I’m delighted to say that I’ve been asked to become a regular contributor to the ITAM Review as a guest blogger.
This is the first, of hopefully many blog pieces to come. During 2012 I’ll be attending and speaking at, at least 8 ITAM/SAM conferences from around the world. I’ve recently returned from my first conference of the year, in Berlin…
Berlin – exciting, diverse, soaked in history and culture and renowned for nightlife beyond compare. Berlin could never be boring… could it?
Last week Marcus Evans hosted the 7th Annual Pan-European conference on Software Asset & License Management in Berlin.
There were 15 sessions during the 2 days, and I hate to say it, but the majority were actually quite poor. It seemed that many of the speakers had never presented before. Several had issues with fluency in English and as many were from similar roles, quite a few of the presentations were similar in content. Berlin, at least for those 2 days, was pretty boring!
It wasn’t all bad news though – there were some notable highlights, and some useful tips to be had.
Mette Andreassen from DSV in Denmark had a very good presentation, which focused on the importance of networking with peers and colleagues for successful SAM. Mette was a high energy presenter – likely from the caffeine intake she has if she actually practices what she preaches and has coffee, according to her summary:
- With your management to ensure continued buy in
- With Operations to ensure mutual understanding
- With global and local technicians to make them understand their importance
- With procurement managers to ensure alignment on investments
- With Vendor Key Account Managers to get good pricing
- With experts for guidance and advice
- With your peers to learn from their experiences
That’s a lot of coffee – it’s also a good example of the number of stakeholders that those who have a responsibility for license management need to interact with. In my experience, SAM projects often run into difficulties in organizations where positive relationships are not maintained with one or more of these stakeholders. Certain individuals start becoming part of the problem, rather than part of the solution as they don’t understand the wider goals of certain requirements and activities.
As well as showcasing some excellent new cars from Mercedes, Thomas Plum of Daimler included some thought provoking clauses he suggests companies should negotiate into contracts with major vendors during procurement. If you don’t have the buying power of a Daimler, some of these may be tricky to achieve – but it’s always worth asking:
- Invoice to be accepted as license evidence
- Immediate re-use right after hardware changes (once un-installed, can be re-installed without delay or penalty)
- Upgrade and downgrade rights
- Pre-installation rights
- Cross/Multi-language rights
In my ultimately personal opinion, perhaps 25% of the presentations were interesting. However others with fewer SAM-induced battle scars than I, may disagree. If attending a conference can give you just 1 or 2 little takeaways that make you or your function more efficient, it really is worth the time and effort to go. After all, staying in your office all the time doesn’t provide much insight or learning from the experience of others.
For me, one of the most interesting aspects of this conference were the attendees. They really knew their stuff, conversations raised interesting opinions and challenges. I personally got value from my time at the event – but it could have been so much better…
During my attendance at conferences throughout this year, I’ll be looking for new and interesting thinking. Hopefully for those conferences where I’m presenting, I’ll be bringing some new and interesting thinking. I think the new reality that has been caused by the rise of technologies such as cloud, “utility” servers and virtual desktops bring interesting new challenges and requirements to our industry. I look forward to facing those challenges, and hopefully, coming up with innovative solutions to some of the problems ahead.
About Jason Keogh
Jason is the CTO and founder of iQuate. Jason is responsible for iQuate’s product vision and is well regarded as an expert in the spheres of IT discovery, inventory and SAM. Jason speaks at several industry conferences each year. In 2012 Jason joined the ISO/IEC 19770 working group with a goal of ensuring its work reflects, and is relevant to, enterprise cloud based computing.