SoftwareONE, a global leader in Software Asset Management (SAM) services, has officially launched in New Zealand. A multinational licensing and services company, SoftwareONE has been making a gradual entry into the market by working with Microsoft New Zealand to run SAM assessments in the service provider community over the last two years. “We are seeing growing demand from customers wanting independence in the assessment of their software assets, this can only be achieved by engaging different entity's for the procurement of software to the assessment of software compliance” said Ashleigh Rainer, Global Service Owner SAM for Service Providers.
Whilst typically SoftwareONE focuses on license reselling as their core business, in New Zealand they are taking a unique approach. Many cloud and hosting service providers are using a specialised Microsoft licensing agreement, called SPLA, to manage the Microsoft software components of their business. However, many are unaware of the large risks involved.
Microsoft’s SPLA, the Service Provider Licensing Agreement, allows service providers to incorporate Microsoft software into their cloud services and bundle this product into the billing of their end customers. This has been a great option for many local services providers in New Zealand who have been able to take advantage of this to enhance their offerings. In this case however, the compliance and payment obligations to Microsoft remain with the service provider. Software asset management thus becomes a central part of the business’ profitability and economic efficiency. This is a skillset many service providers simply don’t have in-house and this gap poses significant financial risk.
Software asset management is generally a struggle for all organisations. A recent benchmarking studying by IDC found that only 8.8% of organisations are in the “optimised” stage of software license management. IDG estimates most organisations are over-licensed by up to 60% in some areas, whilst being inadequately licensed in others. The task of managing complex software licensing to prevent such an imbalance can indirectly cost businesses up to 25% of their IT budgets. Add to this Gartner’s expectation that 70% of organisations will be hit with at least one publisher audit this year and you have a wide spread challenge in the industry.
As IT environments and licensing structures have become increasingly complex, many organisations simply don’t have the in-house capability to manage SAM adequately. Nowhere is this felt as acutely as with service providers, for whom software licensing forms part of their own revenue. SoftwareONE has taken a unique approach to this in the New Zealand market. Drawing on their 30 years of experience across 145 countries, they have developed a highly specialised service offering.
The aggregation of experience and intellectual property across geography, industry and company size, means that they can expertly assess a service providers’ current SAM maturity, identify potential risks, and help find missed billing opportunities. Through a range of services they are able to help service providers begin and grow a software asset management practice. This has already been an invaluable service to many local service providers. “We engaged SoftwareONE to perform a Software Asset Management (SAM) check on our SPLA Hosting environment. SoftwareONE provided inventory tools, in-depth contractual and licensing knowledge and support to assist our team in gathering the required data in a timely, efficient, comprehensive yet straightforward way,” says CodeBlue Auckland, Virtual CIO, Chris Thorpe.
Many organizations believe SAM is just about license compliance. While compliance is a crucial component to SAM, a good methodology implementation will provide predictability and enable agile business IT. This is particularly valuable to service providers.
SoftwareONE is currently running scoping sessions if you’d like to get a snapshot of your current SAM SPLA maturity. Click here to learn more.