The Transformation to Subscription-Based Pricing
You may have noticed that a lot of digital products have transformed from one-time purchases to subscription-based pricing models. For example, the Microsoft Office Suite caught customers off guard when they launched Office 365. Subscription-based pricing has had year over year growth in excess of 100% and more industries are recognizing how it can be a beneficial revenue stream. But for the small-to-medium sized company, managing all these subscription-based software licenses can be a challenge. Each department, and often individual employees, require different software that the organization must manage. For example, your design department needs vastly different tools than sales, but many things, like Office 365, may overlap. That is where Software Asset Management (SAM) services have come in to fill the void.
Generally speaking, SAM is the continual record keeping of software licenses to ensure their correct use, distribution, and tracking. It serves two main purposes for most companies.
First, implementing Software Asset Management practices can help decrease variable spending and thereby save you money. By knowing exactly how many licenses are in use you can use dynamic purchasing to ensure you’re not over buying. However, if more licenses are needed in a pinch, they can be instantly available for employees. SAM providers can also negotiate bulk purchasing deals for software that individual small businesses do not have access to.
The second purpose of SAM is to ensure the company is acting in accordance with their licensing agreement, which could result with audit findings. With every software product using different licensing terms, and frequent changes to those terms, it can be hard to keep up. In a world where corporate social responsibility is heavily scrutinized, it is imperative to proactively maintain up-to-date licensing information.
Software Licensing Audits
As much as you think your company is safe from a software audit, it is bound to happen sooner or later. Around 80% of companies have been audited by software developers and some, like SAP, require their clients to submit a yearly internal audit to ensure compliance.
In the unfortunate event that an audit does occur, having a SAM system in place can streamline the process. Since most SAM’s are essentially performing a continuous internal audit, it requires little time and effort to pull and submit data to software companies. You can also submit these findings worry free, since the status and quantity of all your licenses is constantly being assessed.
An investment in a SAM program now will become more beneficial in time as the subscription-based pricing model becomes more common and your license base grows. You can be assured your company is using licenses in a cost-efficient and responsible manor. Plus, most companies find an excellent return on investment, boosting the bottom line.
For more information or help finding a Software Asset Management (SAM) provider that’s ideal for you, contact the experts at INT.