Who wants a SAM solution ?

Today I was honoured to attend the 2nd annual Snow User Forum at Microsoft offices in London. I’d never been to an event like this previously but it was certainly an eye opener.SAM stands for Software Asset Management. Snow are a strong company founded on helping organisations to control and optimise their IT assets through a software solution that can manage assets, track inventory, blacklist applications and feed maintenance agreements and documentary evidence to prove license compliance. I’ve probably turned most of you off reading the rest of this blog post but for those of you still reading, its not a topic that should be avoided for the right individuals in an organisation.

The CEO of Snow Software, Axel Kling, spoke about his journey from being an auditor during the Y2K era and then his undertaking in helping to start up Snow Software to really take control of software licensing. The basic principles of SAM are to ensure that an organisation knows what software assets are used and how these relate to all their endpoints. By tying up these software with assets it is then clear for an organisation to understand its risk and compliance so when faced with an audit, they can be ready.

A vendor neutral point of view was painted by Martin Thompson who heads up the ITAM Review website and he delivered the notion that we all buy software but we need to gain better value from understanding our license position and also that ITAM (IT Asset Management) is not a project but should be considered a programme of continual improvement. His message was about driving the need for accurate software intelligence to key stakeholders in an organisation and not to be held by 1 department such as I.T. otherwise it can be difficult to gain any traction in this area.

We also got to hear from several Snow customers who are on their journey to delivering a highly controlled and optimised SAM service. It was very clear to me that a lot of hard work and effort had gone to evolve their organisations into using a mature SAM model and that 1 or 2 individuals in an organisation are not enough to underpin this ethos in order to make SAM a success and to realise savings and an attractive ROI. Yes, savings are achievable as you rationalise and seek to control the amount of licenses procured but this shouldn’t be the sole reason to embarking on software control.

Snow Software has come a long way in a short time and by leveraging new technology in embedding its Data Connectors with hypervisors such as VMWare and Hyper-V, it can now dig a little deeper into understanding the relationships between software and the various layers of the datacenter. It now has capabilities in managing Oracle and SAP estates and continues to make inroads into new areas such as cloud and the MDM market, all to come over the next year.

If you’d like to read more into this then I suggest reading more at the ITAM Review and also at the Snow Software website.

With savings demonstrated by a hedge fund company as up to £1.2m and also £1.1m for cost avoidance it is evident that the trend to have more control into the IT assets of an organisation will only proliferate as time goes on.

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