IT Asset Management

Come see us at the 2015 IAITAM Spring ACE

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:

Getting to “Win” in Your Contract Negotiation

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.

Key takeaways:

  • Understand how to secure more favorable contract terms in your next negotiation
  • Avoid the most common negotiating mistakes made when negotiating software contracts
  • Reduce the overall cost of your software license contract portfolio
  • Free up incremental budget for other IT and business needs at your organization

I Just Became the IT Asset Manager: What Do I Do Now?

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.

Key takeaways:

  • What exactly is IT Asset Management (ITAM)?
  • Why is ITAM important to your organization?
  • How to identify what components of an ITAM program are in place now at your organization.
  • What does a successful ITAM Program look like?

The Hard Facts: How To Optimize Your Licensing Through Hardware Analysis

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.

Key takeaways:

  • There are more ways to optimize your software licenses than are commonly discussed
  • Some license optimization opportunity options are not applicable to all product sets
  • Effective license optimization can result in very significant cost avoidance and savings opportunities
  • The impact of hardware optimization on license costs can be very significant but is traditionally overlooked

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.

IBM InterConnect Session Recap: IBM License Metric Tool and Sub-Capacity Licensing

On February 22-26, Siwel Consulting attended IBM InterConnect 2015, IBM’s largest conference, in Las Vegas. There were 21,000 attendees from across the globe, and we were pleased to be a small part of it.

Dan Donovan, Siwel Senior Principal Consultant, and Mark Feinman, Siwel Application Architecture Manager, participated as subject matter experts in a session titled “Save Money and Adopt Best Practices with IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT) and IBM Sub-Capacity Licensing.” The interactive gathering was moderated by Antonio Gallotti, Product Manager for IBM License Metric Tool and IBM Endpoint Manager for Software Use Analysis. Steve Churchill, President and CEO of PreferredPartner, also joined us on the panel.

Full-capacity licensing is required for all active physical cores on a server, while sub-capacity licensing is required for a reduced number of cores that are running the IBM software as a result of a virtualization technology. For example, you can have a server with 12 physical and active cores on it. Full-capacity would require all 12 cores to be licensed. Using a virtualization technology such as VMWare, where only two cores are running the software, you would only have to license the 2 core (sub) vs. 12 cores (full).

During the hour-long discussion, the panel answered a range of questions from technical sizing to the always popular financial cost-savings. Dan piqued interest by providing real cost-avoidance based on data for three real customer sets, all using IBM’s ILMT: Small (two thousand servers); Medium (fifteen thousand servers); and Large (thirty thousand servers). We’re talking millions of dollars of savings—between the costs associated with full-capacity licensing vs. the cost of sub-capacity licensing. He emphasized the importance of applying real Passport Advantage pricing when calculating cost avoidance between full capacity and sub capacity licensing scenarios: while 5,000 PVU licenses doesn’t tell you anything, if one PVU costs $400, total cost avoidance equals $2,000,000!

Getting to “Win” in Your Contract Negotiation ― Part 2

By Steffani Lomax

In last week’s blog post, we talked about how to approach a contract negotiation. Let’s continue this discussion.

Understand Future Initiatives

Prior to negotiating a software contract renewal or a new agreement, it is imperative to understand future business initiatives within the company that will require technology. Engage with the stakeholders to learn and understand the 6 to 36-month roadmap of projects in the pipeline, as well as the specific technologies needed for each. Understand the “must haves” versus the “nice to haves” as they relate to the requirements. Since most agreements span 1 to 3 years, having a 36-month outlook on the project landscape should cover all requirements for the purposes of your new contract.

Conduct a Self-Audit

While it is imperative to understand future technology requirements, an organization should never begin a software contract negotiation without knowing its current license deployments versus entitlements, or software license position (SLP). Are you over-deployed, or do you have undeployed licenses (i.e., shelfware) that are costing the organization money? The answer to this question will impact what software you include in the agreement and the associated number of licenses.

To determine your software license position in advance of the negotiation, perform a self-audit. The self-audit involves establishing license entitlement and deployment baselines, then conducting a reconciliation of entitlements to deployments. To reconcile properly, ensure that you understand product use rights which may impact whether or not additional license or product purchases are necessary. It is also important to know whether there are licenses deployed in the environment that are not being used or have been decommissioned. Organizations may be able to uninstall or reallocate licenses if permitted according to the contract licensing terms and conditions, which will impact the final software license position.

Develop a Contract Deal Terms Sheet

Prior to the first negotiation meeting, develop an internal contract or negotiation “deal terms sheet” that clearly defines your requirements. It should include:

  • Business unit requirements
  • Professional services requirements
  • Timeline
  • Financial terms (i.e. purchase, lease, rent or other options, CAPEX and OPEX splits)
  • Business terms
  • License or product terms
  • Contractual or legal terms
  • Vendor commitments required during negotiation
  • Vendor scorecard
  • Major business disruptions or issues during the current contract term

Schedule regular internal meetings to review your deal terms sheet with the contract negotiation team and any other stakeholders in the Legal, Sourcing, Finance and IT departments.

Understand the Goals of Your Publisher

In order to negotiate effectively, you need to understand what is important to your software publisher. Typically, a software supplier seeks the following:

  • New revenue
  • Ongoing support or maintenance stream
  • Professional services
  • Fixed quantity of licenses
  • Changing license metrics
  • Audit rights
  • Limiting rights for future events (i.e. mergers and acquisitions)

Knowing these objectives will help you prepare to counter on some of the terms proposed by the publisher’s negotiation team. For example, if the supplier suggests conducting an annual audit over a 3-year agreement, your organization can propose a single audit over the course of the contract term. If your supplier recommends a maintenance level based on deployed software licenses, the self-audit results may potentially reduce the maintenance fees if you happen to be in a state of under-deployment or shelfware. If your supplier proposes a fixed quantity of licenses and you believe you will exceed this number, try to negotiate flexibility into the number of licenses that will be used over the contract period.

While it is always preferred to be liked by your supplier, it is more important to be respected. The best approach: negotiate a strong agreement and don’t worry about whether or not the party on the other side of the table likes you. You can build a solid relationship with your software publisher, but at the same time be assertive and persistent in the negotiations so that you will arrive at a final agreement that is both good for your organization and good for your supplier.

By applying these negotiating techniques that we have reviewed, you will have a better opportunity to secure the agreement you are looking for…to get to “win” in your contract negotiation!

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