The New Order of Software Asset Management (SAM) in the Cloud era.

The New Order

Microsoft is definitely the great influencer of Software licensing; when Microsoft develops and promotes new rules may other vendors follow. During this last World Partner Conference, that just happened in Washington DC, I observed the influence of Cloud now directly affecting the Software Asset management (SAM) approach.

Cloud and SAM

Not long ago I was questioned by other SAM peers on my approach towards Cloud and SAM, the interaction of the old licensing models affected by the new subscription models seemed for some the end of the need of the licensing advisors, however I always thought it was only an adaptation of the SAM knowledge towards new exciting models to compliantly license software.

Microsoft is going all or nothing to the Microsoft Cloud offerings, I am glad that my guess has been right for so long with respect of being aware on how to measure, what to investigate, and how to determine the right Cloud licensing solution, because now SAM has to fulfill the qualification to move the right IT budgets towards Cloud in order to fulfill the great demand and transformation that Cloud is making in organizations everywhere. SAM has now a special role in regards to Cloud, it has to monitor the usage, contemplate the rules and repurpose licenses for an optimal transition.

SAM and Services

Some SAM professionals identify their task as auditors as the more relevant with respect to the services thy offer. However I disagree, in fact SAM has to be hand in hand with technical, and business assessments to actually not only portray a licensing position but to guide any organization to transformation. The new era of SAM services has to require a true alignment between business goals, technical requirements and licensing.

 

SAM 2.0

SAM is now critical in order to govern software and identify the possibilities of Cloud computing, outsourcing databases, access to BI integrated products, assessing security tools and allowing a new perspective of IT expenditure that walk with business objectives. The New Order of SAM services will create once again a differentiation between those that will be stuck in the old reseller ways, just contemplating the exercise of an audit without any other variable added, and those that understand the new realities and needs of IT on today’s market.

 

IT is truly a great moment for SAM services that can play a significant role on the era of Cloud.

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You will be Audited

Sounds like a title for a doomsday licensing movie… however besides the dramatic title it is very certain that if you are an organization using software, specially from the usual suspects: Microsoft. Adobe, Oracle, IBM… you will be audited!!!

Is written on the terms and conditions you may have not read when deploying the software, or on the contract the reseller provided you to sign. And as a practice to ensure compliance the software vendors periodically will request from you licensing information to make sure everything is alright.

Now… to fall in non-compliance situations is very easy:

  • Many software vendors don’t restrict the use of software to avoid misuse.
  • Many organizations don’t track licensing use and compliance with Software Asset Management Tools
  • Licensing rights, terms and conditions are subject to change, and they change often!.

For this reason through AMTRA Solutions and its partners, plus this blog I will start a campaign of awareness and practical examples plus Q&A to help you be prepared and ready with the information gathered from my experience. I consider that a “fair trial” has to be performed when all parties had fully knowledge of consequences and clear understanding of complexities. Stay tuned for more content and invitations to listen and see coming up.

Cheers

The Licensing Guru: Josef Hans Lara

Apple vs Microsoft, tablets for the Enterprise

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

With the introduction of Surface a very interesting war has started for the conquer of the Enterprise World on the tablet space. After a horrible result for PlayBooks ( I bought one believe me it was painful) the organizations looking for the best way to deliver applications and integration of their productivity software to their people is going to be a battleground that will put the industry in motion. Is not as simple as the hardware but what it can contain.

In one hand we can have Apple Ipad running Salesforce, SAP clients and interacting with any mail system, including the apps competitors offer

Microsfoft surface will play the Microsoft stack protective strategy, good integration but all Microsoft

Google flies alone, yes there are apps as with Apple but their google platform is looking at a Microsoft type of strategy.

Apple seems to have the momentum and if they play their cards as it seems to allow people with innovation integrate systems and sale on their own the ecosystem of developers will continue to increase. Apple will keep being the number one tablet provider and may conquer the Enterprise world for a few years ahead.

we will see…

The end of the VAR and LAR

A few years ago IT started with the delivery of cloud applications of all type from major vendors to offer their own cloud solutions. Nothing strange there but a new conversation of how sales work started in IT transforming it and continuing to transform it.

Let me give you an example

When Microsoft released BPOS it was for the first time something offered for critical applications for end user level, directly licensed from a portal not necessary going through the traditional channel: vendor, distribution, reseller VAR or LAR. I remember the hard conversations that started then with the vendors. And what Microsoft does is followed by others, surely enough today the sales channel has been affected and in order not to lose the selling power of partners vendors are corresponding back with fees if they influence a sale, but the transaction happens directly with the vendor.

Apple has been selling hardware and software directly, Google has been selling its solutions directly, Microsoft sales the Office 365 and new Surface tablet directly, VMware launches new sales programs for its tokens that again is controlled and managed directly by clients, Amazon sales services directly.
I will not be surprised if suddenly HP, IBM start selling directly.

Distributors have compiled smaller cloud players on their portfolio to continue serving the resellers options to be able to strategize offering solutions. Resellers are thinking what to do and what to become.

In my opinion is the end of the VAR and LAR as we know them.

Resellers have to become solutions advisors, maximize IT services of all kinds around technologies that they used to sell or become strategic IT thought leaders to help clients as consultants

Of course others are entering the game with no transformation needed full refurbishment need so they have an advantage. More smaller startups are modeling their business by collecting the influence fees pushing the vendors direct offerings.
Many startups designing their own products skip the channel altogether

Obviously the traditional channel will not disappear right away but it’s revenue streams are rapidly changing and without adaptation there will be no survivor option.

Jobs will have to transform or be eliminated, from the traditional sales person to the manage service professional. Even the CIO responsibilities will change as IT will be delivered differently.

Now is time for the bet, where do you want to be as IT professional to ensure continuity to your skills.

Good luck

Windows 8 Release, High Expectations, Not Vista.

Windows 8 on the big screen!

Windows 8 Release, High expectations, not Vista

Twitter users can be deceiving, is a global conversation anyways so you get every kind of opinion and that is the beauty of it.

Now, if we are rational about Windows 8 release what kind of things we can expect from Microsoft windows 8 release?

  • That is not Vista: so there will be no push for getting out of Windows 7 as soon as possible, like Vista tried with XP
  • That is multi device, built for the new OS demand, tablet/phone/pc
  • That is made to gain the hearts and minds of consumers more than IT professionals: because the home use is dictating and will dictate IT needs in organizations with the millennial generation

So with this things in mind better or worse than Android or iOS one things is certain, windows 8 brings the modernization of Microsoft to copy best practices from competitors such as Apple and the ipad device, as Microsoft is releasing their first tablet the “Surface”.

Where the power relies is on the integration of applications that are made for windows by Microsoft itself. It is the great integration of applications that will make windows8 successful towards others, and it will gain momentum in the corporate world first.

Yes the tile format offers a different approach to the user and may be likeable or not, I have no doubt it will be criticize however I think that is for Microsoft a step in the right direction

I would like to notice that the license is available in the usual channels and also in the Intune subscription, this interesting move makes me wonder how “device free” this is becoming, is a shift on licensing mentality that I welcome as will bring more possibilities to the market