Software Asset Management in demand
SAM services gaining popularity in the region
Compliance and budgeting concerns are driving more companies in the region to invest in Software Asset Management (SAM) services.
According to service providers in this emerging sector, more and more companies are turning to third parties to help them get the most value from their software licensing, and to ensure that they are within legal parameters for use.
Husam Al Hmoud, Head of Business Development - MEA, for software specialist Crayon Middle East said that there is a high degree of non-compliance in the region: "The whole MEA region lacks the proper licensing knowledge especially when it comes to the ‘use rights' of any product published by the various technology vendors, and this is the major reason behind the high non-compliancy rate that we are witnessing."
Al Hmoud said that the desire to be compliant is partly driven by the efforts of vendors' anti-piracy teams, and partly by the internal procedures of companies such as regulated financial companies, or businesses owned by a group or a holding company applying an internal audit including the licenses compliancy.
SAM consultancy services are also becoming more important for service and hosting providers, to manage cloud and multi-tenant related implementations, Al Hmoud added.
Basel Samara, managing director of ExecuteRight, an IT Services and Consultancy company specialised in Software Asset Management, said that the company has clients across all sizes and vertical sectors in the region.
Samara said that rapid growth, mergers and acquisitions and other factors create complex working environments for companies, while an expanding set of software solutions makes it difficult for companies to analyze and understand their license position in order to optimize it, let alone take accurate decisions on future purchases.
He added: "The clients want to be compliant, but do not typically have the tools to analyse their IT environments and tend to struggle with the licensing guidelines of several vendors. Our interaction and discussion shows great desire on the part of the customers to be compliant."
Proper SAM can help reduce IT budgets and improve planning, but allowing a long term reduction in software license costs, and alignment of unused licences within an organisation to optimise the number of licences required.
SAM consultancies also typically help customer organisations to negotiate better terms from vendor because they have a more informed position, and also to access their full benefit entitlements from software agreements.
Samara said that there is also a positive response from vendors in the region to better adoption of SAM.
"Software Vendors are delighted that finally there is someone to help with the compliance drive - we are in touch and interaction with all of them. We act as a liaison between vendors and customers to ensure proper alignment of optimal licensing solutions to meet requirements of today and future needs," he said.