The ITAM Review

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Tips for the next generation of SAM professionals

homework

“Do your homework”

Based on my experiences, here are my top tips for the next generation of SAM professionals.

Absorb information

You can learn a lot from your colleagues, both good and bad:

  • Learn from their mistakes and successes
  • Understand how they are doing things right and how it impacts on the organisation

It is also important to learn from colleague’s mistakes or poor practise. Don’t be afraid to make your concerns known, or advise them of your ideas.

  • Listen to what your colleagues have to say, and absorb their advice

Even if you don’t agree with what they are saying, it is still worth listening to them. Their experience or opinions may come in handy to you in the future. If you are fortunate enough to work with an experienced ITAM/SAM professional, then ask them as many questions as possible (when appropriate and without annoying them!).

They can provide you with valuable information that will help enhance your knowledge and give you an insight into other professional’s perspective and other organisations procedures.

Do your homework

  • Research as much as you can on software licensing and software asset management

It is also worth knowing the basics of the business processes that are related to software asset management, such as procurement, service management and hardware asset management. Learn as much as you can about the licenses you use, and the processes currently in place.

There are a number of different licensing structures out there and a number of software vendors to learn about, so doing your homework will help broaden your knowledge base.

If you enjoy what you do then reading articles and news about ITAM/SAM won’t be much of a chore for you.

  • Read as many articles as you can

There are a number of brilliant websites out there that contain a large number of articles (such as the one you are reading this on now – the ITAM Review). Reading up on the sector that you work in will help you understand the sector more, and also gives you an insight into what the future holds for ITAM/SAM. There are also a number of product reviews on ITAM tools that can prove extremely useful when implementing a new ITAM tool at your organisation.

There are no disadvantages to doing extra homework. It can only expand your horizons and increase your knowledge on ITAM, which will ultimately help you progress with your career. It is also worth looking into SAM qualifications and courses to help enhance your stature.

Put in the hours

  • Possess a strong work ethic

Achieving results will help to differentiate you from your peers and enhance your reputation within your organisation.  As mentioned before, this won’t be too much of a problem if you enjoy your job, and what’s not to love about software asset management?!

Putting in the hard work at this early stage of your career will shape your future progression. Now is the time to be putting in the extra work as the more knowledge and experience you gain now, the better your working life can be in the future. It also helps you gain an advantage personally; as working hard can help you progress and reach your career goals a lot sooner than expected.

homework

“Make connections within the community”

Network

Networking internally at work, or externally on LinkedIn or SAM groups and at conferences is pivotal to getting your name known within the SAM sector. I have found this to be an extremely useful way of learning and finding out information and the views and opinions of the type of professionals that we strive to be. The SAM community on LinkedIn and the various ITAM groups that are available to us is full of experienced professionals that are more than willing to give their views, experience and advice to other professionals.

At this early stage of your career it is extremely important that you make connections within the community, get yourself known. This will help you gain valuable information and you may even make a friend or two! It will also enhance your reputation, thus making you more attractive to future employers. Obviously, a reputation needs to be backed up with results and top performances within your current role.

Contract

I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve had a number of contracted roles. This has allowed me to see what a good SAM estate looks like, and how it’s run, but also the impacts of bad software asset management.

  • Experience is a key part of software asset management

It’s something that will help shape your career. There are a number of obvious disadvantages of contracting, but from a knowledge perspective it’s a great opportunity to learn how different organisations manage their software assets.

The experience you gain from contracting can prove pivotal to your future career. You can see and understand different organisations methods of managing their software assets.  You can take everything that worked well in one organisation, and tailor it to the next. As long as they follow best practice and are doing everything correctly, then you’re on to a winner. It’s also the same for processes or procedures that you don’t think work. Figure out why they don’t work and then fix it. You can take this experience with you later on in your career.

Another advantage of contracting is that you can see and understand the different problems different sized organisations have. Larger corporate organisations ultimately have bigger and more complex problems than a small public sector business for example.

Finally my last piece of advice

  • Enjoy what you do

If you have a real passion and enthusiasm for what you do, it will rub off on others. If you enjoy your job I believe that you’ll perform better and progress quicker.

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About David Foxen

David Foxen is a Software Asset Management expert and enthusiast. He had a vast experience of successfully implementing SAM, SAM tools and also made huge cost savings. A member of the ISO Standards WG21, David is a massive ITAM geek, so uses any opportunity to talk about the subject to who-ever will listen. He believes that the industry needs to share its knowledge and success stories to help the SAM industry mature and become more effective. Always willing to help, his primary goal is to make a difference to organisations and the SAM industry so everyone will know how epic SAM is!

3 Comments

  1. TOPdesk UK says:

    Good Advice! So crucial to network and of course enjoy what you do: really opens doors.

  2. TAM Institute says:

    You may also consider the key importance of recognizing the need for quality SAM / ITAM competency training. Traditional 2 or 3 day SAM training sessions are NOT the best option for converting new asset managers into overnight experts.

    When you train for the minimum, you’ll be capable of delivering only the minimum. When you train for global competency, you’ll be capable of higher performance & enhanced vertical mobility – You’ll begin bringing value to the enterprise before you even complete the certification.

    At the Institute, we recognize that we’re the most comprehensive SAM certification provider you’ve never heard of. That’s OK with us, because our unique online – on-demand programs not only match the expectations of practicing asset management professionals, but we also take the next step of linking your training deliverables with the actual requirements of corporations that are searching for asset management practitioners. We also help our members build on the foundation competencies that you need to succeed.

    When you couple quality training with a built-in desire to take responsibility for your own on-going professional development, you’ll have stepped up several levels in professionalism.

  3. Some good tips David, I’d also add:
    1 Get familiar with multiple tools and what is new in the market
    2 Understand SAM in the data centre (it’s where the big savings and risks lie)
    3 Become an expert in EXCEL, take courses if necessary
    4 Get advice from other experts even if you have to pay for it, we can’t be expert in all vendors license contracts
    5 Demonstrate the savings so people see the value you bring
    6 Don’t ignore the cloud or tablets

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