Leveraging the power of strategic SAM webinar Q&A

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Thanks to everyone who joined us during last week’s webinar Leveraging the Power of Software Asset Management! This is the first in a 4-part web series on Strategic SAM. Last week, we discussed:

  • How businesses can achieve quantifiable cost reductions at times of software renewal
  • Approaches to reduce the interruption, time, cost and risk of a software vendor audit
  • Real-world examples of Strategic SAM yielding huge benefits to Enterprise-level customers

We received so many great questions in the Q&A at the end of the session that we decided to recap them here on the blog. Got a question that isn’t covered here? Why not Ask SAM?

Q: Do you need metering or usage configured for the 1E Intelligence tool to work correctly?

A: 1E’s free intelligence tool, “Software Lifecycle Intelligence,” and 1E’s commercial SAM product, AppClarity, require SCCM metering to be enabled (metering is enabled by default). However, you do not need to configure any specific metering rules in SCCM for Intelligence (or AppClarity) to provide usage assessments.

Q: How many vendors have agreed to use the ISO 19770-3 standard?

A: The -3 standard was developed within ISO with involvement from multiple vendors. Companies like Microsoft, IBM, Symantec, and others were closely involved in the design, and more importantly, the testing of the standard – to ensure that it could support the different metrics required for each of the vendor products. IBM, for example have 80 distinct metrics in currently shipping products, and thousands of metrics in older products over the last five years.

The standard was ratified earlier this year (26th February 2016) in a vote in which 23 countries participated. It will be published later this year. While not yet committed, it is expected that the vendors involved in the design and testing will sign up to support the standard very quickly once published this summer.

Q: What SAM tools support the -3 standard?

A: 1E are the first and, right now, the only vendor with a SAM tool aligned to the standard. We would recommend enterprises to really push their SAM vendors on this, in order to give yourselves options around portability. We would obviously love you all to buy 1E SAM solutions and, like all vendors, would love for our solutions to be ‘sticky’, meaning that you continue to pay support and maintenance for many years. We want you to use our software for years because of its quality, not because you are locked into a proprietary data schema and unable to port data elsewhere. As other tools begin to support the standard, you will be able to port and migrate date easily back and forth between different tools. This is great for customers, but scary to a lot of vendors. 1E are very much leading the charge here with our full support for -3.

Q: If a vendor decided not to support the -3 standard, does that give me a negotiation position during an audit or renewal event?

A: It absolutely does. In the absence of -3 (or indeed -2) support, you should seek a discount based on your inability to properly identify how software is deployed due to the absence of standards support. It is much harder for you to manage your entitlements and your different metric calculations when a -3 tag is not present, and you are also exposed to a higher level of risk in and audit scenario. So we would urge you to request such support from all your vendors and request discounts if they don’t support it, on the basis of it costing you more to manage the software and you being at more risk during audit if the vendor doesn’t support ISO 19770-3.

A good example of the power of demand is the US Federal Government, where the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) is mandating that all government tenders must include a requirement for -2 from next year. As a result, all of the vendors have sat up and taken notice – this is how the market itself, how you the customer can drive standards adoption in the future.

Q: Vendors seem to be constantly changing the underlying metrics for software licensing. Will this continue, and what can I do about it?

A: We are constantly hearing of your frustrations around this – as an example, at a recent 1E SAM Social event in San Francisco, we had a long discussion over a particular vendor’s move from perpetual to subscription based pricing without any consultation with their enterprise customers. The bad news is that no one, not ISO, not NIST, no customer no matter how large or small, can dictate to software companies how they create and modify license metrics. So this frustration is likely to continue in the future. The good news is that standards such as -3 will allow you to better understand changes as they happen, and to automatically manage the implications of such changes without the need for time-consuming manual intervention.

Q: What is the single most important feature for SAM tool?

A: That’s a difficult question. As discussed on today’s webinar, proving the value of SAM should be the key driver for any SAM manager within an enterprise – being able to quantify the impact that your different workflows and processes are having on the organization. And while the overall picture is important, it is vital that you can prove this value in the context of the many different scenarios you will face – for example, broken down by different business unit, by different software vendor, for a specific contract or for different timelines. In each case you must ensure that you quantify the value you have delivered. And your SAM tool must enable that.

We would love to hear further from you all on this – please reach out and let us know what you would consider to be the most important features for a SAM tool!

Want to learn more about Strategic Software Asset Management? Register for part 2 in our series, Auditors at the Door- Open Up or Run and Hide?

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