SAM Software

In two recent blog posts I’ve covered available licensing programs and what happens if you get audited by the Business Software Alliance. In this blog post I’m going to talk about keeping track of your software licensing through Software Asset Management and a basic overview of how the process work.

Software Asset Management (SAM) is the process of optimising the purchasing, management and recognition of software licenses. Software tools are available to assist with the process, which can be broken down into five or six categories:

  1. Inventory tools to identify what software is deployed across a network
  2. Management tools to manage license agreements and reconcile usage rights against data returned from inventory tools
  3. Metering tools to identify how frequently software is used, to allow you to remove software from computers where it is not used
  4. Policy tools to restrict installation of software can be installed, or who can use it
  5. Deployment and Patch management are usually part of the same system, and provide facilities to deploy new software packages and update already deployed software

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BSA Licensing Audits

Following on from my post about Microsoft Licensing Options, I thought it prudent to cover what may happen if your licensing isn’t in order and you end up getting audited. The BSA (Business Software Alliance) represent many vendors, not just Microsoft so are the most likely ones to be involved with an audit.

Regardless of how up to date your licensing is, it’s possible for the BSA to audit you if they suspect you’re not compliant. This can be down to a number of reasons but most commonly boils down to an ex-employee informing them that your software licensing doesn’t add up. They do require credible information though, so an angry ex-employee with unfounded accusations probably isn’t going to get very far.
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