On October 18, Snow Software ran a webinar in collaboration with ITAM Review to help answer the most common questions asked when professionals first hear about software asset management: what is it and do I need it?
We received questions during the live event and, as promised, we’ve provided this “Questions Answered” blog in which Martin Thompson, Owner and Founder of ITAM Review, and Michael Krutikov, Global Product Marketing with Snow Software, provide the answers.
All questions have been anonymized in the interest of privacy for our attendees and only editing corrections have been made.
We have also shared two polls conducted during the webinar. The first describes the state of SAM in attendee organizations. The second shows what organizations expect from SAM and supports research showing a shift in the SAM industry from compliance and audit needs to one that provides visibility and analytics, empowering IT and stakeholders throughout an organization to benefit from the powerful insight a SAM practice brings.
Q: What kind of financial savings are we talking about (compliance remediation, cost avoidance, license optimization, etc.) that could be achieved by effective Snow SAM tool implementation and operation?
A: Every environment is different, but from a financial perspective, industry research indicates a proper SAM practice can deliver software savings of approximately 30%. By leveraging SAM best practices, proper optimization and license harvesting/reallocation organizations can deliver cost savings and significant ROI – as well as improve the negotiation position for many organizations while reducing audit and compliance exposure.
This is the result of live polling during the webinar showing that 54% of respondents have no SAM practice or just some manual tracking they’ve started.
Q: Can Snow report on usage for Microsoft App-V deployed applications?
A: Yes, the Snow Inventory agent discovers and tracks usage across multiple application virtualization technologies, including Microsoft App–V, VMware ThinApp and Citrix XenApp.
When using Microsoft App-V (version 4.x / 5.x) the Snow Inventory agent captures details on the packages that are cached and available on the computer, scans the virtual registry, and tracks the software usage of executables launched from the virtual application package.
This data is processed through Snow’s Software Recognition Service which identifies and normalizes the data, providing the same level of detail as for regular installed applications. The applications are tagged as "virtual" so that the reporting in Snow License Manager can be separated for virtual applications when needed.
Q: 1) Any tips on managing software versions that have sunset-ted? 2) Can those contracts be terminated (EULA) if there was no support renewal agreement?
A: 1) Snow supports end-of-life (EOL) and end-of-support-life (EOSL) management with automatic recognition and reporting of these dates in application dashboards. If a vendor changes this date on you – you can create a custom field inside Snow License Manager to report once or maintain on-demand reporting for this. 2) All contracts should be reviewed by your legal and/or procurement teams to see what is allowed. Snow License Manager manages software contracts and subscriptions, along with the associated support and maintenance agreements.
Q: Vendors, such as CA and IBM, tend to not give a cost savings if you remove a product mid-term of an agreement. The products are "bundled", so if you remove a SKU, the other SKUs just increase in cost to make up for any lost revenue.
A: While mid-term renegotiation isn’t always allowed or practical, having accurate and up-to-date visibility of the actual utilization of all your key software suites is the first step in gaining leverage in contract negotiations around software purchase and renewals, as well as automating calculation of one’s Effective License Position (ELP). Getting ahead of a renewal instead of scrambling in the last few weeks prior to the renewal date, allows you to collaborate with your key vendors to find the most cost-effective solution going forward.
This is the result of live polling during the webinar showing that 53% of respondents lack the visibility they need into their software spend.
Starting a SAM practice is a journey, one that greatly enhances visibility and control of application usage. Whether you’re solving for cost-reduction and budget needs or needing to ensure that your organization isn’t exposed to audit liability, a proper Software Asset Management practice is the most effective way to solve for the compliance, efficiency and agility goals you have. Keep an eye out for our continued series of webinars, blogs and guides around starting a SAM practice.