The Benefits of Voluntary SAM & Licensing Reporting

First of all, it has been an interesting journey during my SAM career to get to write this post…because I have spent so much time helping companies and organizations “clean up the house” and get compliant, manage their applications and protecting them in the way of being always ready for software audits. But like the best things in life the journey does not have an end and is the ride that makes it great.

In the SAM World the ultimate efficiency is to manage applications from the deployment of images to usage control with compliance in between. It is precisely on this SAM ultimate efficiency that allow us to be more proactive in order to not only be ready for software audits but also to advance the reporting to a vendor before reaches to audit… I know, I know, sounds sacrilegious.

Let us put together this scenario: one organization uses a SAM governance management for all applications, policies and procedures are well-defined, smooth and there is compliance control. To “cleaning up the house” is easy and give it a year to achieve the optimal position. It is now a matter of maintaining, adapting and advising. It is then that risks are fully controlled towards software audits. And the services are rendered by a certified and recognized independent SAM consulting firm, not by a reseller. Imagine then that the organization reports voluntarily their compliance that includes deployment information.

Benefits:

  • Vendor does not have to list the organization on the black list
  • The organization tracks reports delivered to provide “good faith” to auditors and avoid their time-consuming engagements
  • The organization is motivated and keeps SAM governance live, active and constant maintaining compliance to optimal levels
  • Vendors provide funding for voluntary reporting, services by the SAM consultant may be partially covered if not paid in full.
  • SAM consultants can focus on the upcoming projects, working with IT architects and other to prepare for changes and ensure healthy delivery and compliance as per the established road map.

What we need is an alignment between the vendors, the SAM consultants and the customers. It has to be driven by the Vendors primarily, creating clear programs of audit protection by voluntarily reporting, enabling independent SAM consultants to provide a level of trust and optimal reporting acceptance. And this is out of the scope of the True Ups and Renewal typical reporting,,, Cloud subscriptions actually fit well on this model as usage can be controlled by the access to the applications from the vendor, but more than ever, the reality of Hybrid Cloud could benefit this approach tremendously, increasing the trust between all parties involved.

Just a thought…

Get ready for a Licensing Audit and get the vendor to fund it

Certified companies for SAM services like AMTRA are able to prepare companies and help them to pro-actively report their licensing status to vendors.

In the case of Microsoft, the SAM team partners with clients to get compliance ready in a friendly engagement that distance itself from the traditional audit approach that takes so many IT leaders by surprise.

Some vendors divide the exercise of hunting for compliance issues in two categories:

  • Soft Audit: just requesting general information on existing installations
  • Audit: full analysis and reconciliation of the client using the empowerment of the agreed terms and conditions (that normally no one takes in consideration until the vendor shows up)

However Microsoft has changed the pace of these engagements by allowing clients to proactively report, and experience shows that the “friendly” gathering and reconciliation of the data helps organizations to fix issues and arrive to better agreements when they willingly and proactively approach the vendor, it is called “Baseline”.

For this reason the Baseline SAM services for Microsoft could also be done using a pool of funds to help clients to fulfill these task, plus they also help clients to Assess and deploy SAM Services. Only a few companies are able to provide these services, and as mentioned AMTRA Solutions is one of them, servicing clients globally.

What is left after the exercise is a full understanding of the licensing compliance status. Now these by itself is useful for the vendor however the organizations can have these done as a starting point for a more Dynamic SAM process and assessments to truly avoid any noncompliance issue in the future.

It is key to understand and strategize SAM Baseline services as a way to get the Vendor involved and a SAM partner to help reducing typical compliance and costs risks.

For more information on SAM Baseline let’s discuss: @mslicensing @amtrasolutions

“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.

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!

Types of Software Licensing professionals

Types of Software Licensing professionals

In a non regulated profession, there are a mix of individuals that claim to be professionals and they differ from each other.

Actually, diversity is fun, however in order to discern the real value on services is important to understand the right individual for the right job.

For Software licensing there are  those individuals that have a different view of what the definition of software licensing professional is, I will try to show some examples:

  • The Vendor type: working for a single software producer is very knowledgeable on contracts and compliance for a single type of strategy. Great to deal with if you happen to work with this particular vendor. Maybe not the best option for a broader look at strategy on multiple vendors.
  • The Reseller contract specialist: some are good at purchasing and have some knowledge of contracts self proclaim themselves as licensing experts. They can be talented but maybe not the best option for compliance and may deceive you on what you don’t know.
  • The licensing expert: the one that not only has a good understanding of purchasing, contracts and strategies but is also able to pick up an IT project and architect licensing.

There may be others but so far I find that this could correspond to the majority of people I know working with licensing.

As licensing evolve the less control on traditional assets companies have, new subscriptions come into place the ability for licensing professionals to make an earning depend more and more on consulting, more than the selling of the license itself. For this reason you may find a lot of people working on inside sales roles that claim the knowledge but may not be as qualified than those individuals that have taken the step to do consulting and other activities related for the progression of their careers.

On Software Asset Management great products are also coming that will make some of the licensing professional automatic, like Flexera software or 1E products. The one thing only a human brain can do right now is to strategize and look carefully at the T&Cs that relate to business goals beyond IT.

Ask yourself if you need:

  • a consultant to give you the right strategy
  • a consultant to provide you with the architecture of licenses around IT projects
  • a reseller to tell you just cost options
  • a consultant to take you to the Cloud
  • or a person that handles well renewals and contracts.

Make sure your interests are beyond other parties if you hire one to negotiate for you. In the reseller world the heavy burdens of revenue goals between partners is a real bias.

Good luck,

Let me know if you need more information. 

 

 

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