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• FAST Consultancy will help deliver Microsoft’s Software Asset Management (SAM) Programme to UK businesses

Maidenhead, UK, 8th July 2008: FAST Consultancy Services, the consultancy division of FAST Ltd, the Membership organisation providing education and training programmes around software compliance to over 8,000 UK businesses, today announced an exciting new relationship with Microsoft.

FAST Consultancy has become a Certified Partner in the Microsoft SAM Programme (UK), and as a result is qualified to deliver Microsoft licence reviews to end user organisations. Having undertaken one of these reviews, companies obtain an effective licence position (ELP) for all their Microsoft applications, thereby providing security and peace of mind. Once successfully completed, organisations are issued with a certificate stating that no further Microsoft licence reviews are necessary for 12 months.

This new partnership means FAST Consultancy is now in a position to provide the best possible and most-up-to-date information and advice to members of the FAST Corporate Services programme and also non-member organisations on Microsoft licensing. Likewise, as an independent organisation, FAST Consultancy Services brings over 20 years of experience in the field of software compliance and IT asset management to the Microsoft SAM Programme (UK).

Taisha Betz, SAM Programme and Partner Manager comments on the new partnership: “Managing software assets can be a daunting task, often complex and time consuming. If you have limited resources it can be difficult to know where to start. Our structured Software Asset Management (SAM) Programme helps organisations to confidently find their way through, putting them in control of their software assets, but most importantly, it ensures they stay legal. We are delighted that FAST Consultancy is now one of our partners and we are looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship with this highly experienced organisation.”

In order to obtain Microsoft SAM Partner status, FAST Consultancy has ensured that a number of its consultants are Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCP) in SAM and have completed Microsoft UK SAM team training courses on:
 Product Identification (PID) and Proof of Licence (POL)
 Microsoft Licence Statement
 Effective Licence Position (ELP)

This is the first in a series of new supplier relationships as part of an initiative by FAST Consultancy to get closer to all the major software vendors and will help FAST Ltd to better serve the requirements of not only its members but the overall market’s best interests.

According to Phil Heap, Head of Consultancy and Membership Products and Services: “FAST Consultancy has recognised that it needs to maintain currency with its licensing knowledge and be at the forefront of licensing, keeping up to date with changing models which are being driven by technologies such as virtualisation and software-as-a-service (SaaS). The most effective way to achieve this is for FAST Consultancy to be working directly with the software vendors. Additionally because we are independent, we can give the companies we work with completely impartial advice, we’re not aligned to any one particular vendor.”

In particular, we deal with a large number of licensing queries every month, many of which are Microsoft based. Now we will be working much closer with Microsoft, we can deliver more accurate information.”

Additionally, FAST Consultancy has recently employed three new licensing advisors to further boost team expertise. Scott Waugh, Heather Garner and David Thompson have been appointed as Licensing Specialists and will provide licensing consultancy and advice to non-members of FAST as well as supporting FAST corporate members, giving licensing talks at workshops, seminars and other forums. Scott, Heather and David have many years of Microsoft licensing expertise and part of their remit will be to ensure that they keep up to date on all licensing trends and methodologies with all the major software publishers.

Further partnership announcements are expected from FAST Consultancy in the months to come.

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About FAST Consultancy Services:
FAST Consultancy Services, a division of FAST Limited, was set up to advise organisations about effective IT asset management. Through working with organisations that would like to benefit from smarter software/hardware management, FAST Consultancy Services has unrivalled experience in helping companies to reduce risks, contain costs and create sustainable, legally compliant IT environments.

About FAST Ltd:
FAST Limited is a membership organisation that provides an education, training and consulting programme to the corporate end user, using proven tools and methodologies. The FAST programme focuses on helping organisations achieve ‘best practice’ in IT and software compliance. The business supports its 2,700 members to reach and maintain The FAST Standard for Software Compliance (FSSC–1:2007), a private Standard which was developed in collaboration with BSi. The FAST Standard also addresses a significant proportion of the requirements of ISO/IEC 19770-1 the International Standard for Software Asset Management. The Federation Against Software Theft (The Federation), which aims to combat software piracy, endorses it.

The Federation, which is a not for profit organisation limited by guarantee is owned and funded by its members – software publishers, solicitors, IT resellers etc. FAST Corporate Services Ltd has a mandate from The Federation to promote the legal use of software and educate corporate UK on the issue of software compliance.



For further information:
Paula Elliott
C8 Consulting Ltd for FAST Ltd
+ 44 (0) 118 9001132
paula@c8consulting.co.uk

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