Dec 17, 2018

The Software Asset Manager's Guide to Surviving the Holiday Party Season

Gearing up for the holiday party season? Don’t be a wallflower! Read this guide for the perfect elevator pitch to explain the cost saving benefits that Software Asset Management adds to your business strategy.

You’re at a party mingling, meeting people for the first time, making introductions, and explaining what you do. “Software,” you say, “I work in Software Asset Management—or SAM.” You know what’s coming next. They hesitate at the phrase before they ask, “So, what is Software Asset Management?” Hmmm, you think, where do I start? We could be talking about something easy, like religion or politics. Now they want the elevator pitch? I hope they’re going to the 100th floor.

If you work in SAM, you’ve probably experienced this before. The existential dread of explaining what you do. If there were a German word for it, it would be: Lizenzmanagementspartyschaden, loosely translated: “the damage license management does to parties.”

So what do you say when “I do SAM” isn’t enough?

What is Software Asset Management?

Software Asset Management is the branch of IT Asset Management or ITAM that deals with software licenses. Like any physical asset, software has to be managed. Physical assets like desks and chairs get old, suffer wear and tear, have to be replaced, moved, repaired, and so on. Software license management is no different. Software licenses need to be renewed, renegotiated, and retired.

Software licenses dictate what a company can do with the software: how many people can use it, the number of machines it can be installed on, where it’s installed, how it’s accessed, and so on. So it’s critical that a company have the right licenses to meet its business needs, and to make sure those software licenses are optimized and used efficiently.

Software audit defense

Unlike old or broken office furniture that just takes up space, badly managed licenses can cost you money. One of the reasons for implementing a SAM strategy is to protect against software audits. Software vendors like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP have the right to audit an IT environment to ensure the company follows the licensing terms and conditions.

This is called software license compliance. If a company isn’t compliant, it can be audited and charged fines, sometimes as high as 1.5 times the maintenance fees. This results in hefty charges, upwards of tens of millions of dollars—a budget buster that could cripple an organization. And compliance is just one reason why companies “do SAM”.

Software license optimization

While SAM can save you millions in an audit, it goes far beyond compliance. Software license optimization ensures that you own the most cost efficient licenses for your needs – and aren’t paying too much for licenses and your users don’t need or don’t use.

In fact, an automated SAM tool like Aspera SmartTrack offers valuable cost-savings benefits including:

  1. Control over change management
  2. Audit-ready procedures and risk protection
  3. Trimmed contracts and true-ups
  4. Reclaiming and license harvesting
  5. ITSM integration for license requests

A solid Software Asset Management strategy helps you plan and organize software purchases, optimize your license usage, and increase your power at the bargaining table with software vendors. Its impact reaches far beyond the IT realm. In this way, SAM is much more than an IT concern; it is an essential business tool building cost-savings across the enterprise.

The SAM elevator pitch

So, how do you say all of that in just a few words? Try this at your next party or dinner date: Software Asset Management is the business strategy focused on overseeing and optimizing a fundamental business resource—software. Every company runs on software. SAM is essentially the healthy diet and exercise for companies.

Topics: SAM 101