Welcome to the new page of our Knowledge center! We collected here the questions we met during our work and we think these answers will help you understanding software asset management.
We’d like to thank everyone who questioned us, and we hope you won’t hesitate to ask us at info(at)ipr.hu if you have any other question!
What does SAM mean?
SAM is an acronym for Software Asset Management. The software assets – as any other assets – of a company need to be managed.
Which are the most important principles of software asset management?
Maybe the most important is a well-thought-out, accurate process regulation, which minimizes the risk of individuals’ mistakes and intentional illegal activities, and allows the appropriate share of responsibility.
Certainly it is necessary that the company has a proper, up-to-date inventory of its own software assets (licenses, accounting inventories) and the used software products (installations) as well.
Why software asset management is important?
The importance of software asset management is that the software assets are great value assets and they have notable value in volume (e.g. in a mid-size company or in an enterprise). It is difficult to see all the characters of this asset, since it has IT, legal and financial relations. Software assets are special assets, because they have several forms: the code, the media containing the code and the license agreement granting the usage rights. During the work with software assets we need to consider such problems that never come up with tangible assets.
In legal point of view copyright regulation and other legal standards concern the software. First of all these kinds of legal standards are included in the civil law (which is the mother law of the copyright law), if copyright infringements are committed, often Criminal Code has to be applied.
The quality of the software asset management process may affect significantly the financial result and taxation.
Consequently, for a company to ensure the proper IT operation, to minimize the financial and legal risks, a well-thought-out, planned software asset management is inevitable. This way the company can really manage its software assets and assign only the really required financial resources to the IT infrastructure. Thus the undertaking avoids the unnecessary legal risks and the IT and other resources can be directed to the support of the business activity.
What departments are affected in the organization by a tidy software asset management?
The software asset management is typically IT role (it affects all the IT employees), but it is necessary that economic, accounting professionals, purchasing and legal employees, and the head of the company are fully aware of the processes, understands and attends their roles.
What are the risk of neglecting software asset management?
If a company doesn’t pay attention for software asset management, it will have to face up to risks depends on the volume. On the one hand there is a financial risk if the company does not know its assets, because it defeats efficient planning, and finally the company may spend more money on infrastructure than needed.
On the other hand there is the risk of illegal software usage, which may be followed by legal and criminal impeachment and further financial disadvantages.
The not properly controlled software asset management processes allow the employees to install software on their computers that hte company has no any information about. This contains the possibility of illegal software usage, and it has security and data-safety risk.
Which departments are affected by and what resources are needed for a software asset management project in my company?
A complex software asset management project examines the following sections:
- Software asset management processes, code of ethics and regulations
- Responsibility questions related to software usage
- Automatic and manual data collection about sotfware usage
- Software license agreements
- Accounting registrations
Based on the above points, the project needs the following human resources:
- IT employees, who are affected in the lifecycle of software
- IT leaders
- Accounting, financial employees (and maybe the leader, in controlling questions)
- Purchasing employees, who handle software products
- Legal employee
- Internal audit (if it has role in the software asset management control)
- The management
In my company we work on the questions and tasks of software asset management. How I know, that a review or change the processes is needed?
We recommend You, that fill in the ?Self Assessment” data sheet. These answers are a good starting point to decide it, and we gladly help You in person. You can find our addresses under ?Contacts” on our website.
How often is worth to repeat the audit, review the software asset management process?
After a complete software asset management project it is worth to keep it up-to-date. In the one hand the data stored in SAM-Insights system needs to be maintained in every three months, in the other hand the processes need to be reviewed yearly.
What is the achievement of an audit made by IPR-Insights?
Our projects include all section of software asset management. We are out to satisfy common claims and uniques as well, so the following list can be changed by project to project based on the tasks and the founded former state. Generally we give the following to our clients:
- State surveying, report about the state before the project
- Suggestions to make or modify software asset management policies
- Suggestions to modify the software asset management processes
- License inventory
- SAM-Insights system with uploaded installation, license, invoice data
- Comparison of software usage and software assets, analization of differences
- Training for those, who participate in the software asset management process
After an IPR-Insights audit ismy company exempted from a possible inquiry?
The software asset management process audits do not exempt your company from any official inquiry, however, it is very helpful in the course of a possible inquiry. The intentional illegal activity is not assumable about a company who is in earnest of software asset management. The precise, up-to-date databases are able to shorten the inquiry, which cause minimal lack of service.
Which tool is worth to use for software asset management?
The list of applications supports software asset management process is long. It is worth to use such an a tool can provide the following tasks:
- Automatic data collection over network
- The possibility of manual data collection (in case of computers and servers, which cannot reachable over network, or we cannot / don’t want to collect information automatically)
- Bring the collected data to information which can be easily compared to the available licenses
- Store license and invoice data
- Compare installations to license / invoice data
- Make report to leaders
Also important, that the system is able to handle the processes automatically, use less human resources, this determines the human resources needed to create leader reports.
Who is responsible for the legal software usage in the company?
As in any other work done by the company the executive officer has an increased responsibility, which can be partly or fully transferred or shared.
An employee can be responsible for the illegal software usage?
Yes, in that case, if the violation of law by the employee can be proved.
The form of impeachment, its sanctions, the measure of damages have to be stated according to the concerning labour law and set forth in the policies of the company. The management of the company can be never exempted from ensuring enough resources and from the responsibility of controlling.
What ensures unequivocally the legal use of a software product?
You can prove the legal usage with the proper license agreement. If it is a named license, You don’t need any other document. If it is not a named license (e.g. FPP – Full Packaged Product, electronic license), You need a dokument to prove the possession of the product (first of all the invoice).
Why isn’t enough an invoice to prove the legal usage?
The Intellectual Property Rights Act defines that you need a contract to get usage right for an intellectual property (e.g. software). An invoice is not a contract and an invoice in most cases does not contain enough information to identify the software produck or the quantity (missing name, missing edition or version information, etc.).
When can we speak about the software as ?it is in use??
It is defined exactly by the copyright and the license agreement, but in generally the software is in use when it was installed on a device and/or can be found on the storage area (hard disk, RAM) of a device.
What can I do, if I?m sure that I use software legally, but any or all of the confirming documents are missing?
If it is not a named license and the EULA cannot be found on the original media belongs to the software, than the license certificate cannot be substituted. If the invoice of the software is available it can prove the legal usage (if the software product exactly named on it), but it does not clarify the terms of usage.
If both of these documents are missing, you can ask a copy from the reseller, because the preservation is ordered by low. If it is a named license we suggest asking the vendor for a copy of the agreement or a certificate of legal usage.
After purchasing an upgrade license, do I need the license of previous version?
An upgrade can be purchased only for an existing full version license. The upgrade license is just an amendment to the original license agreement, ergo it is valid only with the base license.
Is there an international or Hungarian SAM standard?
The ISO 19770-1:2006 standard, named Information Technology – Software Asset Management, was published in 1st May 2006 to uniform the requisites of software asset management and for a productive software asset management. Since the standard is international, the English language version was introduced in Hungary as any other international standard which was adopted by 75% of the international organizations. The Hungarian version of the standard was published in September 2008. It was vetted by our company and we aided the vocational conciliation of the Hungarian text.
If my company has an ISO 19770-1 certificate, does it acquit from occurrent inspections?
None of the certificates acquit from any inspection. The possession of a certificate proves the lawful and careful behavior and it helps the fast and smooth process.
What kind of help can IPR-Insights provides to my company to make an inspection faster and more effective?
In this case we can help you in all three subjects (information technology, law, accounting) of software asset management, but we strongly suggest you that keep in touch with us before you are under an authority inspection. In that case it is not possible to clarify your problems. Much bigger and longer result is reachable if the company takes care of its own software asset management.