At Last, Industry-Standard SAM for Organizations

posted by in Industry November 17, 2011
Nov 17

In every sector of the global economy, organizations of all types rely on software tools to communicate, to make products, to offer services, and to manage their operations. But keeping track of all those software assets can be a challenge, especially for a large enterprise. More divisions, more teams, more projects mean more software — and mismanaging it can expose the organization to a slew of risks, from inefficiency to legal liability.

Fortunately, there is a proven, internationally recognized way to administer software assets effectively. It is called software asset management (SAM, in the industry vernacular) — and now the Business Software Alliance offers organizations a special certification when they implement it correctly.

Unveiled this week in New Delhi, BSA’s enterprise-level certification for standards-based software asset management, known as CSS(O), is the first and only program of its kind. Through a stringent assessment process, it certifies that an organization’s SAM processes are aligned to the standard set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). BSA’s certification attests that those processes are effectively implemented and that they are repeatable. This ensures the certified organization will be able to stay in compliance with its software licenses, avoid unnecessary legal and financial risks, accrue software and network cost efficiencies, and improve business performance.

Until now, organizations wanting to implement SAM programs had to rely on their own in-house processes or advisory firms, because there was no industry standard that reliably satisfied software publishers’ requirements. BSA’s CSS(O) program changes all that.
The latest evolution of BSA’s three-pronged CSS program — which also includes certifications for IT professionals and auditors — CSS(O) is the first and only enterprise-level certification that affirms an organization’s SAM processes are aligned to the ISO SAM standard and that the organization is operating in compliance with all its software license agreements.

In launching the CSS(O) program this week, BSA honored the first organization in the world to earn the certification — Symphony Services, a global software engineering and outsourcing company with operations in India. We expect Symphony to be the first of many others to come — first in India, with more markets to follow in 2012 — because the benefits of getting certified in standards-based software asset management are many. They include:

  • Better alignment of software assets with operational needs;
  • The ability to maintain and easily prove license compliance;
  • A two-year audit forbearance from major software publishers;
  • Avoidance of unnecessary legal and financial risks;
  • Accrual of software and network cost efficiencies; and
  • Improved business performance.

To learn more about CSS(O), read a case study about the Symphony program, and for additional information on our broader CSS platform, visit

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