What? Tiger Communications plc has reportedly paid £25,000 to the Business Software Alliance (BSA) after an audit turned up unlicensed software use.

So What?  Tiger Communications plc, a software outfit specialising in areas such as call logging, call management and voice network security, faced total costs of £25,000 for the alleged use of unlicensed software. The bill included settlement fees and the cost of purchasing the software licences it needed to ensure it was legally compliant.

According to Computerworld, Tiger Communications plc actually requested the audit.

Phillipe Briére, Chair, BSA UK Committee reportedly commented: “Once again, another company has failed to keep within the legal boundaries of software licensing. A company that specialises in call management should be aware of the importance of having quality systems in place to avoid compromising its standard of service. Regardless of the excuse, Tiger Communications is in breach of copyright law and now has to face the consequences.”

And Julian Swan, BSA compliance marketing director, reportedly added: “This is a classic example of a business that has failed to manage its software properly. It is critical for businesses to regularly implement recommended software asset management practices and use the tools made available by software vendors to properly regulate their software licensing. Had this practice been followed by Tiger Communications, it is likely it would have avoided having to face these unexpected fixed costs.”

This is an excellent reminder to businesses to ensure that their own internal audits are up to date in this area or, if you don’t have any, to implement sensible software asset management practices.

Apple brand value increasing

What? Apple's brand value increased more than any other of the world's top 100 in the past year.

So what? According to Interbrand's Top 100 Best Global Brands report, Apple saw the biggest rise in brand value while HTC became the one to watch.

The Interbrand index is interesting, as it offers a different measure of brand value than simple market capitalisation, the traditional and arguably simplest valuation metric. But of course market capitalisation cannot be used for private companies, and market capitalisation is present-fixed, that is it does not take into account future likely changes. Interbrand utilises a complex methodology based on financial performance and role of brand and brand strength. It can seem overly engineered, using various proprietary algorithms. But it does claim to be more future-proof than market capitalisation. Its brand strength limb “discounts branded earnings back to a present value based on the likelihood that the brand will be able to withstand challenges and deliver the expected earnings”.

An impressive 20 technology companies featured in the top 100 index. IBM ranked the highest at second with Microsoft coming in third, Google fourth, Intel seventh, Apple eighth and HP tenth.

Whether Apple can continue to increase in brand value without Steve Jobs will be interesting to watch.