Welcome to the second in our series for our new feature – The End User Review. We have had a number of entries for this feature, so thank you very much to everyone that has contributed so far. If you’d like to have your say, and your story told, please complete the review here.
This End User Review comes from a software procurement professional whose main challenges are finding the best software deals for their organisation.
1. What is your current job title?
A. Software Procurement Manager (EMEA)
2. What is the size of your organisation (users and devices)?
A. We have about 18,000 devices and 15,000 users. This includes portable devices such as iPads.
3. What are your current ITAM focuses or priorities?
A. Reducing spend on software. We spend a ridiculous amount on software that we potentially do not need. We are currently looking to re-negotiate all of our contracts at the end of their term, now we have a SAM team in place and kind of know what we are doing!
ITAMR: You will be amazed at how much money yourself and a SAM team can save with the right SAM processes in place. Having the visibility on what software is in use, and what software you may need in the future will help put you on the front foot. Do not be scared to negotiate! Everything is negotiable.
4. Do you currently have a SAM tool in place?
5. What are the biggest challenges you face with your SAM Tool?
A. The support from the vendor. We have a number of requests currently ‘open’ that we haven’t heard anything back from. They say they are based in the UK, but when we have had problems in the past we have been directed to their support staff in Sweden. They haven’t been much help. However, they are very quick to call me or the SAM team to try and spend more money with them!
ITAMR: I would be interested to know the process you went through when you picked your SAM tool? Did you look at other solutions; ask them for trial periods etc? It is vitally important to find the right SAM solution that works for your environment, and that can provide the support levels that you are expecting.
6. What aspects of ITAM or software licensing to do you feel you need greater support with?
A. Understanding the licensing metrics. They change so often, I feel as though I cannot keep up. I am by no means an ‘ITAM enthusiast’. It is my job; it pays me a wage and puts food on the table. I want to go in at 9am and leave at 5:30pm without having to ‘take my work home’ with me. However, with the amount of changes to licensing I am having to research outside of working hours.
ITAMR: Sorry, we can’t relate to not being an ITAM Enthusiast. We live and breathe ITAM here at the ITAM Review, and will gladly read up about it at any time of the day! However, we understand your frustrations, which is why we try to keep our licensing quick guides up-to-date and explained in such a way that makes licensing easier to understand.
7. Who would you consider to be the most challenging software vendor, and why?
A. Oracle or Adobe. Both are nightmares to deal with and in my experience do not seem to care about building a customer relationship.
ITAMR: We fully understand your frustrations with Oracle and Adobe. As you may be aware, the Campaign for Clear Licensing is currently working to improve the experience had with Oracle and to get them to make their licensing clearly.
On a personal level I have also dealt with Adobe and had problems. They have also recently dropped Acrobat XI and replaced it with a new version without communicating this with anyone!
8. What is the most complex license metrics you’ve encountered?
A. Some people may not think it is complicated, but we are struggling with the Adobe Creative Cloud upgrade at the moment. This will be our first instance of subscription and cloud based licensing, and because they’ve changed the license metrics from user to device we are finding it a challenge migrating users from the old Creative Design suites to Creative Cloud.
ITAMR: Adobe CC can be a challenge, and upgrading from device perpetual licensing to subscription user-based licensing is a hassle. It is also important to note that Adobe have changed the applications in each package, so your users may require a different license as part of Creative Cloud. Have a look at our Adobe Licensing Quick Guide to see if that can be of any support.
9. Where do you think the ITAM market is going/progressing?
A. From what I have seen I would suggest it is moving towards a subscription based licensing model. I feel as though everyone is moving towards cloud based non-perpetual licensing, which makes a procurement manager’s job a bit tougher!I also feel as though tablets such as iPads are creeping there way in to every day working, and that may be why vendors are moving towards these new licensing models, to enable users to use tablets and their laptops.
ITAMR: Agreed! We are fans of mobile device management (MDM) here at the ITAM Review and feel as though it will be an important element of ITAM in years to come. Also, with regards to licensing, have a read of our ‘Top Ten License Types’ article. That backs up your theory that the market is moving towards a subscription-based model.
10. What elements of ITAM would you like to do more of, but haven’t got the time or resources?
A. Better planning. Due to the size and nature of our organisation, it feels like there is a new contract renewal or software request every hour. We need to focus on being more proactive and getting involved with the planning stages of projects so we can identify any software needs. I work closely with the SAM team, but they are lacking resources. It constantly feels like we are playing catch up. I’d rather we were one step ahead rather than two steps behind.
ITAMR: It is hard implementing a ‘proactive’ SAM estate off the back of a ‘reactive’ estate. Processes need to be put in place, and the SAM team need to open lines of communication with those requesting the software and project managers to ensure they are kept updated with any future licensing requests.
Once again, thank you to our End User Reviewer for submitting their story. If you’d like to give your opinions, and be part of the End User Review, then please fill out the form here.
Your answers are anonymous and will never be pinned back to you.