Consultants are used to analyzing processes from a critical perspective. And of course, the most critical of all questions is:
Can SAM be innovative at all?
My colleagues and I are frequently confronted with this question when asked to explain what our profession involves. In many cases we will use the example of a tax declaration, as valuation is also governed by strict vendor regulations. So what leeway exists – if any – within Software Asset Management? It is out of the question that anyone undergoing a vendor audit will jump up and exclaim: “Now let me show you the latest licensing method for the global distribution of SQL Core licenses.”
So where exactly is the part that can be innovative and flexible? Usually this begins during the initial consultation. How can access be measured? Which software runs on servers? Does the company even register which software is installed? Practical experience shows that companies will provide nine detailed answers to these three questions alone. Procedures and processes are so heterogeneous and complex that the employees themselves – not to mention externals – have difficulty acclimatizing. For instance, an employee appointed as a new license manager will usually need months until they have handled each task at least once. After all, license managers have a broad and varied remit:
- Support in contract negotiations with software vendors
- Audit preparation and implementation
- Establishment of compliance throughout the company
All of these aspects may be part of the job, albeit to differing degrees.