July 24, 2011

How Software Asset Management Can Help Your Business

business asset management softwareIt is generally a good idea for any business that owns software to have a Software Asset Management programme in place. This procedure can help the company identify what software it has and how many computers are using it, discover whether this software is being used efficiently and ensure that they have the proper licences and documentation. It is one of the most effective and reliable ways to keep track of software and it has many advantages for a business. These include:

Avoidance of expensive fines and possible criminal liability

Almost every company will face a software audit at some time during its existence. If illegal software is found, the guilty parties could face high fines and tremendous damage to their reputation. A Software Asset Management programme helps businesses avoid these problems by ensuring that they understand their software's terms of use and are compliant with all licensing conditions. With this process in place, the firm will be able to confidently respond to any questions the auditor asks and emerge from the audit unscathed.

Cost savings

A Software Asset Management programme can save a business as much as 30 per cent after just year one and 5 to 10 per cent every following year for five years. This technique can save money in a wide variety of ways beyond just helping the company avoid fines for illegal software. It ensures that all licences are being used to their fullest extent, helps the company make the most of available volume discounts for future licences and assists with creating an effective software budget.

More up-to-date software

When a company is using obsolete software, it costs money and hurts productivity. Software Asset Management can help a firm gauge which software is no longer useful for their business and upgrade or change it where necessary. It can also identify which software titles have proven the most valuable to the company so that they can be put to wider use.

Increased productivity

When employees are using different versions of software, it can be difficult to share files or communicate effectively. Often business owners are unaware that this is happening. Software Asset Management helps ensure that software is compatible across the company, thus creating a more constructive work environment and more content employees. In addition, this programme can help make certain that employees are using their user manuals effectively and utilising available product support and this also increases productivity.

Improved security

Unauthorized software and dangerous downloads can create a serious security issue for businesses. Often, this software contains viruses and spyware that can compromise a company's privacy and financial safety or damage computers and even whole networks. With a Software Asset Management programme in place, employees will not unknowingly put these programmes on their computer. Not only does this make the network more secure, but it reduces the need for time-consuming and costly technical support.

Better reputation for your business

People who are sure that the company they work for is not misusing software tend to have more confidence in that company. Likewise, other businesses feel more comfortable working with companies that are fully compliant with all legal conditions of their software. A Software Asset Management programme creates this situation for your company and it also eliminates circumstances where you might damage your good name by unknowingly giving a virus to business partners or clients due to unsafe software.
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July 20, 2011

When to Consider Settlements on Your Debts

When you are in a situation where your income is much lower than your debts, as many people are finding themselves in, it can be a very trying time in your life. There are many people in this situation since the financial crisis only a few years ago. The economy might be improving, but the fact remains, there are many people who do not have the income they once used to. It was only a few years ago banks and other loans providers were handing out unsecured loans and other cash loans very easily. If you are in a situation where you cannot afford your debts, it is time to try and settle on them. Once you begin to default on any unsecured loan, it will not be long before a debt collection agency has taken over your debt. Your loans provider will only contact you a few times before they hand over your debt to a collections company. They are not in the business of chasing after people to get their money back.

                          Debt settlement
  • Debt Consolidation. If you have a number of cash loans, credit cards and store cards, debt consolidation should be your first option. Getting a longer term loan to pay off all of your smaller loans and credit cards is the first choice you should consider if you are finding yourself in difficulty making all of those small payments and the large amounts of interest they are accruing. If you are only making the minimal payments each month, you will find that you are not even reducing the balance that you owe. There are only two ways to deal with a number of smaller debts, either pay them all off in full by yourself, or get a larger loan to pay them all off and reduce your total debt. The amount might be the same, but the interest on those smaller amounts will be adding up to a considerable amount. If you cannot afford or cannot find a provider that will help you with a larger loan to consolidate your debts, it is highly likely you are going to find yourself in a situation where you start defaulting on your debts.
  • Understanding Debt Collection Agencies. Debt collection agencies, in most cases, will have purchased your debt for a very small amount compared with the original amount you owe. This will change depending on the economy or the region you live in. You should understand that they are making money on the fact that they purchased your debt at less than 20% of what it originally was. If you have a number of smaller debts, such as with several credit cards, cash loans and store cards, you could soon find yourself with a number of debt collections agencies chasing you. This will be a very uncomfortable situation.
  • Advise You Want to Settle. When you are sure you have the debt, and you have already defaulted on it for at least 90 days, it will normally be in the hands of a debt collection agency. The bank or loans provider has nothing more to do with you. You should not run or hide from the debt collections agency, or agencies, that are trying to get the repayments from you. It is time to negotiate. You should ask for everything in writing, and you should communicate everything with registered mail to the debt collections agencies. The best thing to do is to state to them, you are in extreme hardship, and initially make the lowest offer possible. This process is going to take some time. You cannot expect to settle on a debt very fast, unless you can pay the amount of the debt that you owe. To get a much lower settlement is going to take some time.
A debt collection agency will be very assertive once you have advised them, you want to make a settlement. If they know you are in hardship, they will try to get the most out of you as soon as possible. If they try to sue you, and you fall into bankruptcy, they know there will be little chance of them getting anything at all. You will have to take your time, and you can expect this to be a very trying time of your life. Getting good settlements at the lowest possible amounts is not an easy process. It is advised you get professional and legal advice before stating you are ready to do this.
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