June 19th, 2015
By Steffani Lomax
Last week in Chicago, while the Blackhawks were playing the Tampa Bay Lightning for hockey’s Stanley Cup, the SAM Summit was taking place as well. The SAM Summit is an annual conference designed for Software Asset Managers, licensing and contract specialists to provide a venue for education on current industry topics and trends. Hosted by the International Business Software Managers Association (IBSMA), the SAM Summit is held at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center, which is around the corner from the Magnificent Mile, an upscale section of Michigan Boulevard known for its high-end shopping.
The beauty of this conference is the participation of experts in the SAM industry and the small size compared to some other ITAM industry gatherings. This year there were fewer than 200 registered attendees and just 8 sponsors, so the intimacy of this event enabled great networking. When you see the same people multiple times during a 2.5-day event, you tend to have more time for in-depth conversations with industry experts, vendors and peers. The peer networking is particularly helpful to both new and experienced SAM Managers as a way to gain an understanding of what others in the field are doing to address their challenges.
The conference began each day with breakfast and keynote or panel presentations. The first day opened with the SAM Summit Town Hall, where industry experts debated top-of-mind issues and concerns from varying points of view. Attendees were able to ask the panelists questions and benefit from their guidance.
After the keynotes, the conference offered five tracks that included Sponsor presentations, hot topics, shop talk and end user-only sessions. There were also specific IBM, Oracle and Microsoft tracks that addressed licensing and contract issues on the minds of the SAM community. Here are some examples of the session topics:
On the first evening there was no conference event, which gave attendees the opportunity to spend time sight-seeing nearby at River Walk or within the Magnificent Mile district. Because the Stanley Cup Finals were in progress, the city exuded an aura of energy and excitement. Many attendees found restaurants where they could enjoy local cuisine while they watched the game.
To provide additional networking opportunities as well as entertainment, there was an evening event mid-conference. It began with dinner at the Italian restaurant Topo Gigio, followed by a comedy improvisation performance at Second City, where many famous comedians launched their careers.
Overall, the SAM Summit was well-received, participants benefited from the education they received and believed it was time well-spent. Due to its popularity, the SAM Summit draws quite a few repeat attendees year after year.
If you are looking for a smaller conference where you have a great opportunity for networking with industry experts and peers, add the SAM Summit to your event calendar!
May 12th, 2015
By Steffani Lomax
Recently my colleagues and I attended the first major IT Asset Management conference of 2015, the IAITAM Spring 2015 Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE), which took place April 28-30 in San Diego, CA at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa. Over the past two years, IAITAM (International Association of IT Asset Managers) hosted two conferences per year in different U.S locations; however this year they changed the format to a Spring conference in the United States and Fall conference in Europe.
There were about 800 attendees at the event, representing both vendor and end-user organizations. The majority were based in the U.S.; however there were attendees from other countries. There were 40 exhibitors, including 27 event sponsors, all promoting their IT Asset Management (ITAM) solutions and services.
The conference began each day with breakfast and keynote speaker presentations. For this event IAITAM brought back one of their favorite keynote speakers: Andy Andrews, a New York Times bestselling author and inspirational speaker. Andy shared some of his philosophies of business and of life while entertaining us with his humor. IAITAM purchased copies of Andy’s book “The Seven Decisions: Understanding the Keys to Personal Success” as a free give-away and thank you to all the IAITAM conference attendees.
After the keynotes, the conference offered numerous tracks and as many as nine sessions to choose from in each time slot. The tracks included Audit, People, Process, ITSM, Compliance, Licensing, Program, Data, Security, Cloud, Disposal, Virtualization, Mobility and Case Studies. Vendors, promoting their products and services and end-user organizations sharing case studies delivered the sessions. Here are some of examples of the session topics:
Siwel presented the following sessions:
Lunch was served outdoors in the beautiful, dry San Diego sun. This was a treat for the attendees because at most conferences you are stuck indoors and have little opportunity to see daylight for days! There was a path outside of the hotel that circled Mission Bay which was a great venue for walking or running.
To provide more networking opportunities as well as entertainment, IAITAM hosted evening events. The first evening featured an outdoor cocktail party with a baseball theme near Mission Bay. Baseball fans wore the shirts or caps of their favorite professional teams. On the second and third evenings, the Exhibition Hall was open to exhibitors and attendees who networked and enjoyed good food and drink.
Overall, the IAITAM Spring 2015 ACE was well-received by the attendees and sponsors. Whenever you have the opportunity to meet in person with vendors and users, and learn from everyone, your time is well-spent. This event provided the opportunity to network and conduct business at a single event, rather than traveling multiple times or conducting numerous meetings to accomplish what can be accomplished in one trip. Additionally, the San Diego venue was very attractive. Some attendees either arrived early or stayed after the conference to sight-see in Balboa Park, the Gaslamp Quarter, Seaport Village, Old Town or La Jolla, as examples.
If we could change one thing, we would recommend offering fewer tracks and repeat sessions so that all the sessions that are offered are well-attended. But overall, kudos to IAITAM for a conference well-done!
April 6th, 2015
Siwel Consulting will be joining ITAM industry professionals at the 2015 AITAM Spring Annual Conference and Exhibition in San Diego, CA from April 28-30, 2015 with three presenters: Frank Venezia, Steffani Lomax, and Kevin Panteli. Don’t forget to sign up for these following sessions:
Learn how and what to prepare before sitting down at the negotiating table – for example, what to include on your contract term sheet and the basic tasks of a self-audit.
Frank Venezia, Senior Vice President, Client Services & Technology
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm, and
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 11:15am – 12:15pm
When you negotiate a contract with your software supplier, do you know if it is a good deal for your company? What should you do to prepare for the negotiation and ensure that the final agreement is the best possible outcome for your organization? In this session, we will take you through our recommended approach to preparation and execution of a successful contract negotiation, as well as considerations for right-sizing your agreement, analyzing the financials and ensuring that the final contract includes the most favorable terms and conditions for your organization.
What is the roadmap to get to a successful ITAM program as you begin your new job?
Steffani Lomax, Director of ITAM Business Development
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 2:15pm – 3:15pm
Did you recently become the IT Asset Manager at your company? Are you trying to learn as much as possible about IT Asset Management so that you can perform your role successfully? If you are relatively new to ITAM or need a refresher on the essential concepts and structure of a basic program, then this is the place to start. In this session, you will learn what ITAM is all about and the requirements for a solid program based on industry best practices: organizational structure, roles and responsibilities, high-level processes, tools, integration, communication and how to measure program success. You will leave this session with a roadmap on how to jumpstart or improve your ITAM program.
Learn how a strong ITAM program can be the foundation necessary to take advantage of all types of license optimization opportunities.
Kevin Panteli, Director of ITAM Consulting
Thursday, April 30, 2015 12:30pm – 1:30pm
What comes to mind when we say “License Optimization”? Ensuring you have the right edition of software, perhaps? Or taking advantage of software bundling to cover multiple products? Tracking and reusing licenses from decommissioned servers? Identifying whether the software is actually in use? All of these are reasonable examples – but who thinks about the hardware? Attend this session and learn how your choice of hardware can have an impact on your licensing costs and save you from spending more than you need to.
About the IAITAM Annual Conference and Exhibition
The IAITAM Annual Conference and Exhibition™, starting back in 2002, has become the largest and only conference and exhibition in the world solely dedicated to IT Asset Management. With annual growth exceeding all expectations, the educational content, expert speakers, sessions and exhibit fair combine to deliver practical advice and best practices for the attending practitioners, their superiors and colleagues.