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SAM Summit 2020

SAMS Prepare for 2020: Know Your Organization, Cut Waste and Embrace Collaboration

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At SAM Summits you'll hear expert speakers on today's complex software licensing topics, plus peer networking to help professionals like you advance your SAM program and your career!

Join your software and IT asset management peers at the International Business Software Managers Association’s annual SAM Summit conferences in San Francisco, London and Chicago. Our extensive session lineup features SAM and licensing experts from top software vendors, end user organizations, plus top SAM tool companies and major SAM consultancies.

Learn from the best practices of your peers during our case-study sessions featuring the SAM directors from some of the world’s top corporations. These are the can't-miss events of the year for software asset management pros worldwide. Immerse yourself in emerging approaches, thought-provoking conversations and meaningful interactions with your SAM and compliance management peers.

Through panel discussions, hot-topic sessions, case-study presentations, end-user-only networking groups, tool demonstrations and focus tracks you'll gain the skills you need to chart a course, stay relevant, grow your influence, and manage risk.

Software asset management professionals attend the annual SAM Summit to learn new ways to improve their programs and connect with like-minded colleagues who can offer hard-won advice. For many attendees, their experience at the conference validates their SAM-world view. “We live in world where everything is evolving very fast, and no one is immune to changes," said one 2019 attendee. "Everyone needs to evolve their products at a much faster rate. Even [companies with] traditional infrastructures need to think differently.”

For event details as they become available, follow us: Twitter at @SAMSummit_IBSMA or LinkedIn for the latest updates.

Key Trends in Software Asset Management for 2020

Review the Excitement of SAM Summit Chicago 2019

As the software asset management field expands and the demand for well-rounded, adaptable, and enterprising professions is on the rise, there will be more challenges and more opportunities.

SAM Summit 2018

The 16th annual SAM Summit in Chicago was bustling with the energy of more than 200 software asset management professionals who gathered to network, learn, and gain insights shared only at this unique industry event.

Hosted by the International Business Software Managers Association (IBSMA) on October 22-24, 2019, the conference welcomed SAM experts, thought leaders, and industry innovators to present the newest tactical updates and cutting-edge strategies for adapting to the ever-evolving landscape of software and IT asset management. Attendees shared ideas and best practices with peers at dynamic roundtable discussions and networking events and gained insights from experts at more than 40 sessions and workshops.

SAM Trends 2020
The panels and sessions covered a wide range of topics, ranging from understanding workplace culture to tackling spending policies, SAP licensing to S/4 HANA transitions, lowering audit risks to maximizing cloud capabilities. Despite the breadth, there were three threads that were shared by the bulk of speakers—mainly know thyself, cut waste, and embrace collaboration.

The tone was set by the kick-off panel, Managing Saas, Cloud, Vendors and Spending in the New IT Age. The four speakers (Cory Wheeler, Van Richardson, Sandi Conrad and Rich Reyes) touched on several challenges that SAM professionals face: the proliferation of shadow IT and software redundancies, frustrations with hidden costs or surprising upticks in prices, a lack of governing policies on new resources and a decentralized decision-making process that can make actual management difficult.

Discovery, as the panel stressed, is an important first step. “Actual resource consumption is something that organizations need to figure out,” said Rich Reyes, executive vice president of Connor Consulting Corp. Devoting time to doing due diligence upfront in order to understand what the organization requires can save a lot of headaches in the long-term.

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Know your own software needs inside and out
Several of the breakout sessions highlighted the importance of taking a good look at company needs in order to evaluate service providers, negotiate existing contracts, and optimize the software platforms an organization already has. Some of the questions professionals may want to ask themselves are, for example, whether there is a clear understanding of restricted licenses and if there is a strategy in place to avoid agreement violations or whether support costs are justified. As Brian Watson said in his talk on evaluating and selecting SAM managed service providers, “you want to make sure the contract defines your angles too.”

You’re wasting too much on the cloud
Having a streamlined system in place makes it easier to manage software assets across large organizations, but it also pares down costs and prevents unnecessary spending. Even with popular computing services, there are gaps that professionals should be keen on closing. Take the public cloud. Several of the presenters pointed out that users waste an average of 35% of their cloud expenditures due to a variety of factors including complex pricing models, limited controls over provisioning and the constant stream of new services added to it. “You can make changes today that can save money for your organization immediately,” said Cliff Holt of KPMG, by simply taking the time to identify the gaps between your cloud’s current use and its desired state. Kim Weins of Flexera echoed this sentiment by suggesting that resources be rightsized for the organization so they can be automated and optimized.

Great tech won’t solve your people problems
In order to simplify asset management, though, collaboration across departments, hierarchies and partnerships is key. An integral part of our job is to convince executives to invest in this area, encourage our team members to operate at the top of their abilities, and establish ties with providers that are mutually beneficial.

Representatives from Oracle and IBM shared new developments that would make the audit process more open and transparent, with both indicating that the main goal was collaboration. Roundtables on dealing with company management, staffing a SAM team, working with Generation S and leadership culture also gave participants the chance to voice their own challenges and triumphs on this topic. Victoria Barber, director of Snow Software, put it best when she said, “we believe the future of digital technology is human-centered and we need to shift focus from technology to people who use them.”

As the SAM field expands and the demand for well-rounded, adaptable, and enterprising professions is on the rise, there will be more challenges. But there will also be more opportunities. The 2019 SAM Summit offered a path forward, reminding us that SAM work is vital to the financial and operative health of your organizations. By identifying needs, investing in tailored resources, and harnessing the power of collaboration, your role will remain vital for many years to come.

A warm thank you to our attendees who traveled from around the world to attend, and thank you also to our generous sponsors, Flexera, SAMGarde, and Zylo.

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About the conferences

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SAM Summit Chicago

SAM Summit Chicago

What is SAM Summit? Now in its 17th year, SAM Summit is a unique series of conferences focusing on intermediate to advanced-level topics in software asset management, software licensing, contracting and compliance, vendor management and cloud economics, plus emerging developments in SAM. Space is limited! Get the details on the SAM Summits in San Francisco, London and Chicago.

What’s on the agenda? Our agendas are 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 2020, 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, SAP, Microsoft and others. We've organized the agenda into tracks and sessions for intermediate and advanced-level attendees.

We're busy working on the 2020 agendas which will be published online.

Where are the summits held? We select world-class venues in San Francisco, London and Chicago, close to the subway, museums and restaurants. These international cities are ideal locations 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 balanced to maintain our intimate environment providing attendees ample time to mingle and network.

Exclusive SAM Summit Sponsors & Exhibitors

To receive a 2020 SAM Summit sponsor kit, e-mail or call 1.734.930.1925.

SAM Summit Conference & Certification Courses

For the most current course schedule, visit the Events page.

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SAM Summit Attendee and Course Registration

SAM Summit 2020

Visit San Francisco, London and Chicago for program and registration details.


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