Andy Hill talks about the launch of The Essentia SAM Network

Andy Hill talks about the launch of The Essentia SAM Network

Monday saw the official launch of The Essentia SAM Network – a new knowledge-sharing community for all those responsible for Software Asset Management (SAM).
The launch meeting took place at the top of Guy’s Hospital and was attended by over 30 representatives from 27 NHS Trusts.

Microsoft’s tips for avoiding audits and saving money

The event began with a keynote speech from Paul McAdam from Microsoft who provided a software vendor’s perspective on SAM and top tips for avoiding audit and for saving money.

Some takeaways from Microsoft:

  • You will be audited by someone at some point. Statistically, every organisation will be audited once every two years.
  • Be prepared – carry out internal audits and make sure you understand what you have. Pay for what you use and use what you pay for.
  • Modern IT is complex; it’s not just about a server and a few computers anymore; we have home workers, remote workers, cloud-based applications…
  • Every organisation needs a number of policies and strategies for dealing with the many aspects of SAM. (A show of hands revealed that few people had these in place). Don’t waste time creating this on your own; share the workload, ideas and best practice with others. Work as a community.
  • Redeployment (of licences) is easy to do and can save you money. Use it regularly.
  • SAM is a finance issue, not an IT one. Talk about it in terms of financial risk and potential savings.

Paul concluded by emphasising that Microsoft would prefer to work with organisations as partners in SAM rather than as compliance monitors. He added that Microsoft will support The Essentia SAM Network with:

  • Q&A on an anonymous basis to help deal with any concerns
  • best practice suggestions, templates, technical guidance
  • support at educational/information events.

It’s not just the NHS that will benefit from participating in the Essentia SAM Network, it is everyone, especially the patients and families that we strive to support.

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Joining The Essentia SAM Network

After a short break and a chance to network and admire the view from the 29th floor, I gave a talk on The Essentia SAM Network – and the benefits of joining a community to share knowledge, ideas and best practice with peers and experts.

A number of participants have already joined up, saying they were very concerned about SAM and that this was a very welcome initiative.

Ask the expert

The afternoon took the form of a panel discussion where members of the audience were invited to pose questions to representatives from Microsoft, SoftwareONE, Snow Software, legal firm Bird & Bird, security information and risk advisor Trusted IA, the Crown Commercial Service and the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

A lively debate ensued which illustrated perfectly the complexity of the SAM issue and the value of collaboration and information sharing.

If you need advice on SAM from an NHS perspective, I would recommend Andy Hill from Essentia as a superb starting point.

Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Future events

Feedback on the meeting has been very positive so far. Subscribers to The Essentia SAM Network will be invited to similar events four times a year, and will be asked to input suggestions for speakers and discussion topics.

So, to all those who were there on Monday, thanks for coming, we hope you found it useful. To those who didn’t make it, let me know if you’d like further information.

For more details on how to join the Essentia SAM Network, please get in touch at