting an audit, the lack of independence of the vendors, and potential insight into the customer’s corporate strategies.
  • Customers considering the program should carefully review and revise the IASP agreement and statement of work with the vendor and seek experienced counsel to help evaluate the program’s potential benefits.

Enrolling in the IBM IASP Program

ibm iasp how to join

The first step in enrolling in the IBM IASP Program is getting enrollment approval. Once approved, the next step is executing an IASP agreement with IBM.

The IASP agreement is entity-specific, and there are several considerations you need to keep in mind when finalizing the agreement with IBM.

Licensing Verification Approaches Employed by IBM

IBM employs several licensing verification approaches to ensure that its clients are using its software in a compliant manner.

One of the most important approaches is Software Asset Management (SAM). Every client must ensure they remain compliant with their licensing terms, and a strong SAM capability is fundamental to achieving this.

IBM IASP – Pros and Cons

pros and cons of ibm iasp


  • “No formal audit letter”: It’s important to note that this does not eliminate the possibility of an audit.
  • “Sub-capacity licensing with no full capacity charges”: This type of charge is generally not common, whether through the IASP or a reputable SLM program. New deployments are usually identified and resolved within the 90-day contract window.
  • No audit fees, back S&S or punitive charges”: IBM doesn’t charge audit fees, and back S&S only applies when a product is out of compliance. If issues are identified and resolved within the 90-day window, there is no retroactive S&S.
  • “Access to industry-leading expertise on IBM licensing knowledge”: This benefit should be expected but can be obtained through any quality SLM program without the IBM bias.


  • The IASP is a regular audit.
  • The program is rigidly defined by IBM’s terms, with no flexibility for the customer.
  • The audit cost is shifted to the customer, putting more money in IBM’s pocket.
  • IASP partners are all auditors for IBM, and the customer must agree to allow them to provide information to IBM without the customer’s review or approval. This creates significant conflicts of interest.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the IBM IASP Program?

The IBM IASP Program is a software licensing and management program that aims to ensure that IBM’s clients are using its software while also providing them with the necessary resources and support to manage their software assets effectively.


  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, enhancing organizational efficiency.