The Business Software Alliance (BSA) recently announced that Dell has joined the software-industry organization as a new member in its global anti-piracy and advocacy initiatives. It remains unclear at this stage whether the new relationship will have an impact on future BSA software audits. Many BSA members tend not to play very prominent roles in the organization’s license-enforcement efforts and instead work with the BSA mostly on efforts to promote the industry.

However, it would not surprise me to see Dell brands included among lists of companies whose products must be included within the scope of BSA-initiated software audits. With recent acquisitions, those Dell brands include SonicWALL, Quest Software and KACE, among others, which together make Dell one of the largest software publishers in the world. Those products also are commonly deployed by businesses of all sizes across many different industries, making them likely subjects of confidential tips that the BSA actively solicits from unnamed informants.

Software products published by Dell subsidiaries can be expensive, and they are marketed based on different licensing metrics. Therefore, the potential for increased audit exposure arising from Dell products is unclear. This would be an ideal time for companies with Dell product deployments to take a close look at those installations and to confirm that they all are being used within the scope of valid entitlements.

More information about Dell software products is available here.