The Language of SAM

Making sure you are using the same communication terminology across departments is a key element for a successful SAM Program

One of the things that has always stayed with me is all the different ways that Language, Acronyms and Terminology is used across Companies when focused on IT (Information Technology) and SAM (Software Asset Management).

This can vary wildly from all your departments across your infrastructure landscape. Basic Terms like

– Standby
– Commercial
– Engineering
– NonProd
– Customers

One of the primary things you need to do in the world of SAM is to make sure you are communicating effectively with all your teams and using the same terminology as this can affect licensing and compliance.

Let’s say in some instances the teams that manage the corporate infrastructure might use Test and Prod to differentiate some systems and how they’re used but in many cases the coverage of these would fall under commercial use licenses.

Your Engineering team might use the same language to denote Test Systems and Prod Customer systems but in most these scenarios the test licensing would fall under non-commercial licensing for most publishers for lesser or even ZERO cost.

Knowing how to educate your teams and Departments you collaborate then becomes and exercise of decrypting all this terminology and coming up with common ground you can all agree with for the use of the same terms across your Company.

A lot of these terms end up being used to gage metrics used in licensing e.g.

A Licensed User for one program can be defined as an employee of the licensed software. Meanwhile a Licensed User for a completely separate application could be defined as an end-user of a customer of the licensed organization. So how do you differentiate both if you are using the same terms?

Okay so now that being said what can you do about this today?

Let’s begin with some knowledge gathering sessions, meet with your team, Dept leaders and operations personnel in your company and discuss how you use terminology and how they do it to designate environments and licensing metrics. This will help you understand how terms are being used and applied to similar things that you will be interested on.

Come up with shared and agreed terms to be used throughout your company, this is your opportunity to help in the education of your users and peers to make sure you all have common understanding of terms and how they will be applied across multiple departments and infrastructures.

Now that you have met and agreed to terms being used, think of where these will be stored, how will they be applied and how will they be changed or grown. Over time as things change in your company you want to make sure that there’s established workflows or processes to continue the work you have started.