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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The Cloud and the New order of Licensing and Software Asset Management #WPC14

July is an important time for Software Asset Management (SAM) as the Microsoft World Partner Conference (WPC) kicks off with announcements and news. Microsoft licensing is definitely a great influencer to all vendors on compliance rules.

There is expected content on SAM processes according to Microsoft to discuss on this 2014 edition of the conference and one or two expected announcements on Azure and other Microsoft Cloud.

We are arriving to a time of Cloud offerings consolidation. After observing constant changes on office 365 and additions to services offer through Azure it is time to finally elaborate transition plans for licenses to be moved to the Cloud, reconcile with SPLA (Hosted-Service Provider Licensing Agreement) and traditional Volume Licensing investments that have the reign for the last two decades.

As consuming IT is the actual trend and desire, it is expected for the licensing models to quickly offer transitions for compliance towards all Microsoft Cloud products.

The expectation is to finally observe consolidation on subscription models and more governance of SAM dedicated to Cloud offerings.

As the partner ecosystem also evolves to develop Cloud solutions of their own, licensing models like SPLA are getting more and more licensing in production environments. At the same time is not any more about going Cloud but about securing, developing and managing the Cloud. These has made SAM more relevant than ever as Application Management has to respond to the different scenarios that companies use today, a mix of applications in the Cloud with Private/Hybrid and Public Clouds.

The Licensing Guru will update after WPC on findings and relevant information to the readers.

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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

“The Guru” joins AMTRA Solutions

AMTRA SOLUTIONS appoints Josef Hans Lara as Director of SAM & CLOUDAMTRALogoFinal_FullColor (1)

“The Licensing & Cloud Guru” new addition to the AMTRA team.

Calgary, AB, March 7, 2014– Amtra Solutions appoints Josef Hans Lara as Director of SAM & Cloud. Josef, also known for his online presence as the “Licensing & Cloud Guru” through his publications, speaking engagements and social media presence will direct the Amtra SAM efforts bringing an innovative way to offer AMTRA clients the best of Software Asset Management and Cloud transformation.

Josef depth of experience started in Europe leading the marketing and sales efforts on hardware and software licensing channel and solution sales in Europe. Continued building his career in North America becoming a builder of award winning Large Account Resellers, SAM consulting services and an evangelist for Cloud Computing.

Josef vision on SAM goes beyond the standards and provides synergies between application management, IT infrastructure transitions like Cloud computing, and a full understanding of compliance for multiple software vendors. Josef’s work has given him presence and reputation in the IT industry as a leader, helping multiple industry and public sector organizations across Canada, USA and Europe to achieve compliance and embrace models to adopt new technologies, truly approaching Business Intelligence to IT SAM compliance models.

Currently is a member of the Ingram Micro Services Advisory Council North America, IAMCP Canada National Executive, SRC Technology Group BC, and serves as a volunteer economic development commissioner in Maple Ridge, BC.

About AMTRA

AMTRA Solutions is a North American leader on Application Management and IT Innovation. Our consultants are highly seasoned application packagers, developers and deployment & operations experts – each with several years of experience. They have all worked within strict and demanding environments such as Petrochemicals, Energy, Banking, Finance and the Pharmaceutical industries. We understands the importance of adherence to standards and industry regulations

AMTRA is the North American distributor of all ATEA software and services. Products include Application Manager, JumpStart, AppMarket and Service Market. ATEA is known for their high-end, high capacity client management and application packaging factory which is the largest of its kind in Europe.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact 1-855-326-0533.

What is Cloud Computing?

EA transition to Office 365… time to discuss

There are two ways to move your Enterprise Agreement (EA) to the Office 365 subscription

Obviously is an important topic these days as it is difficult to understand how you will be able to continue your EA investment and control costs during your way to the Cloud.

Every Office 365 plan as an equivalent on the CAL side to your EA, if your EA includes CALs. If you transition to an equivalent during the term then there is no increase of cost. However if you transition to an Office 365 option that includes more than your current EA you will incur into additional costs however highly discounted.

So basically there are two options for you

  • Move to Office 365 on equivalent subscription and continue annual payments until renewal
  • Increase licensing at a discounted price

True licensing experts could help you on the transition (ask me how @mslicensing or email me)

it is important to evaluate what can go Office 365 and which licenses will have to remain on the EA, specially if you create a hybrid model on your infrastructure.

All is possible…

 

Office 365 and RDS second round

Office 365 and RDS second round
In a previous post : https://josefhanslara.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/office-365-cannot-be-used-as-remote-desktop-services-terminal-services/
I commented on Office Pro Plus from Office 365 not having rights for RDS deployments
the licensing documentation still says that, however the way around it is selling the O365 Office Pro Plus on Volume Licensing
Problems: you need to have active SA and Office purchased. This is difficult if you have to decide buying the licenses if you don’t have SA. It sounds like double purchasing
Another solution: It is worth to talk to your Microsoft contact to inquire on an exception available for this kind of RDS scenario to grant you the rights.
Still waiting to see this in action, I will comment again, I am sure.

Let us be friends! The complex Office 365 partner recognition balance

Let us be friends! The complex Office 365 partner recognition balance

Imagine this situation, Microsoft has its promotions for services dollars, and of course recognizes the partner that deploys the Office 365 seats. As well, today Microsoft pays fees from office 365 subscription to the influence partner.

The document of recognition only contemplates one single partner, however two or more partners are helping the customer to accomplish the goal, either because they are in multiple regions in the world, and/or of course manpower needs to be local many times for the offices or because they just like two partners and want to share the love.

This forces partners to share the deal, and avoid the conflicting proposition on showing who did more if they want to get a piece of the fee out of the subscription license on monthly basis.

Partners have to achieve agreements, send cheques to each other and figure out how to share the love.

My suggestion to Microsoft will be to recognize differently the fees, allow for multiple partners to be allocated, avoid the customer to become a referee.

This is an example when licensing doesn’t meet services, and opening the bet of Office 365 fees to the VAR world means we all will pursue the recognition to get the necessary fees to the sustainability of our recurrent revenue stream out of licensing.

I think another model could be better…

2013: the year Cloud becomes “When” not “if”

CLOUDS OVER OKINAWA

It seems to me that this  2013 is the year Cloud becomes “When” not “if”.

Recent meetings with companies evaluating options have given me the impression that we are in the inflection point of Cloud adoption in many fronts.

  • Infrastructure co-located and moved to third-party data centers
  • Private Cloud creation with extensive application virtualization
  • Software developers going to market from the Cloud instead of traditional ways
  • Start-ups adopting Cloud from the get go
  • Small Businesses simplifying IT by using Software as a Service
  • many other innovative ways…

All is coming together on this way of computing, from the evolution of powerful servers in the data center to the change of personal devices along with the connectivity enhancements.

The conversation is no longer part of the IT industry exclusively. People is talking about backing up family pictures in the Cloud. Creating custom items on Cloud applications that they order after, or not accepting other way to use some applications than online from their tablets or laptops.

Financing IT has shifted more to operational expense, specially on times of uncertainty when “cutting costs” planing (just in case) is a security measure.

So the buzz has finally created the momentum… services to support healthy IT, considerations on which platforms to use, or which virtualization engines, along with a decision on how to deliver IT to satisfied users will reign this 2013

Looking forward to the challenge!

The potential of Azure on Enterprise Agreements

sxsw2010.microsoft.azure

sxsw2010.microsoft.azure (Photo credit: LisaSabin-Wilson)

The potential of Azure on Enterprise Agreements (EA), specially for the software developers and ISVs.

As Azure makes its way to be offered on Microsoft Enterprise Agreements, new offerings from third-party vendors are going to be available in the agreements, I envision new alliances from Microsoft to third-party software vendors beyond Microsoft portfolio. This will mean that enhanced solutions will be available.

As an example EVault is building on Azure and they can offer now their solution on Azure to complement backup solutions with Cloud, and it can be sold on an enhancement on the EA.

This will open a new set of possibilities and developers and ISV developing building on Azure will benefit from Microsoft customers licensed for Azure on their EA.

Microsoft will be able to extend their influence on the ISV, SharePoint and other developer community that is expanding and growing very quickly. I bet each company will be talking to Microsoft about the margin allocations and common sales strategies.

This is another example of how Cloud computing is changing the IT industry and the way we consume software and we license them.

More details will be developed in months to come.