Dear Reader
Welcome to the SAMsource Library.  Your decision to read this far is your first step in understanding what software asset management is really all about.

Allow me to take you on a quick tour of our knowledge library, everything mentioned below is free for all to access, read and learn.

In today's world, if you purchase proprietary software (as almost all of us do at some point) there are three areas that you need to contend with:
  1. Purchasing software
  2. Software compliance
  3. Managing your software assets

If you do it right you will at the very least avoid unnecessary costs in each of these areas and benefit from cost savings compared to what you are spending now.

In addition, if you know what you are dealing with in terms of the software industry and particularly the software compliance industry, then you will be in great shape to avoid the risks of potentially very expensive action from the publishers - Must read

There has been a great deal said and written about software asset management (SAM) over the years much of which has been confusing and often misleading.

SAMsource is all about providing you with what you need to know so that you can put good SAM practices into place yourself.  We have nothing to sell other than the knowledge gained implementing SAM solutions in the real world since 2002.

What does the software industry look like?
A simple reality is that we all pay too much for software in one way or another.  Of course before you can cure your organisation of these problems you need to know the most common causes.

None of this is made any easier by the fact that when procuring software you have to deal with an industry that can often be characterised as not having your best interests at heart.  To quote somebody far wiser than me - "the software market is driven by hyperbole motivated by sales targets where the product seldom delivers the promised benefits."

Once you understand where each party within the market is coming from, we believe you will be far better equipped to negotiate pricing for what you need rather than what others want you to purchase.

The compliance industry
With software compliance, the authorities have created an atmosphere based on suspicion where as consumers we are guilty unless we can prove otherwise.

Where they can the software publishers outsource any threatening action to the compliance authorities so that they don't look like the bad guys, but often the publishers take on the challenge of alienating customers themselves - Software publisher audits

The industry tends to overplay the threat of your organisation being audited and then prosecuted, BUT do not underestimate the chances of this happening if you handle things incorrectly.

If your organisation is audited (the publishers and compliance authorities have the legal right to request an audit at any time) and found to be under licensed, you will at the very least have to purchase licences to correct the problem immediately without being allowed to de-install any excess software to become compliant.

Your organisation could also be fined and the authorities enjoy publishing the names of such cases, so the consequences can be dramatic.

Whether it goes legal or not, one aspect of an audit can never be escaped.  The whole process of being investigated will cause your organisation significant expense in time and effort - Non-compliance costs

One thing is for sure.  If you have ever purchased counterfeit software (knowingly or not) you will have to replace it with genuine product.  Much better to avoid the scams and any interest from the authorities in the first place - Mitigate risk

Another negative aspect of the compliance and SAM industries is the bodies that offer support to end user organisations when they are actually working on behalf of the publishers.  We discuss this along with every other level of conflict of interest in the industry, it is not a pretty sight...

So what causes all this hassle? In Causes of non-compliance we detail the seven most common reasons for getting into difficulty.

In software asset management we look in a little more detail at how SAM works, the main SAM myths that cause trouble and the structure of the SAM market.

In How to do SAM you will find all the information you need to do SAM yourselves in the most efficient way, whatever the size of your organisation.

In Reconciliation we have explained the best approach to establishing a licence position for your priority products, the main set being Microsoft

Much of the sales pitch promoting the management of software is led by the tool vendors, their argument being that their tool can solve all the problems and provide all the benefits of SAM.

We go into much more detail in SAM Tools, suffice to say for now that tools should never be regarded as anything more than part of a solution and often all they cause is great expenditure and wasted time.

Having worked with many different organisations, we have seen that taking care of the basics is a far better way to mitigate the risks and reduce costs.  The right knowledge applied in the right way is far more effective than relying on an inadequate tool.

Where do we stand?
We are here to bring some clarity into a market that we feel has often abused the trust of its customers over the years.

We fiercely guard our independence from software publishers, the so called authorities and tool vendors as this allows us to voice opinions that others cannot or won't for fear of damaging lucrative relationships.

Within the SAMsource Library you will find all the techniques required to reap all the benefits we list because we keep it simple. Every idea has been researched and tested in the real world and proven to work.

This body of knowledge has already saved huge amounts of money and time for the organisations that we have worked with on a consultancy basis. Now we want to broaden the audience to ensure that many more people can benefit.

How to get the most from the Library
You most likely have a particular interest in certain sections rather than the whole thing. Of course the order in which you read the library is entirely up to you.

We highly recommend however that you skim through each section at a high level to appreciate the general structure, before reading those areas most pertinent to your situation.

The Library has very deliberately been built as an online resource so that you can access it any time as often as you like.  It also means that we can constantly update the information as things develop.

And finally...
Everyone at SAMSource has worked in the software market for years and specifically in the provision of software asset management solutions since 2002.

Between us we have covered every part of the industry from software publishers, resellers, solution providers and tool vendors and we have seen from the inside the way things work.

Over the years we have helped many people like you to understand what is required in the field of SAM. All the knowledge we have accumulated is now yours, all you have to do is read on.

And please, if you have any feedback at all I would like to hear from you personally, go to our Contact form and mark your message for my attention.

kind regards

Ben Slater
Managing Director

Copyright 2008-2009

All Rights reserved - No part of this Library may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means graphic, electronic or mechanical without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

The contents of the Library reflect the authors' views acquired through experience whilst working in the field under discussion. Reliance upon any such advice, opinion, statement, or other information contained within the Library shall be at the User's own risk. SAMsource shall not be liable to any User or anyone else for any inaccuracy, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, alteration of or use of any content herein, or for its timeliness or completeness, nor shall they be liable for any failure of performance, computer virus or communication line failure, regardless of cause, or for any damages resulting therefrom.

Published by SAMsource Trading Ltd

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