Why did I buy a SAM solution? Reason: To negotiate with software vendors

In our last blog post (for this series) we looked at the main reason people invest in SAM – to help them through a software audit. While this is the main reason in reality, we would argue that there are many other more pressing reasons. Why wait for the knock on the door before fixing the problem?

As we explained in the previous blog post, the transparency that SAM provides over your software usage and software licensing position delivers benefits far beyond simply satisfying a vendor during an audit. By providing the insights which allow you to reallocate software across the business, to retire un-used software completely or to switch to more economical licensing agreements, SAM provides the intelligence for proactive Software Asset Management. But it’s not proactive if you wait until your next audit to do it.

Unfortunately, it seems, promises of significant cost savings (with the added benefit of being prepared for audits when they happen) is just not high enough on the agenda to get the CEO’s attention. The reality is that all monetary investment, particularly within medium-to-large organisations, requires a trigger. An audit is simply the biggest and loudest of them all, hence why audits trigger more SAM investments than anything else.

Another trigger is handling a software negotiation from a position of strength, which is the angle we are looking at.

Option 1: Guessing your annual true-up

Most Enterprise Agreements or Software Assurance contracts are negotiated/ renewed every few years. In most instances the discussion will look something like this:

Customer: “We have 400 users today so let’s stick with 400 licenses”
Vendor: “Your Company has grown a lot in the last year, surely the number of employees you have has grown too?”
Customer: “Yes that’s true. Ok, let’s up it to 450 users”
Vendor: “Is that an exact figure? Can you show us how many licenses you’re currently using? Can you forecast how this might change during the term of the agreement?”

Option 2: Knowing your annual true-up

Most organisations purchase licenses for a rounded up number of users. But how many companies have such a round number of employees? They do this because they just don’t know the exact number. And if you don’t know the exact number, any number you give is a guess.

The conversation can look quite different with SAM in place:

Customer: “We have 436 employees in total. 367 of these are customer-facing so require software X, Y and Z. 90 of these have the option to work remotely so require multi-device licenses, whereas the remaining 277 work from their workstation in the office only, so single-device licenses will suffice. The 69 staff that are not customer-facing only require single device licenses for software X. We intend to employ 30 more customer-facing staff during the year so will need to account for them. They will all work from our main office only so will require single-device licenses.

See how having SAM gives you the position of strength during a software negotiation?

Even if there’s no vendor audit on the horizon, you will undoubtedly be spending money on software very soon, so why not use the next major software purchase to be a convenient time to tell the CEO about SAM…?

Tags: , , , ,
Ben Eagling

Ben Eagling

Leave a Reply