Integrating a Secure Messaging Environment with Office 365

 

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Josef interview for CIOReview Magazine

See Publication from CIOReview

 

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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.

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

A note on a great IT Leader: Tiffani Bova @tiffani_bova

Tiffani Bova has always inspired me for change, I find that her direction and to the point keynotes, not sugar-coated and driven to innovation have always produce great change in the IT industry. And to actually understand her influence is as easy as to listen, listen carefully because her ability to portray the trends and take advantages, make changes and defy the “Status Quo” is making a difference. I would say that in the last few years I have observed how accurate she has been to define our roles and opportunities on Cloud, channel, etc.

Every time I listen to her keynotes I am inspired and find vision to drive forward. Like today in the Cloud Summit 2014, she has shown us what 2020 looks like, and I am up for the challenge to take my clients to the technology that will make them thrive today and in the future to create better and more efficient companies.

Truly recommend to follow her @tiffani_bova.

 

“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.

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…

 

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.

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.