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Livingstone's IBM Practice: More about our team of experts

 

IBM is one of our key focus vendors here at Livingstone Group, representing one of the top five vendors by spend for our customers. In many cases, significant portions of our customers’ businesses are run on IBM software, representing a value to them beyond the cost of the licenses. Because of this, we have put a focus on developing our IBM team, the service we offer those customers, and the methodologies we have built to support that service.

In Part 1 of this blog series, I introduced some of the members the Livingstone IBM team, whose expertise and experience help our IBM customer to make the most of their IBM estates. They also explored some top tips and trends for 2022 and beyond, so read on to meet the rest of the team and hear some further insights.
 

Alicia Ijaz, Senior License Consultant

I joined Livingstone in May 2021 and specialize in IBM licensing. I also handle other aspects of Software Asset Management for the projects I work on. My role involves creating license positions for our clients, assisting with risk mitigation and optimization, and offering advice on all licensing scenarios.

Before joining Livingstone, I was part of the Software License Compliance team at Deloitte for just over five years. Although I worked on a few vendors at the start of my role, I soon went on to specialize in IBM licensing and became responsible for managing the UK-based team for IBM audits. Throughout this time, I gained detailed experience in IBM licensing through gathering data and producing licensing positions for hundreds of customers. Being an auditor for five years also taught me valuable customer management skills.

One of the main trends to look out for is the move to Cloud Paks. We are seeing IBM increasingly pushing customers to purchase or upgrade to Cloud Paks and wrapping these into deals such as ELA agreements. It is important to carefully consider what value and benefits your organization would gain through migrating to Cloud Paks, versus the cost of upgrading existing products.

 

Stuart Lee, Solution Consultant

My role includes planning, implementation, ongoing support and maintenance of toolsets, and producing reports related to tooling and health. While I work on a variety of tools, helping our customers with ILMT is my core focus.

My background is a technical and tooling-related one, which has expanded while at Livingstone to include IBM ILMT.

A growing part of what I do is helping our customers make sure that ILMT is correctly set up, particularly for the upcoming requirement for sub-capacity reporting for VPC. Containers are going to mean a whole new set of tools for our customers too.
 

Len Schaider, Senior Consultant

My area of expertise is asset and license management for mainframe software, with the majority of the work I do focused on our Managed Service customers. I help my customers with MLC true-ups and management of zOTC licensing, and assist with their licensing and asset management-related queries.

I’ve been working in the world of mainframe for a long time, working for IBM for over 30 years in various roles; including technical, training, billing and licensing.

The move from Peak Hour Billing (R4HA) to total usage for each month (Tailored Fit Pricing) is going to be a core issue for IBM customers in the coming months. We work with our customers to determine whether the new models save them operating costs and/or provide operational-orientated savings. IBM's new offerings get modified every 18-24 months, so organizations need to fully understand the potential benefits of this change in the billing model.
 

Charlie McGrath, Licensing Specialist

I am responsible for engaging with clients to provide Effective License Positions, which are utilized to show if the clients estate is sufficiently licensed, as well as to highlight both commercial risks and cost-saving opportunities. For many of our customers, I am responsible for the management of ILMT and Software Classifications. I also engage with our Managed Service customers to provide answers to any queries regarding licensing or entitlement that they may have.

I have been producing IBM license positions for our customers for the past 18 months as part of my role at Livingstone. Previously, I was part of a SAM Managed Service team at an infrastructure provider where we dealt with IBM for most of our customers.

One of the biggest challenges I help my customers with is sub-capacity eligibility. There’ve been a few instances I can recall where clients have put in all the necessary effort required to install ILMT, completed the configuration, software classifications and have all the necessary processes and procedures in place, but have then stumbled at the last hurdle by utilizing IBM PVU software on legacy, unsupported operating systems or hosted on older virtualization technology. It’s imperative that regular checks are made against the IBM-published eligibility catalogue to ensure that your operating system, server estate and virtualization technologies are compliant.

 

Jack Chandler, License Specialist

I work on customer compliance reports for a few different vendors, and am focused on building my IBM knowledge to become a Subject Matter Expert. Most of my day-to-day work is gathering and analyzing data to produce license positions for two of our biggest customers, and I enjoy working with the more senior consultants to build my knowledge and add value to my customers.

I started at Livingstone as a graduate with a BSc in Mathematics, and my first IBM experience was working on a large IBM project to refresh an ELP from scratch to assist a customer with a renewal. I learnt a lot very quickly, and the more experienced team members were a great support. The end result for the customer was very positive.

One interesting challenge was figuring out when the conversion from PVU to VPC metrics made sense, particularly considering the complex set of ratios and conversions. There are lots of things to consider when it comes to IBM, but Livingstone’s expert guidance ensures organizations stay ahead of the curve.

 

Learn how Livingstone Group can meet your IBM needs

If you haven’t already, make sure to read Part 1 of this blog for a full introduction to Livingstone’s IBM services and the team behind it.

Our independent consultants already work with many of the world’s largest and most complex organizations, using their specialist expertise to advise on all things IBM: including contract renewals, negotiations, audits, compliance, and much more.

For more information, please visit our dedicated IBM page, email us on info@livingstone-group.com or or click on the contact us tab on the the side of this page and one of our experts will be in touch.

 

You might like to watch: 

Niall Eddery presented at the ITAM Review at the Online Summit: Software Vendor Insights 2022 where he explored IBM trends.  He outlined his predictions and offered practical recommendations as to how your business should respond.


Another Year of IBM - What they did last year and what you can look forward to in 2022 and beyond.

 

 

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