I sometimes get asked by prospects why they should use software license consultants, like us. They say they have an IT team internally and a Value Added Reseller (VAR) surely that should be enough?
I thought I’d give my reasons why every organisation needs to get the services of independent software license consultants from time to time. It may be the case that organisations can still manage all of the software asset management (SAM) needs in-house but the list is food for thought.
Why you should consider using an external software license consultant:
1. Deeper Knowledge
They will have deeper license knowledge than your in-house team because it’s the sole focus of their business. Few organisation can afford to retain the license expertise of a specialist, especially one with experience across multiple vendors.
2. Better Tools
Because they are working on different projects for different clients external consultants will have tried and tested many solutions. They will have access to tools that may not be available to your organisation and in many cases will have developed their own.
3. Ex-Auditors on the Team
License Consultancy’s will have access to ex-auditors for a range of software vendors. More importantly they will have verified the quality of the ex-auditors advice. This audit experience is invaluable when preparing for reviews and audits as they will know all the problems areas in advance and be able to guide your team.
When you specialise in something, constantly trying to improve what you do, you get faster and more proficient at that task. This holds for sport, business and SAM. When you do 50+ SAM projects every year you get very, very efficient. This means that projects can be delivered much faster than an in house team and the true cost to an organisation is actually lower than if they try to do it themselves.
5. More Accurate
Software Asset Management is very similar to financial accounting with the added technical challenge of collecting the deployment information. Details really matter and small errors in calculations can have a huge impact, especially when dealing with server based software.
This attention to detail when preparing a license position comes from years of practice. An in house team may be able to collect the information that goes into the process but when the stakes are high you always want an expert to review the work.
6. Free up your Team
A company’s resource should be focused on supporting their core business, supporting revenue generating activities. Not responding to distractions like audits, reviews and other demands from vendors. Using the services of a 3rd party license consultants, at the appropriate time, is far more valuable to the business than doing it for yourself.
7. Unemotional about the Analysis
License compliance gaps can be substantial, frequently exceeding $500,000. When the stakes are high it is very easy for those close to the project to get emotional about the process. This is where emotional detachment is required in both the analysis and the presentation of the facts. A 3rd party consultant will provide this.
8. Remediation Strategies you have not considered
Simply buying more software is rarely the only solution to finding a license compliance gap. A 3rd party license consultant will always have a range of strategies to resolve a problem. Many such strategies will come from having a better understanding of the license agreements than your reseller or even your account manager.
9. Won’t try to sell you software
You don’t ask the Fox to Count the Chickens. No matter how good a relationship you have with your VAR they have a vested interest in selling you more software. Get advice on licensing from a company not trying to sell you more licenses. You can still do the deal with your VAR, just don’t ask them to fill in the order form. A 3rd party license consultants success is measured on the amount of money an organisation didn’t have to spend.
10. Incentivised to be Awesome
Every consultant knows that they are only as good as their last project. If they get a reputation for consistently delivering good results, this reputation will bring more work. They also know that their advice must stand up over time or they won’t get repeat business. Their business goals are perfectly aligned with their clients, to minimise the spend on additional software licenses.