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ana.marquez

Enhanced search

Posted by ana.marquez Employee Apr 29, 2019

This is one of four blog posts related to features in SLM 9.2.0 release.

Over the last 6 months our SAM development team has been putting additional focus into trying to improve the quality of life for our users, culminating in two key initiatives - enhancing our existing reports to add key data points users need over and over again, and consolidating how users can quickly find and navigate to a computer, application, agreement, etc.

 

This posts focuses on the second initiative - code named enhanced search.

 

When interviewing users on how they use the Snow platform day to day, it became very clear that we had a lot of overlap in the uses of our search and list pages. These pages contain about 90% of the same data points and functionality for each category (e.g applications, computers, etc), with some small but important differences in capabilities (I am looking at you “ Also include not installed/used“ in the application search).

We also discovered a related challenge - our list pages can become very slow for large datasets, in some cases rendering the page unusable.

 

By engaging with a number of users both internally and externally, we came up with a new concept that merges the best parts of both pages into one:

 

New search page - search pane expanded

New search page - saved search

New search page - saving a new search

New search page - saving a new search

New search page - saving a new search

Now there is a single place where you can come and quickly filter to find an application, or set up and save searches with complex criteria that you use over and over again. Using our new web technology, we also progressively load the data shown in the grid - this means that irrespective of the size of the total dataset, we will only load what you see on screen.

 

In SLM 9.2.0, you will see this new page replacing the Computer and Application search pages (with the other pages coming in future releases) - as well as some information on their respective list pages that they will be removed in a future release.

 

 

As always, comment on this post or reach out if you have any questions and let us know what you think when you get your hands on this new feature!

ana.marquez

Windows Server licensing

Posted by ana.marquez Employee Apr 29, 2019

This is one of four blog posts related to features in SLM 9.2.0 release.

 

 

Microsoft remains one of the top software manufacturers SAM managers are struggling to remain in control of. The Microsoft products used in the datacenter are often still in the top 3 spend on software within organisations, especially Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Windows Server.

 

Given their importance to managing software spend in the organisation, the SAM development team is putting a renewed focus on ensuring that SAM managers have all the tools they need to stay in the driver seat during their next true-up, renewal or audit.

 

Our first set of features focuses on Windows Server, targeting the compliance calculation, common risk and cost optimisation scenarios and providing all of the reporting needed for your next true-up or order. Before we dive in to the changes, here is a brief overview of how Windows Server licensing works for those unfamiliar.

The Windows Server world

Being an operating system, Windows Server licensing is focused on the resources available to either standalone servers running Windows Server, or servers that are hosting virtual machines running Windows Server. This is very different conceptually to desktop or user based licensing (where you count the number of computers or users), and even different to business application software like SQL server that can be licensed per Virtual Machine. Adding to this complexity, over time Microsoft has changed the way the number of licenses required is calculated, and introduced additional rules and minimum requirements. For a quick summary of the changes see the table below:

VersionLicense metricAdditional rules
2008 StandardPer installation (expect for datacenter edition)
  • 1 VM per license
2008 EnterprisePer installation
  • 4 VMs per license
2008 DatacenterPer processor
  • Unlimited VMs
2012/2012 R2 StandardPer processor
  • Minimum 2 processors per server

  • 2 VMs per license

2012/2012 R2 DatacenterPer processor
  • Minimum 2 processor per server

  • Unlimited VMs if server is fully licensed

2016/2019 StandardPer processor core
  • Minimum 8 cores per processor

  • Minimum 16 cores per server

  • 2 VMs each time the server is fully licensed

2016/2019 DatacenterPer processor core
  • Minimum 8 cores per processor

  • Minimum 16 cores per server

  • Unlimited VMs if server is fully licensed

 

As you can see from the rules, one of the most important differences between the Standard and Datacenter edition is the virtualisation rights. For all customers there will be a break even point, where the number of standard licenses required to cover a server become more expensive than using a datacenter license, based on the number of VMs that could run on the server.

 

All of the above makes understanding how to license your Windows Server estate optimally complicated - especially in a large organisation. So, what can we do to help?

Cutting through the complication

To help SAM managers address this space we took a three pronged approach:

  • Add dedicated calculations to our compliance engine to compare which edition to license each server with, based on comparing the cost of licensing with Standard edition and Datacenter edition

  • Provide reporting that can be used when preparing for a true-up, order or renewal

  • Provide reporting for the most common cost optimisations and risks of overspend within the Windows Server estate

 

1. Cost optimal compliance

The compliance engine will now perform the following calculation for each standalone server, or server hosting Windows Server Virtual Machines.

  1. Assess the number of Windows Server Virtual Machines that could run on the server (we call this peak potential VMs in the reports discussed below) - this means also taking into account which Virtual Machines can move in a clustered environment and using the peak for each host in the cluster.

  2. Identify the highest version and edition of Windows Server that could run on the server (this is the lowest version that you are allowed to license)

  3. Calculate the number of licenses we would need to license for datacenter and standard edition of this version (if datacenter edition is already running then we use that, as if you have deployed datacenter you must license it regardless of how many VMs are running)

  4. Multiply the licenses needed with the application cost entered for the two editions (this makes it super important to ensure that you have entered in the cost of licensing these applications as the application cost)

  5. Set the license requirement to the least expensive edition

It is worth noting that this is a new paradigm for our compliance engine, where we will use cost information to help decide what the license requirement should be.

This means is that in our application details page, license compliance summary and tracking reports you will only see a license requirement for the standalone servers and servers hosting VMs, drastically simplifying what you need to manage and giving you automatic insight into how to license them.

If we look at an example environment with these changes, we can see that the license tracking for Windows Server Datacenter 2016 now only shows requirements for the physical servers:

And the application family page can give an overall picture of our compliance position for Windows Server:

 

What about the VMs?

Whilst each Virtual Machine does not require a Windows Server license, they do have a significant impact on the licenses needed for the hosts they are running on, or could run on.

To help maintain visibility into these VMs, we have left them in our license tracking with two new entitlement states:

Licensed by host - this means that we know which host this VM was running on, and denotes that the licensing is calculated on the host, not the VM itself:

Unknown physical host - this means that we do not know which host this virtual machine is running on, it could be a host that is already licensed, an unlicensed host with 200 cores or even a host with only 16 cores. This is a risk that should be addressed by identifying why the host is not being found, however there is no reasonable way to reflect a license requirement for it:

2. Windows Server Assessment reports

Another key challenge with managing Windows Server is understanding what the cost of your next true-up or renewal will be:

Typically, when organisations are purchasing new licenses they are doing so for the latest version of Windows Server. This means that they need to be able to see the number of licenses and cost not for the version of Windows Server that is deployed (e.g Windows Server 2012 R2), but the version they will be purchasing (generally either 2016 or 2019 at the time of writing). It also means that they need to calculate this using the licensing rules of the later versions as well.

To help SAM managers solve this, we introduced a number of Windows Server Assessment reports that will calculate the licenses required for each version of Windows Server from 2012 - 2019. This allows users to select the report relevant to them (e.g 2019 or 2016 for most organisations) and see the servers, their resources, the virtual machines running on them or that could run on them and the recommended edition, licenses and cost for that version. Again, just like compliance we rely on the application cost of the version and two editions relevant to each assessment report (e.g the application cost Windows Server 2019 Standard and Windows Server 2019 Datacenter):

You can even filter out servers that are already licensed and save the relevant report for your organisation to keep track of your next true-up:

When planning for a renewal, you can also use this report in combination with the “License tracking per computer” report to compare the suggested way of licensing each server with how you are currently licensing them.

 

3. Common cost optimizations and risks

When working on these features and engaging with users and SAM specialists, we also discovered a number of common scenarios where the cost of Windows Server licensing can be reduced.

To help SAM managers identify this, we created a dedicated report highlighting which servers running or hosting Windows Server can be investigated.

In the example below, we are highlighting that an old Windows Server host that has a number of risks related to overspend on Windows Server licensing:

SAM managers can use this report dive in and explore what optimisation possibilities exist within their estate.

Wrapping up

The team is very excited to get these new features into the hands of SAM managers around the globe. Once you have tried it out for yourself, make sure to reach out to us to provide any feedback. As always, if you have any questions now feel free to post in the comments section or reach out to me directly.

This is one of four blog posts related to features in SLM 9.2.0 release.

 

Over the last 6 months our SAM development team has been putting additional focus into trying to improve the quality of life for our users, culminating in two key initiatives - enhancing our existing reports to add key data points users need over and over again, and consolidating how users can quickly find and navigate to a computer, application, agreement, etc.

 

This post focuses on the quality of life changes coming to many of our existing reports, and a sneak peek of three new reports driven by community demand.

 

Being able to filter, export and schedule actionable data is a key need for all of the SAM teams that we have spoken to. Love it or hate it, the reporting engine in the Snow platform is a key enabler for most of our customers, not only for the SAM function but also to drive insight for other areas of the business.

Given how crucial reporting is to our users, there is nothing more frustrating that have a few key data points missing from a report, requiring you to export and then combine multiple reports to get the dataset that you need. Even more frustrating is missing IDs that you need to drive one of our imports when updating things like assignments for a large set of licenses.

 

We often see requests on the Idea’s board for the addition of a single column that would help simplify a workflow and save time for our users.

 

As a result, the SAM development team embarked on an endeavor to give our reports some TLC. There were three key objectives:

  1. Find and add the most commonly requested data points for our most used reports

  2. Ensure that we consistently summed numeric and financial columns across all reports

  3. Add three of the most frequently requested new reports

 

So, which of the reports have been reviewed for SLM 9.2.0 I hear you ask? Here is the list:

  • All agreements

  • All applications

  • All computers

  • All licenses

  • All objects

  • All Oracle agreements

  • Applications per computer

  • Applications per user

  • Archived computers

  • Blacklisted applications per computer

  • Blacklisted applications per user

  • Bundles with unused applications per computer

  • Discovered Assets without Inventory (Computers that are not inventoried)

  • License compliance summary

  • License purchase records per agreement

  • License tracking per computer

  • Maintenance and Support Overview

  • Potential software cost savings

  • Yearly statistics per application

 

And as for those new reports…

The much requested Devices per user report is here - allowing you to see each computer, mobile device and remote device a user has accessed:

 

Another key reporting need was being able to see each application a user could access on each computer they had logged into - welcome to the Applications per computer and user report:

 

And finally a report called Files per computer showing all of the files related to each application that we apply our Software Recognition Service to for each computer, for those that need to dig deeper into application data:

 

benjamin.van.dam

DIS: Zoom Meetings

Posted by benjamin.van.dam Apr 24, 2019

Cisco Webex has been the superior product in the Video Conferencing space for quite some years, and was the dominant product we saw in data being sent to the DIS team. With the rise of Webex’s popularity, came some fairly expensive Enterprise pricing plans, The most expensive being Cisco Webex Premium 100 which is $49/user per month when purchased annually, or $69/user per (individual) month. With other much cheaper options on the market, some organisations have begun looking for alternatives for Video Conferencing. One of these alternatives is Zoom Meetings.


With the rise of Zoom Meetings popularity, we received some feedback that customers that had no purchase history of Zoom Meetings, were reporting as having the software installed and requiring a license. To address this, we made some changes to Zoom Meetings by Zoom Video Communications Inc, which involved changing the license requirements from Zoom Meetings from being “License Required”, to “No License Required”.


Zoom Meetings is a Web Based application, that also has a desktop client (local install). When a non-licensed user joins a Zoom Meeting, a desktop client is downloaded and run to attend the meeting. This means that the recognition we have for Zoom Meetings shows usage for both Licensed users, and non-licensed users, causing some confusion for users in SLM.


We still have the recognition for Zoom Meetings as it was previously, so the recognition of the applications doesn’t change, but we have added Zoom Meetings (License) which is now the license holder for Zoom Meetings licenses as per your Enterprise Agreements. Your Account name holder can retrieve user usage information from 3 sources.

 

  1. From Zoom itself, under the Accounts page. Reports are also available.
  2. From the traditional metering on the applications for total users (licensed and non-licensed)
  3. From the Cloud Application, Zoom (Cloud) which recognises logins, through both the traditional SaaS login, as well as SSO methods.

The new look to Snow Support - as we continuously work to improve our customer experience, we are launching a new design along with new functionality to our Support Portal.

 

Last April we welcomed our customers to a Better, Faster, Personalized: New Face of Support. Our goal, to help customers to find fixes to issues and get responses to questions quickly and easily. To achieve this we built one place to access knowledge content and manage cases with Support. Through this we saw customer use of knowledge quadruple when compared with 2017. With an average article rating of 4.5/5.0 and 85% of articles marked as helpful by you our customers. Allowing you to get the answers you needed in an instant. 1300 customers are using the portal each month and almost 50% of support cases are created through the portal.

 

Now we come with a new design and further functionality for our Customer Support Portal.

Time to level up

We've been working closely with our UX team at Snow to deliver a clean and clear design. mansooreh.shahtalab3, Digital Designer, says:

It's all about the user experience, we removed the unnecessary information to make it easier to find what you're looking for at the first time of looking.

Highlights of improvements

Community search

With our drive to deliver more applicable knowledge on your issues we have added the Community as a search source through the home page search bar. You now have one place to search against the cases in your organization, Snow's diverse documentation and release notes, Support's KCS® articles, and the knowledge and strength of our Community.

Adding the Community allows you to see the benefits of having over 2000 registered customers using the products just like you are, asking and answering issues along with open interaction with Snow employees.

Larger, more relevant knowledge base

We believe the most important knowledge is the knowledge that is relevant now which is why over half of our content has been updated, refined and added to in the last six months, pushing the number of knowledge articles closer to 1000. In Support we continue with our KCS methodology to address the issues when we first find them and endeavour to solve and publish the solution as quickly as possible.

Knowledge feedback

We want to hear more about how relevant the knowledge is to you. At the bottom of each article you can add a comment, rate an article or mark it as helpful/unhelpful. Tom.Boyle, Knowledge Lead, says:

Your feedback is crucial to ensure that we provide the information and support you need. Your comments, ratings, and ideas help us to do that.

Access to cases and knowledge

There are users out there without full access to the portal. This restricts your ability to view knowledge and work on cases with the rest of your colleagues. With the new release you have the ability to control who belongs to your company's Account and what they can see.

Take a tour

Try out a tour to see what else is new by selecting Tours on any page with a black dot.

 

Changes to the portal come from your feedback, please continue to use the Feedback button on the homepage to let us know what we can do to improve your experience.

With the release of the Snow O365 connector, the DIS team saw a more insightful way to manage Microsoft subscriptions. With gradual adoption of this product over time, the initial reporting of Subscription String ID’s, was slow. Due to this slow reporting, maintaining new, incoming Subscriptions was a relatively smooth, and fast process.

 

With more and more customers adopting this technology, the DIS team are seeing a steady increase in the Subscription String ID’s being reported to us globally, and have dedicated Analysts checking, analysing, and mapping these String ID’s to Subscription plans on a daily basis, to ensure the Subscription Plans are present in your environments as fast as possible.

 

One thing to note, is that there may be a day or two between the reporting of Subscription String ID’s to the global database and showing as a mapped subscription plan in your environments. This is due to synchronisation times of the DUJ and scheduled SRS sync times running once per day. In most cases, the subscription plan should be visible the next working day after being reported.

 

We do experience some challenges with mapping these String ID’s to a Subscription Plan, as the String ID itself is not always clear as to which plan it relates to, and which Microsoft applications are covered within these Subscription Plans.

The most accurate source for these String ID’s is listed on Microsoft’s website: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/users-groups-roles/licensing-service-plan-reference

 

The majority of Subscriptions are mapped according to this data, including Subscription Plan naming conventions, and the Service Plans included in each Subscription. However, it is not always clear which String ID relates to a Subscription Plan.

 

For example:

The following String ID – STANDARDPACK is the ID for OFFICE 365 ENTERPRISE E1

 

String IDs

 

There is no clear correlation to the ID and the Subscription which makes it difficult (without the documentation) to make sure we are accurately mapping the right Subscription

  

These unclear String ID’s may lead to some reported ID’s not being mapped to a Subscription plan. We also go through these unmapped ID’s on a regular basis to see if any new data is published from the vendor or alternative 3rd party sources, so that we may add these Plans, but it is not always possible.

 

If you have a Subscription which is not mapped, please see the following KB article on how to submit these Service-Now requests here: https://snowprod.service-now.com/support?id=kb_article_view&sys_kb_id=94c256cbdb4b270056cb2de74b961989

On 2018-Sep-24, Microsoft began their 2019 release schedule. The DIS team received “preview” data for the Microsoft Office products and these "editions" were added to the global database ahead of the release, to ensure all customer upgrades to the latest version of Microsoft’s products, transition as seamlessly as possible.

 

Some major challenges the DIS team faced with Microsoft’s major version releases, is that, in many cases, we do not know how the data will be reported before we receive the data to the global database. We may be able to predict how the data will be reported, based on patterns in the previous data we have collected, but it’s not always guaranteed to stay the same between releases. There may be different naming standards, version standards or other differences.

 

Some may be aware, that there are applications included in the 2019 release, that have a “Preview” edition available for selected Microsoft customers. Previously, in the 2013 release, this edition was available in the data reported to us, which allowed us to differentiate this edition from the actual full release of the Microsoft products, whereas in the 2016 and 2019 release, this piece of the information puzzle was excluded, making it difficult to not only differentiate the editions, but correctly target the version.

 

In the past, version data has been presented in the following ways:

2010           =                    Version 14.x
2013           =                    Version 15.x
2016           =                    Version 16.x

 

Following this trend, we were expecting to see 2019 applications to have a version of 17.x, This was not the case. We did not see any global data reported with this version, only reported as 16.x. We researched into this a lot further and saw that the 2019 release was not a “Major” release of the Microsoft Office products, but rather a “Minor” build update, which meant that the Major versions used for rule detection was no longer suitable.

 

With dedicated resources and some powerful Snow minds on the task, we got to work in developing a much better way of detecting individual instances of whether Office 2016 / 2019 / O365 applications are installed on devices. This allows for a much more accurate reporting of how Microsoft Office applications have been purchased, and which method is used for deployment. So now whether you have an O365 subscription, or a perpetual 2019 license, SLM will be able to give you more detailed insights into your estate. And for Visio and Project users, we haven’t forgotten you! You will also be able to see your Visio Professional or Project Professional applications to be viewed through an O365 deployment or regular 2019 Perpetual purchases.

 

For Snow customers looking for a deeper technical description of how to maximise your license management of Microsoft Office products, please visit the Snow Software Knowledge Base: 
KB0020083FAQ: Microsoft Office 365 / 2019 / 2016


Snow’s product catalogue for Microsoft (Applications and Bundles) currently stands at 5000+ applications. While this is a large number, quantity is not our focus as a DIS team. Our main focus for the DIS global database, will always be quality. Quality involves ensuring the Application Family structure allows Upgrades/Downgrades, that the correct life-cycle dates are set, the right UNSPSC/Snow Types have been assigned for reporting, the bundles are configured with the correct components, that we assign the relevant 3rd Party Connector data to these applications, and many more attributes.

 

For an updated list of all Microsoft 2019 applications officially released, please visit the website below: https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/lifecycle/search?alpha=2019

Release information

Product:                Snow Inventory Server
New version:         6.0.1
Release date:        Oct 17th, 2018
Distribution:          SUS package

Current status:     Released

 

Enhancements in Snow Inventory Server 6.0.0

  • The level of detail of the CPU name has been improved by using the field ProcessorNameString intead of Name from the Windows agent. This will improve the core-factor mappings in Snow License Manager.

  • Additional details from SIM connectors regarding virtual machines and datacenters are now stored in the Inventory database.

Corrections in Snow Inventory Server 6.0.0

  • Snow Inventory Server now considers all characters of the inventoried software information when generating a unique identifier (softwarehash), instead of only using the first 100 characters.
  • Merging information about swidtags and cloud metering no longer causes the inventory file to be ignored with the error message “Cannot insert the value NULL into column 'HashValue'”.
  • Windows machines that are not servers or VDIs no longer generate TS-metering.

Known limitations in Snow Inventory Server 6.0.0

  • Disk-space information about the APFS file system (introduced in macOS High Sierra) and gathered by the Snow Inventory agent for macOS versions 6.0.0 and higher, is not yet fully supported by Snow Inventory Server. Full support will be provided in an upcoming release of Snow Inventory Server.

Release information

Product:                Snow Inventory Agent for macOS
New version:         6.0.1
Release date:        October 15, 2018
Distribution:          SUS and MSI Package
Current status:     Released

 

Enhancements

The following enhancements have been implemented in Snow Inventory Agent for macOS version 6.0.1:

  • A new agent configuration setting has been added, timeout. This setting defines the timeout value, in seconds, for requests to the server endpoint. The default value is 15 seconds.

Corrections

The following corrections have been implemented in Snow Inventory Agent for macOS version 6.0.1:

  • Corrected a bug that caused the agent to not be able to create inventory files, if the script-output folder is missing.

Known Limitations

  • This version is compatible with Inventory Server 6.0.0 and later.
  • Version 10.7 and earlier versions of OSX are not supported.

PRESS RELEASE

Snow Appoints Chief Revenue Officer

Ken Schock to focus on all global revenue functions

 

Austin, Texas. October 4, 2018. Snow Software (Snow), the global leader in Software Asset Management and Cloud Spend Management solutions today announced the appointment of Ken Schock to its executive leadership team as Chief Revenue Officer. In this capacity, Schock will focus on all revenue functions, including Sales, Presales, Partners, Sales Operations & Enablement, and Renewals.  

 

Schock brings to Snow a thirty-year career that spans senior sales and sales leadership positions at industry-leading firms like HP, BMC, and VMware. Most recently, he was Vice President of Sales for North America Strategic and Public Sector at Cloudera, and prior to that was a senior sales leader at Splunk. During his tenure the businesses achieved and exceeded significant revenue milestones. In both roles he led teams that built and managed relationships with multinational customers.

 

Announcing Schock’s appointment, Vishal Rao, President & COO, Snow Software said, “I’m thrilled to have Ken join the Snow team. His experience and passion for building high performing and customer-oriented sales teams will be key ingredients to help us win the enterprise and lead in cloud.”

 

Schock commented, “It’s an incredible opportunity to join a company that has tremendous momentum, with proven market-leading products and a passionate partner and customer community. I’m looking forward to contributing to the team as we take the business through the next phase of growth.”

 

It’s been just over three months since we launched the Snow Ideas board and it’s time to update you with some progress. First, I’d like to thank all of you for giving your time to either suggest an idea or vote on an idea that you’d like to see developed.

 

As of today, we have had 289 contributed ideas and we have looked at every one and have now changed status on quite a number. One common theme that we have seen is that many of you are have submitted suggestions particularly around Snow’s reporting – enhancing existing reports, adding new reports and looking at introducing a new more dynamic reporting capability. As a result, reporting shall be an area that we will bring in as a focus over the coming months.  

 

Having changed the status on several ideas, I’d like to explain each of the different levels:

 

QUALIFIED – Ideas such as: 'Sharing Snowboards' and others that are related to introducing more community driven values are just a few of the dozen suggestions that are in line with our product strategy. We are looking to add these to the Snow Roadmap’s future features and functionality.

 

UNDER REVIEW – We are currently determining ideas like ‘Application minor version numbers displayed in SLM’, ‘Active vs Inactive License’ and ‘Report criteria should contain all columns that can be displayed in a SLM report’ and look at how they might be added into future product. We’ll be reaching out to Snow Globe members to further research and gauge the applicability of these suggestions into Snow products.

 

IN DEVELOPMENT – Great minds think alike! Of the half dozen or so ideas that were suggested, you’ll be pleased to learn that we are committed to introduce these features to future product. Examples include: ‘Identify software vulnerabilities’, Reporting applications with GDPR risk and type of risks’ and ‘Exclude from compliance’.

 

IMPLEMENTED – this is what it says on the tin. Functionality such as Connnectors for ServiceNow, TopDesk and RemedyForce has already been developed and brought to market.

So please do keep on adding your ideas and actively promote them amongst your peers. Unfortunately, not every idea will be adopted, but the more your peers vote for your ideas, the more likely it is that we’ll take notice and consider them for inclusion in our future roadmap.

 

Downstream, the Ideas Board will be updated to show ideas that are currently top priority and being worked by the engineering teams at Snow.

 

I’ll be updating you with more progress next month. Watch this space…

 

 

 

 

Fueled by customer success across thousands of businesses and analyst recognition, Snow plots the path to helping businesses tackle the challenges of Digital Transformation in the Cloud

 

Stockholm, Sweden, September 20, 2018: Snow Software (Snow), the global leader in Software Asset Management (SAM) and Cloud Spend Management solutions, today announced that it had crossed $100 million in global revenue.  This growth has been driven by thousands of the world’s leading brands tapping Snow to better manage and optimize their software and cloud investments, and deliver the maximum business impact. We believe this momentum has been recognized through both customer and industry analyst recognition. Snow was recently recognized by customers by being named a 2018 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Software Asset Management Tools and was also positioned by analysts as a Leader in Gartner’s inaugural Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Tools.

 

Total spend in public cloud services end-user spending, including Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), is forecasted to grow at 17% per year through 2022, according to Gartner’s Forecast: Public Cloud Services, Worldwide, 2016-2022, 2Q18 Update.  Unlike on-premise software, most purchasing and use decisions for cloud are made within business teams, while IT retains accountability for risk and governance as well as overall spend for the business.  This puts the IT organization in the difficult position of being accountable without the necessary tools and controls to deliver what the business needs.

 

Snow is at the forefront of helping business manage this shift, beginning with understanding what cloud services are in use within the business, but going beyond, by pinpointing where those services are being used.  This allows IT to deliver a higher service level to their business partners ensuring that businesses retain the agility provided by the cloud without exposing them to compliance and data privacy risks.   Snow will continue to invest heavily in this rapidly evolving market as businesses of all sizes embrace the cloud within their IT architecture.  

 

As Snow executes this next wave of growth the company is also evolving its leadership team.  Effective today, Vishal Rao, President & COO, will take over all operational responsibility and control for all functions of the business. Rao joined the business in 2016 as a board member and took an operational role as President & COO earlier in 2018 to partner with Axel Kling, running the business, focusing on go-to-market functions. Previously he held executive leadership positions at both Splunk (NASDAQ: SPLK) and Cloudera (NYSE: CLDR) helping them scale through their respective IPOs.  Kling will remain CEO and on the board of directors and will focus on the innovation and strategy that drove the company to its current marketing-leading position.

 

“I’m incredibly proud of hitting this milestone as well as the business we’ve built at Snow, and want to thank our employees, customers, and partners who’ve made this journey possible.  Now being able to get Vishal fully onboard to build and develop all functions of Snow is very exciting.” said Kling. “We set out to help businesses maximize the return they get from their software investments and we believe today’s milestone shows that we’ve proven our ability to do that, now it’s time to take the next step and create even more value for our customers and partners.”

 

“I’m excited for our next phase of growth and sincerely humbled to be given the opportunity to partner with Axel and to lead a team with such impressive accomplishments, and at a critical juncture for the business,” said Rao. “The challenges presented by cloud services expand the value that Snow can deliver to our customers, going beyond cost savings to enabling businesses to scale and be more productive without exposing them to the potential security, financial and compliance risks inherent in the cloud.”

 

“We’re proud of the accomplishments of the Snow team to date, it’s been a pleasure to partner with Axel in getting the business to this milestone,” said Mike Risman, Managing Partner at Vitruvian Partners. “The journey ahead under Vishal’s operational leadership with Axel focusing on innovation and strategy promises to fulfill more of Snow’s potential and we look forward to supporting him.”

 

“We saw the potential of Snow when we joined the team in 2017, we’re even more excited now as we’ve seen the market opportunity grow with the rapid adoption of cloud services,” said George Kadifa, Managing Director at Sumeru Equity Partners. “We’re confident that under this new leadership structure the Snow team will be able to fully realize the opportunity in front of them.”

 

[1] Gartner, “Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Tools” by Roger Williams, April Adams, Matt Corsi, April 16, 2018.

2 Gartner, “Forecast: Public Cloud Services, Worldwide, 2016-2022, 2Q18 Update”, Fred Ng et al, July 31, 2018.

 

About Gartner Magic Quadrant:

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

https://go.snowsoftware.com/slm-sam-gartner-magic-quadrant.html

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https://www.gartner.com/reviews/customers-choice/software-asset-management-tools

Snow’s latest release of Snow Optimizer for SAP Software delivers the only 3rd party solution that enables clients to predict Indirect/ Digital Access license fees and avoid cost surprises

Stockholm, Sweden, September 5, 2018: Snow Software (Snow), the global leader in Software Asset Management (SAM) and Cloud Spend Management solutions, today unveiled enhancements to its Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software solution in response to SAP’s recent licensing model changes. In April, SAP introduced a new pricing model for “Digital Access” licensing shifting from user-based licensing to licensing based on the number of “digital documents” created by the system.

Snow’s SAP Development Team has built logic into Snow Optimizer for SAP Software adding more value and automation than SAP’s own Indirect Access measurement tool that was launched earlier this summer to its customers.

Snow’s new Digital Access Estimator for SAP® provides a simplified, automated method for calculating costs under the Digital Access license model.  An SAP-certified application, Snow Optimizer for SAP Software is the first-to-market solution providing SAP customers with the visibility and insight to make educated decisions on when and how to adopt the new licensing options, while avoiding unnecessary costs and liabilities. 

“SAP is often one of the largest software budget items for an organization, and while the notion of ‘results-oriented’ licensing is good, customers need a fair and transparent way to view document creation and understand how much the new pay-for-value model will cost,” said Peter Björkman, CTO at Snow Software. “Snow Optimizer for SAP Software is the only solution available to give customers the control and visibility they need to choose the license model that make the most sense for their organization and avoids unnecessary costs or compliance issues.”

Digital Access Estimator for SAP is available for customers today. For more information, please visit www.snowsoftware.com/int/products/snow-optimizer-sapr-software.

jelle.wijndelts2

SAM IS GROWING UP

Posted by jelle.wijndelts2 Employee Aug 23, 2018

Since its inception some 25 – 30  years ago (I feel old now), when Software Asset Management (‘SAM’) really consisted of manually collecting executables on a computer to today where automation is the way forward, SAM has gone through a lot of changes and recognition.

 

2018 saw the very first Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAM vendors. This recognition by Gartner indicates that SAM is getting maturing and seen as a crucial function for any business. A point of fact I have been advocating for years now.

 

SAM Maturity itself is evolving with on going discussions whether the Maturity model should consist of 4, 5 or even 6 maturity levels. Snow’s own Victoria Barber (@ITAM_Victoria ) is advocating for a 5 level maturity.

 

This year’s Microsoft Inspire conference presentations made me wonder whether calling it SAM is actually undervaluing the benefits of what a SAM program can bring to your business.

 

The information gathered as part of a SAM function is so much more than just compliance. The messaging by Patama Chantaruck (GM WW Software Asset Management & Compliance at Microsoft). Very much sees SAM sitting in the middle of large number of Business and IT functions.

 

Source. Microsoft Inspire, Enable Digital Disruption with Deep Data Insights,  Patama Chantaruck 

 

 

The current big topics are security and how SAM data, specifically clean discovery data is fundamental in reducing your risk profile. The main topic here is again clean SAM discovery data being leveraged to solve another IT need.

Source. Microsoft Inspire, Enable Digital Disruption with Deep Data Insights,  Patama Chantaruck 

 

The second topic called out is GDPR (everyone’s favourite buzzword). Of course it is high on everyone’s agenda due to recent legislation and potential business impact but again a large component of compliance is knowing what application and data you have and how it is used. This is where clean SAM discovery data comes in.

 

Source. Microsoft Inspire, Enable Digital Disruption with Deep Data Insights,  Patama Chantaruck 

 

It is great to see this growth, development and recognition of Software Asset Management. Something that we (SAM Old timers) have been striving for, for many a year.

 

Does that mean we have reached our goal? No not yet. There are still many more people and companies to convince of the value of SAM not forgetting the ever-evolving nature of IT and the way software is delivered to the consumers meaning there will be continuous change and adoption required. Some of the current discussions and research around how to deal with IoT, open source and Blockchain to name but a few.

Understand your SAP licensing system and be prepared for the shift to authorization based licensing

In recent user group meetings, SAP announced it is planning to alter its user licensing policy to one based on what a user is authorized to do as opposed to the current model based on actual usage. Joachim Paulini looks at the repercussions of this change.