Licensing the Cloud with Microsoft.

To subscribe to the Cloud directly is easy, is a simple transaction based on consumption, however the co-existence of old traditional Volume licensing, or Service Provider licensing programs with the new Cloud subscriptions is not that easy. In fact to make sure that new benefits for the Cloud enablement like the Software Assurance Mobility Rights are properly used requires attention to the licenses allocated to the servers on Windows Azure, for example. Understanding the real rights and possibilities is another variable to contemplate when measuring compliance.

Hosted providers do not offer much guidance with respect of what their clients can allocate on licensing into the Cloud environments, and is often a conflict of responsibilities when the vendor audits the hosted provider or the end-user client.

In the Microsoft Product Use Rights for example we can observe the limitations of the licenses covered by SA with respect to their Cloud options with the Mobility Rights: (see table below)

Understanding the right coverage of the license is important in order to maintain not only compliance but also to predict Cloud budgets.

Clients with an Azure consumption negotiated on their Enterprise Agreement can use any of the services and increase without difficulty, and as they evolve using the Cloud services will be important to understand the ROI of the existing licenses versus the newly consume and fully subscribed licenses. In a way Cloud has enable transitions of existing licensing investments however at the same time is creating a conflict:

Is the Cloud subscription directly on Microsoft Azure a better option than the SA Mobility Rights?

As prices vary, the Cloud footprint extends and upgrade cycles arrive, the SA renewal will be confronted by the commitment to Azure subscriptions in a way that customers will choose one or the other.

For Microsoft clients using other third-party hosted providers the question is:

Have I allocated the compliant rights of use on the Cloud? and if I consume SPLA, is my hosted provider compliant? Am I compliant? Or am I at risk due to hosted provider error?

I can confidently say that Software Asset Management has become more relevant in the Cloud era.

(SAM Mobility Rights table as per PUR July 2014)

PRODUCT LICENSINGMODEL PRODUCT OR PRODUCT TYPE LICENSE PERMITTED NUMBER OF OSES PERLICENSE/PERMITTED NUMBER OF

CORES PER LICENSE

Server/CAL External Connector Licenses Each External Connector license with active Software Assurance coverage 1 OSE per license
Server/CAL SQL Server Each Server license with active Software Assurance coverage 1 OSE per license
Per-Processor All eligible Products Each Processor license with active Software Assurance coverage 1 OSE with up to 4 virtual processors per license
Per-Core All eligible Products Each Core license with active Software Assurance coverage One virtual core (subject to the Product Use Rights including the requirement of a minimum of 4 cores per OSE)
Management Servers System Center ServerManagement Licenses

(versions prior to System

Center 2012)

Each Server Management license with active Software Assurance coverage 1 Managed OSE per license
Management Servers System Center Server Management Suites Each SMSE or SMSDlicense with active Software Assurance coverage 4 Managed OSEs per License
Management Servers System Center 2012 R2 Standard Each System Center 2012R2 Standard Server Management license with active Software Assurance coverage 2 Managed OSEs per license
Management Servers System Center 2012 R2 Datacenter Each System Center 2012R2 Datacenter Server Management license with active Software Assurance coverage 8 Managed OSEs per license
Management Servers Visual Studio Deployment 2013 Standard Each Visual StudioDeployment 2013

Standard Server

Management license with active Software Assurance coverage

2 Managed OSEs per license
Management Servers Visual Studio Deployment 2013 Datacenter Each Visual StudioDeployment 2013

Datacenter Server Management license with active Software Assurance coverage

8 Managed OSEs per license
Specialty Servers HPC Pack Enterprise Each Server license with active Software Assurance coverage 1 OSE per license

 

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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.

“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.

The Social Media tools every CIO should have

Do you have an “outlook” of your social media or can you quickly run effective Social Media campaigns.

Social Media is gaining momentum and more businesses are using it to market themselves to a broader audience. In a small business it may mean the difference between being found on a search engine or not. For large corporations is as well brand recognition. Truly Social Media has become more than just awareness, it has become another way we communicate, research and rely on information to make decisions.

We are changing habits, we are more public with our ideas and we rely more on popular reviews to make decisions. As Social Media evolves into being an essential part of our working lives I have observed two solutions that are part of the what in my opinion every business owner, or in the case of Enterprise, every CIO should have in their toolkit.

HootSuite

Probably HootSuite does not need introduction. In simple words I refer to HootSuite as the “Outlook” you need for all your social media activities. Not only to effectively send messages across your media, as well to control your brand interaction, employee use of social media and effectively transform a twit into a business opportunity. In a way I think of HootSuite like Microsoft presented Outlook into the market… finally a place to see all your communications (social in this case) and effectively control and send your own. New development of KPIs information brings a great depth of understanding where is your brand in the online world.

3TierLogic

What amazes me from 3tierlogoic is the ability to give any business the great opportunity to use Social Media for localized marketing campaigns, with the ability to know about customers, and what is “really” popular…If you can transform your best customers into your best advocates, you have an incredible opportunity to grow your business. 3tierlogic is bringing world-class marketing, and brand programs into every business with their platform. As the company evolves the offerings the value of its data is truly a great example of what Business Intelligence is all about.

As I said… time to rethink IT services, adding the relevant tools for today’s technology needs.

What is Cloud Computing?

Changing Democracy through the power of Software and Social Media

democracy's chorus

The change on democracy through the power of software and Social Media is real, and I personally think we are just starting to see how we as citizens will demand to be connected and participate on legislation directly and on real-time instead of just giving a vote every 4 years.

Let us imagine for a moment how could this work:

  • A Wiki government, where people can add text to propose legislation that representatives can take to vote in parliament or senate and vote along the people. A Wiki site is a powerful way to collaborate and contribute to the overall result of propose laws and can give voice to each citizen about subjects that matter, enhancing the reach of the work of our elected officials to read and listen the voice of the people.
  • Continue voting – online voting, having a balanced representation of collective vote and percentage of representation per parliament seat is a balance that can be adopted, and controlled through technology. A member of parliament could have more relevance to her/his constituents by allowing them to share their voice, the more participation there is on a bill, the more relevant the people become, for lesser participated votes the parliament seat becomes more relevant. This could allow significant matters to be taken more personally by each citizen and having more meaningful power in the democratic process, in other words, if a great percentage of the people vote directly on a bill the people become the decision power… technology can allow this.

Obviously enforcing transparency is key.

… is it a dream? is already happening in Brasil and Iceland.

http://culturadigital.br/marcocivil/debate/

http://betrireykjavik.is/

Social Media will play a significant role, to start debate, to share ideas, to connect with similar individuals for common goals. Public opinion will be driven by the public and not by lobby and media giants. Politicians can use Social Media to resource opinion and propose views. We can as well influence politicians we select to represent us according to democratic ways.

New generations are going to demand the connectivity we are creating these days with the Cloud and Social Media along with powerful software to be also applied to politics, that will affect us and govern our societies.

It is an exciting moment to create the necessary changes that will allow us as citizens to be more involved. This new era of participation seems to be born on the Spanish 15M or Occupy Wall Street. Social Media was key for these movements and what transpired is an example of things to come.

The revolution that each generation demands is going to take shape in the technology we use, like in the past the despotism conflicted with the “light” that the printed word provided  or the social class conflicts from the industrial revolution.

The concepts of: “direct democracy”, “wiki government”, “online vote” are extending and will be a topic of discussion everywhere more preeminently now.

I think these are interesting times…

Social Media, get on-board or see it pass

Social Media Cafe

Social Media, get on-board or see it pass.

In a couple of recent occasions I had the privilege to be invited to speak to people in the industry and though the questions addressed to me were related to business development and collaboration, is precisely in the moment I start talking about Social Media when I see the crowd looking at me like the just saw a ghost.

I simply mention how Social Media is helping me to create relations, meet people, find opportunities and close deals.

The power of networking and sharing ideas is such that I invite valuable messages to be shared with me to extend the knowledge to my network wither trough comments, or blogging about it, making a podcast, re-tweeting etc… The same I expect in return and this exercise is proven to strengthen the ties with partners and help each other on the value we want to bring to the market together. The same with customers who see me now as an extension of their business goals because of the extension they can get through shared networks.

Some people have a LinkedIn account, tweeter account, and Facebook account… they think that is all needed in this day and age. Wrong, is by sharing thoughts and making the effort to recognize value on the satisfactory levels of Social Media (recommendations, Likes) that the power of it results into real business action. Don’t just have accounts on Social Media, use them!.

Is this a generational problem? maybe, as the young ones in the audience don’t question what I say, but even people in their thirties wonder about the validity of Social Media.

Is because I am a social animal? Maybe, but if you are in sales and business development, you are supposed to be social too. Product driven sales people will not succeed in the new era of sharing information “fast & furious” as social media allows. If you carry a catalog but not business value, you are doomed.

For me, the idea around it is that we end up doing business with people we like and trust. Building that reputation offline and online increases the market extension and credibility comes from providing value from thought leadership.

It may be the new “Natural Selection” of the business people for the coming ten years. There is help, publications, blogs and professional services like Socialized

My advice: get on board now, if you see it pass, somebody else will jump on this train soon enough to take the advantage…

 

Audited!!!! the balanced role of the licensing professional

Audited!!!! the balanced role of the licensing professional.

As a non regulated profession you find many types of licensing professionals, read my previous blog Types of licensing Professionals

Time and time again I have been engaged to consult on an audit that is requested right after another licensing professional involvement, specially from a vendor. Audits made on the suspicion of non compliance are normal these days when more software vendors are fishing for dollars disrupting with inquiries even the smallest of the companies.

It may not be the licensed professional fault at all that a company gets audited, however certain good practices can be established upfront:

  • The clarity of commitment to represent a costumer or a vendor
  • The clarity before  the customer and vendor to find the right solution
  • The explanation of duality of representation when exists.

The reality is that a narrowed minded vision on a licensing professional can harm as the advice should not be bias to certain goals, and it is key to establish trust and reputation in order to succeed and provide the right solution and advice to an end user costumer as well as the vendor.

Vendors should also understand that independent licensing professionals also work in the partner ecosystem and the best solution for their customers is the ultimate goal.

Specially the duality of representation is common in licensing engagements. A clear understanding on dual representation should be upfront and explained to the customer. I was reading a dual representation document that could help on this kind of situations, taken from real estate example that i edited as if it was for a licensing exercise:

“With regard to client confidences, each of you (Vendor and customer) should realize that the licensing professional cannot keep
information confidential between you, since the licensing professional is serving both of you. Therefore, by
requesting dual representation, each of you is authorizing the licensing professional to reveal each of your
licensing information, contents of documents and other disclosures and information to
the other.
After considering these factors, each of you must decide whether the licensing professional will continue to
represent both of you in connection with your licensing exercise planning, renewal or audit and related matters. If in the future
either of you wishes to have the advice of a separate licensing professional, you can do so.”

I think we apply the old rule that the costumer is always right…, (plus presumption of innocence, ) and regardless of being in two sides of the coin a licensing professional can dedicate the talent to the client with a balance for the vendor if has the right approach for both.

 

Collaborative platforms, the workplace of the future, Social Media at work

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

 

Collaborative platforms, the workplace of the future, Social Media at work

 

The more I use Social Media the more I get use to connect and interact with it.

 

It is shaping the way we use computers today, first thing many people open in their screen is the social media network, that will include the relevant email they use. Get a peek of what is happening on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and it may be by using HootSuite to see it all.

 

The more we get use to this the more we will see the value of working in a similar environment, where work is social and we share and give opinion to our team, above and below the hierarchy.

This social culture change in IT is going to shape boss/employee relations, collaborative work, career success and definitely attract millennials to the work space for those companies that embrace the new way to work. From sales to administration, HR or the warehouse, everybody online and working together, sharing and providing feedback in real time.

 

Yammer, SalesForce, Google Plus and others are shaping the way we understand the work space  and companies developing solutions towards this are going to be the desirable developers the big names are going to be looking after.

 

It is time to rethink the company environment, the collaboration, the communications, from the systems that interact with ERP solutions to the Social Media lead generation marketing activities.

 

The power of this new way to work is the intuitive ability to enable progress through team work, feedback and compromise with the group.

 

Staying in the Jurassic is not an option, but there is a window for the change now, and it will be ideal to look at this solution in the licensing budget exercise to see when and which platform is the best for the organization.

 

I welcome this new way to work, I want it for my millennial brother and for my kids, I want it for me, to change the paradigms of the hierarchical structures to feel involved in the place I work or the organizations I collaborate and serve.

 

It will definitely influence software licensing acquisitions and the success will be for those vendors that enable this platforms easily on their contracts.

 

I will stay tune for more

 

 

 

 

Just Plug it! Cloud computing your IT of the future