November 13, 2008, 10:36 AM — The Business Software Alliance (BSA) today announced a new, world-class approach to software asset management (SAM), the business practice aimed at keeping track of and gaining the most productivity from all software within an organization. This new approach offers information technology (IT) managers and service providers an easier way to reap the benefits of SAM.
When it is fully launched in 2009, the new initiative, called BSA SAM Advantage, will be the first and only global SAM program that is:
â€¢Built on the basis of global standards issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), including official cooperation with the responsible ISO/IEC working group;
â€¢Vendor-neutral and sponsored by BSA, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of a safe and legal digital world;
â€¢Recognized and supported by many of the worldâ€™s leading software companies;
â€¢Customizable to each organizationâ€™s specific needs and abilities; and
â€¢Delivered in a consistent fashion by a variety of professional partners, resellers and practitioners.
Pilot programs will begin soon, with wider implementation to follow throughout 2009.
â€œBSA SAM Advantage is being designed to provide all parties with the knowledge and support they need to adopt world-class practices in software asset management through a flexible, step-by-step process,â€ said Robert Holleyman, president and CEO of BSA.
Although SAM has been a growing business practice in recent years, it has not been adopted as widely as expected, in large part because of a lack of universally recognized standards and training resources. â€œSAM practitioners have made great strides in recent years. But until now, there has not been a consistent, authoritative approach that is easy to implement. BSA SAM Advantage fills that need,â€ said Peter Beruk, senior director of compliance marketing of BSA.
David Bicket, convener of the ISOâ€™s Working Group for the ISO/IEC 19770-1 SAM standard, said, â€œWe recently undertook a worldwide survey which demonstrated that an incremental approach like BSA SAM Advantage is definitely needed. In delivering this, and in providing a clear route towards the standard, I believe BSA SAM Advantage meets real business requirements. The approach proposed by BSA is now being officially trialled as a potential future international standard itself.â€
â€œCurrent SAM training structures donâ€™t take into account the sheer diversity of SAM needs and expectations among businesses,â€ added Michael Beare, Director, License Compliance at Microsoft. â€œBSA SAM Advantage will provide a breadth of resources, enabling software providers to help each customer move toward optimal software asset management and investment decisions.â€
How Does It Work?
BSA developed the new program in response to the ISO/IEC 19770-1 SAM standard published in 2006 by ISO. Although this was a comprehensive standard, ISO did not specify a process for achieving it, and many parties found it a daunting effort.
To overcome these challenges, BSA worked closely with industry partners to develop a four-tiered framework ranging from basic to advanced SAM practices. This unique framework will allow each organization the flexibility to adopt world-class practices that match their own specific needs and abilities. Independent, enrolled SAM partners will receive best-in-class training and resources and then work with SAM-adopting organizations to achieve the desired level of SAM practice.
Tier 1 â€“ Trustworthy Data: Knowing what youâ€™ve got
Provides the basic framework for effective SAM and gives an organization complete visibility into the software on its network, as well as an accurate account of its license compliance requirements.
Tier 2 â€“ Control Environment: Consistent management
Compliance is driven by effective management controls and procedures so that management can recognize and decide on acceptable risks and necessary controls.
Tier 3 â€“ Key Operational Processes: SAM is instinctively integrated in the business
SAM is integrated into key operational processes to keep information current and improve the organizationâ€™s negotiating position â€“ making SAM easily repeatable and available upon demand.
Tier 4 â€“ Complete Systems Integration: Lasting benefits
Full compliance with ISO/IEC 19770-1. Once a company has achieved Tier 4, SAM processes are fully integrated into all of its management and operational systems and processes.
For anyone currently managing a SAM program or thinking of launching one, BSA SAM Advantage will provide a variety of benefits to three key groups:
â€¢Software users and IT managers can use BSA SAM Advantage to document conformance with global best practices, improve performance, reduce risks, avoid legal problems, save money, and negotiate future software purchases.
â€¢VARS, trainers and practitioners will gain the ability to offer customers a consistent yet flexible SAM program backed by the worldâ€™s leading SAM authorities.
â€¢Software publishers will benefit because SAM helps improve customer satisfaction and reduce software piracy, a problem estimated to cost the global industry $48 billion a year in foregone revenues.
In early 2009, BSA will ensure that SAM partners, including independent resellers and SAM practitioners, are able to obtain best-in-class training and resources in the BSA SAM Advantage methodology. Until then, BSA will be conducting official trials of the four-tiered approach.
For more information about BSA SAM Advantage or to participate in the early trials and training sessions, visit www.bsa.org/SAMAdvantage. The website for the SAM Standards Working Group (ISO/IEC JTC1 SC7 WG21) is at http://www.19770.org/.