Tuesday, February 14, 2017

SAM Boot Camp - TWO SAM Credentials for the Price of One - March 2017

The Institute for Technology Asset Management will be holding a SAM Boot Camp during the week of March 20-24th, 2017 on the Virginia Beach, VA/USA campus of Infotech/ECPI University.  This program delivers both the SAM Core Competency AND the SAM Advanced Enterprise Infrastructure credentials in a single week-long live delivery - at ~50% off the standard price – certification exam included.
Use code 1016 when you register at TAMInstitute.org.
Institute / Infotech SAM Boot Camp Coverage:
SAM Core Competencies:

  • Extended Copyright Compliance Q&A
  • Core License Compliance Issues
  • Stepping Through a Punitive Audit
  • Detailing & Mitigating the Right to Audit Clause
  • Foundation Audit-Related License Clauses
  • Compliance Assurance Tools – Discovery and Uninstall
  • Developing the Proactive/Reactive Software Audit Team
  • Detailing Proofs of Possession
  • Foundation Document Management System
  • Establishing the Internal Whistle-Blower Program
  • The Hidden Threats of License Activation
  • Internal Compliance Assurance Wall of Due Diligence
  • Calculating Actual Punitive Audit Costs
  • Software & Copyright Compliance Enforcement Players
  • Developing Effective Basic SAM Policies
  • Conducting the SAM Initiative GAP Analysis
  • Copyright-Related Laws, Acts, & Regulations
  • Risk Management & Mitigation – Level I
SAM Advanced Enterprise Infrastructure:
  • Detailing 42+ Critical Software License Types
  • Detailing 36+ Critical Software Agreement Clauses
  • Chartering the SAM Initiative
  • Cloud & SaaS Services
  • IT Cost Reduction Opportunities
  • Effective Acquisition Process Framework
  • Vendor Management Framework I
  • Gaining & Retaining Executive Buy-In
  • Basic SAM Negotiations Methodologies
  • Stakeholder Analysis & Management for SAM
  • Human & Organizational Change Management for SAM
  • Project & Initiative Success Factors for SAM
  • Core Leadership & Motivation Framework for SAM

It’s the Knowledge You Need to Succeed!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

SAM Training – Can you re-wind and repeat your SAM certification training at will?

Probably not… One of the most significant drawbacks of a majority of Software Asset Management training and certification programs is that they’re essentially “one and done” in their delivery. This means that you attend a one- or two-day program, they teach you how to pass the exam, and you’re finished: “Instant Expert.” There is no provision for review, reflection, customization, or mastering the content.

The Institute for Technology Asset Management, with its Learning Management-Based online SAM Credential, takes you into the next generation of professional development.

For the first time in our industry, you, the SAM practitioner, can now:
  • Attend an online professional development program that is self-paced – allowing you to learn when it’s convenient for you and for your enterprise.
  • Attend a program that is based on the genuine competency needs of the individual practitioner – experience the knowledge you need to succeed in the real world of front line software asset management.
  • Attend a credentialing program with a clear and publicly available professional development Roadmap that delivers genuinely supplier-neutral SAM skills.
  • Attend this cutting edge professional development program from anywhere on the planet without leaving home.
  • Attend a program that includes a workbook that is actually a Work Book – encouraging you to convert each competency covered into a customized solution for your unique enterprise.
  • Attend a program that permits you to Learn to Mastery – view and review each competency module, each training page, until you are comfortable in your ability to actually use what you have learned.
What’s more, SAM and ITAM programs from The Institute for Technology Asset Management interface practitioner competency development with an Open Source curriculum, unique in the industry, allowing practitioners to apply local, or even in-house, training experiences to their credential growth.
Better yet: At ~175 USD, your TAMInstitute SAM credential exam is a fraction of the cost of alternative certificate options.
Institute programs are available in any of these formats:
  • Live Boot Camp Style – Either via our Norfolk, Virginia-based alliance with Infotectraining.com or delivered directly to your enterprise. (Check under Leadership and Management:  GO HERE )
  • Combined Boot Camp, with live delivery PLUS access to the online, self-paced materials for extended review / reference.
Each program includes access to our best in class Workbook with over 500 pages of genuinely useful information (no fillers), allowing you to convert the coursework to customized solutions.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Disaster Recovery Help for SAMs - 2 of 5

What can you do to recover after the hurricane, tornado, cyclone, tsunami, fire, or other disaster  has left your business decimated. This Knowledge Briefing delivers strategies for preventing yet another series of costly disasters—disasters of man-made origin!

Reduce Costs & Risks by Setting Effective Acquisition & Utilization Criteria for Technology Assets

Starting Over or Starting Out - When you begin planning your new technology, or your post-disaster technology environment, take a very serious look at your genuine needs. What level of hardware did you actually use prior to the disaster? What types of software? What were your problems, complaints, or cost concerns with previous products? The answers to these questions  should become the foundation for your purchasing criteria—requirements & expectations applied to every prospective purchase.

Real WorldAlthough incredibly unfortunate, a disaster gives you a chance very few businesses in the world will ever get—You get to correct previous technology and operational mistakes and plan a substantially more effective future infrastructure.

WIIFM – What's in it (in this briefing) for me? There are two simple ideas in this Knowledge Briefing that you can use to reduce technology costs and risks by as much as 30%. These strategies are applicable to businesses recovering from a disaster as well as new businesses building their first systems management (SAM or ITAM) infrastructure.

Take a look back. Prior to the event, how did you actually use your technology? How did your employees use it? Which of your tech products were genuinely doing the job? Which weren't? What functionalities did you value the most? The least? How much were you spending: On hardware, software, support, and services? How often did you change over to new hardware or new software? Were those changes because you needed the new products, or were they based on the vendor forcing you into the evolution? Did you really need a “genuine Intel” processor computer, or would an AMD or an Apple product be just as effective? Which of your prior software products regularly exposed you as a hackers or piracy audit target? Are there alternative products that you could use to reduce that exposure? Again, are your requirements criteria well thought out and based upon measurable need?

Once you have taken a serious look at the way your business technologies functioned before the disaster, it is time to set the criteria that will guide the technologies you will acquire for the new systems environment.

Here is a big cost reduction. How difficult would it be to rebuild your technologies using open source software? Many quality open source products are now available at no cost or for drastically lower costs than the more popular comparable proprietary products. The differences between open source and proprietary products in terms of functionality and support for the average small business are not as significant as you would expect.

For instance – Could your company use a minimally priced open source product as its desktop productivity suite—say for less than $100 per license? Or would you rather pay in excess of $400+ per computer for a comparable proprietary product? Could you use locally built computers, thus contributing to local growth, or would that multi-national brand name be more economical? Does your local tech community provide enough expertise to support your tech products, or will you pay that multinational company for telephone or email support?

Real WorldPrior to the disaster event, did you find yourself constantly patching and fixing defective systems and software? How much would you save, in labor alone, by moving to products that are not commonly targeted by hackers, malicious code, and counterfeiters?

Unfortunately, the vast majority of small- to medium-sized enterprises/businesses (SMEs/SMBs) acquire and use technologies based upon reactive purchasing instead of the more effective strategic purchase.

Do you want a guaranteed way to save money and reduce risk? Try this easy and cost effective process: Create a simple acquisition criteria template for all future tech purchases. If your personnel cannot clearly define and defend specific criteria for product functionality, do not purchase the product. Acquisition criteria must be directly tied to the bottom line or to improved productivity; and don't forget to ensure that those requirements criteria have not been provided by the product vendor (as is very frequently the case). 

Real World: We used to be able to acquire a perpetual license for most of our software-related products. This license meant that we purchase the product one time and continue to use it until we simply didn't need it any more—the one-time-fee license continued onward at no additional cost. Such perpetual licenses are few and far between in today's business technology environment. To increase their revenue streams, many software publishers have switched to the subscription based licensing scheme (SAAS) that requires you to pay an ongoing yearly fee to continue using the product. Your previous “one-time” cost just became a significant, and constantly escalating, repetitive expense. What's more, in many cases, if you refuse to pay the yearly fee, the licensor can legally shut the product down and deny use until you pay up or remove the product—very costly.

Setting and following acquisition criteria need not be difficult. As you may have gathered by the previous content, there are certain immediate steps you can take to produce instant savings. Remember the KISS principle? Consider the following...   

Real World – Over 80% of companies acquire technology assets (operating systems, software, hardware, & etc) based on ad hoc criteria. Altogether too frequently, ad hoc can be translated into pet product acquisitions. If you do nothing more than take away the free money and establish credible control over the entire acquisition process, you can reduce IT losses by as much as 30%.

Here's how you get caught...

Terrific Tales of Tremendous Terror – Over 60% of major businesses have refused to acquire the latest operating system for their PCs. With their extensive buying power, these large enterprises can afford to delay acquiring newly released products until the software publisher finishes their live beta testing (using customers to work the bugs out of products). Unfortunately, SMEs/SMBs do not have this leverage and must purchase whatever operating system the hardware provider supplies. Result? The business technology consumers least capable of absorbing financial losses due to technology
defects are the very companies that must carry the load.

Fortunately, and pretty much without precedent, an enormous number of PC systems builders have finally made a stand and refused to load the “latest” operating system on customers' PCs. Of course, the product was on the market for nearly six months before the systems providers took action. Take a moment and estimate how much defective software products cost you in down time, consulting fees for patch management, or simply inconvenience. You may want to seriously consider using these losses to gain more mutual benefit during your next hardware acquisition or software license negotiation.

Lots to consider. For now, your assignment is to establish the purchase criteria that most accurately fit your actual needs—measurable needs, not vendor hype. Work on criteria for hardware, operating system, software, and support. Don't forget your printers, copiers, fax systems, email, voice mail, even your cell phone needs. Could you reduce ongoing costs by standardizing on a specific product or service? Could the same standards reduce your exposure to risk issues such as hacking, compliance audits, built in obsolescence or constant unnecessary product feature bloat? I'll be back with more.

Got questions? Comments? Recommendations? Do you have horror stories of post-disaster experiences? Let us know and we'll follow up. I'm Alan Plastow & I firmly
believe that the more you know about managing technology assets, the less money you
will lose to sharp technology industry practices. Or, on the down side, you could always become one of those asset managers who are not permitted to do anything more than count computers and software titles...