Opinion

Is the NHS really the envy of the world? It is if you're an IT salesman!

If you're ever on the ropes in a public debate, there's a sucker punch you can always throw to get you out of trouble.

Tell the audience, somewhat sanctimoniously, that the National Health Service is the envy of the world. It isn't but don't worry, you're guaranteed a round of applause anyway.

The upshot of which is: no matter how many billions have been squandered, the NHS IT budget will always be safely ring fenced. (Not so great if you're a taxpayer mind)

Efficiencies are being introduced slowly though. The method for buying software in the NHS procures has changed. No longer can they go to Microsoft with an open cheque book and ask for another million copies of Office.

Some fiend in management has demanded that responsibility is taken over buying. These days the responsible IT buyer has to know the state of play over licenses: are they over licensed or under licensed?

It's as if Microsoft is treating the public sector the way the government treats us over TV licenses. They know where you live and whether you're up to date with your payments. 
Now, when the Microsoft detector van comes knocking, the boot is on the other foot. So the IT buyer in the NHS Trust IT needs to get up to speed on licensing. Or find someone to do it for him. Or her.

This has created a great opportunity for resellers to sell NHS Software Asset Management (SAM) solutions into NHS Trusts.
 
Certero seems to be the only vendor that's developed a product just for this purpose. 
Unless there are others: can anybody name any? 

This was first published in November 2010

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