Save Millions In Your IT Budget with Jeremy Boerger
Jeremy Boerger is an Author and ITAM Coach who is helping companies build and rehabilitate their IT asset management practices, both hardware and software asset management, and recovering almost 10% of the IT department’s budget.
In this podcast you will learn:
- The difference between an IT Coach and IT Consulting
- Asset management and why it is important
- Rethinking Information Technology Asset Management (Book Overview)
- How to save millions of dollars with your asset management
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My guest is Jeremy Berger.
He’s an author, an IT am coach who’s helping companies build and rehabilitate their it asset management practices both hardware and software asset management and recovering almost 10% of the.
It departments budget Jeremy, welcome to the podcast.
It’s a pleasure to be here.
And you think Watch yes.
So how did you become an IT coach?
Well, it’s it’s kind of interesting really.
So, starting off.
There’s not a lot of people that do my line of work a couple of years ago.
I think LinkedIn did a study that said, there’s only about 35,000 people in the world that are qualified for managing Hardware.
And software expenditures inside medium and large businesses.
And as my career continued to evolve, I realized there’s a lot of other companies out there that could actually just use a little bit of help.
There’s there, the teams are good, but they could do better.
And I can’t keep just helping one company at a time.
But at the same time, I’m not the kind of person or founding the kind of company that To walk in and take over everything.
So that’s where the idea of the coach came in is that are there things that you can measure that, that your team could be doing just a little bit better.
Small incremental changes for big, payoffs down the line and that’s where the idea of the Italian coach came from.
So in walking through your journey, what are you grateful for?
Um, let’s just start off with a big ones.
Honestly, just really grateful for the opportunities, to talk to people.
You know, this is a bit of a new Venture, most most organizations.
It’s either everything’s internal or they get rid of it all, and it’s a walk in take over.
There’s no middle ground, but having the opportunity to speak to people like you and I just came back from speaking having a book signing actually at Taste of it and Dayton, Ohio put on by the good Folks at technology.
The Sam Summit up in Chicago was virtual this year, but got to speak to those folks.
Those kind of opportunities.
Opportunities are really are really something.
I really appreciate those.
So you’re an IT coach, how is that different from Consulting?
Well, I remember the old joke about con and insulting people and that’s what a consultant does.
Just at the same time, know the difference I think is the idea that the consultant comes in and does a very particular job.
Staff, augmentation, help desk, take over.
Design something that the organization itself doesn’t feel is high-priority enough to really want to deal with on their own.
So they want that off.
Really is what it is.
They were not doing it very well to begin with and they just want to get rid of it.
But a coach just like you would have with say a business coach or a athlete that wants to get better.
It’s not that you’re going to ask the coach to perform for you in the world cup or stand in front.
It stand in your place when you’re delivering your big silly GUI and Court, or in front of the camera.
This is person is going to sit down with you and say, look, here’s what I see you doing.
And here’s the common mistakes, or the common missed opportunities that you could do better, and then you get a double whammy paid off.
First, the problem gets solved.
I mean, let’s face it.
Nobody’s going to hire a coach if they think they’re doing it.
Right, but the second thing is that when you’re in a large organization, you’re dealing with a team that team gets the benefit of somebody that has gone through.
The wringer has seen, the horror stories has made the mistakes already and knows really where the lions are, and can help guide the team through these.
Incremental improvements and and learning events.
Let’s call them.
And improve themselves without all that pain and suffering, that the coach had to go through.
So so you get that extra in then that means that the team can be focused on what they’re doing and doesn’t have to worry about jetting off to a conference and sitting through eight hours of classes.
And hoping they pass a test and then coming back and having to read urge the tape all of this.
When their email has exploded in the meantime in Dad, you’ve got somebody that is right there in the mix.
Seeing what’s going on.
What’s right, what’s wrong?
What can you improve?
What do you need to keep doing?
And then get that whole team onto a footing that can then deliver what the asset management process is supposed to do.
So for the beginners out there, those that aren’t that familiar with it, or haven’t worked in it before.
What is asset management.
And why is that important?
So asset management is the it’s a subset of What’s called the service management aspect of it.
There’s a for if you’re coming in completely unknown.
There is an idea called the information technology infrastructure Library.
It’s a best business practice.
It’s usually referred to as I tell and it’s a best business practice activity on, how do it departments organize themselves.
So they can deliver.
The necessary services to businesses to do their business, whether it’s baking cookies or building Towers or flying airplanes.
What have you?
There’s key processes that happen over and over again and asset management is in that Service delivery activity.
So what do you mean by assets?
Assets are whatever the company is spending money on.
In order to do the work.
So these are from a 19 point of view.
These are the bits of hardware and software that make up the Computing environment for the organization.
So laptops desktops, the routers that wire everything to the servers that pass software that requires the purchase of use rights and licenses.
In order to do whatever it is that you want to do.
Now where item becomes important is that this stuff’s expensive and you can’t keep just feeding the Beast over and over again.
You’ve got to get some controls.
So Asset Management then works on seeing trying to detect opportunities to either lessen, the impact of the cost, or improve the utility that’s in those particular doohickeys that And up by, right?
So think of like, I like to talk to you in Architecture Firm, right?
They need some really Ripper Hardware in order to do all the modeling, for the buildings and the stresses and the the the textures in order to make the presentations proper.
And they might be able to use that hardware for maybe in three years and then they’re going to have to replace it with something new in order to run the next latest and greatest software to keep up with what’s going on.
Well, what do you do with that piece of Hardware?
Do you get rid of it?
I mean, it’s still perfectly good computer and an asset manager would say hey for the first three years we’re going to use these things as modelers and heavy duty.
Workstations after that.
Well, we can put them at the front desk and let them just sit there and do scheduling and work with the receptionist or the HR folks can use these devices for another three or four years because what are they doing?
They’re just inputting data into crms and measuring HR impacts in the like, so a computer that would normally have to be only three years useful.
Now becomes six.
And then that cost opportunity gets extended out.
So the company can spend more on doing its business than it is, just buying it stuff.
So you’re you’re the author of rethinking Information, Technology Asset Management, who’s this book for, and how can it help business owners?
So this is what the book itself is for it, managers.
And the folks that are in charge of the it budget inside medium and large organizations.
Those are the folks that are the are the ones that are under the pressure to keep delivering the services.
You’ve got to keep the lights on in the wheels turning But yet the same time, you got to keep it within budget and you can’t be spending, you know, everything, the entire bankroll on the latest and greatest software or even worse.
Getting caught in a penalty after a software audit, that then eats up a whole bunch of money that you and the organization don’t have.
So it’s those folks that at are looking at that are worried about it costs and it spend and how do you get a good grip on controlling those spend?
That’s who this book is for.
So, how do you help without Asset Management Roi?
So when it comes to the return on investment, which I think you mean by Roi, right?
Let’s yeah, you’re a little level set.
How does return on investment work?
Well, My book, we actually borrow very heavily from study that Gartner made back in 2016, where they described a asset management system really needs to focus on three areas.
One is the opportunity for recycling machines and software.
So how do you know when something isn’t the is No longer needed in its current state.
How do you get that?
And make sure that you can use it again and not by something else?
So that’s the first step is interrupting that net new purchase with stuff.
You’ve already got.
The second piece is finding opportunities to lessen, the overall cost of each individual Thing.
By making sure its feature set matches its demand.
And what do I mean by this?
I like to pick on Adobe Acrobat.
There’s three different flavors of acrobat additions.
There’s the professional which allows you to do all kinds of crazy stuff with a PDF, turn it back into a Word document, turn it into text, rip Pages out at pages in do Digital Services, yada yada.
I mean, great stuff, right?
And then there’s your standard piece, which is Not all those bells and whistles, but you can do some manipulation and such and then there’s the reader which just does that.
The reader is free.
You get to look at a PDF document.
That’s all it does and that’s great.
How many organizations deploy the really expensive all feature set?
Adobe Acrobat professional and never use all the features.
So that’s the second step.
If you don’t need acrobat, professional then don’t buy it.
Maybe standard Works.
Maybe you only need the reader and be done with it.
Or is there a complete competitor who can do the same feature sets?
For lass, that’s the second step.
The third step, and I kind of alluded to this earlier is pushing back on software audits.
So when you are and people ask me about, you know, how big do you need to be to start worrying about this?
The floor is about 500 employees or greater.
That’s the usual entry point for Microsoft’s Enterprise.
Agreements oracle’s whatever they call it.
ET La, I think is what Adobe calls.
There’s Autodesk has their own thing, but they’ve always been doing their own thing.
But I digress when you’re buying that much software, the software Publishers will offer you a price break in order to get you into their ecosystem.
Keep you there.
Try to keep you happy, right?
All is that in order.
One of the things is that they will give you full unfettered access to their entire software portfolio.
Under the idea that hey, you know, this is part of the service that you can have a volume license key that will unlock all the software and you can automate the installations, and then broadcast this out to all the people in your environment and that’ll be Right, you just keep it under control and hope that nobody mentions that key or, you know, passes it there buddy, or it gets out in the while because then you’re on the hook.
And so, once a year give or take these software, Publishers will ask for an audit, and will come in and say, hey, we think you were abusing your rights.
You’re abusing our intellectual property.
We want to see how much you’re using in your environment.
And if they are caught using more than you’ve paid for then you get a penalty.
So not only do you have to buy that, lice the licenses, that your found in arrears.
You usually lose your discount, so that nice pretty discount that you’re used to paying goes away.
You have to pay the MSRP plus a penalty because we don’t like you.
And then all of this other tack on that can spiral into sometimes.
Millions of dollars that you as the person that’s in, charge of the, it budget might not have, might not have been expecting and there have been cases where those penalties have resulted in layoffs, or I’m sorry to say resume generating events and that certainly, you know, just feeds into that idea that I T has this runaway cost in order to do so.
Those are the three things again and I apologize for taking off on this.
It’s rated for passion project, but don’t do the three things that that the return on investment are really keen on Recycle and stuff that you’ve already got.
Find a new use fine.
Purpose, extend the life, make sure that the stuff you’re buying actually fits the purpose that is being applied for, and then having a good data narrative, pushback on the software audits.
So that you are not unjustly or unduly penalized for stuff that you didn’t, you don’t need to pay for.
So what are some of your clients success stories?
That’s the sign of a good asset manager.
There’s always horror stories.
He’s so let me tell you.
Let me tell you about one.
Just happened a couple of weeks ago, aircraft manufacturer.
I don’t want to say which one because I don’t want to get them into trouble.
But this is a situation where we found a, they brought us in to help with their software Asset Management.
They were there, having trouble getting a grip on what of they bought and what it’s actually out in the environment.
Long story short, a product from Microsoft called project server.
Ended up getting integrated into their SharePoint server Master image.
So every time that they needed to spin up a new SharePoint site project server came along with it.
Now project server is a bit of a niche thing.
SharePoint is file server.
It’s, you know, if you’re familiar with that product, it does everything from Soup To Nuts, you want to display pictures, hold files, control access.
You name it?
The trouble is that they weren’t using SharePoint or I’m sorry, they weren’t using project server.
They were using SharePoint.
Everybody had access to SharePoint.
But only a handful of people in the project management office really needed project and they were using the cloud to coordinate all of their work.
So, we showed the results, all 50 servers have this installed activated and running.
So you would think the penalty would be MSRP is about 6,000 dollars per instance, x 50 amp.
So that’s you know, half million dollars.
Well, it’s not big deal.
We can handle that.
Well the trouble is, if an auditor would catch this, they wouldn’t say, well, it’s just the server’s.
There’s also a component called a client access license, which is the permission to take you as a To see all the data that’s contained in that server.
Remember what I said about the project management office being the only people that really use this thing.
Anyway, well, they had client access.
Licenses SharePoint needs to have a client access license as well and the organization had bought 20,000 client access licenses so that all of their employees could interact with SharePoint my life.
Looked at him and said, that’s the issue.
Is that Microsoft is going to say it’s running on all of these servers.
Everybody has access to those servers.
We’re have to assume that everybody would have access to the SharePoint server as well or no have access to the project server as well as the SharePoint server.
Those client access licenses are $150.
I need a user times 20,000.
Three and a half million dollars.
That’s what we avoided.
So those are the kind of things that a good asset managers able to spot.
One other case, very similar was with a hospital group that had electronic medical record Farm supporting their that database ran into a resource crunch happens all the time.
Just servers, not happy and the database was Just slow down and in a hospital environment, slowing down your electronic medical.
Records could get somebody killed.
We will not find but so we get the scenario, the sysadmin.
Notified to the issue, grab ahold of two servers, pulled them off that farm in.
Put them into the into a different farm.
That wasn’t having a resource crunch.
Smoothed out service was restored.
Everything went okay.
The trouble is the way.
The medical record service was designed uses Microsoft biztalk to get the different databases to communicate with each other.
Biztalk is licensed by the hardware stack.
So the entire server Farm that’s running that EMR is license for biztalk.
That one server farm that those two servers went over to to alleviate.
The resource crunch was an instant wasn’t licensed for biztalk, even though those two virtual machines are running it, that would have been a five million dollar penalty had Microsoft discovered it before we did 30 minutes conversation with the sysadmin home cried.
We need to fix this and it’s a simple matter of bringing those two servers back over and Another candidate that could live over on that backup server until we had the resource issue, salt.
That was it.
That was all that it took.
But how often in IIT does the patch become the facts.
And that’s how it departments get themselves into trouble, and then get slapped with these horrendously large fines.
So walking through your journey.
What what’s there?
The truth is gotten you this far in your journey.
I want to make a snide comment about asking philosopher about the truth.
I tell you, you know, there’s there’s one thing that’s really kind of carried me on like you said and it’s the idea of better men.
Just just make try to make it so that when you punch out at the end of the day, You leave things in little bit better State than when you got there in the morning, you know, it kind of bolts into the idea of my wife likes to live by that Axiom of.
Make the next person’s job, a little bit easier.
Just, you know, that concept of job plus.
And that’s something that doesn’t just have to be done in a workspace.
You can do that anywhere, you know, the person that’s selling you your donut and coffee.
What can you do to make their job a little bit easier?
Say, Thank you, doesn’t cost you anything.
We have a little bit extra tip that might cost you something, but sometimes that’s all it takes.
And if more people did that, we’d be in a much better spot.
Yeah, so if you’re able to give yourself one piece of advice, when you first started out, what would it be?
Don’t do it.
Ha ha, ha.
No, it’s yeah, you know, that’s the question.
I don’t think I spent a lot of time trying to think about beforehand.
What would I warn myself about?
I tell you the When you work for yourself, your boss is a jerk.
And I don’t think you realize that when you’re watching, you know, you get this idea that, oh, it’s gonna be great.
I’m Gonna Be My Own Boss.
I’m gonna set my own hours.
I’m gonna you know, I can tell a customer if I don’t like him out of here, you know, but then you wake up at night and like, 3:00 in the morning.
It’s like, oh my gosh, that customer I just said, I don’t have another one to back them up.
How am I going to feed?
My kids only make my mortgage.
How am I going to take care of it?
And then the wheels start turning and you can’t sleep, right?
I had one of my favorite uncle’s passed away a couple of years ago, but ran a very successful dental practice here in Cincinnati, Ohio and he taught me a lot about efficiency.
He was the only knowledge holder.
He was the only dentist but he had plenty of dental hygienists and a really good office manager.
I mean, Tracy was one of the best when she was in her prime.
And he was able to run his business, very well.
Getting patients in, getting Patients Out, had very high satisfaction scores from his patients and I asked him as I was starting off on my own Journey about that.
It’s like, you know, so, you know, what, kind of what kind of advice you could gave me and, and we talked a lot about that.
That last minute Panic any many and then I asked him, it’s like, so does the three am Panic about the next client ever go?
He’s like I’ve been doing this for 40 years, has it yet.
I’m not happy to hear that news.
No, I wish I had listened to him a little bit closer about that because, you know, that that kind of worried comes in and when you’re, you know, you’ve got kids to feed and colleges to pay for and in all this this, you know, your personal life to leave.
Even when you’re running the passion project.
You still worried about that, that worry goes away.
That’s one of the benefits of having being an employee’s that the boss.
Hey, you worry about it.
Do I have to worry about where payrolls coming from?
No, you just have to pay me.
Yeah, when your, when your milk company.
Nah, it’s it’s all you.
So, you know, vacation.
I might just work in the next thing, you know, three, four years ago by never taking a day off.
Yeah, don’t do that.
Yeah, you and I were talking a little bit about that.
How important is to rest.
Give me a.
Give your time, you know, like actually take a weekend and yeah and rest so that you can work really hard.
Because that’s where the Big Ideas come from write that next inspiration.
It’s not when you’re in the moment your heads down dealing with an angry customer.
It’s when you’re in the shower.
And or you’re taking a walk or, you know, nobody ever says.
Yeah, it was being on this and also, and I had this brilliant idea.
No, never happens.
It’s always doing something mundane when your brain gets to take a break and then it’s like, hey inspiration.
It’s yeah, you’ve got to take that time.
And and I, I certainly have to work very hard at making.
Sure I take that time, and I think that’s My uncle was was giving me the finger wag about.
You’ve got to take that time.
So if there are people that are listening, that would love to contact you and possibly work with you.
What’s the best way to do that?
Yes, so we just relaunched my website this week, www, dot burger consulting.com.
And yes, and you can find me there.
Otherwise, you’ll find my book at Amazon or Barnes.
Noble or wherever you prefer to get your your trade or or ebook blocks.
Just look for me, Jeremy Berger, Boe, our ger.
It’s that crazy German spelling.
And then I also tour the country talking at symposiums about hardware and software Asset Management best practices.
So pay attention to my blog and you might see me in person.
Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your expertise.
Any thank you for the invite.
Yes, and if you are listening, you want more information about our podcast.
And upcoming Jose.
You can visit a called Thrive.com.
Thank you, everyone and have a wonderful week.