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SIRB/FAST Conference Review

Majeski Stadium, Reading, UK

Majeski Stadium, Reading, UK

The Software Industry Research Board (SIRB), part of FAST, brought together a good representation of the UK SAM Industry for their conference last week.

Around 80* end users met at the Majeski Stadium in Reading to hear from SIRB speakers and sponsors and network with peers.

In a nutshell: Overall it was a good event with a mixture of educational and informative content, some of the presentations could have been more relevant.


  • “SAM Maturity in the UK Market”, Alex Hilton, SIRB Chair & FrontRange Solutions – Some good insights into the maturity of the UK SAM Market and attitutes of UK organisations towards managing software (e.g. Only 8% of organisations are doing SAM properly, 18% have no programme whatsoever for for managing assets)
  • “Considerations for outsourcing your SAM programme” Stephen White, For SIRB & Computacenter – Stephen gave a balanced view on considerations for outsourcing your SAM program and the options available.
  • “Achieving ISO in Stages” David Bicket, Deloitte – An entertaining and informative update on the ISO/IEC Standard from the ‘Godfather of SAM’.

Sharper Agenda Required

Although the presentations were free from product pitches, some of the sessions could have been a bit sharper and more relevant. For example FrontRange Solutions had a captive audience in which to demonstrate some leadership in front of the UK SAM market. They have, theoretically at least, the breadth in technology portfolio and channel partner base to tell a really good story around SAM. But chose to present a high level view of how to implement ITIL, which whilst interesting was an opportunity missed.

Similarly it would have been good to see some fresh ideas from Microsoft. They have arguably done more than any other vendor to promote SAM and educate their partner base on how to sell SAM, but don’t seem to want to commit beyond benchmarking. Scratch below the surface of the SAM Optimization Model messaging and it’s difficult to see any real substance beyond a sales tool for selling SAM services.

FAST have a good model here and I hope they can build on it to continue to provide research and events in the future – But they will need to sharpen their message if they are to resolve their ongoing identity crisis (“You say tomato, I say tomahto”) and appeal to UK organisations, especially with IAITAM bringing their successful conference format to Europe next year.

* My rough estimate.

About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.

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