By Steffani Lomax
This fall I attended the two largest IT Asset Management (ITAM) industry conferences – the Gartner IT Financial, Procurement and Asset Management Summit and the IAITAM 2012 Annual Conference and Exhibition. Often times organizations must choose between these conferences because they do not have the available budget or the time to attend both events. If your organization is in this position, here are some comparisons that will help you decide which event will best meet your needs.
Gartner IT Financial, Procurement and Asset Management Summit
This conference is held in early fall and took place this year in Orlando, FL at the Gaylord Palms Resort. Because Gartner combines three related professions at this event, the conference attracts a variety of attendees from VPs and Directors of Finance, to Procurement and IT Asset Managers and practitioners. Both executive leaders and staff attend this conference which presents a good opportunity for networking with peers. Executive leaders in many organizations are responsible for more than IT Asset Management and can benefit from attending and sending staff members to cover several areas of focus in one conference. There is a Solution Showcase for vendors; this year, however, there were a small number of vendors exhibiting, perhaps due to the high fees for sponsorship and booths. Given this scenario, end-users received more personalized attention from a smaller number of vendors, which benefited those companies seeking information on products and services to enhance their ITAM programs.
At Gartner conferences, most of the speaking sessions are delivered by Gartner analysts who are very knowledgeable on their specific industry. Here were some of the IT Asset Management topics at this year’s summit:
· Preparing for Software Audits
· Negotiating with IBM, Oracle and Microsoft
· IT Asset Disposition
· ITAM Tools
· ITAM and BYOD
· ITAM and Virtualization
· Starting an ITAM program
The sessions were well-done and content-rich. There was quite a bit of redundancy on topics like software audits and negotiations. Most attendees seemed pleased with the overall quality of the conference.
To conclude, if you are interested in hearing about current industry trends and future predictions, ITAM strategies and networking with leaders in your field, the Gartner summit is a solid choice.
Gartner holds the same conference in Europe, which is very beneficial to companies with a global footprint.
IAITAM 2012 Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE)
This year marked the 10th anniversary of IAITAM, the International Association of IT Asset Managers. I have attended this conference six times and this was the best so far from the perspective of variety of session topics, end-user attendance and vendor participation. The conference took place at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Palm Springs, CA. It has grown substantially over the years and this event boasted the highest level of energy and turnout that I’ve seen.
What is unique about this conference compared to Gartner is that all the sessions are presented by either end-user organizations, vendors or a combination of the two. For IT Asset Managers wanting to hear from their peers, this is the perfect venue. Many people attend this event primarily for ITAM education, as there are CSAM and CHAMP certification classes for two days leading up to the conference. Additionally, the vendor exhibition hall was busy with more than 60 exhibitors – twice the number as the Gartner event. This was useful for organizations in search of tools and services to enhance their ITAM initiatives.
Here were some of the session topics at the event:
· ITAM Best Practices
· SAM Best Practices
· Managing Software Licenses in the Cloud
· IT Asset Disposition
· IT Asset Corporate Donation Programs
· Gaining Buy-In for ITAM
· Negotiating Software Contracts
· Cutting Software License and Support Costs
· Software Licensing “Gotchas”
· Mobile IT Asset Applications and ROI
· Virtualization Licensing Impact
· ITAM/SAM Tools
· BYOD Considerations
· Customer Case Studies
To conclude, if you are interested in learning from peers and leading vendors in IT Asset Management, the IAITAM Annual Conference and Exhibition is a great choice.
Next year, IAITAM will host two conference events: one in Houston, TX on April 16-18, and the second one in St. Petersburg, FL on October 15-17, 2013.