Last week saw some 16,000 Microsoft partners descend upon Toronto, Canada for the annual Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. License Dashboard was there, exhibiting in the main arena. And what a busy few days it was.
Over the course of four days, we spoke with Microsoft resellers, integrators and ISVs from all four corners of the globe. What became eminently clear through all our conversations was that, while this time last year Software Asset Management was viewed by many LARs and resellers as a differentiator, this year it is viewed as a must-have service.
Without exception, every reseller we spoke to was looking to either expand their SAM team or get one up and running as quickly as humanly possible. Those behind the curve have recognized this and are now determined to stop wasting time and missing out on opportunities.
The message was clear: Microsoft, other software vendors and end user organizations are ALL demanding resellers deliver effective SAM services. And rather than focus on quick-fire audit programs, most of the resellers we spoke to see SAM as a long-term investment designed to deliver ongoing value to customers.
To deliver these services, the resellers need to invest in both the right people and the right technologies. And therein lies the main challenge facing resellers today – a general lack of SAM skills in the market combined with a tricky choice in terms of technology platforms.
Thankfully, the right decision on the second challenge above can lessen the criticality of the first. By choosing a solution that automates much of the license management process (import of license entitlements, automatically validation of records, intelligent application of licenses to installs) much of the ‘grunt’ work around license management can be removed, leaving skilled staff to focus on the more complex aspects of managing licenses in particular scenarios.
It’s perhaps no surprise then that License Dashboard was busy at WPC. No other solution is as cost-effective for resellers to implement or use on live projects – which means that customers get a great deal too.