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ICPAC and Microsoft Cyprus seminar on Software Asset Management (SAM)

14/12/2011 17:20
The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus (ICPAC) organized a seminar entitled “SAM more savings through technology” that was presented by Microsoft Cyprus on November 10th, at the Cleopatra hotel in Nicosia.The purpose was to help Auditors and Chief Financial Officers realize how the proper management of computer software can ensure license compliance, reduce risk and increase IT savings.

During the seminar, the notion of “Software Asset Management (SAM)” was introduced, as a business process that provides a system for the effective management and protection of software assets within any organization. Mr. Eugene Danilov, Business Development Manager, Microsoft Central and Eastern Europe Multi-Country Region, pointed out why SAM is important in terms of controlling costs and business risks andin optimizing existing software investments.

Mrs. Maria Kyriacou, former Member of Parliament and former Registrar of Companies, Advocate/ Partner in Andreas Neocleous and Co LLC Law Firm, pointed out the importance of each and every organization to include a SAM process within their company and feels that computer software should be treated just as any other company asset by the Auditors during their annual financial reviews towards local companies. In her own words: “Mandatory audits will serve to ensure every organization’s corporate governance as well as limit any legal liability caused by Intellectual Property Rights violations”.

Furthermore, Mr. AchilleasDemetriades, Lawyer of Business Software Alliance (BSA) in Cyprus, pointed out the liability of companies in properly managing their computer software in order to avoid legal risks associated with infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, as stipulated in the Cyprus Copyright Law. Directors of companies found using unauthorized software could be charged under section 14 of the said Law, which sets a fine not exceeding 51,241 EUR or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 years, or both, for the first offence. In his own words: “I cannot understand why a software audit is not included in the annual audit process”. Furthermore he mentioned that “Just like financial audits give companies a clear understanding of their financial state, software audits will help provide a clear understanding of the software programs deployed in their organization and also realize what steps need to be taken in order to become more competitive by improving their IT processes”.

Mr. Andrea Musazzi, Partner, Contract Risk and Compliance Services Lead in Deloitte Italy, mentioned how software reviews are conducted by their dedicated department in Deloitte.

The second half of the seminar provided a basic understanding of the new IT notion “Cloud Computing”, by Microsoft Cyprus employees Mr. Evangelos Hadjichristodoulou and Mrs. Andry Papalexis. During their session, it was mentioned which types of software and infrastructure can be transferred online and what this new service means in terms of cost, efficiency and security.

Finally, the seminar included a section by Mr. Daniel Nevado, Senior Financial Controller of Microsoft Central and Eastern Europe Multi-Country Region, on how Finance is conducted in Microsoft, and advised CFO’s on how to enhance the decision making process within their organization by increasing the business insight through the use of their existing IT infrastructure.