Blogs

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The importance & value of Trustworthy Data – Part 2

June 08 2021

In Part 1 of 'Theimportance and value of Trustworthy Data', we looked at the reasons why it is essential to create a set of accurate, Trustworthy Data, outlining how to access and measure its value. In Part 2, we will provide guidance on the next stage; the cleansing and normalization proc... Read More Read More
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The importance & value of Trustworthy Data – Part 1

June 07 2021

Accurate and insightful intelligence based on Trustworthy Data is an essential component of successful ITAM strategies. Only when organizations understand and manage this data can they use it to effectively inform compliance, contract, consumption and control – the four stages of ITAM maturity t... Read More Read More
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The importance of choosing the right ITAM partner

May 25 2021

The need for software and cloud management has never been greater – spending on software and cloud solutions continues to rise in the changing world of work. With more people being empowered to make purchasing decisions, the ways in which we consume and deploy applications is continually evolvin... Read More Read More
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How to negotiate the best deal for your major software renewal

April 26 2021

The increased digitalization of business operations today means that organizations are ever more reliant on software and cloud suppliers. Since this technology takes up such a large amount of total expenditure, contract negotiations with these providers have never been more important for IT and Procur... Read More Read More
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Public Sector: How to reduce cloud and software spend without impacting public service delivery

April 26 2021

ITAM in the public sector is an evergreen topic of conversation here at Livingstone Group. Since the financial crisis, there has been a near-constant squeeze on public budgets, which has placed expenditure on IT – in particular, on software – firmly under the microscope. More recentl... Read More Read More
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Why Trustworthy Data Must Be the Central Pillar of Your ITAM Strategy

April 16 2021

Today, the business value of accurate and insightful data is undeniable and only increasing in worth – but managing this data correctly comes with its challenges. As data volumes continue to grow, amplified by rapid digital transformation programs and cloud migrations in the era of mass remote w... Read More Read More
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How to justify your SAM tool investment to your CIO

March 30 2021

It is undeniable that SAM tools have become an important part of best practice IT asset management. Offering much-needed visibility into software and cloud deployments together with usage levels and entitlement, these tools enable organizations to optimize their IT estates and control their spend. Ind... Read More Read More
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2020/2021 Trends

March 18 2021

The coronavirus pandemic and the mass move to remote working have brought forward a whole host of business challenges. From ensuring operations run smoothly by providing employees with the right equipment and software, to maintaining online security with everyone out of the office, organizations acros... Read More Read More
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Best practice approach for Cloud Investment Management

March 12 2021

Many cloud guides often advise quick-fix tips and tricks on how you can strategically reduce costs. Instead, we want to provide a more holistic view of Cloud Investment Management, taking into account the wider processes and best practices, guiding you to better cloud consumption management and cost o... Read More Read More
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Oracle renewals: The myth of the Oracle May spend?

March 03 2021

May, Oracle’s year end, is commonly considered to be the best time to renew contracts with the vendor, with deals and discounts being offered across the board. But this year, as May draws near, maybe it is worth taking the time to reflect before rushing into signing any contracts. Last year w... Read More Read More
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What is software portfolio management and optimization? Livingstone Group on Innovation Martlesham podcast

March 02 2021

Livingstone Group’s Nigel Someck (BT Account Director), recently joined Nicky Daniels, Head of Innovation Martlesham on her podcast ‘Nicky In Conversation With…’ to discuss software portfolio management and optimization. On the podcast, you can hear Nicky and Nigel discuss: ... Read More Read More
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Vendor audits are on the rise in 2021; here’s how to prepare

February 05 2021

Over the last three or so months, Livingstone Group has witnessed a marked up-tick in the number of audit letters and new audit requests being sent out to our clients. Our conservative estimate is that requests are up by 40 percent when compared to pre-pandemic levels. While worrying for ITAM profe... Read More Read More
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Planning for a Microsoft renewal in 2021? Two key factors to bear in mind

February 01 2021

Microsoft’s ubiquity means a large number of enterprises and public sector organizations will be gearing up for a contract renewal exercise during 2021. As with all vendors, it is absolutely vital to start planning for renewals as early as possible (have a read of the blog from my colleague Ian ... Read More Read More
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Cloud licensing and procurement: what does good look like?

January 26 2021

Livingstone is a proud member of Innovation Martlesham, a network of innovative tech companies of all sizes and maturity, based at BT’s world-renowned Adastral Park in Suffolk. At the end of 2020, a couple of the Livingstone team were invited to talk to other members – from start-ups ri... Read More Read More
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IT Asset Management for the Public Sector: Part 3

January 13 2021

In Part 1 and Part 2 of ‘IT Asset Management for the Public Sector’, we looked at why it is essential to create a strategic objectives framework and the first two stages of our five-part blueprint for software and cloud asset management. In Part 3, we will explain stages three to five of t... Read More Read More
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IT Asset Management for the Public Sector: Part 2

January 05 2021

In Part 1 of ‘IT Asset Management for the Public Sector’, we looked at the reasons for why it is essential to create a strategic objectives framework, highlighting the risks and three main areas to watch out for. In Part 2, we will provide guidance on how to overcome these risks by crea... Read More Read More
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A guide to Oracle’s Term ULA (TULA)

December 14 2020

Oracle Unlimited License Agreements (ULAs) are a common sight for any ITAM, IT and procurement professionals. They have their pros and cons, and ULA renewals and exits require specialist knowledge and expertise to navigate. I have writtentwoblogsabout executing the challenging renewal/exit process as ... Read More Read More
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Negotiating a renewal? Start early to derive maximum value

December 11 2020

A contract renewal with a major vendor is always a key milestone for any procurement or ITAM professional as it provides the opportunity to showcase your true worth to your employer. Getting this process right is critical as the agreed terms will dictate the organization’s usage and costs for ma... Read More Read More
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A best practice guide for successful ITAM lifecycle governance

December 08 2020

IT Asset Management (ITAM) governance is a key part of overall corporate governance programs, and helps organizations protect against a variety of corporate risks, from commercial and legal to reputational and security. It empowers organizations to switch from being reactive to proactive in their risk... Read More Read More
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IT Asset Management for the Public Sector: Part 1

December 08 2020

As the current pandemic affects organizations globally, widespread scrutiny on public spending has increased. Heightened pressure is being felt across all public institutions as central and local government is being forced to tighten the purse strings. There has never been a more important time for pu... Read More Read More
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How to achieve the best outcome from your SaaS contract renewal and negotiations

November 19 2020

At Livingstone Group, we provide our customers with visibility of their entire SaaS estate and offer continuous advice on how to optimize their cloud spend. Our global team of Cloud Investment Managers assist clients on exploring the options available and prioritizing the actions that will make the bi... Read More Read More
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Three areas to watch out for in a SPLA audit

October 27 2020

At Livingstone, we are increasingly approached by service providers – systems integrators, hosting providers or any other organizations providing managed services to their end-user customers – to help them navigate Microsoft Services Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) audits. On the su... Read More Read More
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IBM’s year-end is looming: time to plan your negotiation strategy – Part 3

October 20 2020

InPart 1andPart 2of‘IBM’s year-end is looming: time to plan your negotiation strategy’,we looked at how to ensure your IBM estate is optimized and future-proofed, looking at everything from the IBM Effective License Agreement (ELA) renewal process, getting audit ready and creating a ... Read More Read More
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A best practice guide for IT procurement professionals

October 13 2020

IT procurement professionals face increased pressure to deliver efficiencies and cost-savings as businesses assess their finances amidst evolving demands.Finding innovative ways to deliver value back to the business and gain the competitive edge requires effective IT procurement processes. All soft... Read More Read More
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IBM’s year-end is looming: time to plan your negotiation strategy – Part 2

October 06 2020

In Part 1 of‘IBM’s year-end is looming: time to plan your negotiation strategy’we looked at how you could plan your next steps to ensure your IBM estate is optimised and future-proofed, looking at everything from the IBM Effective License Agreement (ELA) renewal process, to getting a... Read More Read More
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Why the public sector needs to optimise its software costs now more than ever

September 28 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has deeply impacted industries across the globe and the UK’s public sector has been no exception, with increased pressure felt beyond central government, impacting all public institutions. All eyes are on the public sector’s handling of the current situation, and o... Read More Read More
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IBM’s year-end is looming: time to plan your negotiation strategy – Part 1

September 21 2020

IBM’s year-end in December is just around the corner, and it’s never too early to start planning your IBM roadmap and to decide on your future Enterprise License Agreement (ELA) strategy. To ensure you are able to negotiate the best deal for your organisation, you’ll need a defined s... Read More Read More
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How to extract maximum value from your SAM tool investment

September 16 2020

Most large organizations will have invested in a SAM or ITAM tool. If not, they’ve probably at least contemplated it. At Livingstone we consider these tools vital to best practice asset management as they provide much needed visibility into software deployments, usage levels and entitlement. Not... Read More Read More
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Forget products, it’s time to understand your organisation’s portfolio of application services

August 24 2020

The old model of procuring IT is no longer relevant Traditionally, when organisations went about compiling their IT portfolios, the building blocks were made up of two things: the perceived IT infrastructure and the technological capabilities of both software and hardware. During this time, innovat... Read More Read More
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Re-booting ITAM for the cloud era

August 21 2020

Most US enterprises today have well organized, highly-skilled IT departments that are laser-focused on supporting and enabling wider business objectives. As part of this, the department typically has a dedicated software asset management (SAM) team, whose job it is to ensure that the company has the s... Read More Read More
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Careless talk: undermining your software vendor negotiations

August 12 2020

We know that getting into negotiations with vendors is a daunting process. There are many facets to consider, from having clarity on product requirements through to having a market view of what commercial terms you should be able to achieve. Being confident in your commercial position is a must, yet i... Read More Read More
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Do you know your audit risk? Part 2

July 28 2020

In my previousblog, I looked at the some of the most common triggers that will spur a supplier into asking to audit your IT estate. These varied from the differing ‘personality’ traits of various publishers, to global economic forces. These factors – and many more – all have a ... Read More Read More
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Navigating the twists and turns of Oracle ULA exits and renewals – Part 2

July 28 2020

In‘Navigating the twists and turns of Oracle ULA exits and renewals – Part 1’,we discussed the challenges and mistakes organisations experience whilst executing Oracle ULA exits and renewals. In this second part, we’ll look at the consequences of these mistakes as well as the p... Read More Read More
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Nine Steps to Take Back Control of Your Applications after Lockdown

July 16 2020

The 2020 coronavirus outbreak has meant a significant change to the way the majority of businesses operate. As well as facilitating a steep rise in remote working with collaboration tools like Teams, WebEx, Skype, Zoom and Slack, organizations have also had to rapidly adopt cloud-based and virtualized... Read More Read More
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How to keep control of your BYOD usage

July 15 2020

A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy has long been a popular option for organisations and employees alike. Indeed, with much of the workforce now home-based, many enterprises will be seeing a new spike in the number of users electing to use their own devices as part of their daily job. This approa... Read More Read More
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Navigating the twists and turns of Oracle ULA exits and renewals – Part 1

July 08 2020

When it comes to Oracle ULAs, mishandling the renewal or exit can have serious consequences for your organisation. The complex process is filled with potential financial pitfalls and in order to overcome them, you’ll need robust and detailed planning based on specialist knowledge and expertise o... Read More Read More
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IBM ILMT: the good, the bad and the complicated

July 07 2020

An increasingly common topic of discussion when we’re talking to clients about their IBM deployments is the IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT) or, to be more specific, the importance and value of using it.There is no getting round that fact that ILMT can be extremely complicated to install, let alon... Read More Read More
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Understanding the rules of Microsoft negotiations

June 30 2020

At Livingstone Group, our team has decades of experience with a wide range of organisations on a multitude of software licensing programmes, yet there are common questions that always crop up: am I getting good value from my investment? do I have enough confidence in my current and future requirements... Read More Read More
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Do you know your audit risk?

June 09 2020

When it comes to software audits, organisations typically keep a keen eye on the vendors that they spend the most money with. Afterall, if they’re audited by a tier one provider, the financial ramifications could be significant. Focusing on the bigger providers also makes a great deal of practic... Read More Read More
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Understanding and eradicating your technical debt

June 04 2020

As we continue to while away the hours in lockdown, we have been provided with the opportunity to reflect on some of the indirect issues revealed by COVID-19, including where the need to implement rapid business transformation has been hindered by the unforeseen consequences of historical IT technical... Read More Read More
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Will 2020 be the year we reach ‘peak audit’?

May 26 2020

Software vendors usually send out their audit letters on a fairly predictable basis. The most common triggers are a contract term or ULA coming to an end, or indeed the end of the publisher’s financial year, something we covered in more detail in a previous blog aboutOracle’s audit strateg... Read More Read More
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Welcome to Oracle audit season

May 19 2020

This time each year, we see a marked spike in the number of audits requested and undertaken by Oracle and 2020 is no different. While this May is by no means a typical month for many of the enterprises and public sector organisations running Oracle, it’s clearly very much ‘business as usua... Read More Read More
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Rapid change and the law of unintended consequences

May 07 2020

Covid drives tactical deployments As the Covid-19 pandemic sweeps across the world, organisations have had to adapt to a changing way they need to do business. From furloughing staff to increasing remote working capabilities, business certainly isn’t as usual for many. Indeed, the near-ter... Read More Read More
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The Software Vendor negotiation game has fundamentally changed, do you understand the new rules?

January 24 2020

I have worked across a wide range of Public Sector organisations with a multitude of software licensing programs throughout my career. Common themes always remain “am I getting a good value from my investment” and “do I have enough confidence in my current & future requirements t... Read More Read More
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Is your SAM program doomed to failure?

May 20 2019

If your organization is – or is considering – investing in a Software Asset Management program, then there is a strong chance that you’ve either already paid for, or are about to buy, a SAM tool. It has become the default position for most organizations around the world: “in or... Read More Read More
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Cloud Shock: what is it & why should you care?

April 17 2019

As a term, cloud shock has been with us a few years now, but it’ use is not yet quite yet sufficiently widespread to safely assume that everyone knows what you’re talking about when you say it.Cloud shock is, in very simple terms, the moment of realization that money being spent on cloud s... Read More Read More
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Beware the guard dog

April 09 2019

While the debate about the actual volume of software audits performed by vendors continueswhat’s not in doubt is that software vendor audits are disruptive, time-consuming and expensive. And that’s not even presuming there’s any ‘guilt’ on your part. Even if the audit exe... Read More Read More
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Notes from the ITAM Review USA conference

March 25 2019

I recently had the pleasure of attending The ITAM Review USA conference in sunny Florida. It was a great opportunity to meet with both experienced and first-time SAM managers from many organizations across North America as well as to network with industry peers. There were also plenty of interesting p... Read More Read More
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Are software audits really down? Don’t be so sure

February 12 2019

I’ve been reading some claims recently that audits are decreasing, and while I understand where these are coming from, I think what we are seeing in the market contradicts this somewhat. Basing an estimate of audit volumes based on Gartner audit inquiries potentially misses a big segment of t... Read More Read More
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Before you buy that SAM tool…

January 31 2019

Twelve months ago, my colleague Hugh Skingley worked with the good folks over at ITAM Review to highlight “15 hidden costs” that should make SAM and ITAM managers wary before diving into the deep end with a SAM tool. Many, if not all, of the 15 points raised by Hugh are still very relevant... Read More Read More
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Why your RFI/RFPs are leading you to make bad SAM tool decisions

January 03 2019

SAM tools often get a bad rap. While it is normal for anyone embarking on a program to better discover and manage their software consumption to initially create and issue an RFI to a number of SAM tools providers (possibly narrowed down to a shortlist with the help of independent analysts), give it si... Read More Read More
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