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(E-M)

 

Part 2. More often than not during meetings I get confused by the variable alphabet of acronyms, abbreviations, buzz words and initialisms. Whether this is because we (the industry) are getting lazy or I’m getting old(er), I thought I try and put together a bit of list of them with hopefully some meaningful explanation.

 

Abbreviation

Description

EA

Apart from the fact it stand for Electronic Arts, a company many of us will be familiar with specially at this time of the year. in context with SLM, EA/SA (Enterprise Agreement/Software Assurance) is a volume licensing package offered by Microsoft. It primarily targets large organizations that have 500 or more personal computers. Other programs, including Open Value, Open License and Select License, are geared towards smaller organizations. The Enterprise Agreement, whose price is tiered to the number of computers being licensed, is a three-year contract which covers all software licensing and updates for one client system. An option is given at contract termination to renew for one or three additional years. Software products that are licensed under the contract include Windows 10, Microsoft Office and the core Client Access Licenses for Windows Server, Exchange, System Center and Sharepoint, which allow the computer to legally access Microsoft servers over a network.

GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU). It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU. The GDPR aims primarily to give control back to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU. When the GDPR takes effect, it will replace the data protection directive (officially Directive 95/46/EC) of 1995. The regulation was adopted on 27 April 2016. It becomes enforceable from 25 May 2018 after a two-year transition period and, unlike a directive, it does not require national governments to pass any enabling legislation, and is thus directly binding and applicable. Snow GDPR Risk Assessment provides complete visibility of all devices, users and applications across on-premises, cloud and mobile, augmented with GDPR-specific risk assessment to build an effective GDPR plan and response. Automated discovery provides a detailed accounting of which users have access to which applications and cloud services and how they are used.

HP

(HP) Hewlett-Packard designs, manufactures and services electronic products and systems for measurement, computation and communications. The company's products and services are used in industry, business, engineering, science, medicine and education in approximately 110 countries. or HP Sauce is a brown sauce originally produced by HP Foods in the United Kingdom, now produced by the H. J. Heinz Company in the Netherlands. It was named after London's Houses of Parliament.

IAAS

Infrastructure as a Service also known as Cloud computing is a type of Internet-based computing that provides shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand. It is a model for enabling ubiquitous, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., computer networks, servers, storage, applications and services), which can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort. Cloud computing and storage solutions provide users and enterprises with various capabilities to store and process their data in either privately owned, or third-party data centers that may be located far from the user–ranging in distance from across a city to across the world. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economy of scale, similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over an electricity network.

IBM

IBM(International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY, www.ibm.com) One of the world's oldest and largest computer companies with revenues of USD $93 billion in 2014. IBM derives most of its revenue from software and services.

IDR

Inventory Data Receiver. The collection point of inventory data for Snow Inventory 3.x. a configurable IIS service which routes all inventory data from source to the SQL database.

IIS

Internet Information Services (IIS, formerly Internet Information Server) is an extensible web server created by Microsoft for use with the Windows NT family.[2] IIS supports HTTP, HTTP/2, HTTPS, FTP, FTPS, SMTP and NNTP. It has been an integral part of the Windows NT family since Windows NT 4.0, though it may be absent from some editions (e.g. Windows XP Home edition), and is not active by default.

ILMT

IBM License Metric Tool. With IBM License Metric Tool, you can maintain an up-to-date inventory of software assets that are installed in your infrastructure, gather information about your hardware, and ensure license compliance of your enterprise. You always know what software you have, where it is, and how it is used. By monitoring PVU and RVU MAPC consumption of IBM® products under full and subcapacity licensing terms, not only can you understand current license consumption but you can also predict the future one, thus providing the means to optimize your license costs. The Snow Integration Connector for IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT) is used for gathering of third party inventory information into Snow License Manager.

INV

Snow Software proprietory file extension. Snow agent 3.7 and earlier create a daily file containing discovery data which is compressed and encrypted. This file is then moved to the central repository using the IDR.

IOS

iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware. It is the operating system that presently powers many of the company's mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. It is the second most popular mobile operating system globally after Android.

ISV

An independent software vendor (ISV) is an organization specializing in making and selling software, as opposed to hardware, designed for mass or niche markets. This is in contrast to in-house software, which is developed by the organization that will use it, or custom software, which is designed or adapted for a single, specific third party.

ITIL

ITIL, formally an acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of detailed practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business. In its current form (known as ITIL 2011), ITIL is published as a series of five core volumes, each of which covers a different ITSM lifecycle stage. Although ITIL underpins ISO/IEC 20000 (previously BS 15000), the International Service Management Standard for IT service management, there are some differences between the ISO 20000 standard and the ITIL framework.

Linux

Linux is a name that broadly denotes a family of free and open-source software operating systems (OS) built around the Linux kernel.

MDM

Mobile device management (MDM) is an industry term for the administration of mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablet computers, laptops and desktop computers. MDM is usually implemented with the use of a third party product that has management features for particular vendors of mobile devices.

Metric

The metric describes the licensing conditions and is the unit of measure for applications and
licenses.
The metric for the application, or the default metric, is identified by the Software Recognition
Service (SRS). However, the default metric can be changed in Snow License Manager. The default metric is set per application, meaning that an application can have only one default metric.
Available metrics for the license depend on the metric of the application. While there can only be one metric per application, it is possible to register license purchases with different metrics. In Snow License Manager, metric is set and any additional information related to the license can be entered when a license purchase is registered.

MLS

The MLS or Microsoft License Statement is the document that you receive or can access that highlights your organisations entitlement (what you have purchased and can use). This is Microsoft's interpretation of what they (Microsoft) believe you are entitled to.

 

 

Watch this space more letter to follow. Should there be some missing(I’m sure I have captured them all) please feel free to add to the comments or email me to add to the list.

 

Kind regards,

Jelle

jelle.wijndelts2

The Alphabet of SAM

Posted by jelle.wijndelts2 Employee Dec 5, 2017

(A-D)

 

More often than not during meetings I get confused by the variable alphabet of acronyms, abbreviations, buzz words and initialisms. Whether this is because we (the industry) are getting lazy and can't be bothered to express the full name or I’m getting old(er) leading to moments of ....... (uhm where was I) ah yes, I thought I'd try and put together a list of these alphabet letters with hopefully some meaningful explanation. 

 

Abbreviation

Description

3PP

Third Party Product

ADDM

Depending on the context this could mean one of two things. Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping, a software application by BMC(see below) that has it's own discovery capabilities Snow has a connector which can take this discovery data into the database. Alternatively it could stand for Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor (Oracle Database 10g).

AP

Automation Platform, a snow product in it's own right that allows for the automation of business processes and tasks through workflows. AP facilitates communication between the Snow SAM platform and other business systems, enabling automation of processes such as software requests, license harvesting, cloud provisioning, and device enrollment. Snow Automation Platform extends the capabilities of Snow into existing organizational processes.

API

Application Program Interface - A language that enables communication between computer programs, in particular between application programs and control programs

App-V

Microsoft Application Virtualization (MS App-V) platform allows applications to be deployed ("streamed") in real-time to any client from a virtual application server. It removes the need for traditional local installation of the applications, although a standalone deployment method is also supported.

AUTO CONNECT RULES

a set of criteria that allows for the automatic assigning of computers, mobile devices, users and Devices(RDS/Citrix)  to your Organizational structure. These rules are configured in SMACC(See below) more information can be found in the SMACC user guide section 4.2.3

AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of Amazon.com, offers a suite of cloud-computing services that make up an on-demand computing platform. These services operate from 16 geographical regions across the world. They include Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, also known as "EC2", and Amazon Simple Storage Service, also known as "S3". As of 2016 AWS has more than 70 services, spanning a wide range, including compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, application services, deployment, management, mobile, developer tools and tools for the Internet of things. Amazon markets AWS as a service to provide large computing capacity quicker and cheaper than a client company building an actual physical server farm. Snow's Cloud solution enables you to connect to the AWS administration colsol and bring back information about your Infrastructure as a Service configuration.

BMC

BMC Software is an American technology company. BMC produces software and services that assist businesses in moving to digital operations. (See ADDM)

CAL

Client Access License - A client access license ("CAL") is a commercial software license that allow clients to connect to server software and use their services. Most commercial client software are licensed so that payment is required for each installation. However, some server software, which are accessed by multiple devices or users concurrently, are licensed so that payment is required for each concurrent use. Thus each concurrent use is authorized with a client access license. For example, an instance of Windows Server 2003 for which ten CALs is purchased allows 10 concurrent connections.

CCV

A custom compare value type is a customized metric intended for licenses where the pre-defined
metrics in Snow License Manager are not applicable. The custom compare value type is available
for the metric Custom compare values for applications

DDMI

Discovery and Dependency Mapping Inventory (DDMI) provides information about IT managed assets. It combines discovery with comprehensive hardware and software installation and usage data to support asset management, service management and configuration management solutions. Snow has a connector to take data from DDMI as a discovery source.

DIS

Data Intelligent Services - The name of the Snow team responsible for software recognition.

DUJ

Data Update Job - The Data Update Job is a daily recurring SQL job, which processes the information in the SNOWDB into a more usable format for software asset management. The Data Update Job re-populates the Snow License Manager database with new and updated inventory information, applies software recognition rules, and calculates usage, and alerts.

 

 

Watch this space more letters to follow. Should there be some missing ,I’m sure I haven't captured them all, feel free to add to the comments or email me to add to the list.

 

Kind regards,

Jelle

This version of Snow Management and Configuration Center (SMACC) introduces support for standalone plugins developed for Snow products. This is a shift from the previous version, where Snow product plugins were released together with the SMACC core.

In the future, Snow plugins will be developed standalone and released with the relevant Snow product – de-coupling them from SMACC.

To reflect this product separation, version numbering for SMACC releases will no longer be aligned with SLM, and this version of SMACC is released as version 2.0.

SMACC is backward compatible, and as such will continue to support existing plugins for Snow products. New standalone plugins will not require core updates to SMACC.

Release information

Product:                            Snow Management and Configuration Center (SMACC)
New version:                     2.0
Release date:                    November 27, 2017
Distribution:                      SUS
Current status:                 Released

One thing that makes Snow Globe great is being able to have conversations with the members and hearing what they like, don’t like, and would like to see added to the community. Receiving this type of feedback is exactly what we need to make sure your community is engaging and beneficial.

 

One of the recent requests we had from one of our advocates, MarkPotts, was to create an area specifically for custom reports. For Mark there were several reasons why this wound be beneficial:

 

  1. Don’t reinvent the wheel, if someone has already written a report that is exactly, or almost what you are looking for, you can “borrow” the code, and look great in front of your boss when you go back and say look how quick I did that.
  2. Learn. If you are not sure about the data structures, or how to get a report working, look at some of the existing examples posted by other customers, it may just give you the hint you need.
  3. Feedback. I would hope that if people find a posted report useful, they will mark it as helpful, maybe then Snow will look through the custom reports and include the highest ones in the base product in a future release.
  4. Ideas. You may have thought of a very useful report that would make my life easier, I just haven’t thought of it yet. Even if you don’t have the code, and it is just an idea post it.


While we couldn’t create a separate area just for the reports, I am happy to announce we were able to create special categories within the Snow Product Hub so that these custom reports are easy to find. When posting a custom report (only available for Snow License Manager for now) make sure to add the tag “slm custom report” to the document and then make sure that the “Snow License Manager Custom Reports” category is checked. This will ensure that the content is organized and easy to find from the Snow License Manager and Snow Product Hub pages.

 

 



We will continue to add this feature and tags to other products throughout the upcoming months. Thank you all for all your contributions and for making Snow Globe an engaging community.

For Snow License Manager (SLM) to show information about subscription assignments, what plan users are on, and how much they have used their Office-365 applications, a connection needs to be made between a user’s identity in Office-365 and in SLM. This connection cannot always be made automatically by SLM because of the way the different systems involved identify users.

 

When the connection cannot be made automatically, the user shows up in SLM in the Not linked users list. In this post, I will explain the circumstances leading to users not being linked automatically, and the manual steps you can take to link them.

 

The list of not linked users is available by selecting Cloud => Microsoft Office 365 => and then the subscription plan:

 

THE PROBLEM

 

In SLM, the information available about a user mirrors the data extracted from the user’s computer by Snow’s Inventory agent. This data varies depending on the platform (Windows/Unix/Linux) and whether the function AD discovery of users has been enabled in the Inventory Admin Console – a feature that is available in Inventory 5.

 

The Inventory agent identifies users in the form of Domain/login-ID such as: EUSE/JENANI. When AD discovery of users is enabled, the agent extracts additional information from the AD, including the AD ObjectID, the primary e-mail address of the user, and the User Principal Name (UPN).

 

From the Microsoft Office-365 portal, Snow’s Office-365 connector extracts UPN, ObjectID, and other e-mail addresses.

The information extracted by the connector is updated either on a scheduled basis, depending on how the connector is configured, or can be run manually.

 

The matching required to create the connection between users in Office-365 and SLM occurs when the connector information is imported to SLM.

 

Users will be marked as not linked if:

  • User e-mail addresses have not been imported manually into SLM, which applies to most customers, or
  • You are running Inventory 3, or Inventory 5 with AD discovery of users disabled, or
  • The Office-365 portal is not synchronized with the organization’s AD,
  • The user doesn’t exist in SLM, if for example, the user’s computer is not being inventoried because they are for example a consultant or using a BYOD.

 

SOLUTION

 

For customers using Inventory 5:

Activate AD user discovery from the Snow Inventory admin console, and matching will occur irrespective of whether the Office-365 portal is synchronized with the AD.

 

For customers not using Inventory 5:

Use the Update existing users import function in SLM.

  1. Export the users in SLM that you want to match with Office-365. The simplest way to do this is to select Cloud => Microsoft Office 365 => and then the subscription plan you are working on. Right click in the content pane, and select Export (.xls/.xlsx). An excel file containing all SLM users will be downloaded to your device.
  2. Edit the Excel file and remove all columns except User name and Office 365 user name. Save the file.
  3. Go to the import data page and select Update existing users.


 

Step 1: Upload a data source.

Use the Excel file you have just created as the file to import.

Step 2: Import settings

Select whether you want to do nothing or create a new organization for companies in the file that do not exist in the SLM database.

Step 3: Field mappings

Ensure that User name is mapped to User name and Office 365 user name is mapped to the E-mail destination.

 

To see the effect in SLM, you need to either wait for the next scheduled import from the Office-365 connector, or trigger an import in the Snow Integration Manager Interface.

 

In the product team we are always thinking about how we can build on new functionality to make more valuable and easier to use. Make sure to share your feedback about linking users once you have tried it out and stay tuned for future enhancements to our Office 365 functionality.

We are delighted to announce that Snow took the honours in the 2018 ITAM Review awards, being named 'Tools Provider of the Year'.  This is the second time in the awards' three-year history that Snow has won the category.  

 

What makes 2018 particularly special is that the award this year was a public vote.  

 

So a huge THANK YOU to all our customers and members of the Snow community that voted for Snow.  We literally couldn't have done it without you! 

 

For our part, we promise not to rest on our laurels and will strive to continue delivering the very best SAM and asset management solutions to meet your business needs today and tomorrow. 

 

Read the Snow press release here

For the release of Snow License Manager (SLM) 8.2.2., one of Snow’s development teams was dedicated to the task of reducing the time it takes to calculate compliance. Unfortunately, some Snow customers, particularly those with large numbers of seats (>40,000), have been experiencing lengthy compliance calculations; taking up to 20 minutes and even up to several hours in some cases, depending on the number of assigned licenses.

 

Our challenge

So, we set ourselves a challenge. We took a staging environment with over 500,000 units, which due to hardware performance as well as size reasons was taking over 12 hours to calculate compliance. We set ourselves a target: compliance should take no more than four hours to complete, and ideally less than two. By setting a high improvement factor, we were sure that our investigation would reveal the root cause of the problem.

 

The investigation

The team started by determining which steps of the calculation were taking time – in the hope that we would uncover obvious bottlenecks that could be optimized. Unfortunately, we discovered that each step was taking roughly the same amount of time, and so fine tuning specific steps was not a feasible approach. We needed another idea.

The compliance service has always worked by dividing the tasks it performs into batches. The number of batches depends on the batchSize value set in the configuration file, and on the number of seats. As batches are processed in serial, the runtime for compliance calculation rises with organization size and number of licenses.

 

The solution

So, the obvious solution is to run compliance batches in parallel. The more the batches, the greater the potential for reducing runtime. And this is perfect in theory, but in reality, the complexity of making this change and the potential impact was huge. Compliance calculation is a key component of Snow License Manager that is relied upon by thousands of our customers to determine their software licensing position. Failure was not option. Testing, which we carried out on internal environments and with some customers, was both lengthy and rigorous.

Our work paid off. We not only met the target we set ourselves, but our tests are showing a 60% reduction in the time to calculate compliance.

 

More memory

A by-product of running batches in parallel is a dramatic increase in the memory consumption of the service. For maximum performance, the batch size should be set to 5,000 applications to fetch and the number of parallel batches should be greater than 10. Making additional cores available to the service is a good way to complement parallel processing.

 

Customers can refer to Technical Description: Compliance Calculation Engine – Update revision SLM 8.2

AUSTIN, TX. November 7, 2017 – Snow Software, the global leader in Software Asset Management (SAM) and Cloud Spend Management solutions, has been awarded a 2017 Top Workplaces honor by The Austin American-Statesman. The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by Energage, LLC (formerly WorkplaceDynamics), a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. Several aspects of workplace culture were measured, including Alignment, Execution, and Connection, just to name a few.

 

“The Top Workplaces award is not a popularity contest. And oftentimes, people assume it’s all about fancy perks and benefits.” says Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “But to be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health. And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees. Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together. Claffey adds, “Without this sense of connection, an organization doesn’t have a shot at being named a Top Workplace.”

 

“We are delighted to be included as one of the top places to work in Austin. It affirms our commitment to our employees and this community,” says John Clark, President Snow Software Inc. “The team here fully demonstrates commitment to the culture of the company which we call Snow Spirit, that provides the guiding principles of how we work and deliver value to our customers. We also host numerous internal and external activities where employees from different disciplines can bond to become OneSnow.” One employee comments: “Seeing the big picture and developing closer relationships helps us cross-pollinate ideas on how to get common tasks and processes done smartly.”

Snow Optimizer for SAP Software Exceeds Requirements of the ITAM Review SAP License Management Standard

ITAM Review’s SAP License Management Certification is an independent verification designed to help ITAM practitioners identify tools suitable for managing SAP Licensing. It provides buyers with the confidence that a certified solution has the features necessary to manage SAP, and has been endorsed by trusted professional references of customers using the tools in live environments.

Snow Optimizer for SAP Software provides SAP license optimization and management automation with a single-pane view of usage across all systems within SAP’s native interface. It enables companies to achieve the transparency and visibility necessary to actively optimize and manage their SAP deployments.

Among the key features of Snow Optimizer for SAP Software that met the assessment criteria for the SAP License Management standard are:

  • Identification and removal of inactive users in just a few clicks via an aggregated view.
  • Identification and removal of duplicate users (both identical duplicates and close matches) via rules and algorithms taking away otherwise heavy lifting tasks.
  • Identification and management of Indirect Access risk with granular detail of channels accessing the SAP infrastructure.

“Snow Optimizer for SAP Software exceeds the requirements of The ITAM Review SAP License Management Standard,” said Martin Thompson, publisher of The ITAM Review. “Not only does it provide essential features for SAP license management, it can be implemented on a set-it-and-forget-it automated basis. The customer references verified it works in live environments as promised. Given the financial stakes involved with SAP, the ROI of Snow Optimizer for SAP Software has to be one of the biggest no-brainers in SAM.”

One of the customers interviewed during the certification evaluation process estimated that ROI for them is in the tens of millions of Swiss Francs from saving thousands of named user accounts.

Joachim Paulini, Product Manager for Snow Optimizer for SAP Software said, “SAP has a complex licensing environment, where a lack of insight can result in significant financial and legal liabilities, whether from direct or indirect usage, or paying for license types that are in excess of a user’s behavior. We are delighted to receive this independent certification from the ITAM Review for Snow’s solution as SAP is considered business critical for many organizations, so effective management of its usage is essential to avoid unplanned expenditure.”

 

http://bit.ly/2yMCgsi

Recognizing leadership, innovation and best practice of Snow’s SAM community

 

Stockholm, Sweden – November 1, 2017 – Snow Software, the global leader in Software Asset Management (SAM) and Cloud Spend Management solutions, today announced the launch of its Snow Advocacy Program, ‘Snow Heroes’. Snow Heroes encourages SAM practitioners and enthusiasts to build their reputation as experts, engage directly with the Snow team and network with other like-minded professionals.

 

Community members can earn points for participating in discussions, sharing knowledge and best practice. They earn points for contributing content, such as blogs, to the community as well as for offline activities such as participating in a case study or as a speaker at an event. As they progress through the different tiers of engagement, from Snow Hero to Snow Pro and Snow Guru, community members will earn access to Snow’s Beta Program and have the right to participate in Snow Interest Groups as well as become eligible for exclusive offers to events.

 

A final tier, Snow Legend, is by invitation only. A number of Snow’s customers will be given Snow Legend status based on various measures of their contribution and excellence. For example, they may have won an industry award; been consistently active on Snow Globe forums; or contributed to industry social networks and blogs. Snow Legends are ambassadors for Snow and are uniquely invited to contribute to product development and strategy.

 

Axel Kling, CEO, Snow Software said, “Engagement is essential for the success of our Community. In just six months we have seen Snow Globe grow to 2000 strong and the launch of Snow Heroes is a natural progression for our community members to be able to deepen their engagement with their peers and Snow.” Snow Heroes have one thing in common, they are passionate about and rely on Snow Software and want to share their experience by demonstrating how their use of Snow technology makes a real difference in cost containment, license optimization and compliance maintenance.

 

Gert-Jan Kosterman, Software Asset Manager at DLL Group, says, “The Snow Advocacy Program is a great way to connect to my SAM peers, where we can learn from each other and share ideas on what could improve the Snow solution even more. And, by deepening my relationship with Snow, I’ll also be able to get benefits such as joining beta-programs, access to product management and R&D teams and the opportunity to participate in exclusive industry events.”

 

Kling concludes: “A successful, active customer community is built on a foundation of customer centricity, which is at the heart of Snow. We welcome our customers to challenge themselves and others to find new and innovative ways of working with Snow, as well as give feedback and ideas to help build and improve Snow’s leading platform.”

 

Stockholm, October 30, 2017 – Snow Software (Snow), the global leader in Software Asset Management (SAM) and Cloud Spend Management solutions, today congratulates Kingfisher, the leading home improvement company, on winning the Overall Project/ Strategy Award at SAMS Europe 2017. This accolade recognizes the Information Technology Services Team’s remarkable achievement in improving its approach to SAP licence management across the organization, using Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software.

 

The SAMS Europe Awards honor outstanding projects in the field of software asset and software licence management. Appraised by an independent panel, entries were evaluated on criteria including aims, planning, obtained results, cost reduction, audit protection, process improvement and tool implementation.

 

Commenting on the project, Colin Simmons, Group IT Asset Manager at Kingfisher said, “We are thrilled to receive such a prestigious award. As we develop a new unified global IT platform, based on SAP, it is essential that we introduce consistent processes and practices that enable optimization.

Snow Optimizer for SAP Software enables us to measure and understand our SAP deployment and improve cost containment of licences.”

 

 “It is great to see the team at Kingfisher being recognized for their achievements and implementation of best practice,” said Axel Kling, CEO, Snow Software. “Getting control of SAP licensing and cost is top of mind and mission critical for IT leaders today. Kingfisher is a great example of leading, innovative organizations that are using Snow’s best in class solutions to get full visibility of their SAP estate to ensure they are in a far stronger, financially predictable position.”

Snow Optimizer for SAP Software Exceeds Requirements of the ITAM Review SAP License Management Standard

 

Stockholm, October 24, 2017 – Snow Software (Snow), the global leader in Software Asset Management (SAM) and Cloud Spend Management solutions, today announced that it has received the ITAM Review’s SAP License Management Certification for its solution Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software.

 

ITAM Review’s SAP License Management Certification is an independent verification designed to help ITAM practitioners identify tools suitable for managing SAP Licensing. It provides buyers with the confidence that a certified solution has the features necessary to manage SAP, and has been endorsed by trusted professional references of customers using the tools in live environments.

 

Snow Optimizer for SAP Software provides SAP license optimization and management automation with a single-pane view of usage across all systems within SAP’s native interface. It enables companies to achieve the transparency and visibility necessary to actively optimize and manage their SAP deployments.

 

Among the key features of Snow Optimizer for SAP Software that met the assessment criteria for the SAP License Management standard are:

  • Identification and removal of inactive users in just a few clicks via an aggregated view.
  • Identification and removal of duplicate users (both identical duplicates and close matches) via rules and algorithms taking away otherwise heavy lifting tasks.
  • Identification and management of Indirect Access risk with granular detail of channels accessing the SAP infrastructure.

 

“Snow Optimizer for SAP Software exceeds the requirements of The ITAM Review SAP License Management Standard,” said Martin Thompson, publisher of The ITAM Review. “Not only does it provide essential features for SAP license management, it can be implemented on a set-it-and-forget-it automated basis. The customer references verified it works in live environments as promised. Given the financial stakes involved with SAP, the ROI of Snow Optimizer for SAP Software has to be one of the biggest no-brainers in SAM.”

 

One of the customers interviewed during the certification evaluation process estimated that ROI for them is in the tens of millions of Swiss Francs from saving thousands of named user accounts.

 

Joachim Paulini, Product Manager for Snow Optimizer for SAP Software said, “SAP has a complex licensing environment, where a lack of insight can result in significant financial and legal liabilities, whether from direct or indirect usage, or paying for license types that are in excess of a user’s behavior. We are delighted to receive this independent certification from the ITAM Review for Snow’s solution as SAP is considered business critical for many organizations, so effective management of its usage is essential to avoid unplanned expenditure.”

Software Asset Management(SAM) – is it an IT function or a Procurement function?

 

SAM is one of those awkward business functions that has a place in lots of different areas. In my many years of experience in the SAM space I have known the SAM function, although sometimes function is a rather grand description, to be part of IT, Procurement even the Facilities departments.

 

So is there one place for SAM? No not really, the fact that Software Asset Management covers such a wide range of disciplines makes it one of the business functions that can be in Procurement, IT or even governance depending on the organization’s focus. If anything I believe the SAM function should be made up of a conglomerate of people from multiple parts of the organization.  All managed by and overseen by a SAM Manager and processes. (I would of advocate the use of a splendid platform such as Snow License Manager to keep the data central, automate the tedious and sometimes complex tasks such as software recognition, bundling, compliance reporting and optimization)

 

Rory Canavan recently released version 2 of his process kit in which he has identified and detailed 22 processes(it might even be 23 by now) that deal with or are impacted by decisions made from SAM data. The process kit also highlights that business functions such as HR, Contract Management, Security can and should place a high degree of importance on SAM data.

As Rory puts it nicely in the kit, you may have the tools and the people, without the processes to govern the policies and data you might as well describe your SAM function as “The Bermuda Triangle of SAM”.

 

The same can be said about the function itself. Business As Usual (“BAU”) for the SAM function requires input from a multitude of people from different departments. Some of these input range from a simple authorization step for a software request to a complex contract negotiation. Even HR should get involved in analyzing the data being captured by your SAM tool. Decisions whether people are accessing software they shouldn’t to analyzing software usage patterns to identify training requirements.

 

By spreading the tasks and responsibilities to their relative departments and roles and making them BAU steps the whole of the SAM capabilities within the organization is elevated to a maturity where optimization of software products and licenses becomes a given.

Snow has recently become a Google-approved vendor in the Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) sector – here’s the official list. But what does this mean? What have we implemented in Snow Device Manager, and what does it mean for you, our customers?

To put this into perspective, let’s take a look at the transformation that has taken place since the first iPhone hit the shelves just over ten years ago. First generation iPhones, had no third-party applications, no GPS, and no support for video. The App Store, with its initial 500 apps, didn’t come about until eighteen months after the launch of the iconic smartphone. Today, the combined offering of the major app stores amounts to over 6.5 million applications. And the transformation from desktop to mobile has ensured that the major players in enterprise and consumer software deliver mobile versions of their desktop counterparts.

The shift in user behavior to using mobile devices to perform tasks has empowered individuals enormously. However, the ramifications of using mobile devices in the workplace are huge in terms of management, security, flexibility, and ultimately cost. Just as with desktop software, enterprises need to be able to manage use of their mobile applications to ensure compliance, control costs, and secure access to corporate data.

Unfortunately, users want flexibility. They expect to be able to use the software they want, when they need it. Several models, like BYOD and COPE, have arisen to support the use of mobile technology by the modern workforce. The implementation of these models varies from company to company, but in broad strokes, the models in use include:

  • Bring your own device (BYOD) – individuals use their own devices to access private as well as corporate applications and data.
  • Corporate-owned, personally-enabled (COPE) – individuals are issued with devices owned by their employers and can use them as if they were personally owned.
  • Corporate-owned, business only (COBO) – individuals are issued with devices that are locked down to an approved set of applications and functionality.
  • Choose your own device (CYOD) – individuals can choose from a range of approved devices, and can either own it outright, or own it for the duration of employment.

None of these models work.

BYOD fails when it comes to cross-platform compatibility and security. Owned by IT, COPE raises privacy issues. COBO lacks flexibility for most users who often carry several devices to meet their needs, and CYOD is a happy medium, but the security issues remain.

Meet Android for Work (disambiguation) – a Google-led initiative that brings Android and Play together enabling users to work the way they want, using the devices and apps they love, while giving IT admins the security and management features they need.

Through SDM, Snow’s customers can easily manage their own play store, providing employees with access to just those applications they need including proprietary ones, maintaining control over costs, and ensuring that security is upheld. Users get the flexibility to work with the corporate apps they need as well as the personal ones they know and love.

How it works

Android enables part of the mobile device to be partitioned off for corporate use, leaving the rest of the device available for private use – giving users the flexibility to do what they want with the private side, and IT availability to manage the corporate side ensuring that data is accessed securely – and not least, that applications are licensed appropriately.

For example, users who subscribe to DropBox privately and have a DropBox for Business license assigned to them through their employers can run both apps on their mobile device in a compliant and secure manner.

Figure 1 shows how the list of applications appears on a device, with the corporate apps clearly marked with a red briefcase.

The introduction of Google EMM provides seamless integration with Google Play enabling customers to create a corporate app store and avail of volume licensing. Deployment options such as silent app installation, whitelisting, and pre-configured apps are also part of the package.

So, irrespective of the model you choose for device ownership, Android not only meets the flexibility requirements of users, it also upholds the control requirements for enterprises.

When are we releasing this functionality?

The Android for Work Profile solution has been developed for SDM 5.6, which is scheduled for release-to-market (RTM) sometime mid-November, 2017. Watch the Snow Globe for the upcoming release notice.  

I can't be the only one (or maybe I am!) that gets a faint feeling of smugness when analyst giants like Gartner have to admit that they got things wrong?  A case in point is this week's research that shows Cloud adoption is happening faster than even the mighty Gartner predicted.  

 

This year alone, Gartner now expects $260bn to be spent on Public Coud, up from $220bn last year.   And the growth is going to accelerate further, hitting $411bn by 2020.   It will be interesting to see whether even this revised figure ends up being an underestimate. 

 

Of particular note to the Snow community is Gartner's admission that they got their SaaS adoption forecasts wrong and that SaaS spend in 2016 topped $48bn - and will exceed $58bn by the end of this year.  More and more of the 'software' (and I even hesitate to call it 'software' anymore) your organizations consume is hosted in the cloud, changing the way that you and your colleagues in the IT and finance teams need to track the spend and risk associated with it.   

 

IaaS is seeing similar levels of growth, reaching nearly $35bn this year and making it the fastest-growing of all cloud areas.   Again, this has a particular importance to the SAM and ITAM communities who need to support the adoption of new technologies to drive Digital Business, but who need to balance this against the obligation to manage risks and ensure that all costs are justified (not the same thing as targeting cost savings).   Increasingly, your organizations and bosses know that they need to spend more on technologies.  But that isn't an excuse to waste money.  

 

Although Gartner doesn't offer any figures itself, our own anecdotal evidence suggests that as much as 30 percent of SaaS and IaaS spend is currently wasted - software subscriptions that are left unused, agreements pitched at the wrong level, zombie VMs left running for months after they are needed.  Addressing this waste isn't just about driving bottom-line savings; it's about ensuring there is money available to support the initiatives and projects that will drive real business benefit.  

 

Read more about the latest Gartner research here