Written by Elisabeth Vanderveldt, SBSC PAL for Eastern Canada

SAM

As a Software Asset Management (SAM) specialist I thought this would be a great time, with the pending release of SBS/EBS 2008, to talk about the revenue potential a SAM engagement with current and potential clients can mean for SBSC partners. The recent introduction of the new SAM Optimization Model provides partners with a new guideline and roadmap that will help you determine what stage your client is at in the SAM maturity process. This is a great way to approach your customers on how you can provide them with an invaluable service that can:

  1. Save them money (finding that they can use volume purchasing).
  2. Prepare them better for software and hardware life cycle management.
  3. Help them utilize licenses they might already have but didn’t know about (because no one is keeping track in the first place).
  4. Protect them from compliance issues, which is a bigger problem often caused by careless purchasing practices or due to working with multiple vendors.
  5. Help you sell them the non-OEM product by showing the advantages of doing so.
  6. Reduce or eliminate security issues. We saved one client up to $10,000 daily (potential client revenue loss) with policy changes implemented that focused heavily on security issues.
  7. Top of my list: Creating and preparing for disaster recovery. I use Groove in this case to create a SAM client workspace; this is protected, and between our firm and the client. Should the client lose all equipment including the machine the workspace was kept on, we are able to spring into action to supply all relevant data to the insurance firm and immediately start the ordering and replacement process. Since theft of IT equipment is still quite frequent, the ability to determine quickly what inventory is missing and get it rapidly replaced is more important than most businesses realize - until it happens to them.

Some of the above points are potentially crippling occurrences for small and medium businesses. In an economy that is more and more unstable there is more reason than ever to justify this process. Not understanding the value of one’s IT infrastructure is something that can spell trouble, especially for growing companies and ones that may also wish to be acquired. Ignorance is not “bliss”. In fact, it has been proven that companies end up spending on average more than they need to in adopting new technologies or additional licenses. It just isn’t good business sense and is all about more sound business practice.

A SAM (which also includes hardware) is our first step in engaging a new client. We won’t take on a client’s IT infrastructure without a clear picture of where they are and where they want to go. A SAM sets out the foundation for solid planning of software and hardware initial purchases, refreshes, upgrades and other services as well as helping them budget for it now and in the years to come. SAM isn’t a one-time project, so starting the SAM process let’s you reconnect with client’s on a regular basis!

What you save a client today can allow you to introduce even more technology to increase their operational efficiency. Isn’t being a hero to your client what it’s all about?

To learn more about SAM, the new SAM Optimization module, SAM tools, and how to go about getting started, you can visit the following SAM Homepage or Partner Portal.

Conamex was the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2006 SAM award winner, as well as the 2006 and 2007 CEA and 2007 Impact Award winner for SAM and Small Business Solution of the Year.

Elisabeth Vanderveldt

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