The ITAM Review

News, reviews and resources for worldwide ITAM, SAM and Licensing professionals.

ITAM industry news June 2020: IBM, NetApp, Apple, and VMware

ITAM news roundup

There is always something happening somewhere and keeping track of it all can be, to say the least, difficult! Our ITAM industry news round ups aim to cover some of the important and interesting developments you may have missed, to help keep you informed and up-to-date. June saw a number of acquisitions that, one way or another, may impact ITAM and a very “under the radar” pricing change from IBM.

IBM change licensing pricing


In what may be a significant change for some organisations, IBM are modifying the Passport Advantage benefits. From July 1st, 2020 they are removing the “entitled discounts” for several products when deployed on-premises while the discounts will remain in place for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. IBM recommend that you “evaluate and plan a transition to the equivalent, cloud- and/or hybrid cloud-based offering” – something which is certainly easier said than done! This is another example of vendors working to encourage what they see as the “right behaviour” (i.e. moving to the cloud) from their customers

The link below includes a spreadsheet that lists the impacted SKUs and there are almost 8,000 across “Cloud integration” and “Data & AI” – so be sure to review against your IBM portfolio and understand what impact this might have on your IBM spend going forward.

Further Reading

IBM announcement

NetApp buy Spot

Industry acquisitions

June 3rd saw NetApp acquire Spot (formerly SpotInst), a cloud management and cost optimisation company. Spot have historically focused on spot instances, where unused public cloud capacity is available for a fraction of the price but often only for a limited time. They went on to build a comprehensive container management solution, Ocean, and then recently launched Cloud Analyzer, which focuses on all types of workloads and costs across multiple clouds.

That they have been acquired doesn’t surprise me at all, but NetApp isn’t quite who I was expecting; although I’ve seen them talking about cloud and containers etc., this is still an interesting move. It shows the importance of managing these future technologies and is a good signal of NetApp’s strategy and future direction. I look forward to seeing where it goes from here.

Further Reading

NetApp blog
Spot blog

IBM buy Spanugo

Vendor acquisitions
Spanugo, a just over 3-year-old cybersecurity start-up, has been acquired by IBM to bolster their public cloud offering. Offering “cybersecurity Posture Assurance”, Spanugo’s technology can “demonstrate cybersecurity compliance in real time” and gives visibility across hybrid environments to help ensure compliance with regulations such as PCI, HIPAA, GDPR, and more.

With their cloud lagging behind Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, focusing on the cybersecurity angle makes a lot of sense for IBM. It’s an area at the top of many CIO’s lists and may well be a large factor in choosing a cloud provider – certainly for certain projects and within certain industries.

Further reading

IBM announcement
Spanugo site

Apple buy Fleetsmith

vendor acquisitions

Many organisations are dealing with an increased number of remote devices that need setting up and managing and, for those of you using iPhones/iPads etc., Apple acquiring Fleetsmith could be welcome news.

The technology builds on Apple’s “Device Enrolment Program” and enables a smooth onboarding process where devices can almost instantly be turned on and managed centrally. Although Apple have already “endeared” themselves to existing Fleetsmith customers by removing the ability to manage 3rd party apps such as Chrome and Zoom.

JAMF are currently the leader in the Apple device management space, what impact – if any – might this acquisition have on that relationship? Current JAMF customers may want to keep an eye on further developments here.

Further Reading

Techcrunch article
Fleetsmith blog
Upcoming webinar on mobile device disposition

VMware buy Lastline

ITAM industry news

VMware acquired Lastline, a leader in anti-malware and AI-powered security, with the aim of bolstering their Carbon Black Threat Analysis Unit. With several key acquisitions, VMware are manoeuvring into position as a key industry player across various aspects of the hybrid cloud including virtualisation, containers, cost management, security and more.

I was talking to someone the other day who mentioned that VMware are likely to be one of the big industry behemoths over the coming 5-10 years and I agree – it certainly seems that they’ve got a strategic vision and they’re building towards it. The recent rumours about whether Dell sell VMware or buy the rest of it may play a part in just how successful it is in the end.

Further Reading

VMware acquisitions page

Goldman Sachs make a font

Goldman Sachs, the international investment bank, has released its own font: Goldman Sans. Why is this ITAM industry news? Because of this clause in the license terms:

The User may not use the Licensed Font Software to disparage or suggest any affiliation with or endorsement by Goldman Sachs

Where they look to control what you can write using their font. This is a great example of the fact that licensing terms are everywhere and also that it pays to read through the terms and conditions as you never know what you might find!

Further Reading

Verge article

About Rich Gibbons

Rich has been in the world of IT and software licensing since 2003, having been a software sales manager for a VAR, a Microsoft licensing endorsed trainer, and now an ITAM analyst looking at software licensing and cloud.

A Northerner renowned for his shirts, Rich is a big Hip-Hop head, and loves travel, football in general (specifically MUFC), baseball, Marvel, and reading as many books as possible. Finding ways to combine all of these with ITAM & software licensing is always fun!

Connect with Rich on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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