Implementing a formal software asset management program helps businesses to identify their total software portfolio and recognize any licensing overlap. Business process outsourcing solution provider Minacs is a prime example of a company that recently deployed a software asset management solution as part of a review of its overall business strategy and goals. To its surprise, the Canadian firm discovered multiple types of software running across the organization. Through the implementation of a software asset management program (SAM), Minacs streamlined its IT department and saved more than $100,000 in licensing and software purchasing costs.
Many technology companies are developing programs to assist their customers in dealing with the increasing regulatory demands of tracking their assets. To meet the needs of its customers, Microsoft Corp. recently launched its own Software Asset Management program.

The initiative is designed to help partners provide IT support for customers seeking to take control of their software assets. A partner who has achieved the SAM competency can offer the following services:

• Conduct an audit of all software installed on customer PCs, workstations, servers and other hardware to find out what software titles your company is currently using.

• Match software with licences. The goal of SAM is to make it clear whether a company is over-licensed or under-licensed for certain software programs, which will hopefully help your company save money in the long run.

• Review policies and procedures around purchasing and maintaining software for your organization. Often, new policies and procedures need to be developed to help ensure proper SAM and an ongoing plan is established, along with a library of media licences to keep the company’s documentation up-to-date.

• Develop a SAM plan. Following the audit, the customer receives a report on the findings, indicating where to redeploy licences into different parts of the organization and which licences need to be acquired. For more information on the Microsoft SAM program, please visit: www.microsoft.com/resources/sam/default.mspx.

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