15 Sep Software Asset Management (SAM): why SAM and why NOT associate SAM with BSA
Not a few times I heard of the association between Microsoft Software Asset Management (SAM) and the controls performed by BSA Romania over the last year, which has led companies to resist adopting such a plan. Association may be correct, but only in certain situations, which we will discuss more broadly in the following lines.
First of all, Microsoft Software Asset Management (SAM) incorporates a set of processes and procedures to manage and optimize existing software resources within an organization. I mean, it supports the companies in situations such as: over / sub-licensing, lack of an overview of software assets in the organization with major implications for costs and efficiency, including Legality, lack of standardization and clearly defined IT processes.
Not few were the companies where they had full versions of certain software’s actually using only 30% of the functionality, or IT managers – recently appointed on the job – did not have a clear picture of the company’s software, as well as on the real needs of the organization. In such situations and not only, following the implementation of the SAM, a reduction of the licensing costs was obtained – up to 34.5%, given the optimization of the activity carried out.
SAM plan implementation is done in four steps, including:
- inventory of available resources;
- their organization for good management;
- Implementing appropriate policies and procedures throughout the organization (eg acquisitions);
- and, last but not least, maintaining the SAM plan.
The result, as long as the company maintains and respects the SAM plan, takes the form of a very clear image across the organization, in terms of predictability of costs and optimization of resources. And the advantages do not stop there …
Turning back to the association between SAM and BSA, SAM has proven to be the best method recommended by best practice on the market to eliminate the risks of software piracy, especially the involuntary one.
In Romania, these risks increased, especially with the signing of the protocol for preventing and fighting software piracy, between the General Police Inspectorate and the Business Software Alliance on September 15, 2011, a protocol that takes into account over 13,000 small, medium and large companies, suspected of illegal / inappropriate use of software.
Practically, according to the legislation in force, if the computer programs are not used without the necessary licenses, the fines are high, starting with the criminal fine for companies – from RON 5,000 to RON 600,000 – up to complementary punishments that may include: the dissolution of the legal entity, the suspension of the activity in whole or in part for a period of 3 months to 1 year, the closure of some work points for a period of 3 months to 3 years, the prohibition of the right to participate in the public procurement procedures for a period of from 1 to 3 years, the display or broadcasting of the conviction decision.
Compared to other EU countries, SAM deployment services in Romania are still free and available to Microsoft partners accredited with SAM competencies. Besides the actual inventory (which creates unnecessary fears among organizations), the partner has the role of providing expert advice that brings real value to an SAM plan.
- SAM implementation is recommended in any company, regardless of size or field of activity;
- SAM is also the recommended method of good market practice to avoid the risks of software piracy, especially the involuntary one;
- SAM is particularly beneficial in the long run by implementing and maintaining it across the organization;
- In Romania, SAM deployment services are still free and made available by Microsoft SAM accredited partners.
Daniela Scarlat is Crescendo’s Sales Manager, Business Productivity Solutions, and has extensive experience, including Microsoft’s licensing programs.
CRESCENDO team is a Microsoft Gold SAM partner, meaning it is empowered by Microsoft Romania to provide consulting services to the required quality standards on how to manage and optimize software licenses and assets for organizations of all sizes, from small businesses to large organizations dimensions.
If you want to make sure you get the most benefit from a Microsoft licensing program or want to clarify other issues (including legal), please contact us.