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Implementing a SAM solution

Take inventory, compare results, and implement a plan.

A SAM plan is vital for the legal and operational performance of your organization. That???s why it???s important to get all your employees involved. Without their understanding of the issues involved, your SAM plan can be much more difficult to implement and maintain. A corporate culture that sees the benefits of SAM, where employees understand their role in keeping the organization compliant, will save you additional time and money.

Take inventory

Taking an inventory of the software in use on every machine in your organization can seem like an intimidating task, but with the right tools, partners, and cooperation from your employees, it doesn???t have to be frustrating.

In addition to your software inventory, you need an inventory of purchase and license records. These records may include:

  • End User License Agreements
  • Certificates of Authenticity
  • Purchase Invoices
  • Bills of Lading
  • Software Boxes

Your IT department should have many of these records, and the accounting department should be able to provide some as well. However, software is sometimes purchased by employees, which is why it is important to have full cooperation from your entire staff.

An accurate inventory will:

  • Tell you whether you're using the right software
  • Warn you if you're using software you don't need
  • Inform you about software you should be using, but aren???t
  • Flag any illegal, unauthorized, or unlicensed software within your business

Compare results

Once both software and document inventories are complete, the next step is to reconcile your results. Remember that this is not a simple task of matching documentation to installation, since possession of a license does not entitle you to unrestricted use of software.

The details of each license agreement must be reviewed to determine whether your company has correctly deployed the software. Most software licenses grant limited rights of use. Restrictions can be applied to number of users, number of computers, number of CPUs, number of sites, or can even indicate specific users by name.

By reviewing these results you will be able to determine whether (and where) your organization is either over-licensed or under-licensed. This information is extremely valuable, as it will allow you make additional installs if you???re over-licensed, and prevent you from being non-compliant if you are under-licensed.

Implement plan

Protecting your software assets by establishing standards and guidelines regarding all phases of your software lifecycle is what SAM is all about.

Once you know where your organization stands, you must create software-use policies to ensure that software requisition, acquisition, installation, movement and de-installation is managed by a process. Though SAM experts are the most reliable and efficient resource for implementing SAM, certain tips will help you begin to think about how your organization will create a plan that best suits your needs.

Tips for your IT department when implementing a SAM plan:

  • Perform periodic reviews or surprise spot-checks to ensure compliance
  • Perform regularly scheduled inventories
  • Provide SAM training for all new employees, and refresher courses company-wide
  • Buy your software only from reputable resellers
  • Monitor all Internet and downloading activities
  • Provide tech support only for approved applications and devices
  • Forbid installing any new software or hardware on desktops, laptops or servers without prior approval
  • Disable both the Run and Add or Remove Programs options from the Start menus of all your company???s PCs
  • Disable the autorun feature on all PCs with CD-ROM drives
  • Make it clear that any unauthorized software or hardware will be uninstalled if it's discovered

Keep everyone involved!

A SAM plan is vital for the legal and operational performance of your organization. That???s why it???s important to get all your employees involved. Without their understanding of the issues involved, your SAM plan can be much more difficult to implement and maintain. A corporate culture that sees the benefits of SAM, where employees understand their role in keeping the organization compliant, will save you additional time and money.