Notes from SAM Summit 2013—Better Late than Never!

By John Emmitt

As the blog title states, I’m going on the theory that it’s ‘better late than never’ and writing a blog on this year’s SAM Summit event, which took place in Chicago in June. It was another good event put on by IBSMA and was well attended. As in previous years, Flexera Software was a vendor sponsor of the event.

The opening session was a panel discussion with representatives from the following companies: Allstate, Amtrak, Iron Mountain and Visa. The panel discussed a wide range of Software Asset Management (SAM) related topics, including software audits, Cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Software license audits continue to be a major challenge for these organizations, with their SAM teams spending, on average, 50% of their time dealing with audits. It has been well documented that software audits have been increasing over the last few years (see this blog post and also our 2012 Key Trends in Software Licensing and Pricing Report) so it behooves organizations to be prepared. There was a good session on software audit readiness at last year’s SAM Summit, as reported in this blog.

One of the panelists commented that there are positives and negatives associated with software audits—on the positive side, it pushes the organization to be more proactive about license management and software license compliance. On the negative side, it can hurt the relationship with the vendor. Another panelist said that they promote their SAM program internally based on risk mitigation—their CIO doesn’t want to receive any more audit letters and wants to stop spending on audits (which can include unbudgeted true-up fees, penalties and IT staff time).

A panelist also commented that third party auditors don’t understand the issues around software that may be found in the customer environment that is associated with POCs (proofs of concept) and software trials. This is a good example of where organizations really need to have the SAM processes and technologies in place to keep track of all of their software installations and license entitlements to be able to show an accurate accounting of their license position.  The tools should allow them to denote whether an installation is for evaluation (trial) or POC purposes, for example. Organizations need to have an independent assessment of their license position that is defensible, based on the data.

When asked about the top trends they are seeing that affect Software Asset Management, the panel responded with:

  • Cloud Computing
  • Increased sophistication of SAM tools
  • More flexible software contracts
  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

These are all topics that could be e-books in their own right. For more information on a few of these topics please see the following:

CloudBlog: Software licensing in the Cloud– Now you have more flexibility
Increased sophistication of SAM Tools—read our white paper: What Does it Take to Achieve Software License Optimization?
BYOD—view our on-demand webinar: Meet the BYOD, ‘Computing Anywhere’ Challenge—Planning and License Management for Desktop Virtualization

More ‘Notes from SAM Summit 2013′ blogs coming soon. Stay tuned!

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