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News

FAST customers benefit from reducing software licensing overspend

FAST Corporate Services : 19 May, 2009  (New Product)
Good asset management advice from the commercial arm of the Federation Against Software Theft not only reduces the risk of non-compliance to software licensing agreements but also reduces the potential for overspend
FAST Ltd, a UK authority on Software Asset Management and IT Compliance, providing software, education, consulting and managed services, has announced that there has been a notable rise in 2009 in the number of customers approaching its consultancy practice for services and advice. In particular, companies are requesting FAST Ltd's help in conducting Software Asset Management (SAM) reviews for major software publishers, where there is deemed to be a high risk of a software compliance failure if an organisation were to find itself subject to an audit.

With organisations throughout the UK looking to do 'more with less', this has had a knock on impact for software publishers who now appear to be stepping up their auditing regime. This trend is underpinned by research conducted by IDC in October 2008 which cited that 52 percent of all companies have been subject to a vendor audit or review in the past 12 months, whilst 23 percent have been subject to three or more audits or review during this timeframe, indicating that software audits are on the increase as the recession bites. In their quest for revenue, publishers are ensuring that they leave no stone unturned to recover any money which is rightfully theirs.

In recent projects, FAST Ltd discovered both a £1.7m over-spend which the organisations concerned will be able to claw back and put to better use by re-harvesting licences and deploying software more effectively, and also a £200,000 under-spend where the company involved needed to find additional funds. In today's uncertain economic climate, this lack of control and the subsequent impact of unexpected costs could have severe consequences for both the business and individuals involved.

Phil Heap, Head of Consultancy Services at FAST Ltd comments, "For IT to make real progress in recessionary times will require a new ruthless, laser focused mindset. It means shifting gears to do more with less, maintaining tighter budgetary control and managing your environment to eliminate any waste and deliver operational efficiencies. Over the years, organisations have frittered away billions of pounds because they have failed to manage their IT infrastructures effectively. In today's unforgiving economy this kind of wastage or inefficiency is no longer acceptable. Re-evaluating how you do things and getting into better shape will pay dividends. Almost certainly, those who start to think about efficiency, regaining control, cost containment, and best practice SAM will be the ones who come out ahead of their competition when the upturn finally arrives."

Organisations have previously approached FAST Ltd for help with determining their software licence compliance position. Often organisations are faced with having to fathom out millions of lines of data collected by their audit tool to understand their legal entitlement. By using FAST's sophisticated recognition service, this data can be normalised, categorised and processed into manageable, easy-to-read reports. Now they are also interested in process improvements and SAM policy and procedure reviews, including access to recommendations around industry best practice and help with identifying gaps in and rewrites of particular policies. Other projects have included providing advice on volume licensing, terminal services and new ways of procuring technology such as Virtualisation and Software-as-a-Service which can lead to cost savings but whose software licensing obligations can be complex to understand.

Heap continues: "The revenue implications for organisations if this is not managed effectively really are significant. In 5 most recent projects alone, we identified £2 million worth of either over or under spend. Imagine if this were your own money. Can any business really afford to have to pay thousands of pounds in software bills they simply weren't expecting or to lose thousands because they haven't managed their environment as well as they should?"

Stuart Perry is ICT manager at the personal care products specialist, the Standard Soap Company, which has recognised that working with FAST Ltd can help it save money by having a greater awareness of licensing implications, thus reducing business risks.

"A major cost saving of working with a specialist in this area is the transfer of knowledge so that we can understand how many licences we have. For example, I know how many Microsoft licences I have in my estate, so there is less wastage, and I am not purchasing unnecessary licences," he says.

Another beneficiary of a relationship with FAST Ltd is Dacorum Borough Council: "General awareness of software licensing issues has improved and in turn this has helped us to save money. We know not to buy further licences without checking the pool of unallocated existing licences and licences that can be recycled."

FAST Ltd's professional, consulting and managed services were set up to provide dedicated expertise to UK organisations that want to benefit from smarter IT and software asset management strategies, as well as to organisations that want to ensure they have a legally compliant IT infrastructure. With a team of SAM specialists and a dedicated Asset Management Methodology (designed to highlight potential business risks and pinpoint cost containment opportunities), FAST Ltd specialises in helping organisations to deliver excellence in IT and software management and achieve registration to the FAST Standard for Software Compliance (FSSC-1:2007).
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