Apr 27, 2017

SAM Pros Take On Software Licensing Compliance

It’s hard to overestimate the need for companies to get a handle on their software license compliance. Enterprises host dozens of software titles, each with different licensing models, terms, and conditions. And one mistake in deployment can cost millions in noncompliance fees.

This is one of the reasons why our fifth annual IBSMA Compliance Manager Summit, held this past March in San Francisco, was so successful. We dug deep into not only how to maintain software license compliance and how to proactively prepare for a software license audit, but what’s on the horizon in this rapidly shifting environment.

We looked at audit negotiation tactics, complexities of cloud licensing, cybersecurity and specifics of Oracle, IBM, HP, and Adobe contract terms. The two-day event featured speakers from the Big Four consulting and auditing firms, compliance managers from the major software publishers, technology attorneys, and software asset manager from global corporations sharing their challenges and best practices.

Proactive SAM

One of the main themes of this year’s event was the importance of taking a proactive approach in managing software. Being prepared for the inevitable audit letter allows you to take control of the software asset management process.

Pro-tip: Practice conducting mock audits to find out how well you actually understand your software contracts, know your entitlements, and are prepared for a real audit, including cloud deployments.

Challenges in the cloud

Compliance in the cloud was also a hot topic of discussion. It’s clear that no one yet has a firm grasp on what licensing and compliance will look like for cloud services, but all of our expert presenters agree that moving to the cloud won’t be the simple fix to compliance that customers often believe.

Watch the mini-webinar! It's a Hybrid Cloud World: Best Practices for Managing Software Assets

In fact, licensing in the cloud actually becomes more complex because the terms are not as clear—especially for organizations that get their data locked into large, mission-critical cloud-hosted apps, and realize that they have very few options to move their data or renegotiate a more favorable contract.

Courtney Grey, director of forensic services at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said in his presentation that customers still don’t understand that they need to include cloud applications in their audits:

“The cloud is a different way to license software consumption...It flips to buying more than you use, rather than using more than you buy. We’re seeing dramatic price increases for customers without price locks and who have zero negotiating power [in their contracts].”

Growing SAM’s influence

On the software vendor side, Oracle’s global VP of license management services Jonathan Koop told attendees how Oracle is evolving its approach to license compliance and customer engagement and working toward more collaborative programs for customers that lead to deeper relationships.

Cybersecurity is one issue that will only grow in importance to software asset managers in the future. By actively working with their company’s security team, software managers can grow their sphere of influence in IT and drive up the value of their programs.

A SAM manager can provide the chief security officer with a list of software deployed across the company, what’s being used, and what’s been patched or updated—essentially, forensics data that can help track down, or prevent, a breach in security. SAM can also help the security team identify genuine software from pirated versions, which are often used as a point of entry to an organization.

The issues that software and IT asset managers face evolve rapidly and each year’s Compliance Manager Summit—and our even larger event, the SAM Summit in Chicago from July 10-12—focus on keeping pros on the cutting edge.

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*Valid through June 15, 2017. Not combinable with any other discount coupons or promotions.

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Topics: Industry News + Events