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Sam Summit London 2017

Top Software and IT Asset Pros Gather at SAM Summit London to Focus on Latest Industry Trends

Nearly 80 SAM and ITAM professionals, industry leaders and experts attended the 2017 SAM Summit London, May 9, sponsored by the International Business Software Managers Association, Oracle, KPMG, and Flexera Software.

This year’s conference, the second in London, encouraged software asset managers to look to the future and prepare their organizations for issues sure to have major impact on the industry, including cybersecurity, SAP indirect usage, license optimization and proactive procurement. Attendees had the opportunity to make professional contacts from across the UK, as well as attend educational sessions featuring an insider’s look at the latest developments from Oracle and Flexera Software. 

Kicking off the Summit with an overview on optimizing software spend, managing audits and staying proactive about compliance was KPMG director Mark Harding. IBSMA director Steven Russman added, “The London SAM community is active and engaged. It’s thrilling to see so many practitioners together sharing expertise and experience. I learn so much from our members.”

KPMG UK’s principal for SAM services Simon Bolton led the first session, The Most Persuasive Business Case for SAM. In Bolton’s work with enterprises across the county he has identified the pitfalls and opportunities SAM pros are likely to face on the road to strengthening their SAM program. “If you start to look at the other things that SAM can facilitate you begin to see a new argument for maintaining SAM more consistently,” said Bolton. Cyber security, for example is a constant, not occasional, threat that an effective SAM program is a key component of, he said. Next there’s the idea of license optimization and proactive procurement (only buying what you need when you need it) that, if done consistently, can generate a steady stream of savings. “There are all sorts of other reasons to have SAM that people rarely look at, such as R&D tax credits, reselling expired or used software, and rationalization of software. All of these are part of the SAM business case,” said Bolton.

Next on the line-up was Oracle’s EMEA director Emmy Hargrave, who drove home the changes happening within the company’s License Management Services department. “Oracle LMS isn’t just for a look at company-wide licensing,” she said. “Our focused services can look at a very narrow piece of Oracle usage; for a specific project, for example, or during an acquisition. We are doing more of this proactive type engagement.” Hargrave said this year a growing 30 percent of their engagements focus on providing true-ups rather than audits and she encouraged customers to contact LMS for help with periodic reconciliation activities.

Attendees next took part in a detailed review session on SAP Indirect Use licensing lead by Florian Ascherl, KPMG’s Global Lead for SAP. “We are facing a massive increase in requests for help with SAP licensing” in the wake of the recent UK court decision forcing a British company to pay $67 million in fines to SAP, said Ascherl. He not only answered attendees’ specific questions but delivered an in-depth look into how SAM pros can begin to assess indirect usage, determine the necessary licenses for affected users, and find technical solutions for minimizing risk of indirect usage.

The last session on the Summit’s agenda was a fascinating look into the near future, where software asset management is merged with software vulnerability management to address growing cybersecurity concerns. “Reducing security risk is a growing part of every software and IT asset managers job today,” said Tom Canning, Flexera Software’s VP of enterprise solutions and strategy. Attendees took note of the wide range of cybersecurity duties they are likely to take on along with the best processes and tools to get the job done.

Capping off the day of learning was an audience survey conducted by KPMG of SAM program objectives, followed by a relaxed reception providing everyone with the opportunity to network and strengthen professional ties. Steven Russman noted that more than 86 percent of attendees reported at least one audit in the last year, consistent with IBSMA survey results. “Audits continue to be the main driver of SAM and compliance activities, but IT security and service management are growing drivers too,” Russman added.  One attendee’s input summed up a common sentiment, “It’s so beneficial to speak and meet people in the ‘little’ world that is SAM, and to hear really knowledgeable and passionate speakers.”

Join IBSMA for the next SAM Summit in Chicago, July 10-12, our flagship conference now in its 14th year. Space is limited! Register before May 31 and save $200 off the regular rate. Register at SAMSummit.com.

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