Why I switched from IBM to B-lay

After having worked for IBM Software Group Lab Services for almost 7 years, I switched to B-lay in December last year. Perhaps a striking step for some: why would you trade one of the largest software vendors in the world for a relatively small service provider in the field of license management?

Let me be honest: a few years ago, I did not expect to ever end up working in software license management. But as a techie and fan of complex issues, I always thought: how difficult can license management be? That thought was reinforced by the rise of cloud solutions, which I was building daily at IBM, and the associated subscriptions. The conversations with Mark, Patrick and the rest of the team, however, quickly convinced me of the challenges that make the domain of managing software licenses interesting.

The challenges put in practice

I now also notice that in day to day work life. Our predominantly large, international clients often have a huge licensing puzzle. Sometimes, some companies still have software products from 2000 in use, combine this with new SaaS solutions in their own private cloud and they are faced with all sorts of different contractual agreements that they have to meet. We then work with data from different sources, compare everything and check whether the customer is compliant with his software contracts. If not, then we help him to become compliant. It is very dynamic work and much more interesting and complex than I could have anticipated a few years ago.

Then versus now

A big advantage compared to my previous job is that the projects I am currently working on have a clearer final goal. Instead of the long-running cloud implementation processes at IBM, which can sometimes take years, I now help customers solve a tangible problem. I like it a lot. Moreover, as with IBM, I still work for cool, international clients – only at a smaller employer that has no shareholders. I am very happy about that. The atmosphere is very open and I have really settled in nicely here.

Of course, my knowledge of IBM products also comes in handy in this line of work. For example, I’m now helping several clients to implement ILMT – a helpful license tool from IBM that makes the IT environment much more flexible by enabling you to benefit from the opportunities offered by virtualization. Yet I see that many organizations are still struggling with ILMT. So, in a next article I will give some useful tips!

If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to contact me via randy.bal@b-lay.com.