Compania IPR-Insights oferă în calitate de specialist independent soluţii complexe de gestionare a programelor de calculator (SAM) şi consultanţă de licenţe pentru mari companii. Pentru această sarcină complexă este nevoie de cunoaşterea exactă a datelor informatice, financiare şi juridice, precum şi a legăturilor dintre acestea.
În general, implementarea unui departament specializat pe acest domeniu şi califcarea permanentă a lucrătorilor este ineficientă. Oferim clienţilor noştri servicii pe baza unor experienţe avansate în domeniu şi un portofoliu care cuprinde toate procesele SAM, precum şi un sistem propriu de gestionare a programelor, astfel, dincolo de oferta unor servicii simple, sistemul nostru este capabil de acoperirea parţială sau completă a procesului SAM pentru compania respectivă.
Dacă sunteți interesat de ce „nivel de maturitate“ al SAM al procesului de management al software-ului companiei dvs. este disponibil în prezent, vă rugăm să descărcați broșura!
Activele software sunt elementele critice ale sistemelor IT, iar managemetul lor necesită cunoștințe complementare de IT, finanțe și legislație. Gestionarea necorespunzătoare a licențelor duce la costuri suplimentare și riscuri importante pentru companie: riscuri juridice prin folosirea ilegală a programelor și risc financiar, prin achiziții inutile sau prea scumpe de licențe software nefolosit etc.
O înțelegere clară a triunghiului informatic-legal-financiar a gestiunii de software – prin complexitatea și variantele particulare ale acestuia – necesită o expertiză ce a devenit o profesie de sine stătătoare. Consultanții IPR-Insights sunt experți recunoscuți în domeniilor lor și specialiști în licențiere software.
- Inventar software
- Politici SAM
- Sisteme SAM
Whatever management decisions we make, a basic question certainly emerges: ‘What kind of assets do we currently have?’ It sounds simple. However, when it comes to managing IT decisions, especially software-related ones, the picture is far from simple.
The ability to give a simple answer becomes doubtful when we think about it: in the case of software, we even need to refine the question. ‘What kind of assets is in use and what kind of software licenses are granted currently?’ These two sets match rarely by 100% accuracy.
The situation becomes more complicated if the experimental fact is considered, that an average medium company or an enterprise use thousands of different software products nowadays, which are manufactured by hundreds of vendors. To survey this infrastructure completely – including the inventory of hardware and hundreds of software products installed on the computers, furthermore the arrangement of presented license documents and analysis of divergences – appears frightening job for a company that has limited IT resources.
Consultants of IPR-Insights have gained experience of several years in creating software inventories, and, in the course of this inventory, they execute the following steps in cooperation with the customer:
Step 1: Collection of hardware and software data over the network and/or by manual data collection
Step 2: Creation of physical license inventory
Step 3: Processing of the presented licenses and invoices
Step 4: Comparison of software usage and software assets, analysis of divergences
Software asset management can deal with diversified procedures in the life of a company, so similarly to other management procedures, SAM procedures cannot be operated properly without appropriate regulation background. In the case of SAM procedures regulations have high importance, because these make it possible for the corporate management to decrease the risk of unintended mistakes and intended legal infringements and to delegate a part of their responsibility to other participants in the procedure.
If this area is intended to be regulated, further to the preparation of software usage policy and software asset management regulations, these regulations should be embedded in the actual regulation environment, or, if it is necessary, other related areas should be regulated as well.
Consultants of IPR-Insights gained practical experience in creating software asset management regulations at many companies in the last few years. Using this experience our consultants can support your work by providing the below services:
- Audit of software asset management procedures
- Creation and on demand modification of responsibility map
- Revision of software asset management regulations
- Creation of software asset management regulations and procedures
- Regulation of in-house developments
- Creation of software outsourcing contracts and regulations
For following appropriate software management practice, all of the hardware and software assets should be surveyed, which can be an enormous task even for a midsize company. The surveyed data change and become obsolete quickly, however, there are many company procedures that require correct and current hardware and software data.
- Most frequently, the claim arises as IT claim, because these data are necessary to plan projects, make changes which fit business demand and execute other IT procedures.
- Besides the IT area, the business processes of the company require these data continuously as well since these are essential to prepare and follow the budgets, plan new IT procurements or to comply with the accountancy obligations.
- Finally, such third-parties also have to be mentioned, i.e., for example, the vendors and developers of the used software products, or the authorities which can require such data from the company.
With regard to the above-mentioned facts, IPR-Insights recommends introducing a convenient software asset management system for working up and maintaining software asset management. IPR-Insights provides the following services with the system:
- Delivering software asset management system
- Introducing software asset management system
- Operation and support of software asset management system
- Identification of unknown software products
Our proprietary SAM system was created on the basis of the concerning standards and recommendations, practical experiences of several software asset management projects and compliance audits.
În cursul activității de consultanță acordate, am obținut experiență extinsă în produsele următorilor producători software: Adobe, Attachmate, IBM, McAfee, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Symantec, VMWare, dar oferim consultanță și pentru soluțiile altor producatori software, fără să pierdem din vedere nici programele FLOSS (open source).
Încă de la început, IPR-Insights a pus accentul pe analiza proactivă a licențelor producătorilor de software, având în vedere că acest lucru influențează în mod direct funcționarea marilor companii.
Este mult mai eficient, din punct de vedere al costurilor, eliminarea utilizării inutile a unor programe înaintea unui audit - tot mai des - al producătorului.
Unlike the unexpected costs of vendor audits, planned and realistic costs of proactive software management can be integrated into tense IT budgets, és hatékonyan csökkentik a kockázatot és a licencköltségeket is.
The risks and outcomes of an audit can be significantly influenced by preparation, ie a proactive software management approach. It is important to note that any “help” offered by vendors is not selfless: preparation tools offered primarily aim for license sales. Only an independent licensing consultant and a vendor-independent SAM tool can guarantee that you pay only the license fees that meet your company’s real software needs – no more no less.
Ideally, preparation begins of your own accord, well before the formal audit notice is received. This gives you more time to assess your actual software usage needs and compare them to your current software usage and licenses you have purchased.
The duration of the task is influenced by organizational capabilities and software vendor(s), but for a larger organization, it is worth counting for at least 12 months, as a lot of data outside the daily routine must be collected, that can hardly be automated or requires research. The underestimation of the necessary costs is as general as that of incompliance.
As an independent consultant, IPR-Insights helps you develop a proactive software asset management approach and develop SAM processes that allow you to be prepared for software vendor audits. Ready-to-use, accurate reports can be presented to the vendor’s expectations with the help of a SAM tool, with minimal time, energy and cost.
Receiving an audit notice usually causes a significant headache. From this time on, the user will be constrained by time and limited by opportunities, but this typically 30-45 day period is just about getting ready for the auditor’s visit. IPR-Insights also provides support in this as well as in the negotiations with the auditor: our experts help our clients become aware of their real licensing status and reduce the auditor’s information advantage to sit in for the meetings as an equal party.
- For those who have not yet started software asset management or are in the early stages of the SAM process, there are many questions and tasks to be solved. What workload and duration to expect? Which products will be tested at all? How accurately do we know or guess what we are using? Do we have an overview of each installation? Do these software products belong to one or more areas? Who operates them? Do we know what licenses can cover what we use? What do we have a license for? To what extent can the incompliance move, if any? How should I prepare for the audit?
- Those who are already advanced in software asset management are interested in the finer details of licensing and auditing. What has been the change since the last review? Are there any licensing traps that are unknown? Will there be any unplanned costs at all? What interpretation disputes can we expect? Should we advance planned infrastructure upgrades or other investments? How much will the data supply cost? How can we prepare for and provide data in the least disruptive way in our day-to-day operations, and should we tune in to the schedule? The more mature SAM practice is also beneficial in terms of numerical audit results, and serving information needs is less disruptive to normal operations and therefore less costly.
It is the client’s obligation under the license agreement to cooperate with the auditor, and this can only be limited in extreme cases. This may be the case if the investigating vendor is interested in non-relevant areas other than his own software or if the examination interferes with normal day-to-day operations.
The audit exploration phase provides a picture of where, how much, and what features of the vendor’s products are being used, which ones are within the scope of the audit, and how well they fit into the intended use. The more structured the organization, the more organizational and infrastructure pockets, nooks and crannies may occur where something unexpected can be found, and these details are of great interest to auditors.
The role of the evaluation phase is to determine which licenses are best covered by the identified use and to compare them with the license inventory. However, optimized licensing will only be sought by the user and/or independent consulting partner, not by the auditor as the cost is borne by the end-user.
having discovered the expected incompliance, the financial preparation phase follows, which determines what level (eg regional, global) decision or support is needed for the solution. Addressing outstanding incompliance may involve postponing or canceling planned improvements.
In preparation for the negotiation phase with the auditor, it is important to clarify (or even quantify) what we want to achieve and what we are willing to let go. We also need to know what the opposite party is aiming for and what they are expected to respond to each of our steps.
The definitions of some license agreements are imprecise in their practical use, and the vendors tend to interpret the points at issue to their advantage. Clients, as equal parties, have the opportunity to interpret factually unclear concepts in contradiction with the vendor’s idea, as the difference in list price can be huge. The value of actual use must be paid for, but nothing that goes beyond that, or that cannot be deduced from the contract or is not based on facts.
Vendors have different attitudes in dealing with incompliance. Some allow you to purchase licenses during the audit, while others, especially ones applying external audit firms, freeze the status at the start of the audit, both on the license and on the usage side.
The software auditor (vendor or agent) is trying to make statements that cost money to the client. He is not an independent expert – he is interested in finding incompliance. In addition, some vendors stipulate that if the difference between contracted and actual use is greater than 5 percent, the auditor’s fee is also paid by the audited company, and that is also a significant expense.
It is important that the auditor does not have unlimited time to investigate: first, with less work, he focuses on promising points, the “low-hanging fruits”. It is worth to prepare for each vendor-typical trap situation with the help of an independent SAM consultant.
Protection against Risks of Vendor Audits
Software license and follow-up fees constitute an ever growing part of corporate IT budgets, meanwhile, vendors are auditing software usage and compliance more and more frequently. Compared to the unexpected costs deriving from vendor audits, the predictable and realistic costs of software asset management can be integrated into even tight IT budgets, and they effectively reduce risks and license fees, too.
Software Audit Protection Shield – Guarantee Program
Our new program – exploiting the potential of proactive software asset management – offers clients a safer protection against the risks of vendor audits than ever before. Based on conclusions of over 100 corporate reference projects, more than 15 years experience in software asset management, and our database identifying 100,000 products (6 million executable files) of over 20,000 software vendors, we can guarantee the maximum non-compliance (in case of audit) with the contracted vendor’s expectation for our clients.IPR-Insights helps clients prepare for vendor audits, reveals any non-compliances (and helps in elimination upon request), and if the compliance report is false, pays the difference (till the limit specified in the contract)! Its collateral is secured by liability insurance.
Currently, the agreement is available for two vendors:
- Audit Protection for Microsoft
- Audit Protection for Oracle
You can learn more about the terms and conditions of financial guarantee in our flyer. If you are interested in our software audit protection program, please contact us, so that we can inform you personally about the detailed conditions of the guarantee!
Covering IT activities with external services or complete outsourcing of IT procedures is common practice nowadays. Many parts of software asset management (complete operation of the software asset management system, software identification, continuous maintenance of license inventory, creation of special reports, etc.) can be well supported by an external partner. Because of the requirement of special knowledge and quick changes in the software portfolio, it can result in considerable resource savings besides preserving the appropriate qualitative criteria.
IPR-Insights can provide customized administrative services for operating and maintaining specific parts of the software asset management procedure or the tasks of the complete software asset management procedure which can be executed by an external partner. Please check out our infovideo.
Continuous SAM Services
- complete operation of software asset management (SAM) systems
- software identification
- continuous maintenance of the license inventory
- creating individual reports
According to your need, you can choose from our portfolio covering the whole corporate SAM process.
In addition to providing one-off services, IPR-Insights can perform partial or complete software asset management duties tailored to the specific needs of the client as an outsourced service, as well. If you do not intend to solve complex software asset management processes within the organization – due to their high resource intensity – our SAM outsourcing service provides you the cost and risk reduction benefits of software asset management for a monthly fee.
IPR-Insights provides enterprise software asset management not only in its strict sense but also services that complement or even exceed the scope of daily SAM activities:
- Organizations operating their SAM processes in accordance with the ISO 19770-1 standard on Software Asset Management have the opportunity to certify their operations. Our company offers ISO 19770-1 consultancy and implementation for companies but does not provide certification as this would result in conflicts of interest. (Certification can be done by a partner independent of IPR-Insights.)
- In order to properly manage the legal risks associated with our software assets and minimize their cost and reputational impact, it is worth consulting with software law experts.
- Software asset management also requires special expertise in accounting. Our consultants are at your disposal with the accounting review of software tools, the development of accounting recommendations for their management, and SAM accounting workshop.
- SAM project quality assurance services of IPR-Insights provide support in areas like project methodology, risk analysis, training, quality control, process development, and evaluation based on ISO 19770-1 standard.
- Specialists at IPR-Insights provide tailor-made and team-specific training and education on copyright and liability issues, software management, vendor license structures, and accounting. In addition, we have been conducting regular LicenseAcademy courses for nearly 10 years.
IPR-Insights has been keeping in view the international standards and recommendations since its establishment. Since the publication of ISO 19770-1 our company has been working with regard to this standard. In general, if a company wants to obtain an ISO qualification regarding a specific activity, the first step is the assessment of the actual status, the preparation for the introduction and the introduction of the standard. Following this, the assessment and the certification of the system come.
According to the international principle of “independence”, the preparation-consultancy company and the certification partner cannot be the same. As our company is engaged in preparation and consultancy, we do not certify our clients, because it would result in incompatibility. Thus, the certification should be acquired from a partner who is independent of IPR-Insights.
Experții juriști se ocupă de aspectele legate de proprietatea intelectuală și dreptul civil, oferind support în auditare și standardizarea proceselor SAM și oferă sprijin în analiza responsabilității manageriale.
În plus față de cunoștințele clasice de fiscalitate și audit, experții noștri beneficiază și de cunoștințe specializate în regulile de contabile ale licețierii software, fapt ce îi ajută sa faciliteze comunicarea între departamentele IT și finanțe, in cadrul unui proiect SAM.
Acest domeniu este de o importanță deosebită, întrucât o inexactitate în contabilizarea programelor poate ieși la iveală în cursul unui control fiscal de rutină și poate duce la stabilirea achitării incorecte a taxelor fiscale.
Software Asset Management projects are mostly run involving independent experts. Lacking internal expertise, it is difficult for clients to verify whether the project is heading in the right direction and it would meet its objectives.
IPR-Insights? experts have many years? experience in making SAM projects work, and field a sizeable body of knowledge of best practices that work in practice, the opportunities and risks, and, naturally, the ins-and-outs of software licensing. Armed with the knowledge of the local economic and legislative background in Hungary, and an understanding of the various operating setups of software vendors, IPR-Insights are ready to add substantial business value in a quality assurance role for software asset management projects.
Quality assurance services of IPR-Insights provide benefits in the following areas:
- Review of draft project plans, methodology and approach, specifically highlighting risks
- Training for employees involved
- Quality assurance of project implementation, including participation in negotiations with suppliers, and ongoing risk management
- Quality check of project products prior to acceptance, including examination of inventory against requirements, verification of license records, as well as assurance of accurate tracking of products which are not licensed on an installed instance (per device) basis
- Contribution to design and implementation of software asset management processes
- Enforcing ISO 19770-1 compliance requirements on suppliers, if necessary
Our conviction is that training of the people who work in the SAM area and transferring the software asset management knowledge to them is essential for creating and maintaining appropriate software asset management procedures of a company. These experts have to know the licensing strategy of the software vendors and developers as well.
According to our experiences, only a few software vendors/developers organize trainings and further educations, where the software asset managers and other SAM actors can get acquainted with the licensing principles and practical information. If such trainings are provided by the software vendor/developer, these educations focus on the vendors’/developers’ own licensing principles and practical information, so the of overall principles of the area – i.e. handholds to understand any licensing model, license agreement and price structure – cannot be studied this way.
Thus the experts of IPR-Insights arrange trainings with regard to the mentioned standpoints specified to the company needs in the following subjects:
- Copyright and responsibility questions
- Software asset management
- Licensing models of the vendors
- Accounting workshop