SAM Summit 2017

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SAM Summit 2017

SAM Summit 2017: Tactical Advice for Boosting SAM

The 2016 conference is done, but you can review the highlights here. Watch the video. SAM Summit 2017 is scheduled for July 10-12, 2017 in Chicago.

Expert speakers, the latest in tools, and peer networking at the 2016 SAM Summit help SAM professionals advance their SAM programs

Software asset management professionals attend the annual SAM Summit expecting to learn new ways to improve their programs and hoping to connect with like-minded colleagues who can offer hard-won advice. For many attendees, their experience at the 2016 event was even more enlightening than they had anticipated.

This year, expert speakers mingled with attendees to offer one-on-one advice and vendors demonstrated how their tools could help address specific issues. SAM managers learned new tactics for optimizing their Oracle, SAP, IBM and Microsoft investments along with maturing their SAM and IT asset operations.

“Before I came to this event, I didn’t have a dozen SAP or Oracle licensing experts I could just call when I need help,” said one attendee, a SAM manager for a global information company. “But now I do.”

In Chicago on July 11-13, 2016 the International Business Software Managers Association hosted the 13th annual SAM Summit to focus on intermediate, advanced, and emerging topics in SAM, software licensing, and contracting and compliance, including vendor-specific talks about working with SAP, Oracle and Microsoft.

Throughout the conference, a few themes surfaced that reveal the growing maturity of SAM programs: increasing executive buy-in, optimizing existing SAM practices, and deepening understanding of complex contracts that include virtualization and cloud services.

Each speaker addressed these themes from different perspectives. Among the most popular sessions were C.J. Ortega’s opening keynote and strategy roundtable discussion about negotiation skills, Anne Feider’s (Wells Fargo) discussion of SAM and cyber security, and Sandi Conrad’s (Info-Tech) session about developments in SaaS and cloud computing.

Ortega is the principal consultant for SSES Global and has more than 25 years experience as a SAM executive, including at IBM, so she calls herself an early adopter. Her mission was to share her personal strategy for building a SAM program.

“You need a strategy to get executive support and fund people, so you need to know what motivates your company,” said Ortega. Craft your message along the lines of governance and mitigation of financial risk; Get creative, retain annual savings for manpower, negotiate agreements, and build in the cost of administering them.”

SamSummit Anne Feider

Feider, senior vice president of enterprise technology asset management at Wells Fargo, spoke about the importance of expanding SAM to include all aspects of IT, especially security. She pointed out that all software has security implications, and if you don’t have solid data on the software installed across your enterprise, you can’t act fast enough or sure enough in case of a security incident.

“SAM managers now need to be part of the cyber security team,” said Feider. “Through swift access to definitive asset data, SAM can reduce software vulnerabilities. There isn’t a security function we’re not impacting—all efforts rely on our SAM information.”

Conrad’s advice on how to reduce the compliance risks introduced by SaaS also hit a chord among Summit attendees. Drawing on her research at Info-Tech, the senior director of infrastructure practice advised SAM managers to work with IT to determine which cloud services will be best fit their organizations.

Sam Summit 2016 Conrad

She also suggested attendees find tracking and monitoring tools to better manage users’ provisioning and use of cloud services. “SAM is becoming less about license compliance and more about reducing the risks associated with shadow IT, analyzing costs, and participating in the enablement of IT to serve the business,” said Conrad.

In addition to debating the shifting role of SAM, this year both speakers and attendees agreed: Understand your contracts and know your rights to minimize risk of audit; work proactively with your vendors to stay on the right side of compliance; and develop a breadth of negotiating skills so you never come to the table unprepared.  

Attorney Julie Machal-Fulks led a session called Know Your Rights: Legal Approaches to Minimizing Oracle Audit and Compliance Risk, which touched  a nerve among attendees struggling to contain costs with their Oracle ULAs (unlimited license agreements).

SAM Summit 2016

“You must understand that getting out of ULAs is tricky, mostly because clients are ill equipped and under informed,” said Michal-Fulks, explaining that customers tend to either overestimate or underestimate their usage.

“If you cancel, you will be audited by Oracle,” she warned. “So if you’re counting on savings from rolling off ULAs, roll in the cost of an audit.”

Michal-Fulks led a similar session on understanding and negotiating IBM license agreements. She advised attendees to dig deep in the licensing requirements, especially if using virtualization, and clarify all ambiguities before the contract is signed. The license must expressly grant usage rights required for a given architecture before the customer uses it.

SAM Summit 2016

The flip side to understanding a contract is being able to negotiate favorable terms. To that end, Ortega offered  insights into negotiation styles in a session called Negotiation Skills and the Gender Divide. She delved into both gender and generational differences as well as cultural expectations and regional norms.

“Understand what comes naturally for you, but be able to switch negotiation styles to match the person you’re negotiating with,” said Ortega. “Most negotiations include both integrative bargaining and distributive bargaining—but you can’t give to get if the other person is just out to win.”

With a laugh, Ortega added, “We are most susceptible to psychological influence when faced with an honest, attractive negotiator!”

SAM Summit sessions offered big picture advice, but also ventured into the trenches of rapidly changing technologies. From the software defined data center and virtualization to cloud computing to the Internet of Things, SAM managers learned that adaptation is crucial to staying on top of licensing compliance.

After two and half days of intensive learning and peer networking, SAM Summit attendees left the event with an arsenal of new ideas and new tactics for growing their companies’ SAM programs and saving their organizations millions of dollars every year, with Ortega’s advice still ringing in their ears: “Bake in to your contracts whatever costs you can,” she said. “Know when you have leverage and use it.”

Join us in July 10-12, 2017 for the 14th SAM Summit in Chicago. For event details as they become available, follow us on Twitter @SAMSummit_IBSMA and join our LinkedIn group, International Business Software Managers Association.

SAM Summit 2016

About the conference

What is SAM Summit? Now in its 14th year, SAM Summit 2017 is a unique 2.5 day summit focusing on intermediate to advanced-level topics in software asset management, software licensing, contracting and compliance, plus emerging developments in SAM. Space is limited! Register early for the best discounts and promotions.

What’s on the 2017 agenda? Our 2.5 day schedule is geared for a select audience and features top speakers, case studies, panel discussions and roundtables, plus opportunities for networking and peer discussion. Sessions address cutting-edge trends for 2016, such as compliance for software-as-a-service, SAM and data privacy and data security, plus compliance clinics, peer networking discussions and workshops and license management strategies for Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and others. We've organized the agenda into tracks and sessions for intermediate and advanced-level attendees.

Where is it held? Chicago's Gleacher Center, a world-class venue downtown on Chicago's Miracle Mile and close to the subway, museums and restaurants. This international city is an ideal location and many of our members are within a two-hour flight.

Who will attend? Like past successful SAM Summits, we expect many sophisticated and experienced end-user attendees who are looking for tips and solutions for challenging—and in some cases, maturing—software and IT asset management environments. Attendance is kept to 200 to maintain our intimate environment providing attendees ample time to mingle and network.

Plan now to attend SAM Summit 2017 in Chicago. Follow us: Twitter at @SAMSummit_IBSMA or LinkedIn for the latest updates.

Summit Sessions View the 2016 agenda and session descriptions

SAM Summit 2016

Our 2.5-day schedule is geared for a select audience and features top speakers, case studies, panel discussions and roundtables, plus opportunities for networking and peer discussion. Sessions address cutting-edge trends for 2017, such as licensing in the cloud, managed services and license management strategies for Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, SAP and others. We've organized the agenda into tracks and sessions for intermediate and advanced-level attendees. View the 2016 agenda and watch the video for an overview of what you can expect. The 2017 call for speakers will open soon.

SAM Summit 2016 Sponsors & Exhibitors

Contact IBSMA for 2017 exhibitor information. E-mail or call 1.734.930.1925. The 2016 sponsors are listed below.



Aspera is a highly specialized provider of strategic license management solutions. Our unique service based approach has been successfully implemented in international projects since 2000. More than 200 enterprises—including over 35 Fortune 500 companies—rely on Aspera’s license management expertise for software license optimization and strategic audit defense. Visit

Belarc's products offer a combination of accurate discovery and automated asset and software license management.   Discovered instances and usage of products such as Microsoft Office, SQL Server, Windows Server, Visio, Project, Oracle, Adobe and more, are automatically linked to purchase records and licensing rules, to help automate your IT asset management and SAM processes. For additional information visit


Born in 2012, Cireson was founded on a simple, powerful idea; to be the forward thinkers on all things Microsoft Cloud and System Center. Our values from the beginning are still the same; keep it genuine, do the right thing, and listen to customers. As a world leader in Microsoft Cloud & System Center, our mission is to make your working life ridiculously more productive by bringing service and asset management together, and that's the Cireson Platform. Taking pride in our expertise, we proudly boast some of the brightest and most fanatical IT professionals in the industry. From the Cireson Platform to Consulting Services and community engagements—everything we do is designed to push technical brilliance forward. Our headquarters are located in sunny San Diego with offices throughout North America, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Visit


Eracent provides comprehensive, automated IT (ITAM) and software asset management (SAM) solutions for enterprise-level companies. With Eracent's unique SOAR™ methodology, customers can establish savings goals and optimization targets for hardware assets and software licenses, and then monitor progress as they successfully meet milestones along the way. Eracent's solutions help to improve process efficiency, reduce publisher audit risk, maximize the use of all IT assets and licenses, and minimize expenditures throughout the lifecycle of these assets. For more information visit

Flexera Software

Flexera Software is the leading provider of strategic solutions for Application Usage Management solutions delivering continuous compliance, optimized usage and maximized value to application producers and their customers. Flexera Software is trusted by more than 80,000 customers that depend on our comprehensive solutions—from installation and licensing, entitlement and compliance management to application readiness and software license optimization. Visit (Exhibitor)

Gain maximum security, compliance and efficiency. IBM Enterprise Endpoint Management solutions combine endpoint management and security into a single solution. It enables enterprise-wide real-time visibility so you can manage all your physical and virtual assets. It helps your organization to keep endpoints secure, healthy, compliant and running at peak performance; reduce management complexity and cost, increase accuracy and boost productivity, and; collapse management actions from months to weeks and from days to hours. For more information, visit


Whether it's through lack of control, lack of understanding or lack of compliance, Snow believes that most organizations today end up paying too high a price for their software. To address this, Snow provides software asset management (SAM) solutions designed to ensure that the $326 billion spent every year on enterprise software is money well spent— ensuring organizations have the appropriate licenses for the software they use—not too many, not too few. More than 6,000 organizations worldwide rely on Snow to optimize licensing across in excess of 11 million devices, from the mobile to desktop, datacenter to the cloud. For more information, vist

Location & Hotel Info

SAM Summit 2017 sessions will be held at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center Conference Facilities.

450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Map of local area

On-site wireless Internet access available in the conference area.

A premier conference center in the heart of Chicago. The University of Chicago Gleacher Center is conveniently located in the center of Chicago's business community, just blocks away from the Loop and steps away from Magnificent Mile shopping, restaurants and hotels. It is easily accessible with public transportation and adjacent parking lots.

Driving directions and parking information for the conference center.

Hotel Accommodations

IBSMA has a block of rooms available at the InterContinental Chicago Hotel, a four-star hotel located at 505 North Michigan Ave. The group rate is $219/night plus taxes. The hotel is one block from the conference center. Contact the hotel directly and mention IBSMA SAM Summit Conference or group code RKS to book your room at the preferred rate. Call 800.628.2112 or 312.944.4100. Click here for online booking.* The group rate is subject to availability and may sell out before the cut off date of June 16, 2017.

*This link is not tablet or mobile friendly. The link automatically takes you to the landing page. Click on "change search" to enter the dates.

InterContinentalChicago InterContinental Chicago Exterior
InterContintal Chicago Exterior
InterContinental Chicago Lobby

Here's a listing of hotels in the area. Hotels with * are in close walking distance to the conference center.

Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers*
301 East North Water Street

Loews Chicago Hotel*
455 North Park Drive

InterContinental Chicago*
505 North Michigan Ave.
Chicago Marriott Downtown*
540 North Michigan Ave.
Hyatt Regency Chicago*
151 East Wacker Drive
Chicago Courtyard Downtown (Marriott)*
165 East Ontario St.

Fairmont Chicago*
200 North Columbus Drive

Omni Chicago Hotel*
676 North Michigan Ave.

Crowne Plaza Allerton*
701 North Michigan Ave.
Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
20 East Chestnut St.

Chicago Visitor Information

For a database of great Chicago restaurants and events, visit the Chicago Tribune's Metromix. For city travel information, visit the City of Chicago Web site.

Education & Networking

July 9 | 5:00–7:30 p.m. | Registration & Conference Services

SAM Summit attendees are invited to stop by the InterContinental Chicago Hotel to pick up conference materials. Look for the SAM Summit sign in the lobby.

July 10 | 5:15–6:45 p.m. | SAM Summit Networking Reception

Always a favorite. Always fun. Join us in for an appetizer and drinks reception. Unwind, mingle and visit with the exhibitors and enter the drawing for valuable prizes. Prize drawings to be held at the conclusion of the reception.

July 11 | 5:30–9:30 p.m. | Special Event Night

Our 2016 special event was a huge success. Dinner and Lake Michigan Boat Cruise and Chicago Skyline Tour. Stay tuned for details on our 2017 event. Event night is included in all conference registration packages (space is limited).

July 13-14 | SAM Summit Conference & Certification Courses

Here's a sample of what's planned for 2017.


Practitioners Certificate in Oracle License Management (PCOLM)

This course will empower you to make informed decisions on licensing and managing your Oracle software. The content covers not only the fundamentals of Oracle software licensing, technical support polices and software asset management, but also the essentials of server architecture, licensing and compliance concepts. Details



Practitioners Certificate in Software License Negotiation (PCSLA)

This course will help you master the 10 essential areas of a software license agreement. We present the material in plain English in the form of questions to ask and points to consider during the negotiation or contract evaluation process. Details



Practitioners Certificate in IBM License Management (PCILM) Details

This course will help you learn about critical areas of IBM licensing and develop a practical approach to creating reliable IBM license compliance reports. We will illustrate key concepts and pitfalls using exercises based on real-life customer scenarios. At the completion of this course, you will have in-depth knowledge on how to effectively determine your IBM license entitlements, deployment and compliance position using all available resources.


Practitioners Certificate in SAP License Management (PCSAP) Details

This course will empower you to make informed decisions on licensing and managing your SAP software. The content covers not only the fundamentals of SAP software licensing, technical support polices and software asset management, but also the essentials of server architecture, licensing and compliance concepts.

All courses will be held at the University of Chicago Center Conference Facilities.

For additional IBSMA courses click here.

Save 10% on early-bird registration (register 14 or more day in advance), or save $100-200 on the conference + course, or save $200 on multiple courses. Coupon codes listed on the shopping cart. Conditions apply.

*PCOLM, PCILM, PCSAP and PCSLA courses available for an additional fee. In-conference seminars included in the conference fee.


About the International Business Software Managers Association (IBSMA)
The International Business Software Mangers Association (IBSMA) is the world's largest nonprofit association of business-focused software management (SAM) professionals working together to develop and promote SAM best practices and address issues of common concern. Visit for details.

Need help convincing your boss? Use our handy convince-your-boss letter that outlines the benefits attending this conference will bring to your organization. Download the letter

SAM Summit Attendee and Course Registration

SAm Summit 2017

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Practitioners Certificate in IBM License Management (PCILM)


Practitioners Certificate in Oracle License Management (PCOLM)


Practitioners Certificate in SAP License Management (PCSAP)


Practitioners Certificate in Software License Agreements (PCSLA-C)




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