Tuesday, November 15, 2011

BSA launches software asset management certification for organizations

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The Business Software Alliance (BSA), the voice of the world’s commercial software industry, announced the launch of a new Certified in Standards-based SAM for Organizations (CSS(O)) program in India.

CSS(O) is the first and only enterprise-level certification for Software Asset Management (SAM) in the industry based on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) SAM standard. CSS(O) was developed in collaboration between BSA and leading Indian knowledge partners including KPMG and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited, and has been tested and proven through a local pilot program with Symphony Services. BSA plans to expand the program globally in 2012.

“We are excited to launch our new Certification in Standards-based SAM program in the Indian market. As organizations here mature and compete globally, enterprises are increasingly seeing a need to demonstrate strong corporate governance practices to clients, investors, shareholders and other stakeholders. This program will be a strong enabler towards achieving this in the area of software asset management,” said Jodie L. Kelley, general counsel and VP of Anti-Piracy for BSA.

By testing against universally accepted benchmarks that validate SAM processes are operationally sound and sustainable, CSS(O) lays the foundation for an organization to stay in compliance with vendor contracts, helps manage software acquisition and maintenance costs, enhances productivity, and improves overall competitiveness.

“Organizations receive repeated auditing requests from software publishers in a bid to identify any gaps in their software compliance and/or reporting,” according to Sudhir Singh Dungarpur, a partner in the Risk Consulting group of KPMG. “In our experience the liabilities arising from non-compliance can be substantial. Despite a second round of auditing, organizations continue to have gaps in their software compliance. The CSS(O) limits the chances of such gaps by enabling firms to adopt a set of best practices for software asset management, which in turn can result in a significant reduction in liabilities arising from non-compliance.”

By getting Certified in Standards-based SAM, organizations will be able to better align their software assets with their operational needs, maintain and easily prove their license compliance, accrue software and network cost efficiencies, and improve their business performance. In addition, they will receive a two-year audit forbearance from major software publishers, which will help minimize their risk and improve business efficiencies.

“CSS(O) provides organizations with an opportunity to streamline their software asset management processes, which enables them to manage their contractual obligations for use of software in a far more proactive manner,” says Abhay Gupte, senior director of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt Ltd. “The forbearance provided by BSA members to organizations that obtain the CSS(O) enables the organizations to save additional costs and focus on their core business processes, rather than be distracted by software audits.”

Symphony Services, an India-based software innovation company, is the first organization to receive a CSS(O) after completing a comprehensive assessment of its SAM processes and licensing positions. The certification process helped Symphony identify the software needs of its business units, restructure its licenses, and negotiate more advantageous agreements with vendors, which enabled it to maximize its licenses, better predict costs and increase IT efficiencies.

“We develop products for global companies, where software compliance is a major supplier concern,” said Vijaya Shanker, VP of Managed Services and Global IT for Symphony Services. “Our early leadership in CSS(O) certification improves our value proposition to our clients, and further differentiates our overall products and services.”

BSA will be honoring Symphony at its Global Strategy Summit in New Delhi this week, which will bring together senior executives from more than 40 software companies and top government and industry leaders to discuss India’s IT market, including intellectual property protection, software market access and IT infrastructure improvements.

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