As part of this month’s SAMPanel debate, we are very happy to welcome back to the SAMPanel May Turnbull, SAM Consultant with EasySAM, who we asked, “Looking ahead, what are your predictions for the SAM market?”
Below was her response;
The United Kingdom is ahead of most 1st world countries in terms of Software Asset Management (SAM) with a particularly large jump over the last 5 years in terms of awareness around SAM, particularly the License Management/Compliance piece. If EasySAM were to make some speculative predictions about the next few years in the SAM space, they would boil down to these five areas:
1. An even greater SAM awareness
Vendor audits have probably been the greatest catalyst for SAM awareness in the past and will certainly continue to be the main incentive to get your SAM into gear moving forward. Software publishers are focussing their attention more intensely on SAM and as a result will increase associated targets. This is understandable, with software audits driving a large portion of current revenues.
We also see SAM becoming very much a pre-requisite for agreement negotiations and the associated discounts, giving companies an advantage when sitting down with software publishers. As a result we expect to find more of an investment into in-house SAM resource as a whole. Companies are becoming far more aware of their need to have a SAM champion in-house, even when they are outsourcing the ‘number-crunching’ elsewhere.
2. Less reluctance to be transparent with software vendors
EasySAM have certainly seen many top-end vendors abandoning their ‘scare tactics’ and tight fisted approach to license compliance and exchanging it for a relationship centric approach. As at the end of the day, let’s face it, most companies haven’t acquired a non-compliance position out of being intentionally malicious!
As a result we are already seeing our customers submitting voluntary Effective License Positions (ELPs) to vendors like Microsoft and Adobe (before being approached!) showing these mainstream vendors that they are doing all they can to be transparent and that they are willing to rectify any unintentional shortfalls.
This insight also gives the vendors the ability to give advice to the end user and are often able to rectify misconceptions and offer better purchasing practices moving forward, saving the customer time and money.
3. Focus on virtualization
As virtualised mobility (VMware DRS [Dynamic Resource Scheduling]) and Vmotion and Microsoft SCVMM) within server clusters catches more and more people out when it comes to licensing, we are already seeing more attention to detail in this area and hope to see it grow in the near future. Not just on the server front either, even though this is probably where your greatest risk sits. Making sure Citrix/terminal services are managed well, is also starting to get flagged as a priority. It is imperative that you have access logs for these services, unless you want to license every possible device in your estate for potential access!
4. Expansion into the Cloud and Software Subscriptions
The cloud is here. It has been here for a while, but it has taken a little time for us to warm up to it. We are finally seeing customers stepping out of their comfort zones now though as we see a peak in cloud enrolments such as Microsoft’s Office 365 and the Adobe Creative Cloud. We also see a move away from the tradition perpetual licensing model as a whole and a greater acceptance of subscriptions in general.
5. Migrations to MPSA
As Select agreements approach their end of life, there is no avoiding huge focus here over the next 12 or so months. What an excellent opportunity though to get on top of your SAM and know exactly what you want when signing those new MPSA agreements. Certainly don’t leave it to the last minute, nothing good can come of rushed decisions.
All-in-all we see the UK continuing to be one of the market-leaders in this area. Setting precedent for many. Having said that there has been remarkable growth in this market globally, with the anticipation that SAM will soon become a buzzword within the IT industry world over!
About The Author
May Turnbull is a SAMConsultant with EasySAM. EasySAM is a specialist software and hardware asset management consultancy. With a combined audit & compliance experience in excess of 60 years, the EasySAM team has successfully delivered over 400 customer engagements, currently manage software compliance for 60 customers (with an average estate size of 1,410 devices) and have provided measured cost savings exceeding £31m to our customers. Our main strengths in this competitive market are our vendor independence and our focus solely on SAM as opposed to licensing