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'Best Use of Tags 2010' Contest Winner Announced

(April 19, 2010)

PISCATAWAY, NJ and SWINDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 04/19/10 -- The ITAM Review and, joint sponsors of the 'Best Use of Tags 2010' contest, are pleased to announce the contest's winner. The winner -- by a small margin -- was CA with its CA IT Client Manager and CA IT Asset Manager products.

The contest offered software asset management (SAM) tools vendors the opportunity to demonstrate the use of authoritative data provided by software identification tags to help software asset management practitioners better manage software licensing and asset management initiatives.

Software identification tags (SWID tags) record unique information about an installed software application, including its name, version, whether it's part of a bundle and more. The structure of SWID tags is specified in international standard ISO/IEC 19770-2:2009.

The contest used real world software tags included in the published Adobe CS 4 suite of products. Adobe was involved in the development of the standard and is an early adopter of software tags. The tags in the CS 4 suite were published before the 19770-2 standard was finalised in November 2009, and therefore do not comply completely with the standard, but never-the-less offer a suitable set of tags for vendor tools to process.

Four entrants -- Aspera (Germany), CA (USA), Sassafras Software (USA) and Symantec (USA) -- were provided with a set of sample tags for a number of sample computers prior to a demonstration by each entrant. Each organization also received a scenario providing context for their data analysis and reporting. The scenario was around a marketing organisation that used a combination of Adobe CS 4 products, installed both individually and as part of a suite, across both Windows and Macintosh computers. The scenario included trial versions of software, and the supplied data sets included details such as software with duplicated serial numbers.

Each entrant had one hour to present their solution to a judging panel comprising Martin Thompson, Editor of The ITAM Review, and Steve Klos, Executive Director of All competitors provided compelling demonstrations and demonstrated the significant value software identification tags provide to ITAM tools. This year, CA edged out as the winner over the second place tool from Sassafras Software because the CA solution can be implemented in production today. All of the products entered in this year's contest are worthy of evaluation by organizations evaluating SAM and ITAM tools. This is especially true of the criteria for the tool evaluations include the desire to support the future of authoritative software identification and, the desire to eventually move towards more automated software entitlement reconciliation.

"We were very impressed with the quality of all entries," said Martin. "These tools clearly demonstrate that it's possible -- today -- to work with software tags in production environments in order to automate data collection and analysis to support SAM and license management. This is great news for industry practitioners."

"It was clear in the judging process that the software identification tags provided significant value to SAM tools and it was exceptional to see how effectively all entrants used the data the tags provide," said Steve Klos. "Primary feedback from the competitors indicated that the more consistency provided by identification tag data from various manufacturers, the more the SAM tools can provide automated procedures through a rule based process -- certified tags provide the consistency and authoritative data required by these tools."

You can find further information about the contest and each contestant's entries at You can also find more information regarding technical findings for each of the contestants at

About The ITAM Review

The ITAM Review is an online community for worldwide ITAM professionals. Its mission is to provide independent industry news, reviews, resources and networking opportunities to vendors, partners, consultants and end users working in the areas of IT Asset Management, Software Asset Management and Software Licensing.

For more information, see to

About is the certification authority for software identification tags based on the ISO/IEC 19770-2:2009 standard. Formed as a non-profit organization under IEEE-ISTO, provides a shared library of software tools, technical knowledge and communications forums that decrease the costs of creating, managing and using software identification tags.'s certification process ensures tags fully conform to the specification while also ensuring that all terms used in the tag are standardized. Certified software identification tags are digitally signed and time-stamped using a certificate issued by VeriSign -- ensuring the accuracy of tag data that any third party can validate. Certified software identification tags lower the cost of software asset management for all SAM eco-system members.

All these benefits make software asset management less costly, less complex and directly support efforts that lower organizational security risk through knowledge and identification.

For more information, see

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