Interviews, IT, DevOps & Business, Smart Mobility

Toyota: License management practices for SaaS

Steven Wynants
Senior Specialist CIO Office, Toyota Motor Europe

Steven Wynants started working at Toyota Motor Europe in 2004 as a Contract Specialist. Over the last years, he self-studied to become an expert in the field of Software License Management from a SAM process perspective, and with a focus on Microsoft licensing. In 2013, he negotiated Toyota Motor Europe’s Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft, allowing all Toyota entities to subscribe into one agreement and successfully standardizing the Microsoft footprint for Toyota in Europe. Currently, he’s working on integrating software compliance reporting across Toyota Motor Europe’s affiliates.

What do you consider as the main business benefits from an integrated SAM and SLM?

Steven Wynants: Broader perspective towards the organization. Focus should not only be on SLM, but should include reflecting critically on several aspects of you organization, including the culture of the people in it. Not just focused on “license counts”, but bringing SAM expertise to other parts of the business, like vendor selection, or PMO or even outside IT organization (legal, purchasing).

What are recent challenges in the field of SAM and SLM in your industry?

Keeping the topic on everyone’s agenda, as we’re working in a very challenging industry. Otherwise a strong push to “cloud” from both vendors and the organization.

How do you/does your company react to these challenges?

Audit protection mechanisms in vendor contracts, mutual reviews outside of formal audits, self-audits, strong focus on agreeing on small scope audits (less products, less countries) with vendor. SAM skills need to be applied to SaaS. Treat these services like a “normal” SW license.

What project are you currently working in? What are the aims and your tasks?

Implement SAM governance across organization, including communication and education plan about SAM policies. Main objectives are: supporting IT organization in managing its software, creating awareness in the organization that “SW request” = “€ request”, pro-active protection against audits (SW reharvesting and removal).

Which approaches to mediation between software vendors and software customers do you see?

“Give-and-take” approach: have open discussions based on compliance reports with vendors. Resolve some issues amicably, buy licenses to remediate others. In addition: the “Together we’re Strong” approach : work together with companies with your global group, or within the industry to influence vendors.

In your opinion, what are general problems concerning SAM and SLM across all industries?

Continuous audit pressure on one side, pressure to reduce costs on the other side. Also important: getting organization in place to do SAM (comparable about what happened years ago when security became more and more important) and keeping SAM on the agenda of executives.

Thank you for your time to participate in the interview!

Interview partners: Steven Wynants and Josefin Fügener

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