The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has launched an industry training course and certification scheme based on the ISO/IEC 19770-1 SAM Standard.
Breaking 19770-1 into Manageable Chunks
I think this is the best thing to happen to ISO/IEC 19770-1.
The whole purpose of a standard is to offer common ground for the industry to measure itself against.
Without a standard industry players work in isolation. For example if you adopted the Microsoft SAM approach and made some good progress it might be completed ignored by Symantec, or if you worked with a SAM partner your work might be ignored by Adobe and so on. A standard provides an independent yardstick without commercial bias.
Benefits of this initiative by the BSA:
- The current standard in it’s current published form is an unwieldy beast. This breaks it into bite size chunks.
- It already has approval from major software publishers (Microsoft, Symantec, Adobe and Autodesk – I’m sure more will follow)
- It is actionable. Organisations have referred to the standard or asked their SAM partner to measure them against the standard with no real baseline. Now they can implement these steps knowing that they will be recognised industry wide.
- It will sort the wheat from the chaff. Having reviewed the courseware I know it is no walk-in-the-park rubber stamping exercise. Achieving the Certified Software Management Professional (CSMP) certification won’t be a replacement for hands-on experience at the coalface implementing SAM but it will be a credible stamp of approval.
- It will provide useful validation and recognition for partners (as Martin Callinan explains in the video).
Reaching Critical Mass
I wish the BSA luck in pushing this forward and gaining traction. They have the issue to overcome of being seen purely as an enforcement agency compared to other SAM training organisations. Perhaps they have learnt from Microsoft’s experiences with promoting SAM (that beating companies with a stick doesn’t cut it) and have begun their transformation into a more proactive organisation with a modern message. It would be good to see Oracle LMS validate or at least recognise SAM Advantage (The largest vendor absent from the BSA member list).
The program offers a tiered approach that allows organisations to progress at their own pace with alignment to their unique requirements:
- Tier 1: Trustworthy Data – facilitating license compliance
- Tier 2: Practical Management – Quick Win Cost Optimizations and creating a structured control environment
- Tier 3: Operational Effectiveness – Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness
- Tier 4: Full ISO/IEC Compliance
Commenting on the news, David Bicket, Convener of ISO/IEC JTC1 SC7 WG21, responsible for SAM standards said “Having a SAM program aligned to the global ISO standard really sets SAM Advantage apart, offering an effective solution to managing software, balancing costs and reducing risks. Becoming certified as a CSMP can also increase an individual’s value within the industry and enhance their credibility as a software asset manager.”
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 is the Chief Agitator at the Campaign for Clear Licensing, a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the SAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770 and board member of Free ICT Europe which supports the ICT secondary market.
Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.