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FAST Compliance Manager launched in the UK

FAST Corporate Services : 16 February, 2009  (New Product)
Licensing tool from commercial spin-off of the Federation Against Software Theft launched to assist UK businesses to achieve and maintain software licensing compliance
FAST Ltd, a UK authority on Software Asset Management and IT Compliance, has announced the launch of its new licensing tool, FAST Compliance Manager.

In today's challenging market and uncertain times, organisations are looking for certainty and cost control. With vendor audits predicted to increase in 2009, FAST Ltd has defined a range of new services to complement its existing portfolio that will help organisations across all sectors control IT costs, mitigate risk and deploy and maintain best practice IT compliance. FAST Compliance Manager helps companies to ascertain their software compliance position to ensure firstly that there is no overspend on software licensing and secondly, that the risks of licensing shortfalls are mitigated.

FAST Compliance Manager is a software licence management tool that will help organisations to manage and control their software assets more effectively. It provides a central repository for storing licence information to facilitate the import of data from software audit tools into FAST Compliance Manager, allowing a comparison of the software installed against the software entitlement. It also enables organisations to quickly and easily demonstrate their entitlement to use software when asked to do so by a software publisher. Phil Heap, Head of Consultancy and Membership Products and Services, who has been closely involved with FAST Compliance Manager's development, comments:

"FAST Compliance Manager is a key element of the overall FAST proposition designed to put processes and tools in place to stop organisations from being at risk of negative output following a vendor audit or a compliance bill that they're not expecting. According to the 2008 FAST Membership Survey, 20 percent of our Members have been audited in the past 12 months, and this trend is set to rise.

It's no good showing what software you have installed, or the product boxes on a shelf, you need to demonstrate evidence of the licences. That's what this tool helps you to do."

Recent research conducted by IDC indicates that 30 percent of IT departments do not measure the differences between licence entitlement and deployment and furthermore 52 percent of all companies surveyed have been subject to a software vendor audit in the last 12 months.

FAST Compliance Manager was provided to FAST Members in May 2008 and as Heap explains: "We have collected a lot of vital feedback from this beta release, which has been incorporated into the product. Using an 'early adopter' scheme has been really beneficial from a development perspective and we feel we now have a far superior product to release to the market."

FAST Compliance Manager is a powerful tool that gives organisations control of their software assets. Using FAST Compliance Manager, companies are able to reduce costs through internal licence transfers, as well as monitor any external licence transfers. For example, licences that have been sold off or merged into another company through an acquisition. Heap continues:

"41 percent of businesses are currently over-licensed. FAST Compliance Manager takes licence management to the next level by allowing companies to distinguish needs across departments and divisions throughout the entire organisation. It allows users to build their own organisation structure and put in all the licensing entitlements, agreements and contracts into the database. So, for example, if your organisation doesn't have the right number of licences deployed at the business unit level, FAST Compliance Manager can check for spare ones across the organisation and these can be easily transferred without wasting money buying new licences. Additionally, having comprehensive knowledge of licence usage puts companies at a huge advantage when negotiating licence agreements with vendors and resellers."
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