As part of this month’s SAMPanel debate Rory Canavan, the Owner of SAMCharter gave his view on the question “How can Software Vendors Simplify their Software Licensing Rules?”
For licensing terms and conditions to change, software vendors need to have demonstrated to them the benefits of having a simplified model. A few strokes of a pen could obviate the need for CALs, or the requirement to report CPU cores (as an example) but how would that translate in regards to impacting their bottom line?
Currently, SAM is mired at an operational-level of IT because the level of expertise required to understand licensing and calculating a licence position is not a skill or attribute that resides at board level. However, if a software vendor comes to the realisation that the board controls/makes the major decisions around company direction (and therefore, spend) then keeping licensing knowledge at a board-level of comprehension and understanding, will see their software rise up the company ladder to be thought of as a strategic asset, not an operational utility.
As ever, change is the enemy – simplification comes through understanding, and understanding comes through learning something once and knowing that a term and condition will stay static for the lifetime of the product.
I think the final suggestion I would make (and this is not necessarily for the software vendors to take on) would be the creation of a compendium or glossary offering a definition of terminology used in software licences – this would also help to highlight the variances each vendor applies to devices that could be categorised as “Development”, or “test” or “production/live”. IT Managers have a difficult enough time getting their heads around terminology used by one vendor; mapping such terminology to subsequent vendors can become very frustrating.
About the Author:
With a technical background in business and systems analysis, Rory has a wide range of first-hand experience advising numerous companies and organisations on the best practices and principles pertaining to software asset management. This experience has been gained in both military and civil organisations, including the Royal Navy, Compaq, HP, the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) and several software vendors.