You Win: CleanSlate is Now an IBM Platinum Partner.

You Win: CleanSlate is Now an IBM Platinum Partner.

Take a look at any area of human endeavor, from the Olympics to album sales to fine wines. You’ll find the distinction of platinum reserved for the rarest of achievements.

That’s why we’re so pleased to announce that CleanSlate is an IBM Platinum Partner. Because Platinum Partner status means CleanSlate will be able to offer platinum-level advantages to our current and future clients, while continuing to provide the expertise and dedication to quality that got us here in the first place.

As a CleanSlate client, you’ll now enjoy easier access to innovation across the IT continuum, as well as enhanced technical support and more innovative IBM financing solutions. You’ll also benefit from our ability to more fully leverage IBM innovations—like BigFix for systems management and security, or the Smarter Planet initiative for harnessing the potential of complex systems—as quickly as they become available.

Platinum Partner distinction offers us increased access to IBM product development through team members and senior management. We use this access to gain greater insight into what’s next in our industry, and to keep IBM in touch with our clients’ needs and concerns.

Platinum Partner is the highest level of the IBM PartnerWorld program. But we’re not resting on our laurels. We’re now working to increase our competencies across IBM’s array of technologies and services, so that we can continue to provide uniquely innovative solutions for our clients.

We couldn’t be prouder of the teamwork and ingenuity this status represents. We’ve always worked hard to help you get the most out of your IT investment and maximize your success. And we’ve tried just as hard to earn your satisfaction and loyalty. Becoming a Platinum Partner represents all of this and more, and gives us the tools we need to take you further.

We can’t think of a prize that shines more brightly than that.

Contact us to hear more about the innovative solutions CleanSlate can provide as an IBM Platinum Partner, or any of our comprehensive technology solutions.

Trip Report: IBM InterConnect 2017

Trip Report: IBM InterConnect 2017

IBM InterConnect is one of the industry’s premier Cloud conferences, and several of us from CleanSlate had the chance to attend this year’s event in Las Vegas. We had a great time—but more important, we learned a lot about new solutions and innovations that will help us be an even smarter, more versatile company.

With hundreds of different presentations and open labs for hands-on experience, InterConnect can be a little intimidating without a focus. Our team spent most of our time learning about security and asset management, which meant attending lots of discussions and labs about IBM’s BigFix platform. We went to sessions covering topics like QRadar, Detect, and Resilient that were full of information about useful ways these applications can work together for a seamless BigFix experience.

Since there’s so much going on at InterConnect, it’s impossible to see everything. But a great thing about the conference is that IBM makes the majority of the lectures and materials available for attendees right on their website, so you’ll never miss a second of content. For many people, access to this huge library of knowledge is worth the price of admission alone.

One of the best things for us about the InterConnect conference is the networking opportunities. We got to meet all kinds of people this year, many who could closely relate to our business and the challenges we face. We were also fortunate to meet with IBM product development team members and senior management members—a great benefit CleanSlate enjoys as an IBM Platinum Partner. These connections are incredibly valuable to our business, and leveraging them effectively is a big reason we have so much insight into what’s going on in our industry.

The chance to speak with product developers in particular is important to us because it’s a rare opportunity to talk directly with the people responsible for creating the applications we use every day. We love that they listen to feedback from us and our peers, because they integrate it into future product development—and that can make our lives a lot easier.

While we went to lots of panel discussions, we also helped host one: Our own Chris Konow spoke about how BigFix can help with software audits and contract negotiations. It was a well-attended talk, and we’re happy we could contribute some of our own knowledge to help businesses protect themselves against costly audits and unnecessary software purchases.

If you work in IT and want to learn all the latest and greatest information about Cloud technology, you can’t afford to miss the InterConnect conference. The endless networking opportunities and wealth of information are useful for anyone in this business—and the potential to help influence future IBM product development is a bonus that you probably won’t find anywhere else.

If you’re interested in finding out more about all the useful stuff we learned at InterConnect 2017, be sure to contact us. We’d love to share our knowledge with you!

The four things you need to know about software compliance.

The four things you need to know about software compliance.

It’s no mystery that IBM software licensing and audits can be complicated. Chances are good that if you’re like many of the companies I’ve worked with over the years, you don’t have the right software asset management (SAM) strategy in place.

Unfortunately, most companies don’t have a strong understanding of software compliance—or the repercussions of a software audit. That’s why I’ve put together a quick reference guide to help you get up to speed with what you need to know about IBM software compliance and software audits.

You’re going to get audited. If your company uses IBM software licenses—no matter if you’re a Fortune 500 organization or a mom-and-pop business—you will almost definitely be audited at some point. It’s impossible to say when it might happen, but you’ve got to be ready.

Most companies don’t have the proper controls and plan in place to deal with an audit. And this almost always leads to findings that will cost your business a settlement. Lucky for you, you can avoid any surprises with proper IBM ILMT integration, and an experienced team of IT professionals on your side.

Compliance is your responsibility. I’ve been in this business a long time, but it’s still surprising how many companies don’t understand that IBM has absolutely no liability when it comes to compliance. In fact, there’s a clause in just about every software contract that gives the software vendor the right to come in and audit at any time. That makes it critically important for your organization to implement the right policies and procedures to maintain compliance—so if you haven’t taken ownership of your compliance plan, now’s the time!

Failure or neglect can cost you big bucks. The financial penalties for non-compliance can be significant because improper use of software licenses will cost your company in two different ways.

The first is that you’ll have to pay the upfront purchase/initial licensing cost. There are maintenance fees associated with this, too. And these fees will need to be paid retroactively if you aren’t compliant. The second way improper license use will cost you is through software consumption. If you’re using more units of the software than you’re licensed for, you’ll have to pay for these as well. And that gets expensive.

Successful compliance is a blend of people, processes, and tools. There are literally 100+ licensing metrics for IBM. There are even more when you extend these metrics to other vendors. With the complexity of these licenses, proper use of metrics tools becomes important—and using them the right way means more than just putting them in place.

You’ve got to make sure you know how to use them, how to report properly, and how to stay consistent with reporting. Not to mention, you’ve got to always be ready for an inevitable audit. This means a seamless integration with your staff, making sure they’ve got the tools they need to succeed, and creating a plan for the process.

Many companies don’t have the necessary expertise, time, or manpower to devote to software compliance. This is unfortunate, because it’s going to cost them in the long run. But if you have a partner like CleanSlate, you won’t have to worry about compliance issues. We’re recognized as an IBM Gold Business Partner because we get this stuff. We’ve worked with more than 1,000 IBM customers on compliance issues for more than a decade.

Interested in seeing how we can help your business overcome the challenges and risks of IBM software compliance? Get in touch with us to find out how.

 

IBM InterConnect 2017 is almost here. Are you ready?

IBM InterConnect 2017 is almost here. Are you ready?

If you’re interested in cloud technology and the countless ways it’s changing the way business works across the world, you definitely won’t want to miss InterConnect 2017. It’s one of IBM’s premier conferences, and this year’s event is packed with useful speakers and events designed to give you the latest industry expertise about all things Cloud.

InterConnect 2017 will have great resources for all sorts of organizations—especially those that work in areas like financial services, health care, energy, manufacturing, telecommunication, and transportation. But just about any type of company can realize huge benefits from optimal Cloud integration.

Speakers at InterConnect 2017 include world-famous actors, CEOs, former federal intelligence officers, technology luminaries, and many more who will cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Bluemix
  • Hybrid
  • Security
  • Internet of Things
  • Cloud for Industries
  • Cloud Managed Services
  • Digital Transformation
  • Watson

If you attend this year’s conference, you’ll get an added bonus: the opportunity to see our very own Chris Konow host a panel discussion entitled How IBM BigFix Can Help Your Company Get Ready for Software Audits and Contract Negotiations. Chris’s talk is happening Wednesday, March 22, 9 a.m., at Mandalay Bay South, Level 3 – Jasmine G. It’ll be full of insight about how your business can save money and streamline the process when going through a software audit. You won’t want to miss it!

If you want to rub elbows with global influencers, technical experts, and the people behind some of the world’s most exciting startups, you can’t miss InterConnect 2017. The event will be held March 19-23 at the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay Hotels in Las Vegas, NV. If you don’t have tickets yet or want more information, check out the InterConnect 2017 website. See you there!