Do You Know What is Running in Your Business?

The Software Asset Management (SAM) Optimization Model, which is being announced at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston this week, is a free tool that can be used by corporate customers or by value-added resellers and other Microsoft business partners. Companies undergoing an evaluation — always performed internally or by partners, never by Microsoft directly — are given a rating for their SAM efforts on a four-stage scale, from Basic for the worst to Dynamic for the best.

Software Asset Management, or SAM, is a best practice and process to help your organization optimize your technology investments. Knowing what you have, acquiring only what you need, and using your software assets effectively at every stage of their life cycle are strategic business practices that businesses of all sizes should employ to realize great benefits.

According to a Q&A with director of license compliance Michael Beare that was posted today on Microsoft's Web site, companies that treat software like they do other assets, such as real estate and intellectual property, are less likely to waste money buying products that end up being unused. Their networks also are less likely to be hit by vulnerabilities due to the presence of unmanaged and unpatched software, Beare contended.

In addition, companies that actively manage their software assets are more apt to engage in smart business practices, such as funneling purchases to a single reseller in order to maximize their volume-based discounts, Beare said. And he maintained that they are less likely to consciously pirate software or inadvertently be out of compliance with their software licensing contracts.

Find out more about SAM here.