How can ITAM professionals create more harmonious and mutually beneficial relationships with software publishers and their auditors? I was recently asked this quesiton in preparation for the upcoming ITAM Review Conference UK (visit us at booth 11 in theShakespeare Exhibition Hall!).
Nobody likes to be audited! A well thought-out ITAM strategy that has vendor management at its core can help to alleviate some of this burden. Think about the following when building this out:
Engagement. How often do you interact with your software vendor and do you keep them abreast with your company and IT strategy? If you looking to expand into another country or region or you are looking to acquire or divest, ensure the relevant NDAs are in place and discuss this with your vendor rep. Conversely making time to know your vendors can ensure you are aware of their strategy and challenges as well.
Finances. Are your ITAM processes integrated with procurement and accounts payable divisions? Ensuring bills are paid on time can go a long way in establishing and maintaining good relationships. Identify ways to give them more work- there is no better way to a vendor’s heart than helping them to obtain more business!
Contracts. How well do you understand your contracts? Knowing your rights, responsibilities and entitlement should form the foundation of any ITAM program.
Data is king. Do have the right tools to capture the inventory and metrics your vendor requires in an audit- can you distinguish and demonstrate the difference between a device and user based installation or CPUs and cores? If you can capture this, show this proactively to your vendor.
Finally though, make sure you know the marketplace as this will invariably provide you with options should the need ever arise!