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What are you really buying when you invest in a Software Asset Management “solution”?

Software Asset Management (SAM), like so many other organizational standards, means something different to everyone in every department. SAM, to a technology employee, may mean inventory tools and product keys. SAM, to an HR professional, means people and resources. For lawyers, it’s all about compliance. To a finance executive, it’s budgets, risks, fines and maintenance costs and to a Procurement Agent, it’s contract management, purchase orders and renewals.

The fact is that true SAM is all of these things. Too many discussions focus on only one or two pieces of the puzzle. Holistic „SAM“ is the process of evaluating organizational standards, organizational needs, contract management, financial planning and optimization to ensure that you own what you have deployed and deploy only that which is really needed in the environment.

There are two major fallacies associated with SAM:

  1. SAM can be a one-time event, capturing point-in-time results for a “compliance check” that covers me for the rest of the year (wrong)
  2. A “SAM solution” is an Asset Inventory tool reconciling what is deployed (wrong, again)

Unfortunately, these fictitious beliefs leave organizations vulnerable to audit, commonly saddled with unexpected renewal costs and increased budgetary demands year-over-year for software. Think about it in the simplest of terms. A “point-in-time” snapshot is no different than checking your personal bank balance once a year. If you operate your household expenditures based upon one point-in-time review of your balance, you will quickly find yourself without any available capital to cover costs.

Consider the following points in regards to the fiduciary risk associated with a software audit failure:

  • The Business Software Association has the power to fine organizations up to $1,000 per violation. In other words, if you have 50 assets deployed for which you are not entitled, the BSA has the leverage to fine you $50,000. This is above and beyond the cost of buying the software that was being used illegally, many of which exceed $1,000,000.
  • A 2013 study by KPMG found that 52% of companies felt that their losses due to the usage of unlicensed software amounted to more than 10% of the overall organization’s revenue.
  • Audit frequency, according to a Gartner report, found that vendor audits are increasing at a rate of 60% year-over-year.
  • Several firms have all agreed that, on average, organizations are under-licensed by 20%.
  • The average vendor audit lasts a minimum of six months and averages 12-18 months.

Executive leaders and responsible parties, when they back these statistics into their own organizations, rapidly experience a strong sense of discomfort and risk. Realistically, who can afford to lose the equivalent of 10% of their overall revenue to a fine? To any organization, being under-licensed by 20% of the overall count and adding a $1,000 per instance penalty, is an ill-afforded risk to take willingly.

As daunting as all of the statistics can be, rest assured that you do not have to accept this risk. As the availability of SAM-qualified professionals continues to fall short of demand, the availability of effective managed services remains strong. In business more than 30 years and in 36 countries, COMPAREX has the legacy and expertise to support your SAM needs through our SAM2GO solution combined with expert license and compliance consulting. ISO-certified and blessed by KPMG with a score of 200 out of 200 possible points, COMPAREX earned the 2015 SAM Partner of the Year award from Microsoft. The award, based in part on customer feedback, verifies that a holistic SAM solution will not only reduce audit failures by more than 80%, but will also bring audit response times down from months to hours, AND help you proactively manage and optimize your technology infrastructure.

Positive statistics to review from global customers enrolled in SAM2GO Managed Service include:

  • COMPAREX saves up to 20% on Vendor Consolidation
  • 44% savings on software maintenance through SAM2GO
  • Reduction in overall cost-per-device of between 8 and 10 percent.
  • “Compliance check” response times average less than two business days.
  • Data is real-time, reducing true-up and renewal processes to hours, not months.

At COMPAREX, we are passionate and dedicated to reducing your software spend, not increasing it. Rather than trusting your compliance posture to incomplete processes and tools, place it in the hands of a partner who wins when you win, not one who wins when the publisher does because you have to place an order. Place it in the hands of the only partner who can deliver real results in real-time, everyday. Contact us using the form below to find out more.

Written by Sarah Johnson, North America Leader – SoftCare. Connect with her on LinkedIn.