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License Compliance and Software Asset Management 

Astria has worked directly with software publishers' SAM teams continuously since 1999. We have built tracking tools, provided data, analysed sales data, profiled customers, managed SAM engagements and developed processes throughout this time. We have managed 1000's of License Compliance Reviews for vendors from which we have gained detailed experience of working with end-customers. Over 100,000 engagements have been put through our engagement tool SASS®. We can initiate direct engagement with customers; manage, track and measure engagement campaigns; or simply be your Compliance/SAM team. We, or your partners, can engage with customers online via our SASS ® service, by telephone and via onsite visits as needed.

We recently built a course for the British Computer Society:- BCS Foundation Certificate in Software and Hardware Asset Management.

Software Asset Management

SAM is part of a good Corporate Governance policy, and important within a Financial Compliance framework. It is also an important consideration when acquiring or disposing of an organisation because software is an asset just as much as your goodwill, people, buildings, desks. Over the last few years a primary concern for corporate and public sector organisations has been Compliance and Anti-Piracy.

Implementing good SAM practices means using appropriate processes and tools to:-

  1. Monitor software usage
  2. Detect and track installations of software
  3. Record and track software purchasing
  4. Manage upgrade cycles
  5. Manage redeployment of software assets (software "harvesting")
  6. Track software affected by disposals and acquisitions

Compliance and Anti-Piracy

Software is an Asset just like tangible items such as desks, chairs, phones, computers, printers, company cars. Software is purchased as a LICENSE which is the right to use the software application. The Intellectual Property of the software usually remains the property of the software publisher. So you generally do not have the right to copy software. You must purchase new copies when required, just like you would buy new chairs when needed. Copying or using pirated software deprives the original developers of legitimate income.

Software Licensing is Complex

Why is Software licensing poorly managed? It is complex. It is often poorly understood by resellers and even by software vendors themselves. IT expenditure is sometimes hidden from IT managers so they don’t have adequate control. Software is less tangible than physical assets so easy to overlook. IT staff (particularly technical staff) are often blasé about copying software.

Business Risk

Three key risks arise for businesses through any form of license abuse or mis-use:-

  1. potential overspend
  2. potential under-spend + associated legal risks
  3. security threats

Failing to buy licenses or the "right" licenses exposes you to actions by software vendors. Normally they just want you to rectify any shortfalls so you pay for what you actually use. Payment for "Historical usage" will also be sought. In the worst cases damages will also be sought where a software vendor considers that you have wilfully evaded their licenses conditions and especially if you don't co-operate.

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