Interviews, IT Strategy, Software

Denver Water: Key Factors for successful SLM/SAM Projects

Pam Peschel
IT Asset Analyst, Denver Water

Pam Peschel
IT Asset Analyst, Denver Water

Pam Peschel is an IT Asset Analyst for Denver Water. She analyzes and deciphers EULAs and contracts to educate Denver Water of the importance of Software Asset Management and built that foundation for cost effectiveness and risk avoidance. Pam has implemented SAM tools and a software media library. She has helped create an ITAM team, developed policies and procedures for the Asset Management Lifecycle from procurement to disposal and has successfully completed several vendor audits.

we.CONECT: What can you tell us about your current SAM project? What would you highlight as a big success?

Pam Peschel: Currently, we are setting up Flexera to manage software licenses. We have all of our Microsoft license in and optimized within Flexera.

we.CONECT: How has software license management developed in the past years in your company? What have been milestones of your work in the field of SAM/SLM?

Pam Peschel: Software license management over the years was just something I was interested in and saw the importance of license compliancy. As we have gone through the years we have had utilized a couple of tools but no official team or person responsible for handling and tracking software licenses. I did manage to stay involved over the years by tracking purchases and inventory as well as annual audits of different publishers.

Milestones:

  • Getting all software purchases centralized through Information Technology.
  • Developing the license review process within IT and Legal for all software purchases.
  • Having management recognize the need for tracking software licenses.
  • Creating an ITAM team to handle software and hardware across the organization.
  • Developing the team and bringing in a tool that will allow us to better manage and control our software licensing throughout the organization.
we.CONECT: What are recent challenges in the field of SAM and SLM in your industry?

Pam Peschel: A recent challenges for SAM and SLM is staying current with the license changes that seem to change with each update and understanding how those changes apply to the license that you currently have in your inventory.

we.CONECT: How does your company react to these challenges?

Pam Peschel: We review the license changes and work together to determine how, when those changes need to be put into place, and how it will affect our licensing moving forward. We ensure that we analyse the benefits and cost that will come with the changes. Sometimes the delay of an upgrade or installation is dictated by other software that isn’t yet compatible with the version or updates.

we.CONECT: What plans to do you have for your SAM/SLM in the next 2 years?

Pam Peschel: Our team is fairly new and I would like to see a fully functioning team over the next couple of years. We would like to have all of our processes defined and streamlined to be as efficient as we can make them providing better cost analyst and possible cost reductions in the process.

we.CONECT: In your opinion, what are general problems concerning SAM and SLM across all industries?

Pam Peschel: General changes in technology that affect licensing, cloud services and SaaS will become issues in tracking and reporting. Trying to effectively forecast cost and possible cost savings for the different cloud services that are provided and verifying the usage will be issues that everyone will need to face.

we.CONECT: A major issue in all industries is the increasing number of software audits, eventually becoming a part of the business model of the publishers and mega vendors – what is your experience with this and how do you see the future development?

Pam Peschel: I have been through a few audits, and they may become part of the business model, however, if you maintain your records and have records your time organizing the information is the most costly.

As we move more and more to SaaS and cloud services less software audits will be seen, as the information is already there. If you have O365 subscription for instance you have all your users in AD and that is connected to O365 in the cloud. If you don’t have a license available they won’t get one until if (it) is purchased and if they are not on file they don’t have access. This will reduce the need to have as many software audits in the future and for some vendors eliminated the need to review licensing through an audit.

we.CONECT: How much are your CIO, CTO, or CFO involved in questions concerning software asset management? Can you feel this “promotion” of SAM? Regarding your company, how and why should the C level deal with SAM?

Pam Peschel: Our CIO has become more involved in questions concerning software asset management in relation to usage and renewal cost. We need to review all aspects of a renewals before we process any renewals for payment, understanding the use of the product and look for any place where a reduction in the license would be effective. Questioning the users need for the software to help reduce the overall cost. As the software budgets continue to increase you will find more and more C level executives being involved to find ways to control the rising cost.

we.CONECT: What gives you personally headaches in SAM and SLM in general?

Pam Peschel: Being able to explain changes in a license and/or maintenance that has an impact on our organization, so everyone can understand how they will be affected by the changes according to the change in the license.

we.CONECT: Can you recommend any sites/people/articles or books that have inspired your work lately?

Pam Peschel: SAM User Groups, Directions on Microsoft, ITAM Review Virtual User Group.

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