IBSMA – SAMSUMMIT 2013 – Chicago: A healthy cross-section of main-stream American and international organisations took part in the IBSMA Software Asset ManagementSUMMIT this year.
Presentations ranged on tackling Oracle audits (Craig Guarante of Palisade Compliance), Cloud Computing and Risk Mitigation through Vendor Management and Contract Negotiation (Thomas Trappler of UCLA) and Achieving Greater Returns with your Software Asset Management Programme (Jill Powell of Flexera Software).
Each day was kicked off with a working breakfast/roundtable discussion on varying topics within Software Asset Management, and it was interesting to hear the viewpoints of those involved in Software Asset Management through their respective organisations. A clarion call came from the end-user community: we want simpler licensing models! An equally interesting message came from Brian Papay of Oracle LMS in North America was that Oracle were willing to work with its clients – sure, they had IP to protect, but that they always preferred to adopt a co-operative rather than confrontational approach; this was a welcome message (if not a bit surprising).
David Welch of NetApp must have come to the event reading the minds of the end users; although NetApp are focussed on Storage and Storage solutions, proprietary software plays a large part in their solution offerings, and so NetApp has a software compliance angle within its customer portfolio to address. The one advantage that NetApp has over perhaps, the likes of Oracle, is that their software is very closely aligned to their hardware, and so David was telling me that they currently have one of their software licences down to four pages of text – simplification of licence terms and conditions is an order winner in NetApp’s eyes.
But perhaps the one aspect that surprised me the most throughout the two and a half day conference was the notion that licence compliance appears to still weigh in most heavily as a reason to engage with a Software Asset Management program. A few folks talked about “license optimisation” (i.e. the implementation of rights and privileges that could save organisations money beyond a basic mantra of “one install requires one license”) but generally speaking, keeping the right side of the licence agreement was still the driving force behind many engagements for Software Asset Management.
To those of this viewpoint: Congrats; it is the first step in any Software Asset Management Program, and if it gets your organisation to either pay up for the software they have installed or even remove the software they are not using then you will be serving your company well. However; for longer traction with your Software Asset Management program consider the benefits of Software Asset Management to IT and the business at large. Licence Compliance is the low hanging fruit of a Software Asset Management program, and once plucked, can’t be plucked again – so make sure your CIO and board members are not looking to you for seven-figure savings each and every year from your IT estate. Consider how your Software Asset Management program can help your service desk, your change management and installation set-up, or even underpin your information security and BCM/DR plans. Software Asset Management needs to work for the business if it is to survive in the long-term.
For those who wish to kick-start their SAM program in the right way, then please head over to our “SAM and the Bigger Picture” page. The final chapter will rock your SAM world!