ITAM Review: What was your first job and how did you get into IT?
Allan Mejer: My first job was with IBM, where I was responsible for the sales to the Danish Retail Market, where IBM at the time was market-leader with IBM Aptiva. Afterwards I was responsible for PC- and PC-server-sales to IBM business Partners.
ITAM Review: What is your current role and how did you find yourself in the world of SAM?
I am currently the Business Unit Manager in PC-WARE Denmark, responsible for SAM both with regards to external and internal sales, and with a keen focus on delivering our customers a “turn-key” solution with tools, processes, procedures and resources in place, so they don’t have to worry about a thing.
I had some presales experience with some of my previous roles and then PC-WARE wanted to expand their leading role on SAM in Denmark, I was asked to be part of this. Since then, the market as well as the customers have matured, as have we, so it has been an interesting journey so far.
ITAM Review: In the current climate cost savings are more pressing than ever – how do you recommend to your clients that they get a handle on their licensing costs?
As we are a software/license-reseller only, we focus our advice in this area, and all of our resources are designed to help our customer benefit from licensing efficiency.
Most important in my mind would be to know, what you’ve got. If you do not know, what software you have installed, or what licenses, you are entitled to use, you are in bad shape. This knowledge can be obtained from hard work, but can be eased by tools (both freeware and more professional systems), and if nothing else, Excel is still the most widely used tool to register licenses 🙂
When you know, what you’ve got, you need to find out, if it is being used. This is vital information when you renegotiate software-contracts, or renew maintenance (why pay if you don’t use it?). Also reallocation of unused licenses is of interest, as an examplewe typically see more than 50% unused licenses of Project or Visio, when we help our customers.
Another aspect of licensing is making sure the customer is signed to the right licensing contract; for example there is a potential benefit of going from Open Value to a Select and from a Select to an Enterprise Agreement, or in some cases the other way around. And on the Adobe side, we still see customers of considerable size purchase box-products instead of making a TLP or CLP agreement.
ITAM Review: What policies do you recommend they implement?
There is not a one size fits all approach for policies, as every company is different, but a policy stating who can purchase software (preferably centrally to ensure volume discounts) and who can install software (again preferably centrally to ensure only validated and licenses software are installed) are key. Customers may consider locking down machines to prevent users from installing anything at all.
ITAM Review: How do you recommend that your clients manage virtual environments?
This is where SAM is a real challenge and many customers may give up! A virtual environment is very easy to expand – “we need a server for this, please duplicate…”, and often the IT department forget (or do not care about) the need for licenses.
If you have a strong/big virtual environment, I would assume that you as a company are mature, and would therefore suggest you to invest in a tool capable of handling virtual environments, whether the environment is comprised of VMware, Softgrid, Altiris SVS, LANDesk thinapps or Citrix.
SAM-tools handling multiple environments and platforms are available today, and are typically priced based on the number of clients/servers to be included, thus making it possible for even smaller companies (from 100-200+ seats) to invest in these solutions.
About Martin Thompson
Martin is also author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management.
On a voluntary basis Martin a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.
Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.