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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Managing software applications post-COVID

August 20 2020

As organizations settle into the new normal, it’s time to take back control of your software applications and address all the changes that will have been implemented during the Pandemic to allow ‘Business As Usual’ to reign. In this 15 minute session Livingstone Group’s Chie... Read More Read More
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An expert guide to SAP S/4 HANA Contract Migration Challenges

February 20 2020

After 2025 SAP will only be supporting Customers who are converted to S/4 HANA. Many customers are already in the process of planning the technical migration since this is a quite complex exercise. Whilst the technical migration is complicated, the license contract conversion will also confront you... Read More Read More
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The changing vendor audit landscape - Expose your new Vendor Audit Risks

March 26 2020

As organisations adopt an ever increasing number of cloud solutions with subscription based licensing, so the traditional landscape of software publisher audits and related risk is also evolving at an ever increasing rate. Working with our global customers gives us a unique view of the market and e... Read More Read More
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ULA Exit or Renewal? – Myths, Mistakes and Making it work!

June 25 2020

Exiting or renegotiating an Oracle ULA renewal can have serious consequences for your organisation if the wrong approach is taken. This is a complex process littered with potential financial pitfalls and therefore requires careful consideration, robust and detailed planning based on specialist knowled... Read More Read More
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IT Asset Management for the Public Sector

October 22 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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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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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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ITAM Round Up - Key trends and how ITAM needs to respond

February 02 2021

Join Livingstone Group's Chief Strategy Officer, Chris Gough and Principle Consultant, Hugh Skingley, who in this video blog, discuss the market trends and changes that organizations experienced during2020,how these will affect the relationships between IT, Procurement and Finance and how they nee... 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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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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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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Visualizing your ITAM data & bringing your IT Asset Management to life

May 06 2021

Data is now one of the most valuable commodities that your business owns. The foundation of any successful ITAM organization is actionable intelligence. This intelligence must be based on trustworthy data that is both complete and accurate. Only then can effective management decisions be made that del... Read More Read More
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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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Managing technical debt and legacy investments: Microsoft SQL Server 2012

July 05 2021

In our previous blog, Understanding and eradicating your technical debt, we looked at the concept of ‘technical debt’ in software estates. At how, without proper attention to detail or if upgrades have been passed over one too many times, technical debt can accumulate massively. That, if b... 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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Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures: Why it pays to keep ITAM in mind

June 07 2021

Mergers, acquisitions and divestitures are complex transactions that result in fundamental structural company change or transformation. There are many aspects to consider, from staffing and office space, to operations and finances – and, crucially, software and cloud contracts. Ensuring that ... Read More Read More
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Five ways to ready your organization for vendor audits

July 27 2021

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 professionals and the organizations the... Read More Read More
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3 Key IBM considerations to keep in mind

July 30 2021

From how to plan your negotiation strategy to the importance and value of IBM’s License Metric Tool, our blog provides regular advice on how to get the most out of your IBM investment. With this blog, we look at three further considerations that you should always keep in mind when dealing with I... Read More Read More
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Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures activity hits record high; placing ITAM further up organizations’ agendas

September 03 2021

Earlier this year, my colleagues Gareth Redshaw and Chris Gough discussed the importance of a robust ITAM strategy for organizations navigating complex mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Since then, the volume of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) activity across the world has hit new heights,... Read More Read More
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Microsoft Briefing Series

October 11 2021

Free On-Demand Video Series Register today using the form opposite Series of six short Microsoft briefings available throughout October and November, helping you to prepare for 2022. Please complete the form opposite and we will notify you when each of the videos and related content is released... Read More Read More
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Why it pays to start budgeting for your 2022 software & cloud renewals early

October 18 2021

Now is the time of year that many managers and business leaders are staring at spreadsheets even more intently than usual, as they find themselves deep in the process of planning their 2022 budgets, whether their financial year starts in January or in April 2022. Expenditure on software and cloud s... Read More Read More
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