Technologies to Support Software Asset Management

Businesses make use of different system resources in order to increase organizational productivity and profitability. Different components of systems like software, software deployment tools, hardware, application programs, etc., are utilized according to business needs. Managing the computer resources becomes essential to make certain that the costs are managed to suit the benefits. Software asset management is the process of managing the buying, usage, maintenance and the disposal of software in an organization.

Software Asset Management (SAM)

It is done to minimize legal and associated risks and to ensure user productivity of software applications. IT personnel involved in this process identify the number of software installations in the organization, compare the data with the number of purchased licenses, and make certain that there are control measures to prevent any legal complications related to software licensing and purchasing.

Software inventory tools

These are the tools that make sure that the software programs purchased and deployed to the organization’s systems using software deployment tools are licensed. They track the number of software inventory installed in the systems and compare it with the number of licensed software. They act as a control mechanism to ensure no illegal and unlicensed software is used in business activities.

Software metering tools

These tools ensure that there is enough number of licensed software for use in the organization. They also help keep record of expiration of software licenses and their updating. They help in eliminating ill-usage of unlicensed software by stopping or limiting their execution in real time. These tools also monitor the payment for and usage of pay-per-use software programmes. Added benefit of these tools is that they help in making sure that the software usage is in conformance with the organizational policies and strategies.

Application control tools

They are a part of information technology control system of a business. They are used as security measures as they help in securing and protecting privacy of data when software applications are made use of. They restrict who can run an application and when it can be run and which application can be run by whom. They have authority on what kind of inputs can be processed using these applications. Authorization and authentication controls are made use of in the process.

Deployment tools

Tools that are involved in ensuring that a new software application is accessible to an end user are called software deployment tools. The deployment activities range from the release of the software to its disposal. These tools are used in installing software in a computer system. They take care of installing the software program and deactivating all non compatible programs during installation. They are made use of in updating the software on time and in uninstalling it when required.

Patch management tools

Patch management is carried out on administered systems. It refers to acquiring, testing and installing code changes in the systems. These multiple code changes are referred to as patches. The process helps to keep the software application updated, so that usage and efficiency standards are met. Along with software deployment tools, these tools support SAM.

The Best Self Storage Software Programs

Identifying the best self storage software programs can be difficult. This is largely because although many of the features may seem similar, the differences can actually be very large. Another common problem is that the best software for one person may not be the best for you. Fortunately, there are a few general rules that you can follow when trying to decide which self source software program is going to be the best fit for your business.

Self Storage Software Programs Minimize Manual Tasks

One of the most important things that your self storage software should do is minimize the tasks that are normally done manually. This could range from sending out monthly billing statements to general accounting. For example, a common problem that a lot of people run into is that their software cannot process a certain type of payment that they often receive, such as direct deposits or payments through an online gateway. The whole point of using this type of software is to help you stay organized and minimize the amount of time needed doing these types of manual tasks. If the software doesn’t end up saving you time, then you should definitely be looking into a different option.

Software Programs Integrate When Needed

Another characteristic of the elite self storage software programs is that they can be easily integrated with the hardware that you are using as well as other pieces of software. For example, if you are running a newer version of Windows 7, then your software should be compatible with it. If the software developer cannot keep up with recent releases, then there’s a good chance that you will not be able to get support when you need it. Additionally, depending on the type of software that you decide to use, it needs to integrate with your other tools. For example, if you choose a basic software that does not include an online payment gateway, then it should at least be able to integrate with the one you are using now.

The Best Software Programs Can Be Self Contained

Ideally, integration will be a minimal issue because the software itself is fairly self-contained. The more comprehensive the software is, the less opportunity there is for an integration problem to occur. Many of the best self storage software programs can now not only manager property, but also send out automatic billing reminders, except payments, and even take care of your general accounting needs. There are many industries where getting the software with the most features isn’t always beneficial, but the self storage industry isn’t one of them.

Software Programs Should Allow You to Expand

Finally, the best self storage software programs will have the ability to grow and expand as your company does. For example, there is a lot of software that was designed with the small business owner in mind. They can do everything you need, but once you have multiple properties the software actually becomes more of a hindrance because it wasn’t designed to handle information from multiple locations. A simple solution to this problem that has become popular is to provide you with a web-based platform that can integrate with your local software. This insures that you get access to information provided from multiple locations in a centralized admin area. With this capability, expanding your self storage business will never cause an issue with your software.

What To Think Of When Searching For Your Next Accounting Software

In today’s world of possibilities over the Internet a lot of different software is available. Not only software that is meant for the local market but software that is available from a foreign market to the international arena. These opportunities have grown a lot due to the many possibilities to market products with different focus. One example is to search for the word “Business Software Directory” on Google. You will find an enormous amounts of hits and some of the software directories are good for both local as well as international marketing.

Just using the search engines to find the best accounting software is really hard. Just the search on Google for “Accounting Software” will give you more than 18 million hits. This is why it is good to look through the business software directories available. Usually most people don’t rely on just one directory but actually goes to a few software directories to be sure they have found a good amount to look through.

So, where should we actually start? We know where we can go to find the software, but shouldn’t we start somewhere else?

It is important to understand what you are actually looking for. A lot of people start looking for an accounting software but have no idea what they are going to use it for.

The complexity of the software and how to use it and for what is so important that you have to start doing a small pre-study before starting to look for the new software.

It is the same as when you want to purchase a car. Perhaps you live in the country-side with a lot of bad roads. Then it might be important for you to have a 4 wheel drive jeep. If this is one of the criteria it would be a waste of time to look for a small car that would be perfect for driving in the city.

Some questions you might want to ask to be able to find the best accounting software for you might be:

Do you want to be able to use the accounting software for forecasting?

Do you want the invoicing to be done from the accounting software?

Should the time reports of the personnel be done in the accounting software or perhaps should the current system be integrated to the new system?

Do you have stock that need to be taken into consideration and if so, should you need to keep inventory in the accounting software?

Most likely you want purchase orders to be in the accounting software and this probably also means you will have to organize your cash book as well.

These questions are just some minor questions to get you started. The complexity of the accounting software is definitely depending on the size of the organization you are working for. The larger the organization the more complex modules you might want to include in the same system. On the other hand, if you are in a large organization you most likely want to use different systems for different purposes and then integrate them to each other.

If you are working for a small company you will most likely want to put as much as possible into the system. A lot of companies, though, fall into the trap of forecasting an extremely high growth meaning you want to have as much as possible in the system. This is, however, in most situations not the best thing to do.

Of course you should think about and predict the near future and purchase the accounting software that fits your organization for that future. But, don’t overdo it. You need to think about the fact that the more complex the system, the more time you will need to spend in it as well.

If you are working in a large organization it is a bit different, because it is very time-consuming and expensive just to purchase and implement the new system. It could easily take 1-2 years from the pre-study until the new system is fully implemented. This means you need to predict a lot of the future in the beginning not to have to start a new purchase process once the new system is ready to run.

The reason why purchasing a new software usually takes a lot of time is because it is common not to first think about what you really want. By creating a good requirement specification you will make the evaluation process so much smoother. After you have created your requirement specification, go to a business software directory that has good search and filter possibilities with extensive product information about the products.

This will help you to short list the candidates for your new accounting software. After this, visit the vendors’ home pages and discuss your requirements with them. Let them show you an online demo to give you an impression of why their system is good for you.

Also, think about what kind of attention they are giving you. Is this a partner that you can live with in the future? Are they giving good and quick support? Are they open to your suggestions of enhancements for the product, etc?

It is not always easy to find the best accounting software for you. But, by beginning the process to really think about what you are looking for will help you a lot in your research. Use the tools and resources that are available for you on Internet. These are specifically designed for your purposes and are most often free for you to use.

Mattias Lind is CEO at Buissy.com Ltd, The B2B Market Place for Business Software that includes business software for numerous categories and offers the possibility for purchasers to find software and also compare software that suits their company the best.

Software Piracy And Why You Should Avoid It

Software piracy can be defined as unauthorized or illegal copying of software. Whenever a person purchases a paid computer software, he or she is provided with a license key for the same. The person can then activate it using the key whereby he or she becomes a licensed user of that software. Different software licenses have different usage limits though most of them allow you to install the software only on one system (i.e. a single computer) and you are allowed to keep a copy of the installation file only as a backup. However, some licenses allow usage of the software in up to 2-3 computers or on at times in a whole computer network (in case of corporate licenses). Many vendors also allow you to transfer the license for their software products from one computer to another. All such authorized installation of the software are called legal versions or licensed installations. But when you pass the same copy to your friends or reverse engineer it for multiple usage, then it becomes an illegal or pirated software.

Many software companies are trying different ways to keep a check on piracy of their products. Most licenses nowadays are automatically attached to the motherboard or operating system which makes it impossible to be transferred to other computers without authorization from the vendors. Most software are also copy protected in recent times and require online activation. The companies have even started to employ anti-piracy agencies and methods to check and remove pirated copies from various websites including file downloading sites, warez sites etc. But even after all those precautions, most computer software are ultimately cracked and released to warez and illegal sites. As soon as a software is released, hackers start to reverse engineer the same and soon cracks are released to the internet.

Software piracy is one of the biggest menace for the software industry and has resulted in loss of revenue worth billions of dollars. Though pirated software are mostly used by people who know about it being illegal but there are times when people use pirated copies of software without even realizing they are doing something illegal. These mostly occur when the computer shop or computer repair person installs pirated versions without clarifying or informing he same to the person who owns the computer. In recent years, a lot of awareness campaigns are being done by top software providers to let first time computer users know about the disadvantages and legal problems attached with using a pirated software. However, a lot more needs to be done to spread more awareness.

It is our responsibility to follow ethical and legal means by purchasing only licensed software. By purchasing a legal license, we are not only rewarding the developers and supporters of the products for their quality and usage of the software but also helping in future development of the software. A significant portion of the revenue generated from any software goes into research and development which in turn would result in more features and stability in future versions of the software. So, the first and foremost reason for purchasing a legal license is that we can expect improvement in future versions of the software. Secondly, it is our moral duty to avoid a pirated software as the developers invest a lot of hard work and money in the development. So, they should be rewarded for the same. Thirdly, a pirated software is never going to be stable and updates are not available. Most pirated software have been seen to be susceptible to virus and malware compared to legal ones. So, a genuine and authorized version of the same results in mental peace as well as security and stability of your computer system. In case you are unable to afford it then you can always opt for open source or free software which can be legally downloaded and installed on your computer free of cost. As these are legal versions, you can also update it free of costs and thereby maintain security and stability of the same. Nowadays, most open source alternatives are comparable and at times even better than the paid software. If you are a developer then you can also reverse engineer the open source software and redistribute it as per your needs and in accordance with the license. And if you need additional features, you can purchase the paid versions when you can afford the investment.