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Authors Posts by Ashley Gatehouse

Ashley Gatehouse

I am the Group Chief Marketing Officer at Crayon. My team are focused on driving enhanced lead generation campaigns and nurturing for our sales organisations across multiple geographies though the utilisation and coordination of all online and offline communication channels. We are driving increased brand awareness in the business's core competency areas of Software Asset Management (SAM), cloud and volume licensing solutions and associated consultancy services. I have over 20 years of senior business leadership experience within direct marketing/direct sales and mass distribution businesses, in both the B2B and B2C markets serving on the boards of both private and public multinational corporations.

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Optimised software licensing can cut risk and reduce enterprise costs

Software licensing can have a huge influence on how enterprises are run, so it is important to understand the many ways it can affect your organisation. The cloud and internet of things have also transformed the way enterprises use and manage apps. Here are some ways software licensing will continue to affect enterprises in 2015.

1 – Publisher software audits and increasing risk

Software Publishers will continue to accelerate audits on organisations and this will have an impact on an enterprises software costs and associated risks. Such audits can yield fees to vendors going into the millions of pounds.

2 – Licensing will become a powerful tool to prevent hackers

Tamper-resistant software licensing is set to reduce the risk of hacking and protect intellectual property. As well as this code obfuscation and hacker detection will also be implemented to reduce piracy.

3 – Shadow IT

Purchases of software outside of IT’s control can lead to redundant software licenses, driving up costs. Furthermore, those licenses aren’t managed inside an enterprise’s central software management platform and that could lead to problems and licensing complications, resulting in audits and fines.

4 – Enterprises use MDM to control BYOD

Mobile device management tools are helping to track technology access from a variety of devices, building accurate and extensive user access profiles and helping organisations control technology access whilst facilitating flexible device usage within their enterprise. Automated self-audits and audit simulations are helping organisations better understand what software resources they have, provide feedback on overall enterprise governance and avoid licensing discrepancies.

5 – Mobile apps become a less risky proposition

Mobile apps have become firmly implanted in the enterprise and thus the licensing of them has become more common. This means that such apps are less of a risk for the enterprise as greater control over them can now be attained.

6 – App stores – enterprise       

Enterprise app stores won’t look like those of Apple and Google but can be a promising addition to many. They will give better insight into employee’s devices and will improve enterprise software license compliance and asset management by automatically populating software inventory databases.

7 – SaaS is changing the way we buy software

This year, there will be more new rentals of software than new purchases of software. While the reasons for rental over purchase vary from company to company, this reduces upfront software licensing costs and can be extremely useful for growing organisations or those that have significant peaks and troughs in demand, allowing you to scale up and slim down to match your organisations requirements.

8 – Enterprises will use predictive technology to analyse impact of license changes on budgets before they happen

Software licensing management has, in the past, tended to be a backwards-looking exercise. Today, processes have been put in place by enterprises to better understand their current state of licensing by looking at what they had and what they have. As such, organisations are now becoming more pre-emptive and analysing the potential impacts of things – such as the cloud – that could change software licensing costs. By using predictive techniques, companies can better administer complex software assets and decrease costs and risks.

9 – Cloud adds complexity

Software licenses, when deployed in the cloud, can be based on a variety of metrics i.e. by user, either names or concurrent, per core, processor or by usage levels. All attempt to maximise revenue for the Software Publisher. Pre-cloud software-licensing contracts are highly unlikely to anticipate the use of those licenses in the cloud. Identifying license rights and usage needs before deployment of parts or all of your technology estate to the cloud is vital and necessary. If you lack the ability to do this in house appoint a credible and experienced SAM Partner like Crayon who will remove most of the complexity for you.

10 – Internet of things could increase software audits on enterprises

As more enterprises embrace the Internet of Things (IoT), it is likely that this will lead to ensuring more assets are properly tracked. IoT promises to be a rich vein of supplementary revenue to vendors as they audit to find out if enterprises have appropriate licenses. A big challenge here will be from indirect usage. It is not unusual for Vendors to be entitled to indirect usage payments when their IP is externally accessed. IoT could result in an immense surge in such licensing requirements.

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If you buy software you need a license but the options can be confusing

Implementing an effective IT asset management strategy within the enterprise is important. Failure to accurately measure software usage can either mean millions wasted through over provisioning or fines for not having the right licenses. It therefore pays dividends to the CIO if he or she knows a few things about software asset management.

1 – Why is it important?

Software asset management (SAM) is vital to an organisation as it makes sure your house is in order. Also, it is illegal to use unlicensed software and could end up with material financial penalties if your organisation falls short in terms of licensing requirements.

2 – You need the right tools

Your organisation will have to invest in tool systems capable of logging various types of licenses against their respective technologies and owners. An auditor tool needs to be run over the network to identify deployed licenses across all systems. An asset inventory tool must keep a tally of all systems in the organisation.

3 – You need the right people and processes

The tools alone won’t manage software assets. Dedicated and experienced license and compliance managers who understand the complexity of the publisher agreements and how your usage and user access profile data outputs can best be aligned with the optimum licensing agreements for your enterprise, along with well-defined processes, will ensure compliance and enhanced ROI. Without the right people, you could be risking the time and money invested across your technology estate.

4 – Take responsibility

Successful projects start with people, then processes then technology. Software asset management touches all parts of the organisation so you must have a leader with executive sponsorship and support to bring people, process and technology together into the project.

Software Asset Management is a complex area and requires specialist skills. Ensure you have the right skill sets within your team. If you do not, partner with a credible SAM Partner like Crayon who will be able to remove most of the complexity so you and your team can concentrate on running your business rather than worrying about your technology.

5 – Start off with an accurate baseline

If the numbers aren’t right from the beginning, they will never be right. Make sure your whole inventory is properly catalogued and assets that are no longer part of the company are removed.

6 – Define what the process needs

Organisations have a propensity to hurry into the inventory and software implementation facets of asset management before taking the time to adequately ascertain aims and needs. Software asset management’s measures of accomplishment should be plainly defined and decided upon with senior management and stakeholders prior to execution.

7 – You need to streamline your hardware as well as your software

When managing assets you need to have both the correct software and hardware. Hardware is just as important to your software asset management system and will improve overall tracking.

8 – Always prepare for vendor audits

The surprise audit is one way for vendors to eradicate the illegal use of software. The CIO must ensure that regular audit simulations are undertaken using appropriate software license management tools.

9 – Make sure software purchases are in line with support and contracts

Software asset management makes sure that underused software doesn’t waste precious budgets. Not only will this help in finding out what licenses an organisation has but also how often they are used. These tools can free up software and help in price negotiations.

10 – Mechanise the process

Manual tools to track software assets make for a time-consuming process. Automating this process can save time and makes sure you know what is being used where as well as being able to forecast future software budgets.

11 – Be supportive of software asset management programmes

Software asset management requires focus and investment, your support as CIO is crucial to its success.

12 – Start small, scale up

Many projects can fail if expectations are high and the work is too much at the beginning. Implementing software asset management in realistic phases helps to build its credibility and moves you closer to your goals.

13 – Asset lifecycles should be investigated

When you have defined your needs and constraints, you need to investigate your assets lifecycle and log data at each stage of each asset’s lifecycle. Time and energy are needed to define data elements, which must be logged, and the data flow through each asset’s life.

14 – Deploy software asset management process auditing and evaluation procedures

These processes require control and constant monitoring to ensure staff, departments and stakeholders are following procedures correctly. Without this, the process can quickly go wrong.

15 – Allow for errors and the ability to correct them

A successful software asset management process relies on accurate data. Departures from procedures and unpredicted events can cause blunders. If any errors creep in, these need to be dealt with quickly. Mechanisms for investigating and amending mistakes are needed.

16 – Review the process at regular periods

A software asset management process needs recurring appraisals to make sure objectives and benefits are achieved. Doing this once a quarter is recommended so achievement can be measured and glitches amended.

17 – Money talks

All assets have value so integrate software asset management with IT financial management to coordinate and gain buy in from other parts of the organisation. Communicate costs regularly through chargeback invoices and use financial management to manage needs and push a cost-conscious philosophy.

18 – Don’t forget the cloud

Software asset management is not only about what’s installed on computers and servers within the network. Virtualised and cloud-based resources can contain software assets as well. These will also follow an asset lifecycle of plan, procure, deploy, manage and retire. To skirt spreading resources and unexpected overheads, these must also be regarded as assets that need lifecycle tracking and financial management.

19 – Centralise your asset management

There is no point in managing software assets with spreadsheets dotted around the company on numerous servers, desktops and SharePoint; this is ineffective. The CIO should ensure that there is a central software asset repository and one source of data for the organisation in order to keep track and ensure records stay current.

20 – Publicise your accomplishments

The value of your software asset management process needs to be exhibited to the rest of the organisation, especially important stakeholders. Sharing this data will help in receiving ongoing support from other areas of the organisation.




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Software asset management (SAM) is generally empowering for a CIO, but the circumstances we often associate with audits mean they can inspire fear and loathing.

What are the most worrying challenges that a chief information officer (CIO) will ever have to face?

An investigation by the Financial Services Authority is the benchmark stressful event. We are told, by one CIO who has been through the process of being cleared, that it makes a divorce seem like a walk in the park. For months you won’t be able to sleep properly and certain events will be replayed over and again in your mind.

Crayon, the global leader in software asset management (SAM), cloud and volume licensing, and associated consulting services, has reached an agreement with Cloud specialist, Cloudamour, to provide its extensive licensing services to Cloudamour customers in the countries in which it operates.

Those businesses attempting to truly embrace the cloud through Cloudamour will be able to use Crayon’s subscription services to understand where assets are, analyse current spending on these and ensure that they are only purchasing the correct licenses going forward so that they’re optimised for their journey to the cloud. This means Cloudamour will be able to leverage its services from a migration implementation support perspective into Crayon services in the UK.

As the Microsoft World Cloud Partner of the Year, Cloudamour is looking to sustain its rapid growth and position as a disrupter in the cloud space, viewing Crayon as an integral part of this going forward. The deal between the two allows customers to truly connect the cloud with licensing and ensure they have the right products, are truly optimising them, and most importantly are compliant.

Customers will now be able to use new productivity tools available to them to increase the efficiency of the business, reduce costs and drive business growth. This is particularly important for larger clients with over 250 seats, as complicated licensing needs to be strategically planned out in advance of the move to the cloud.

Mitchell Feldman, CEO, Cloudamour, explains, “I think we’re giving Crayon the benefit of our experience and knowledge in cloud and in return they provide us with their expertise in software asset management, so ultimately the client is the winner. As a result, customers can enjoy complete and full deployment of the software that they’re purchasing, delivered in the most cost-effective way. One of the beauties of cloud subscription is that you are completely future-proofing the business from both a licensing and technology point of view, so it’s a win-win on both sides.”

Continues Feldman, “The jewel in the crown for us is that as a company, in order for us to scale, we wanted to have someone who can demystify the black art of licensing. We want to stick to what we’re best at, so we’ve aligned with Crayon as we knew they could do that, make sure that we’re asking all the right questions and ultimately make sure that our clients get most value. Licensing forms an intrinsic part of realising the true cost-savings of cloud.”

Adds Gareth Johnson, CEO, Crayon UK: “The partnership agreement with Cloudamour will allow us to bring a wealth of cloud deployment and consulting services to our UK customers, as well as providing the perfect enhancement to Crayon’s core SAM and licensing optimisation offerings.

“In addition, we look forward to helping Cloudamour customers truly optimise their technology estates utilising Crayon’s deep volume licensing skill sets and unique Software Asset Management programme, the only structured Global SAM programme standard. ”

Global experts unite to meet the growing demand for Software Asset Management Services in the region

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 2nd,  2015Crayon Middle East, part of Crayon Group, the global leaders in Software Asset Management (SAM), cloud, volume licensing and associated consulting services, announced today its appointment as the first reseller and deployment partner in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia market for Snow Software, the global leader and developer of on premise and cloud-based Software Asset Management (SAM) technologies.

As more firms look to secure compliance and ROI from their IT estate investment, Crayon Middle East can now offer its potential and existing customers the Snow Software portfolio of tools to assist them in identifying their IT assets and vulnerabilities whilst significantly reducing costs.

Snow Software’s comprehensive SAM platform incorporates all computing platforms from the desktop estate through to complex Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and SAP datacenter environments, as well as tracking the use of applications hosted in the cloud. Extending these optimisation capabilities to mobile devices represents a natural evolution of the Snow strengths as well as creating new development opportunities for complimentary solutions.

“Crayon Middle East is delighted to join forces with Snow Software as we believe that their offering strongly complements our global expertise in Software Asset Management,” said Joachim Hagström, CEO, Crayon Middle East. “The IT landscape is constantly changing and as more and more organisations seek solutions to optimise operational performance, reliability and compliancy level, the strong combination of Crayon’s SAM expertise and Snow Software tools is an obvious solution for any customer. This appointment underlines Crayon’s commitment to provide inclusive bundles of solutions to its customer base.”

“We see the Middle East region as an emerging hotbed of technology,” explained Andreas Stjernström, Regional Business Manager for Snow Software. “And where there is an increase in the reliance on software to drive competitive advantage, there is increased risk of overspend and compliance failures. Working with Crayon Middle East, we will help organisations to optimise their software to drive the highest value at the least cost.”

As a Snow Software reseller, Crayon Middle East will start to supply and support organisations in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia throughout the implementation and the deployment process of Snow Software tools from February 2015.

About Snow Software

Snow is the largest dedicated developer of SAM solutions, headquartered in Sweden with more than 200 staff across 14 regional locations, three development centers and local support teams in seven territories. Snow’s Mission is to stop organizations paying too high a price for the software they consume, from the desktop to the datacenter and beyond. To know more


Media contacts:

Crayon MEA
Rania Hamadeh – Head of Marketing
+971 4 424 9977

LONDON, UK – February 12, 2015 – CommVault (NASDAQ: CVLT) today announced that its data management platform would be available via EMEA cloud hosting partners through a new strategic aggregator partnership with Crayon, a global leader in service provider licensing, management and consultancy. Under the partnership, CommVault’s industry leading data management software platform, Simpana, will be integrated into Crayon’s portfolio of leased software solutions for EMEA-based cloud hosting service providers.

With a history of helping companies more effectively manage software licensing, Crayon’s strategy is to identify ways in which IT requirements in large organisations can be met more cost effectively. Working with some of the world’s largest enterprise vendors, Crayon manages software licensing under ‘Frame Agreements’ — also known as XSP agreements — allowing hosting service providers to license software on a monthly basis from Crayon, saving them money and time. Crayon has a Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) with Microsoft, Citrix (CSP) and VMware (VSPP), and is also one of the top three Microsoft SPLA partners globally.

CommVault’s Simpana solution enables data-driven organisations to analyse, replicate, protect, archive, and search their data through a single, easy to use platform. It helps businesses manage data as a true strategic asset. Combined with CommVault’s award-winning Microsoft Technology partner status, the addition of Simpana is an ideal fit for Crayon’s service provider licensing portfolio.

“Crayon’s focus on helping its customers get the best return of investment for the intelligent provision of IT services is perfectly aligned with CommVault’s core values, making it an ideal partner for us,” said Ankush Korla, Vice President Channel Sales EMEA at CommVault. “Through this strategic alliance, Crayon’s EMEA cloud and hosting service provider customers will benefit from our industry leading Simpana software solutions, whilst CommVault can work with Crayon’s existing customer base to expand its presence amongst the growing service provider market in the EMEA region.”

“CommVault’s excellent product portfolio and close integration with Microsoft platforms makes it a perfect partner for Crayon,” said Michael Høegh Vilain, VP xSP Licensing & Hosting Services, Crayon. “The addition of Simpana to our portfolio allows us to deliver an industry leading data management solution to our cloud hosting customers which can be easily integrated with their current systems. We are excited to be CommVault’s first partner of this nature in EMEA and look forward to working closely together.”

About CommVault

A singular vision — a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs — guides CommVault in the development of Singular Information Management® solutions for high-performance data protection, universal availability and simplified management of data on complex storage networks. CommVault’s exclusive single-platform architecture gives companies unprecedented control over data growth, costs and risk. CommVault’s Simpana® software suite of products was designed to work together seamlessly from the ground up, sharing a single code and common function set, to deliver superlative Data Protection, Archive, Replication, Search and Resource Management capabilities. More companies every day join those who have discovered the unparalleled efficiency, performance, reliability, and control only CommVault can offer. Information about CommVault is available at CommVault’s corporate headquarters is located in Tinton Falls, New Jersey in the United States.

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Azure RemoteApp provides Desktop Apps on a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) on Azure. RemoteApp allows administrators to enable applications such as Office on a Windows Server, which is deployed and runs in Azure data centers. This gives users access to Windows desktop applications from devices such as iPads without requiring on-premises VDI, which many people have not invested in due to huge deployment and support costs.

The service does not offer a full Windows Experience, more that of an RDS function. The service is currently limited in the number of users per tenant that it supports, although this technology is bound to spark further investment over time.

At present a trial copy of Office 2013 Professional Plus is available through an eval of RemoteApp, the Office 365 ProPlus subscription suite will be supported in production deployments of the service, also ADFS is available to allow single sign on.

Two flavours are currently available under a monthly per-user subscription. Basic is aimed at lightweight use, basic web apps etc, whilst Standard is aimed at more business apps such as Office 365 Pro. This is determined by the compute capacity of the Azure VM.

Basic and Standard both provide every licensed user 40 hours of Azure RemoteApp per month, additional hours incur charges, with a maximum of 80 hours the user has unlimited access for the rest of the month.

More Info:

For more info contact me

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Often the migration of a business’s software to a cloud space is done haphazardly, and could cost businesses millions in revenue if not done by professionals. Software asset management fills that gap.

If software asset management sounds like another post Y2K job title that no one has any idea of, and the description on the internet leaves you baffled after the first few sentences, it is vital for the purpose of this dynamic function to be explained. If the whole migration exercise leaves you dumbfounded as well, then this is a good read for you.

The EA – A Perfect Start Point on Your Journey to the Cloud?

In a recent survey over 69% of enterprises agreed that implementing a hybrid cloud strategy was a priority in 2015. However with the Cloud offering so many opportunities for cost savings and efficiency gains, why aren’t more businesses making their entire software licensing Cloud-based?  The truth is, it’s not as straight forward as that. Most businesses are likely to have at least some of their software on premise and switching over completely to Cloud-based services requires a degree of planning rather than just flicking a switch.

Common challenges for companies with a hybrid licensing estate include:

  • Reconciling costs with a mixture of payment schedules
  • Comparing value for money across licensing types
  • Understanding the terms, conditions and entitlements attached to on-premise licensing when making a decision on Cloud Incorrect licensing

In this NEW white paper we explore how Microsoft has made an early move to make things easier for enterprises that wish to embrace a hybrid environment, and help you consider the steps you need to take if you’re going to maximise this opportunity. You may be surprised to learn that the summit of straightforward licensing could finally be in sight.

Download the white paper now

Crayon are experts at optimising client ROI from complex technology. We are the global leader in software asset management (SAM), cloud and volume licensing and associated consulting services and are trusted advisors to many of the globe’s leading organisations.

For more information please visit us at

Volume License Management in 2015: the first step is admitting you have a problem

Technology is fragmenting. Although this immediately sounds like a negative, there is a positive side to this truth as well. But fragmentation is a broad term; so allow me to provide some colour.

Workload differentiation worries

We can see a ‘splitting apart’ or at least some level of polarisation in various technology streams from data management tasks and upwards to cloud. Data workloads can become differentiated due to:

a) Transactional streams happening in one place
b) Core IT backbone services happening in another place
c) New high-value analytics services happening elsewhere

Let’s remember the positive here, i.e. this compartmentalisation happens because we want it to — being able to do one job one way and another job another way represents computing freedom. But creating unification in this new more complex data landscape can be tough. Pinning down our licensing accountabilities across this sometime disparate set of technology silos can be even harder.

It’s not far to move from this more granular notion of data workloads to the point where cloud also presents a challenge. Our abc examples above are redolent of a technology stack that starts to shunt elements of IT off into silos when and where efficient use of discreet services can be brought to bear.

Algorithmically logical laws of physics

Again this is not a bad thing. In fact it’s great. Distinct service-based computing is where some of the greatest new efficiencies are realised though flexibility. But this flexibility quotient is part of an algorithmically logical law of physics, which states:

“As flexibility through service-based computing increases, the nature of licence management experiences an equal and opposite increase in complexity if left unchecked”

Bringing controlled volume licensing accuracy to this type of environment is tough, which is why it pays to follow the same ethos that leads to specialisation in the first place. The route out of this depends upon the use of consulting services, tools and systems to help optimise technology estates within our new hybrid cloud world.

Multi-site multinational multitudes

If we look at these home truths in the real world, then things quickly start to look even more complex than at the outset. A multi-site multinational with a multitude of applications will very typically face an extremely complex overall IT management burden — and the Software Asset Management element of that management task will be considerable.

Bringing order to what might feel like chaos requires a Zen-like approach so that we progress one logical step at a time. An independent review of a firm’s software compliance position will serve as the foundation stone upon which a business can build an asset-rich asset-empowered and asset-compliant operation for the future.

Many firms have a problem here, they have never undertaken a gap analysis to even determine their starting position. All said and done then when we look at licensing in 2015, the first step is admitting we have a problem or two to overcome.

There, we’ve said it, do you feel better?

Whether you do or you don’t, find out more today about how Crayon are already providing world leading SAM services to many of the world’s top organisations, optimising complex technology and providing clarity and calm to their IT landscape.