Cherwell IT Service Management Blog
Resources, Best Practices, and Solutions for ITSM Pros

Debra Brandt

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Results of the 2013 Software Asset Management (SAM) Survey

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Confucius once said, “He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” Confucius may not have had software asset management (SAM) in mind, but this quote suggests that planning and preparation, both important—if not essential—elements of SAM, are key to success. This January we conducted a survey to gauge the status of SAM efforts among organizations that evaluated

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Transforming SCCM Data into License Intelligence

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One of the common organizational barriers encountered by those wishing to implement a genuine software asset management tool relates to internal pressure within the organization to leverage an existing Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) deployment to accomplish SAM-related goals. To be sure, SCCM has a very important role within the enterprise. But there’s often a fundamental misunderstanding among decision

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KPMG Survey on Unlicensed Software Losses Confirms Findings of a Series of Reports This Year

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A few weeks ago, KPMG announced the results of its 2013 study “Is Unlicensed Software Hurting Your Bottom Line?“ which analyzed responses from 31 software companies representing more than 50% of the revenue in the software industry. Of the executives who responded, 52% – the same number as in the previous survey in 2007 – said their companies’ revenue losses

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Corporate Software Piracy – Is There An Elephant In The Room?

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Happy New Year! If you’re anything like me, the first weeks of January usually involve a Herculean effort to work off the extra pounds you packed on as a result of all the holiday excess. But this task is dwarfed in comparison to the effort your company may face as a result of the past decade’s technology excesses: blind overpurchasing

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It’s Not Easy Being Green

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If your organization has adopted a “Go Green” initiative and you’re evaluating ways to get IT involved with the effort, check out this article, “Retiring IT Assets for Green Reasons,” by Steve Suesens, of Staples Inc. Though not exhaustive, the column offers helpful advice for using IT asset management best practices to get more out of your deployed assets and

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Are You REALLY at Risk for a Software Audit?

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We’ve all at some time in our lives fallen victim to the temptation to glom onto “statistics” that validate a position we take, be it about business, politics or how to raise kids. In the PR world, the temptation is even greater when those statistics are considered “newsworthy” and can fill a hole in the editorial schedule. Every year, I

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Time for Software Asset Management to Take the Spotlight

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Looking back over recent analyst reports on the software asset management (SAM) market, I came across a joint Forrester/ITAM Review survey from early this year on “The State and Direction of Software Asset Management 2012 to 2013.” The report suggests that while software asset management still has a long way to go before becoming a meaningful priority on the boardroom

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The Software Industry’s Most Notorious Auditors

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Gartner recently published the results of its 2011 report discussing “The Software Vendors That Are Auditing Now and What to Do About It,” conducted among attendees of its most recent annual “IT Financial, Procurement and Asset Management Summit,” held back in September of 2011. The report covers a number of areas including the percentage of participants having undergone a software

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The Unknown Realities of a Software Audit

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In our recent blog post, Four Common Misconceptions About Software Audits, we revealed that the largest of companies are not the only businesses susceptible to a vendor audit. Our 2013 Software Audit Industry Report reveals that companies of just about every size are vulnerable, with 52% of companies over 500 employees having undergone audits in the last two years. In

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Microsoft Introduces “Rental Rights” Licensing Option

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A lot of folks must be rubbing their eyes in disbelief: Microsoft has actually introduced a licensing option that makes life easier for businesses that lease or “rent” Microsoft Windows and Office software to their customers on a per-use basis. Companies that will theoretically benefit from Microsoft’s new “Rental Rights” include internet cafes, print shops, kiosk companies, and office equipment

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Customer Snapshot: ACS Technologies

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From time to time, we have the privilege of circling back with individual customers and hearing their inside stories about the strides they’ve made over the years through the use of our product. Last month, we were able to connect with Luke Fine, IT Coordinator at ACS Technologies, who has used Express Software Manager for over four years, and has

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BSA Piracy Study Drawing Fire

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There’s not a whole lot the BSA does that’s warmly embraced by the public. Let’s face it: its mission to punish software pirates and extract incremental revenue on behalf of the big software titans does little to endear itself to end-users, both consumers and businesses alike–particularly during times fraught with economic hardship. The BSA recently fanned the flames when it

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EU Ruling: Software Publishers Can’t Oppose Resale of Used Licenses

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A recent ruling by European courts sets an important precedent for the growing software resale industry, affirming that the resale of used software is permissible within the European Union, and that software publishers have no grounds to bring charges against such resellers. The defendant in this case, UsedSoft GmbH, is a German company that purchases and resells used Oracle client-server

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Interview with Martin Thompson, Founder of the ITAM Review

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I’ve been following Martin Thompson’s blog, the ITAM Review, with great interest since its inaugural post in November of 2008. Martin’s approach to blogging is a refreshing departure from most blogs covering the discipline of IT asset management—its content is exceptionally wide-ranging, relevant, thoroughly researched, and perhaps most importantly, vendor-agnostic (gasp!). It’s a resource I rely on to augment my

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UK’s FAST Ltd OEMs Express Software Manager

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Exciting news: We just inked an OEM deal with UK-based FAST Ltd, who will now offer its own “private label” version of our flagship product, Express Software Manager. FAST Ltd, owned by British software giant, IRIS, is recognized to be the United Kingdom’s leading authority on Software Asset Management (SAM) and IT Compliance, having provided software, education, consulting and managed

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Software License Management — Your Patriotic Duty?

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I woke up this morning feeling something like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day.” On NPR: yet more bad economic news from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Despite forecasts predicting a December turnaround in the employment market, the economy actually shed another 85,000 jobs. Seriously? Again? You may recall in the economic downturn of 2001, George Bush famously pleaded for

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“Campaign for Clear Licensing” Picking Up Steam?

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Several weeks ago, an interesting idea was hatched. An idea which, if the wheels can truly be set in motion, has the potential to change the nature of software licensing. An idea which, I believe, merits both attention and support. Martin Thompson, editor/publisher of the ITAM Review, is calling for a non-profit regulator of the software licensing industry, akin to

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The BSA’s “Faces of Internet Piracy”

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After years of “ho-hum” traditional press releases, research studies, and local radio campaigns, it looks like the BSA has hired fresh blood to breathe some life into its image. Using YouTube, the BSA is engaging in some rather clever viral marketing in what appears to be an attempt to not only promote but also to modernize its message. The “Faces

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Customer Snapshot: Great American Financial Resources (Part 1)

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Part 1: Investing Wisely In IT Asset Management Great American Financial Resources, Inc. is a successful financial services company with a reputation for excellence in money management and providing value to policyholders. For any company, IT asset management (ITAM) is a complex and demanding discipline that involves constant tracking and analysis of both tangible and intangible assets and activities. For

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Vendors Respond to Enterprise Demands for New Licensing Options

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Any software vendor that’s been paying attention to its customers in recent months will tell you that software licensing preferences are changing–and quickly. The past year, in particular, has brought about an appetite for more flexible licensing models that are less user-centric and more usage-centric. As IT organizations continue to chisel away unnecessary spending and take a more strategic approach

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Announcing the Winner of the IT Asset Management Scholarship

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We’re pleased to announce the winner of our 2014 IT Asset Management Scholarship, Nathan Morin! Nathan is a freshman at Purdue University where he studies Information Technology. We had an opportunity to talk with him this week about his background, interests and future growth in the IT space. Nathan Morin, winner of Express Metrix’s IT Asset Management Scholarship What inspired

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IRS Not Immune to Software Piracy

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When an organization that’s meant to represent the ultimate in “strict” gets caught with pirated software, it’s worth digging a little deeper into the story. A recent audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) discovered that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had been running pirated software due to “poor management of software licenses.” Auditors also stated that

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Hot off the Press! The 2013 Software Audit Industry Report

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This week we released the results of our inaugural Software Audit Industry Report. The purpose of the report is to benchmark the occurrence of software audits across the marketplace, as well as gauge the experiences, attitudes, and outcomes of audits on end-user organizations. What, you may wonder, makes this research different from all the other industry reports published in recent

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Negotiating the Fine Print: A Powerful – And Necessary – Component of Your Software Asset Management Strategy

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The following blog post was contributed by Cynthia Farren, President of Cynthia Farren Consulting and author/editor of the Software Asset Management Blog, which provides advice for negotiating enterprise software license agreements and other Software Asset Management (SAM) topics. Anyone working in the field of Software Asset Management is no doubt well-acquainted with strategies for minimizing license compliance risk and reducing

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Creative Ways to Trigger a Software Audit

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I came across this Computerworld article as I did my weekly scour of the news media, and wow, did it ever bring new meaning to “going rogue.” Companies understandably worry about employees “blowing the whistle” on unlicensed software–a practice promoted (and rewarded) by the BSA that’s become a primary tool for uncovering and combating corporate software piracy. But this column

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Reflections on IAITAM 2012 ACE

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We just returned from the International Association of IT Asset Manager’s (IAITAM) 2012 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Palm Springs. The conference was sizzling, and I don’t mean just figuratively—the temperatures hovered around 100 degrees, in stark contrast to our typical Seattle drizzle. Big kudos to IAITAM for putting on yet another terrific conference. Attendance was up sharply from last

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Express Metrix Named CODiE Award Finalist for Sixth Year Running

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We were thrilled to learn last week that the SIIA has once again named Express Metrix a CODiE Award finalist in the “Best Asset Management Solution” category. In fact, we’ve been a finalist every year since we were first nominated in 2006—the only company to claim this accomplishment within the category!—and were honored to win the award in 2008. The

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Customer Snapshot: Trial By Audit (Part II)

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Note: The identity of the following company has been concealed to protect the non-compliant. Part II: Solution and Advice After muddling through two painful software license audits, a Texas-based microelectronics manufacturing company implemented new procedures for keeping on top of its software licensing situation. Not only did the company implement technology to keep track of what was installed on desktops

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Customer Appreciation Month Update: Announcing the Winners of the Kindle Customer Challenges!

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The start of October marks the end of Customer Appreciation Month. We dedicated September to letting our customers know that we’re grateful for the opportunity to support them day after day and year after year with their IT asset management initiatives. Between the customer referrals, great product feedback, ESID machine scans, and occasional comic relief we receive from our end-users,

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Express Software Manager Named 2010 CODiE Award Finalist

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Great news… Express Software Manager has once again been chosen by the Software and Information Industry (SIIA) as a 2010 CODiE Award Finalist in the Best Asset Management Solution category. The SIIA CODiE Awards have been the leading honor among software products and services worldwide since 1985; the Best Asset Management Solution category was introduced in 2005. The product has

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New Blog Series: Managing Software Licenses in a Citrix Environment

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Software licensing is complicated enough in its own right. Throw in a bunch of corporate apps running on Citrix servers, and you’ve got the potential for all-out pandemonium. It requires considerable knowledge, even in a traditional desktop environment, to successfully navigate the intricacies of software licensing and compliance. But in an increasingly virtualized world, with technologies such as Citrix XenApp

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Archaic EULAs Create a Licensing Quagmire for Citrix Shops

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In my introduction to this article series, I discussed the challenges related to managing software licenses within a Citrix environment. Let’s start with the primary reason for the difficulties in the first place: Most software publishers are clinging to a per-device license model that doesn’t translate into an environment in which application delivery is user-centric. This is especially baffling in

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Court of Appeals Rejects Subpoena to Reveal SIIA Informant’s Identity

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For those of you interested in the legal aspects of license compliance and software audits, here’s an interesting development that took place in the D.C. Court of Appeals just a few weeks ago: After an anonymous employee filed a bogus piracy claim with the SIIA against his/her company, Solers Inc, the firm filed a defamation lawsuit against the “John Doe”

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Listen to it Here: The BSA’s Latest Radio Spot

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Have you ever been blissfully rockin’ out in your car, maybe on your way to the gym or home from work, and had your zen-like bubble suddenly popped by sharp pangs of anxiety brought on by a sponsor’s advertisement? No, I’m not talking about an ad run by your political adversary’s SuperPAC or the latest documentary on climate change; I’m

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Scrapping the Microsoft Enterprise License Agreement?

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Much has been written about the ending of enterprise licenses within the NHS – but there’s been very little practical advice on how to handle it. And believe me, when I say practical, I mean practical. Advice that can be taken on board without spending huge amounts of time and money on complex solutions that just add to the problem.

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Express Metrix Customer Haikus

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We were so impressed by the response to our recent customer Haiku contest (held in honor of Customer Appreciation Month) that I felt compelled to publish an additional blog post featuring some of our other favorite Haikus, whose authors have been awarded honorable mentions. If you don’t see your Haiku here, it’s not because we didn’t love it! It’s possible

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Happy Customer Appreciation Month!

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Did you know that September is dedicated to showing how much we appreciate our customers? That’s right, it’s Customer Appreciation Month! We appreciate your business, your references, your continued loyalty and your ongoing contributions to making our products rock-solid for companies like yours around the globe. A big thank you to all of you for making our jobs challenging, fun

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Industry Insider Reflects on the IAITAM 2011 Annual Conference

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Every year around this time, asset management vendors like ourselves take to the blogs to share their opinions and takeaways from the IAITAM Annual Conference & Exhibition. This year, however, I was interested in hearing the insights of an insider at the organization that actually hosted the event. Specifically, I wondered how the conference has evolved over time in terms

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Customer Snapshot: Trial By Audit (Part I)

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Note: The identity of the following company has been concealed to protect the non-compliant. Part I: Fast-growth Company Derailed by Software Audit Pains A rapidly growing, Texas-based microelectronics manufacturing company learned the hard way about the difficulties of license compliance when it was targeted for audits by two software vendors within a very short period of time. Specializing in the

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From a Mess to a Model Program: Asset Tracking Serves Up Savings and Security for Healthcare Insurance Company (Part I)

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Note: The identity of the company featured in this customer snapshot has been concealed to protect the non-compliant. Part 1: Sorting Out a Software Compliance Tangle Searching for software purchasing records, an IT manager at a well-established health insurance provider found herself face to face with a compliance nightmare of colossal proportions. What began as a filing exercise became a

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From a Mess to a Model Program: Setting Things Straight (Part II)

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Note: The identity of the company featured in this customer snapshot has been concealed to protect the non-compliant. Part II: Setting Things Straight The health insurance company’s license compliance status prior to deploying Express Software Manager could only be described as murky. As a first step toward achieving clarity, the IT manager performed a comprehensive and detailed inventory of all

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Customer Snapshot: York County School Division

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York County School Division (YCSD) was an early mover to a virtualized software environment. With over 800 software titles being utilized across nineteen schools, more than 6,000 computers, and some 14,000 students, YCSD chose Citrix XenApp to stream software packages throughout the school division. YCSD’s commitment to best practices and need for insight into the ‘who, how and what’ of

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Government Held Accountable for Software Spending in New DHS Bill

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In spite of the escalating intensity of the rhetoric surrounding the upcoming presidential elections, I do think there’s one thing we can all agree on no matter what our political leanings: the government should make every effort to cut wasteful spending. Illinois congressman, Joe Walsh, has taken steps to root out waste within a relatively small, yet still significant, portion

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Kris Barker Invited to Speak at IBSMA’s SAM Summit

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For anyone planning to attend the IBSMA’s SAM Summit this June in Chicago, be sure not to miss Kris Barker’s presentation on application recognition, entitled: “Software Identification: What You Need To Know.” The focus of this year’s event is “mastering software license management”. According to the event web site, attendees will “…learn what it takes to be the best at

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Customer Snapshot: Great American Financial Resources (Part 2)

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This post represents Part II of an Express Software Manager customer case study. You can read Part I here. Part II: Investing Wisely in IT Asset Management Transitioning from Novell ZENworks to a more functional software asset management (SAM) solution was the right decision, but not an easy one for Bryant Caldwell, Director of IT Asset Management and Finance for

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