On this page we explain:

- Management myths

- Technical myths

- Purchasing myths

- Licensing myths

What are the main causes of SAM issues?
Almost all SAM issues derive from one or a combination of the following myths and misunderstandings.

Management myths and misunderstandings

1) The ostrich or believing that your organisation will not suffer a publisher audit or attention from the authorities at some time - Will you ever be audited?

2) Underestimating the work involved when a publisher requests an audit - Software publisher audits

3) Believing that tools will automate your SAM processes and the industry hype about licence optimisation.  Both are possible but often much further down the road than people realise.

4) Trying to do too much too soon.  You need to get your people to prioritise the software product set, deal with the Top 10 and then move on through the next highest priority products - How to approach SAM - Product prioritisation

5) Not encouraging the right people to communicate - Make sure your procurement people and software deployment people talk to each other - It's good to talk

6) Not appreciating that some basic knowledge can go along way. Make sure that anyone directly involved with the purchase or deployment of software is educated in the basics of licensing - Licensing guide

Technical myths
1) Assumption that if it is running it must be licensed.

We all know the line about assumption being the mother of all.......and this is a classic example.  Many people assume that if they can run or access software then it must be legally licensed.

The problems really start when the people in charge of software assume the same thing.

We have seen this repeated many times, from CIO's to technical specialists to IT Managers to SAM administrators.

One reason we have all been confused by this at some point is often because of the conflation of the words licence and activation key...

2) Confusion between licence and activation keys - Licence/Activation keys...

Many people are convinced that their software is licensed in the right way because they have a 'licence key'.

A software licence is a contract, a piece of paper, it is not what is installed or activated or accessed by a user which is the software (What is software?)

3) A tool will sort everything out.  Read SAM tools to appreciate where the gaps in licence management lie.

Purchasing myths
1) Buying a licence isn't enough, you must keep proper proof of licence entitlement - Prove it or lose it...

We have seen many cases where hundreds of thousands of pounds of licences needed to be bought all over again, because the owner couldn't produce the correct proof of licences they had genuinely  purchased.

2) You do not need to keep invoices/financial records for every software purchase your organisation makes.

You do need to keep what qualifies as proof of licence entitlement.  But invoices often do not qualify as proper proof so all you are doing is wasting time by collating them.

We have seen many organisations that have spent years collecting information that is worthless, so make sure you don't waste time in doing the same - Licence entitlement.

Licence management myths
1) Installed software is not all you need to take care of.  Due to the tool vendors' domination of SAM the emphasis in the market is always on identifying what software is installed on machines on your network rather than dealing with systems based on user licensing.

This is fine to an extent, except that a large proportion of your software licensing requirement will also depend on users accessing systems rather than running locally installed applications.

Tools are often inadequate or totally incapable of detecting, tracking and measuring user based licensing models - The truth about audit tools

Licensing myths

1) An 'enterprise' agreement does not mean a general free for all.
When people hear the words 'enterprise licence' they often believe they have the right to install or deploy anything and everything in as much quantity as desired.

In one sense you can, but you will then have to pay for every piece of software that is deployed whether it is needed or used or not.

Many many organisations have been caught out by this one, where the IT department believed they were covered, but no one has purchased the licences that are now required due to the extensive deployment that has taken place.

2) You do not need to explicitly link licences to machines.
Asset management concerns machines, where they are, who is using them and so on.  If you then try to manage licences in the same way you will cause a huge amount of unnecessary work - Global licensing position

3) A Microsoft Windows CAL does NOT include a Windows (XP, Vista) licence and a Windows licence does NOT include the CAL, we have heard both.

A Windows licence is usually purchased with a machine and the CAL is a separate licence required if the machine connects to a Windows server - Windows CAL's

4) Software deployed over Citrix usually doesn't allow concurrent licensing rules - Citrix.

Citrix licensing does use the concurrency model but most software applications that you might deploy over Citrix (Microsoft, Adobe etc) do not, i.e. a Microsoft Project licence is required for every user that could run Microsoft Project over Citrix.

Make sure you have also read - Causes of non-compliance - where we explain the 7 main issues in the compliance framework.

Now we look at Managing chaos which so many organisations try to do on a daily basis...