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Webinar/Podcast Transcript

Braden Stringer: Welcome, everyone. Thank you for joining this webinar, The Successful SAM Manager. We’re excited to have you here. Before we get into the presentation, we have a few quick announcements to make. First, this webinar is being recorded. We’ll share that recording with you afterwards. Also, if you have any questions or comments, please put those in the chat or the Q&A panel at the bottom of your screen.

Additionally, we have two upcoming webinars next month. On May 5th, we are going to be joining Reciprocity, and we’re going to be covering the top initiatives for information security teams to consider. In implementing business continuity and resiliency that on May 19th, we’ll have a live Q& A panel regarding IBM IASP, that panel will consist of representatives from IBM, Anglepoint, Converge, and even a few companies who are currently IASP participates participants.

That’s all we have for announcements, so we’ll go ahead and get on with our introductions I’m pleased to introduce our presenters today We have Ben Wilcox, a vice president here at Anglepoint, Mari Peterson, also a vice president, and Paolo Gagliardi, a manager here.

Combined, they have a ton of SAM and ITAM experience, and we’re super excited to hear from them. I’ll turn it over to you, Ben.

Ben Wilcox: Fantastic. So, while Paolo is part of the Anglepoint team, he’s going to bring the perspective of the client and a SAM manager to this conversation today. So, our aim is to bring you a rounded perspective of our experience working with organizations, as well as Paolo’s perspective of having been a SAM manager and been on the other side of the equation from Anglepoint.

So, we’re going to share a little bit about who is Anglepoint. For those people that don’t know who we are, we’re going to talk about SAM program development, elements of a successful SAM program. Overcoming internal resistance to SAM, prioritization of publishers, and evaluating the need for third party expertise to support your program.

Our aim is to have adequate time for Q&A. If you’ve got questions, please submit those via the Q& A at the bottom of your screen for the Zoom and Brayden and our team will bring those up at the towards the end of the session today. Fantastic.

So, who is Anglepoint? Angle point is a consulting group dedicated to software licensing software asset management We work with organizations on a variety of aspects around managing publishers and building SAM programs Really with the aim of driving cost optimization risk mitigation and overall operational excellence we want to help our clients Be able to identify there’s have visibility there’s software asset managed software assets deployed across our environment But more importantly to develop the governance that controls to move from a reactive state to a proactive state Anglepoint is a little bit over 10 years old.

We have Over 110 professionals spread across seven countries. And we are, in our view, we’ve got a pretty sizable presence in the space of software licensing, Software Asset Management. We’ve developed strategic alliances with certain publishers, technology platforms, and resellers to enable us to bring the right competencies, capabilities to our customers, to help them out with their challenges.

We’re very involved from an industry standpoint with Gardner, ISO, IBSMA, and ITAM. You will often find some of our leaders having speaking roles at the events. And worth noting that from an ISO standard Ron Brill, our chairman, is chair of the ISO 19770 Standards for Covering Software Asset Management.

And we have a couple of other individuals that have. Subcommittee roles. So very involved from an industry perspective in terms of our services Many times we’re working with customers on a single publisher issue bringing software Subject matter expertise with regard to specific publishers could be the majors like, IBM Oracle SAP But we’ve got expertise covering a well over 60 publishers, So, we have the breadth and depth of experience there from a publisher standpoint That’s only a starting point.

We bring the capabilities with regard to Sam technology, IT security, program development, and Sam managed services to really enable our customers to develop a program and manage their vendors in a proactive manner.

So, what we want to do is delve into the session today around the successful Sam manager, but we’re going to start big picture and then drill into specific topic areas. From a SAM program development standpoint, our perspective is it’s really important to understand where you are today, what your future state needs are, and then develop a transformation plan.

It’s really important to be realistic about your current capabilities, to understand what your capability, your tools, your people, your processes are, and your gaps. Clearly identify those gaps and those capabilities. Which will enable you to define your goals and objectives of your future state.

Understanding your policy and processes that are there today, whether they’re enforceable, whether they’re efficient, whether they’re supported by technology. It’s all key in terms of your current state assessment. Getting input from other functional areas, other people that have a role in the SAM program from a Either a data collection standpoint or recipient of data or sponsorship standpoint is critical stuff as well to get a rounded assessment.

Executive sponsorship, we’re going to touch on a little bit later, but that executive sponsorship is absolutely critical to a successful SAM program because ultimately it leads to approval and overall monitoring of success of the program approval in terms of the initiatives, the investment, and the aims of the program.

We’re going to talk today about publisher spend analysis, publisher prioritization, and really, determining which publisher should be in scope. Is organization specific. We’re going to talk a little bit about how you go about that. So, there’s a number of elements around your current state assessment.

That should feed into defining what your desired future state should look like. The future state should consider your desired same maturity. Supported by technology, but really aimed at. Establishing a stronger governance around policy and processes and people supporting that. From a people standpoint, we’re going to talk about the people critical people that should be considered as part of this program in a later slide.

But it’s important to understand your core team versus stakeholders, your internal team versus external support. You would need all that drives towards getting clarity over what your future state looks like. Ultimately, defining developing a transformation plan which is corner cornerstone would be the road map, which would identify the key investment areas really aimed at initiatives around technology and process implementation and certainly the publisher focuses on terms of addressing major publisher spend and risk.

Big picture, SAM program development, you’ve got to start with the end in mind. You’ve got to be realistic about where you are today and really defining your goals and objectives of where you want to be going forward in order to drive your maturity. Let’s go on to the next slide. So, elements of a sustainable SAM program.

People, policy and process, and technology. Three-legged stool. It’s really important to have a balanced investment into the three areas. People, it is about identifying your core team, but it’s also identifying other stakeholders, other functional areas, and really defining your, the capabilities and expertise of your core team.

So, it could be a matter of identifying your analysts, but also your subject matter expertise that you need. Processes. What are your processes today versus what need to be implemented? And this would translate into a key initiative around defining and implementation of processes that would drive really your efficiency and your capabilities around your SAM program.

You want processes that are recognized and valued and that resources aren’t going around in order to accomplish what they need to do. That’s the SAM program is really adding value to your organization. Ultimately, technology has to underpin the program. Technology enables discovery, but also inventory, management, analysis, and reporting.

You have to look at it from a holistic standpoint, but also publisher specific, and the interaction between the technology platforms, as well as connecting to CMD, CMDB, ITSM, et cetera, in order to defend what your technology needs are. I, from a Paolo, this is an area that you can jump into, from a process standpoint when you were a SAM manager, what processes did you look to, to automate as a SAM manager to really leverage technology?

Paolo Gagliardi: The first process we really looked at to automate was everything on the compliance side. I came into a team that that had gone through a lot of high turnover rate over the last year. And one of the areas that we were trailing in was really the compliance aspect. My first order of business was to get the right people in the right seats.

And once that happened, they really challenged the policies and processes that were in place. And that’s where we really put the focus on getting the compliance side working. So how do we do that? We leveraged technology. We got ourselves a SAM tool and there are a lot on the market.

There’s Flexera, the Aspera snow ServiceNow, just to name a few. But we chose one. And when we implemented this tool, the goal was to get a lot of the guesswork and the grunt work out of actually getting the compliance. Reports for each one of our top vendors. Now we did it in a little bit of a strategic approach and we’ll talk about how we prioritized a little later.

But the goal really was to help future proof our employee rotations. And listening to the experts about where they thought we needed to put the focus. The goal was really to elevate our practice. And I think that’s what we managed to accomplish with the, with that mix.

Ben Wilcox: So, you were really focused on certain publishers that you prioritized and the compliance aspect of those publishers.

Absolutely. So, you had a targeted focus. And this isn’t something that happened overnight, is it?

Paolo Gagliardi: No, we really took a few steps back, a lot of work sessions to get to the point where… We had a good picture of where we wanted to go and mapped it out to give us a good timeline to be able to accomplish it.

And because this definitely wasn’t something that happened overnight. We put a good two years of work into getting this foundation set up so it could be reusable and something that could be sustainable over the course of time. Truly a journey. Okay, so three-legged stool. Very important to think about your program as a SAM manager.

Ben Wilcox: The people that you have on your core team, that the policies and processes that you need to develop to implement and the technology to support that program, we can spend a lot of time going into each one of these stool legs and talking, great length on different areas. And it’s certainly in our view, it’s something that it should be matched to the organizational needs.

We do want to delve into the people aspect a little bit more. Paolo referenced his organization. I’m quite certain that he didn’t do it alone. He had some external support. But as I mentioned earlier it’s very important to have executive sponsorship. When you go through your initial assessment of where your capabilities are today versus where you want your capabilities down the road and you’re saying maturity, we encourage you To connect to the appropriate executive leadership could be all the way up to the CIO, to share your vision around what the SAM program should be, to get them on board with regard to the key initiatives, key investments, communication plan.

Get them on board with communicating to other functional groups as to the organization and refinement of the SAM program. And the SAM program, the core SAM team should be set up with regard to, leadership, SAM manager, SAM director, but then broader team, which would include, say, analysts or subject matter experts to address managing tools publishers and the licensing aspects around that.

This is the starting point for when you say, do I have adequate resources internally? Where do I need to bring in external subject matter experts to augment my team? Do I have, do I need IBM expertise on my team? Yes. Do I need that a full round? No. When do I need them and how much do I need them?

And that can drive a decision-making process around external requirements. Further, understanding your stakeholders. Other, which basically are other functional groups or leadership that may contribute to the SAM program in terms of data or that you might contribute to their processes, their needs on a periodic basis.

And this would include sourcing, IT service management, geographies. Based on your organization, so it’s important to communicate to these organizations as to the SAM program development, your vision, and your value back to these organizations, or your dependency of these organizations. And you might want to define a specific individual within these functional groups to align to your SAM program.

Developing, basically erasing your roles, your responsibilities, your communication should include stakeholders. Across as we just talked about. And this should put clarity as to, responsibility and so forth. And it translates to looking at defining and implementation of processes and policies so that there’s specific owners of those processes and that you can continue to evolve or develop those processes over time.

And so, the RACI, don’t ignore it. Go through the exercise and really get detailed there.

With that I guess a quick question, Paolo, in terms of your program, you talked about WEA, as I mentioned who were some of the leadership or functional areas that you worked in terms of you develop, your program that you developed?

Paolo Gagliardi: One of the key aspects, and I think we discussed this You discussed it a little earlier was really getting management on board and having them represent us and pass the message along that Sam was something important within the organization really changed how we involved our stakeholders.

And from our perspective, one of the things we like to work with when we approach the technical teams or the or the product owners was to really share a lot of the data that we had, so that they were aware what we were collecting, so that we could give them our view of their environment. And at the same time, we really prepared them for how much time we needed from them.

So, because we oftentimes needed to collect information and needed them to perform interventions, whether it be on the server or an access list. So, what we found was spending about 15 minutes telling them that we needed about 15 minutes of their time, either quarterly or annually to actually run the reports, pull the data and share it.

really helped them scope the time and really eliminated a bit of the resistance we had. I do have to admit that initially, sometimes you call an email for weeks without any answers. And once they understood that their involvement wasn’t huge, but that the results could be dramatic and some cases, even millions of dollars of difference between what we had as a view and what the reality was that 15 minutes was definitely well invested for the organization.

And what we would do at the end of our intervention is we’d share what the data they, that they provided allowed us to optimize or minimize as expenses for the organization. And I think that really opened the doors and helped the internal teams get involved into our SAM program.

Ben Wilcox: Fantastic. So, a lot of steps to develop your SAM program. But you still met some resistance, but you were able to work through that resistance through some one-on-one interaction. Absolutely. Yeah. Okay. Awesome. Is there any more you want to share in terms of the internal resistance around that?

Paolo Gagliardi: I touched a little bit on the executive sponsorship and the this, the involvement from the management team. It took quite a few meetings for everyone to understand what we’re actually doing and what we were bringing to the table. And I think having them present and having them speak the same language.

That we were speaking and sharing the same opinions really opened the door for us to come in and perform those little interventions with the technical team. So that executive sponsorship. I know you talked about it earlier. I know I mentioned it at the beginning of my little interaction here, but It’s key to get the people on board.

It’s key to get the people involved and I think it helps everyone have the same vision of your SAM program going forward.

Ben Wilcox: So, it goes to the next slide. Braden there in terms of Taking steps to basically preempt resistance. You know having that executive sponsorship Really lays out a communication at a high level around the value of the program it also allows you to set Objectives.

I’m sure, Paolo, in your program, you guys set some objectives, so that allows you to basically monitor and measure success of the program over time, right? Really, looking at an annual Assessment of a program. You want to be able to quantify success and you certainly want your executive sponsorships to know about those success and communicate them more broadly.

Yeah, great points. I guess any other aspects around your experience around rolling out your SAM program around, steps here. Anything else you want to add?

Paolo Gagliardi: Sure. I spoke a lot about sharing information. I think transparency was one of the secrets that that helped the communication flow both ways.

When someone shares information that allows you to optimize. Some of the license counts, some of the spend, it really helps to return the information and help them demonstrate how much they’ve contributed. And that means executive dashboards, that means reporting, that means actually sharing the information with the execs that endorsed us at the beginning to say we put the program in place.

We’ve worked through a lot of things, and these are the contracts we’ve touched this year. These are the optimizations we’ve brought. And these are the products we’ve rationalized the ideas we were kicking around within the organization. And by the way, the investment you made in the Sam tools this is the outcome on the other side.

This is how much time we’ve saved. This is how much we’ve optimized our processes once we’ve gotten there. So it really makes it easy for them to. To take that information, consume it and share it again at their level. But at the same time, it makes it easy for them to bring the information back to the teams and say, thank you.

Thank you for spending that 15 minutes or that hour over the course of the year to help the Sam teams optimize the process in the background.

Ben Wilcox: Awesome. So, a few points. We’ve been focusing here on big picture developing a Sam program. Getting here directly from Paolo in terms of some, his journey.

It is a journey, as he mentioned, he was looking at a two-year kind of timeline to really wrap his arms around the major prioritized publishers. It takes time and it takes resources to accomplish it. And it’s very important to. Recognize that you’re looking for executives to make an investment and they’re expecting a return on your investment on their investments.

So that’s where we’re quantifying your success and sharing your success comes into play. Because what you do want to turn back to that executive team and to your broader stakeholders is look at the risk that we’ve been able to mitigate. Look at the cost savings. We’ve been able to mitigate. Look at our operational responsiveness, our ability to support the Sourcing on their renewals and look at our ability to respond to vendor audits, minimize the risk around vendor audits, our improvement around vendor management, all different areas where you can quantify success and communicate that upwards to support the executives on an ROI for their investment in this space.

So big picture. And now we’re going to move into a little bit more granularity around. Where do you start in terms of publishers? It is a big space, and it is important to really do it in a let’s say calculated way. So, I’m going to transition to Mari who’s going to take it further.

Mari Peterson: Thank you, Ben, so we’re going to step back into our probably college days and go into a basic econ lesson, at the highest level Everybody knows that, when supply exceeds demand, there’s waste.

So, I’m going to make that relevant to software and what we’re ultimately trying to accomplish with the SAM program. As anybody knows that’s created a license position, there’s kind of two basic elements that are the starting point for managing that. There’s your actual license entitlement.

So, what are you actually entitled to use? And then there’s what is deployed out there and a lot of times those and those two numbers are difficult to get you know in themselves as oftentimes that deployment is more than you expected. So, what would that represent that represents what the publisher would anticipate?

If they were going to come in and either audit you or there’s an annual true up Then if we go the next step forward, and actually look at what the usage is A lot of times it’s less than that. So, what does that transpire to that essentially transpires to? Over purchasing or kind of waste, over something that the Company is not fully using but if you actually look at the actual entitlements and how you optimize that licensing from both the product use rights as well as what the organization really needs, there’s another number that is applicable.

And that’s actually based on your needs from an optimal usage and configuration. And if you look at all of that together, that represents the extent of unmanaged Licenses and what that means right and just click on the next slide. Nope, there was one more. I think there was one more. There isn’t another buildout.

Should be one more buildout. It must not have, must not come out there. But essentially what this means, this is yielding the power to the publisher versus you. Ultimately what we want to do, and Ben and Paula both talked a lot about providing stakeholders with the relevant information. From a sourcing perspective, we want to be able to deliver them an actual license position for what they need to negotiate from.

If you don’t have this information, you’re not negotiating from a seat of power. You’re yielding all of that power to the publisher. And I think when you get the slides, you’ll see that last little bit breakout. Next slide, please. And this one is one that builds, and I know it can get complicated and confusing when we go through this, but we found that clients really like this once they get the slides and they put it in perspective into their environment.

It starts pretty easy. What do you have installed? Maybe that’s not always easy because a lot of times it’s hard to figure out that. And then overlaying, what is, what do you have license to? So, there’s obviously overlap here and so then you apply that same kind of layer on what is needed.

So, there are steps that, that you follow in order to get to that, that, that square in the middle. Here. What do you do? So, I’ll go ahead and click the next slide. So here, obviously, this is installed, not licensed, so it’s not needed. This is not installed, licensed, not needed, not installed, not licensed, needed.

So, what do you do? You uninstall, you cancel support, you purchase. And we’re still trying to get into this magic sweet spot here. This is installed and licensed and not needed, and the vice versa here, not installed, license is needed, so what do you do? You uninstall, cancel, install, and this is ultimately where you’re trying to drive to.

I forgot, one, one last square here. But this is the sweet spot and that gives you the opportunity to optimize and remediate. At the end of the day, what we’re trying to do with our SAM program is identify and remediate risk and optimize software spend. Trying to stretch that software dollar just as far as we can.

And sometimes people forget about this. The software asset life cycle really does matter. Think about your whole process that your employees go through to request software. Think about when entitlement is granted. That’s when the money leaves the organization when it’s consumed. That’s when liability is created.

And so those are definitely two factors that you have to keep in mind and make sure that this overall process, works very well and is integrated into kind of your SAM program and governance and policies and procedures.

So that kind of sets the framework for what are we trying to accomplish big picture. And I can tell you doing this a long time that we have the opportunity to talk to a lot of clients and read RFPs and a lot of times they’ll start with I want you to manage all 472 publishers that we have and we’ve heard that countless times and no you don’t you know That would be an altruistic goal But I can tell you it’s it would never happen and Paulo can probably speak to this, personally, but typically You know, it’s the and I’ll let him talk to that in a minute But typically it’s you know, the 80 percent of your spend is from 20 of the publishers The challenge is knowing, you know Which who those really are and it’s not just about spend and even getting spend data A lot of times if you’re just pulling that spend data from your financial system you’re not getting the full representation because you can have a lot of spend that’s attributed to resellers.

And if you’re not doing kind of the normalization of what where that spend is going from the publisher from the through the reseller channel, you may not get be getting a full picture of how that spend is being distributed. So, spend is definitely very important importance to the business is important.

You know how strategic is that technology to your business. We’ve all probably had experiences where a publisher comes in and does an audit and the C level all of a sudden says well, let’s just we’ll just take that out of the environment if you needed to take out database technology, you don’t just do that overnight.

So, it’s an important care. It’s an important factor to consider and obviously agreements true updates whether the publisher audits what sort of coverage? That you need to look at from a publisher, not all publishers, you need to put the same level of scrutiny on how you manage the publisher itself.

Some are very important to, to manage carefully and it, from an enhanced perspective, we’ll talk about, and that would be things like Oracle database and middleware packs. You want to make sure that count and count that very well and do it very diligently. And then also look at easy wins.

Paulo talked a lot about essentially celebrating success. Let’s look for ways that we can find areas that we can drive victories to our stakeholders, whether that’s, helping support a true up renewal, just being able to document that, that areas of risk that are mitigated and or optimization opportunities through cost savings.

Thank you. I’ll let you elaborate on any stories that you may have from your perspective in the real world.

Paolo Gagliardi: Absolutely. And your 100 percent right that you can’t treat every publisher or every contract the same way. And you can’t give every single that’s installed the same attention.

So prioritizing was one of the key factors that helped us really overcome that and decide how much attention and how much involvement we would have with each one of the contracts and publishers. Some of the things that influenced us a lot. Were how strategic we would position the publisher so it might have a minimal spend but it’s a publisher that we wanted to expand into over the next five years, and therefore we would give it a lot more attention than a publisher that had a couple of hundred thousand dollars of spend with a decreasing footprint in the environment now.

That being said, one of the other factors that we flagged and really put emphasis on was end of life. So, if a lot of stuff was expiring and would bring up either a technology risk or patching risks that would Create vulnerabilities within the environment. Those were areas of focus that we wanted to put and make sure we had those documented We could share the information again with our teams and the last factor that really helped us change the risk level for one of our publishers It would be whether or not we’ve ever completed an effective license position ourselves.

So, it’s really hard to know what you don’t know. And if you’ve never actually touched or delved in the compliance for a publisher, for us, that was a red flag. And we really would reprioritize that publisher with one or two points, even of extra weight into where we wanted to focus on them.

Ben Wilcox: So, I know you’ll get into the weights a little later, so I’ll let you I’ll let you take that one back.

Mari Peterson: Yeah. Okay. Thank you. And I think an important point that he brought on just to draw this into perspective as well is the importance from an end-of-life side. And making sure that your security team.

Team visibility, the versions, and editions of technology, we a lot of times understand that their job is really to secure that fortress, keep things from coming in but sometimes it’s, it, they don’t necessarily have the exposure to those versions, additions, and end of life. So, it’s important to make sure that they’re part of the SAM team and they’re getting some of this data provided to them on an ongoing basis.

So now the next couple of slides are just going to show you some visuals of of a example of a prioritized software list. And in this case, as you can see, the usual suspects are up there and we prioritize based on several elements and, spend obvious as we talk about several factors.

Micro focus, as you can see right here, doesn’t necessarily have a high spend, but they definitely are one of the more aggressive auditors. So, they typically are in a top tier, and we have several factors that factor into this. And you’ll see there are different colors which tier to different levels of management and support.

So, this is just one way of looking at this and then I’ll go to the next slide and show you another way to consider this and the definition. We define kind of these basic care categories as enhanced standard and long tail and enhanced is really to proactively manage and count well and leveraging the capabilities of the SAM tool itself as well as sometimes supplemental procedures that, that may need to be done outside of the tool, tools are great, and they can be designed to do anything.

But you have to keep in mind if you’re starting to create additional capabilities with that, that SAM tool to do some collection that, anytime you do an upgrade, you have to keep that in mind. So that’s where you may want to leverage outside sources, like an angle point to help with that and then the standard are more reactive and you just want to be informed.

You may have an annual trip that you’re contending with and then the long tail, you know is always there and you know if there’s something That’s in the long tail that suddenly you get an audit, all of a sudden, that becomes, enhanced publisher and you begin as Paolo recommended, hey, if we’ve never done an ELP, there’s some lurking threats out there.

Then there, that you have a point in time that you can begin to manage and decide what that, that cadence looks like.

Next slide. And this is just another, I’m really visual. So, this is a way to, to look at the spend in the distribution and how this particular example displayed out between enhanced standard and long tail.

And then finally we, a lot of times clients ask the question, how should we build our team? People have, you can go to extremes. You can say, I want to outsource this all to somebody realizing that you never can outsource really all of it. There has to be somebody internally within the organization because the managed service provider will never understand.

Your organization like you do will never understand the people the politics the procedures all of that so they there always needs to be somebody but how you distribute that additional capabilities really depends on the organization itself, but we have lots of conversations about the importance of publisher experience and expertise You know the way angle point has deep knowledge on that as you probably have learned and sometimes the tools go so far and then eyeballs and elbows help you understand the so what?

I have this perfect license position that shows me where I’m over and under but what do I do about it? That’s when you may want to consider bringing in a third party to help you and Paolo, I don’t know if you have any specific examples that you’d like to share with the team on how you may have used that in the past.

Paolo Gagliardi: Not specific examples per se, but I’m going to tell you how we used external vendors and how I positioned them within the organization. And I think that’ll help everyone understand how the mix actually works, the mix you were talking about just a little earlier. My position was, we really used our external vendors to address the gaps.

We, you said it very well, we had an in-depth knowledge of how things worked internally, but sometimes we were missing publisher expertise, for example, and then we used an external vendor, Anglepoint was one of them, to actually come and help us with that publisher expertise. On an ongoing basis.

So, we had one contract where we really wanted to continually monitor, continuously ensure that we were compliant. And that’s where we brought in partners to help us address that. There are other situations where we’re in contract renewals and like you said, we had a great spreadsheet that told us how many licenses we had and how many were installed.

But then how did we address the gap in between? How do we negotiate our renewal so that it works for the organization? So really the optimization part the renewal part and really in the last instance I’ve used them as part of negotiation support. So how do I negotiate this with this partner? I need this help.

I need to get to this position. How do I get there? Can you tell me how others in the industry have gotten there? So that experience is very hard to acquire internally and is really important for a specific point in time. So, time sensitive addressing the gaps are really the main issues and the main points Where I would use an external vendor.

Mari Peterson: Yeah and thank you Paolo. And the other tidbit to keep in mind is, if you’re going to hire those people, you usually need them, once a year, or a couple of times a year. So, what do they do the rest of the time of the year? So that’s why a lot of times it makes sure, makes sense to leverage that externally.

And then finally, we wanted to talk a little bit about a new program that IBM has offered. It’s not that new anymore. It’s about six months, year old. And it’s an alternative to license verification. And it’s an example of what we’d like to see more offered in the industry as a whole.

Do you want to go to the next slide, Brayden? Essentially what it does, it’s an alternative to being audited. And it is a way that I believe that IBM is really trying to help their clients only buy what they truly need and use. Obviously, Mari confusing, but somewhere between, you hear me? You hear me?

Paolo Gagliardi: Yeah, you’re back.

Mari Peterson: Okay. The net is in, we’ll be talking a lot more about this and in, as Brayden mentioned a next webinar that’s coming up next month. So, you can learn more about what this program could potentially mean to your organization.

But the point is, customers have very powerful voices. And I would encourage you to encourage some of your, the other publishers to offer a similar sort of program that is really something that is a partnership between the publisher and their customer.

Paolo Gagliardi: And Mari, I think we, we lost a key part of that that explanation. And what this program really is it enables the customers to self-report. For the promise of getting some sort of audit holiday or audit mitigation and allowing them to continuously demonstrate compliance.

Mari Peterson: Thank you, Paulo.

And I think this is exactly that audit that seminar that we’re having happen next month. So, if you want to learn more about this program, we certainly encourage you to join. There’ll be a link that you can click on so you can join, sign up for that webinar as well.

And I think that we wanted to leave the rest of the time to Q&A. And with that, we’ll let Brayden open that up to the floor and we can answer some questions. So, thank you very much, everybody. We look forward to the continued discussion.

Paolo Gagliardi: Excellent. Thank you.

Braden Stringer: Thank you so much, Mari, Ben, and Paulo. During the webinar we did have a few questions come in. We’re going to take a look at those and answer what we can here. To start off with let’s see here. There’s one that asks what’s the difference between street strategic, proactive, and reactive approach in term of mana in terms of managing SAM and software assets?

Could you answer, go maybe into a little bit more depth as far as the, that goes?

Paolo Gagliardi: Sure. I can start a little bit. So, the strategic approach really becomes a partnership approach with you with your vendor. There could be monthly, quarterly meetings where you actually review the evolution of the products, review the growth within the organization and really do a lot of.

Continuous compliance. These are the ones you want to automate. These are the ones you want to put in your SAM tools. And these are the ones you want to follow on a continuous basis. Whether it is because it’s on a continuous growth, or because there are different strategic approaches. It might be one of your vendors that that is, that offers you your client facing tool and you don’t want that compromise.

So that’s one of the ways and one of the main definitions of the strategic ones. Whereas the other two approaches so the active one is you’re really doing the compliance. You’re maybe not meeting with the vendor as often or at all, but you’re keeping a good close eye on it. And then the passive one, while you’re doing a compliance on renewal.

Or you’re really trusting what your tools are giving you as information and you’re going from that approach on. And sometimes they’re minimal spend, sometimes they’re a lot smaller vendors. Maybe with just one product or one installation. So, it makes them a lot easier to look at.

Ben Wilcox: I would just add on to that, if you’re in a reactive state, you’re really exposed to, you’re basically doing fire drills to support renewal efforts and to respond to publisher audits and you’re exposed to compliance risks that you really don’t know whether they exist or not. And you’re really not probably don’t high likelihood you don’t have the capabilities to gather the data built to analyze it efficiently and timely to support the sourcing procurement decisions that need to be made to really enable assessment of quantities, but even more so the right licensing models that fit your organization.

So, leaving it’s going to leave you with some compliance risks that you’ll end up settling. Through buying additional licenses or as well as sourcing risk, procurement risk of buying perhaps more than you need not having the time to fully analyze it and possibly buying at the wrong the wrong license model.

What other questions do we have? Braden?

Braden Stringer: All right. There’s one, another one that goes back to more of what we were talking about at the beginning, but a question about any defined SAM policies that should be in place. from an ITAM point of view. We talked about policies. Are there any specific policies that you feel we should, cover here?

Ben Wilcox: So, it’s a great question. And let me take first stab at it. And then maybe Paolo, you can jump in from your experience, but certainly the ISO standard offers a framework of certain capabilities, policies, and processes that an organization should consider. But my view is an organization should look at, their culture and define, really what should be in place for them.

I’ve had clients that say we, we don’t really issue policies. We don’t document it. We do guidelines. The framework of a policy statement policy can be different than what you put in a guideline. I’ve had clients that say, we want specific policies written out, individual policies to drive certain processes.

Multiple clients say, I just want a policy statement that covers everything. So, you have to consider your organization and then how do you drive it? What’s acceptable within your organization? But how do you drive it to support developing your SAM program? And also, where does it fit in your SAM journey?

So, you might implement certain policies and processes early and then stair step into other processes later. Paolo, do you have, you want to share from your point of view your experience?

Paolo Gagliardi: I think you covered it very well. Every organization is different. Even every different tower within an organization is different than each one of the cultures will affect that.

I think it’s key to evaluate who you’re working with, what’s important to them, and to actually deliver on those policies first and then build out from there. I think you; you summed it up very well. Thanks, Ben.

Braden Stringer: Excellent. We’ll take a few more questions here. Let’s see. So, here’s a question. It’s what’s Anglepoint’s view on customers who are caught between platform slash tool limitations and implementation slash managed service partner and are unable to find solutions? At least that’s how I understand the question.

Paolo Gagliardi: Do we have any input on that?

Ben Wilcox: I think that’s a great question. Paolo, do you have a perspective from your side? Cause this is something you, I think you lived through a little bit.

Paolo Gagliardi: Yeah, I think what’s important tools do evolve tools do change. And so do manage service partners, they grow, evolve, acquire new expertise.

And I think what’s really important is you have to find the right fit. Find the right fit in the organization. Find the right fit for the tool sets you have, because not all of them are created equal and not all of them will report the same way for all the tools that you have. So really, find the right tool that fits your organization, fits the licenses and the products you have installed in your environment, and then find the partner who has the skill set to support you.

And don’t be afraid to change. I’ve worked with a multitude of partners and a multitude of tools. And once you find the right combination things flow very smoothly from there on.

Ben Wilcox: So, I just add on to that, our view managed services are hybrid. That being that we basically match our services to meet the needs of the organization. This question sounds a little bit like it could be publisher specific but it’s difficult to tell. But at the end of the day, the scope of services should be, jointly defined and, really the end objectives defined and the how to get there agreed upon.

Sometimes that requires the client Determining to implement a new technology, but it also that whole assessment can allow the two parties to assess how far their tool gets them down the journey. What additional data is required? What additional processes and resources are required in order to get to their end objective?

And I think it takes, a real partnership to enable that and make it happen. Excellent.

Braden Stringer: All right. We’ll take one more question as we’re about running out of time here. But finally, one question is if the RACI model that you had mentioned, Ben, is required to meet SAM mature, excuse me, SAM maturity and compliance.

Paolo Gagliardi: And then how can we develop a model like that?

Ben Wilcox: Great question. Go for it. So, the racy model isn’t required, but it helps. So, it really helps you bridge the gap between the partners you’re working with, the internal stakeholders the external vendors and the management team and helps them understand who’s doing what and who to involve. Once that’s documented and everyone agrees on it, it really makes splitting up the tasks ten times easier.

I can’t say it any differently than that. It really just simplifies and facilitates the whole process. You could document one on your own. You could do the research. Anglepoint. Who have programs in place and offerings that can help you go through the motions and accompany you through that journey But, it definitely helps to have something in place within your organization and it helps the flow of tasks and information through the chain.

Ben Wilcox: I would take this one step further in that it also helps communicate your SAM program because really in order to, my advice in order to, when you’re looking to define a RACI, I would bring in a third party, because essentially you need agreement on certain processes that should be in place, and then agreement as to those roles.

So, bringing in a third party can help work the agreement to the responsibility, bringing in those various stakeholders. Share with them the journey you’re going down, why you’re implementing these processes, their role with it, with regard to those processes, and start to work through behavior and operational changes and support software asset management.

It’s actually one of the steps in the journey to implementing your SAM program. I think yeah.

Paolo Gagliardi: Ben, I have to agree that the impartial third party really does help put the RACI in place and really help split the roles at the right place. It eliminates a lot of the infighting. I agree with you on that one.

Ben Wilcox: Braden, I think we’re right at the top of the hour. I think we might be out of time. I really appreciate everybody sharing some time, sharing an hour with us today. If you’ve got questions, follow up, you want to talk to any one of us, please feel free to reach out to us. And Braden, anything else from your side before we wrap things up?

Braden Stringer: No, that’s it. I was just going to say, feel free to reach out to Mari, Ben, or Paolo personally, or you can visit or email us at We appreciate everyone joining and hope that you can join us on the next one as well.