Mar 28, 2016

When it comes to SAM, don’t be afraid to think BIG!

Embarking on a Software Asset Management (SAM) program for the first time can be overwhelming. But for enterprise corporations, a large scale rollout across multiple countries is a huge undertaking.

Beginning in 2013, Swiss-based global healthcare giant Roche (annual sales close to $50b) initiated steps for a SAM strategy that would span over 91,000 worldwide employees using 30,000 servers and 115,000 desktops. In under two years, the program accomplished wide corporate support and saw significant rewards in combined savings in cost avoidance and license demand optimization.

How did Roche prep their systems (and their appetite) to digest that whale of a task? At the upcoming IAITAM Spring ACE in New Orleans, Aspera’s SVP of Consulting and Services, Robbie Plourde and Head of Software Asset Management at Roche, George Arezina, will speak first-hand about the details that went into planning and executing this accomplishment. Their presentation, How to Eat a Whale: A Practical Guide to Approaching Large-Scale SAM Projects is scheduled for May 12th at 11:15am. All Spring ACE attendees are welcome to participate.

Both Robbie and George brought incredible expertise to the table. Certified in Oracle & IBM License Management (PCOLM) (PCILM), Robbie has spent the last 15 years solving complex SAM challenges, and leading corporate license compliance initiatives for Fortune 500 companies in both Europe and the USA.

The former Head of Global License Operations at DHL, George was no spring chicken himself. With over a decade of SAM and software compliance experience optimizing stakeholder contracting policies and processes, George has successfully established several long-term software management strategies, and negotiated more favorable software license agreements that lower costs, reduce risk, and provide optimal flexibility.

Taking a slow and pragmatic approach, Roche defined a clear-cut mission for their SAM project:

  • Provide global software license services and optimization
  • Reduce the total cost ownership
  • Ensure compliance and pro-active management

Breaking down the immense task of SAM for Roche, George also developed six phases to achieve over a multi-year period. By dissecting the enormous project scope into manageable chunks, George was able to confidently facilitate the Roche SAM process.

Another early task was to identify and research essential SAM tool requirements, based on particular needs of the organization. Using the Gartner SAM Tool Activity Model (Market Study for Software Asset Management Tools, 11/3/15) as a guide, there are six necessary components of SAM tool:

  • Platform discovery
  • Platform and software inventory
  • Normalizing inventory
  • Reconciling information
  • Optimizing inventory
  • Sharing information

Of course, there are always challenges and mistakes along the way. Biting off more than you can chew (or swallow, in this case!) is a common stumbling block. Data collection often tops the list of SAM roadblocks, as does a large vendor scope and decentralized, global organizational structure. Roche has over 91,000 employees – all using different types of software, from different providers, with different rules and terms & conditions attached to each. Issues were bound to arise.

During the course of this presentation, Robbie and George will detail the pitfalls to avoid and best practices for building successful large-scale SAM in enterprise corporations.

The good news? As we previously mentioned, based on George’s direction, Roche achieved tremendous success in tackling this whale of a SAM program. Not only has Roche found financial benefits, but they’ve experienced a substantial shift in company culture towards a strong focus on sustainable SAM practices.