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Software Industry Research Board to assist enterprises in license management

The Federation Against Software Theft : 19 May, 2008  (Company News)
FAST sets up industry initiative to simplify the task of end users in ensuring compliance to software license management
The Federation Against Software Theft (The Federation) in collaboration with leading global software vendors has launched an innovative and groundbreaking industry initiative which will bring together some of the largest names in the IT software sector with the primary intent of making it easier for end users to manage their software licensing requirements to contain costs and ensure compliance.

Commenting on the launch, John Lovelock, Chief Executive of The Federation said, "The Software Industry Research Board (SIRB) aims to address and simplify the often diverse and confusing issues in the field of Software Asset Management and Software License Management. A fundamental premise of the SIRB is to ensure that it has a clear understanding of end user perceptions and concerns and to work with its members to both educate and assist in the adoption of best practices in managing software assets."

The SIRB has retained the services of research firm IDC to conduct potentially the largest research project of its kind in the UK. It will target both private and public sector organisations to assess their current understanding of licensing practices, their attitudes towards software acquisition, and to understand where they will make changes to benefit from a more cost effective and risk free environment in the future.

"Software Asset Management (SAM) and IT Governance initiatives are taking more CIO and IT manager time," said Fred Broussard, Research Director, Enterprise System Infrastructure Software, for IDC. "The work of a not-for-profit organisation such as The Federation can help narrow the gap between the major vendors and the end user community in the efficient management of software by highlighting how better management enhances end-user and IT productivity."

The Federation recognises that currently mixed messaging around SAM, Software License Management and license compliance exists within the marketplace, which can be confusing for the end user to the extent that it causes potential barriers to business and reinforces a perception that compliance is difficult and expensive to achieve, whereas empirical evidence points to the fact that companies that manage their software actually save more money through adopting the practice. Similarly, technical innovations such as Virtualisation and Software as a Service have an impact on software delivery, management and licensing which end users are keen to understand.

"Microsoft fully supports the work that The Federation is doing to bring clarity on software licensing by encouraging best practice in the end user community. We are pleased to be a part of the SIRB and to work with other major publishers in providing assistance and guidance through this respected independent body to UK organisations in both the public and private sectors," said Amanda Sleight, Head of Licensing, Microsoft Corporation.

"We are really excited about being part of this initiative and look forward to working with the group to help clear up some of the misconceptions that exist today. Helping our customers to keep on top of their software needs through the most efficient licensing models and the adoption of solutions and best practices can ultimately only benefit the industry as a whole," said Michael McCloskey, CEO, FrontRange.

The SIRB's eagerly awaited research project will be concluded in July 08 and the results will be used to underpin the educational programmes that the SIRB are investing in which will benefit end users from late summer this year.

"The SIRB has been extremely well received by major players in the software industry. Microsoft's and FrontRange's early commitment and support of the programme endorses our approach and we look forward to working with them and our other members to drive the agenda for simplifying Software Asset Management for end users," said John Lovelock, Chief Executive of The Federation.
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