"Infor does, however, periodically conduct audits of our customers current usage for several reasons, including to help Infor better address a customer's current and future business computing needs as well as to protect our intellectual property and ensure compliance with applicable licenses and agreements," she added.
While Infor is almost always able to reach "an appropriate agreed resolution" with the customer, "in very rare instances, litigation can result," she said.
An Infor spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment Monday.
Software license audits are a fact of life for all customers, said analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research. Vendors often specify their right to conduct one in license contracts, he said.
Audit rates went up during the recession, but the outcome ended up mixed for vendors, given that customers found in violation may not have been able to pay additional fees, he said.
Ultimately, companies should make sure they understand how the restrictions in their software contracts affect the product's entire lifespan, from procurement to production to retirement, Wang said.
For one, CIOs, procurement teams and business users should all be in alignment on how the software will be used before any contract is signed, he added: "Too many times you get into these contracts where people just focus on price. People forget that buying software is a business decision, not a technology decision."
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com