Norwegian licensing reseller and SAM specialist Inmeta Crayon has acquired FAST Limited.
InMeta Crayon, with headquarters in Oslo, has presence in Northern Europe, Germany, France and the Middle East. The team has over 600 employees, over 10% of which are said to be ‘SAM Experts’. The company provides licensing, SAM services and consulting and claim that ‘SAM is key to our go to market strategy’.
Jens Rugseth, CEO of Inmeta Crayon stated the acquisition of FAST Limited represented both an entrance to the UK market and access to a proprietary process framework which they hope to replicate across other European subsidiaries.
When asked about the role of independence with SAM partners, since Inmeta Crayon are a Microsoft LAR and provide license fulfilment. Jens argued that only those who know the day-to-day working practices of software publishers can know the intricacies of licensing and those companies with close working relationships with the publishers can provide the best advice.
I’m not entirely convinced by this argument. I agree that LARS and other licensing resellers usually have excellent and unrivalled licensing knowledge, but they also receive bonuses and rebates from the licensing providers they are supposed to be advising clients with. Whilst I respect the skills and palate of the fox, I don’t necessarily want him running the hen house.
(One way to address this potential conflict of interest is to offset one LAR against another, one or more to supply licensing and another LAR to provide SAM services.)
This acquisition represents a great step forward in the growth of the SAM market in Europe – but I believe there is still a place for a European wide truly independent SAM provider for those clients looking for global reach.
FAST Limited is a commercial operation providing ‘Support with software, education, consulting and managed services’ – not to be confused with The Federation Against Software Theft the not for profit. It was not definitive whether Inmeta Crayon will continue to use the FAST brand to promote their SAM services – my personal view is that it creates more grief than benefit.
In separate but related news; Alex Hilton, formerly of the Microsoft UK Anti-Piracy and FrontRange Solutions, has recently joined FAST (The Federation not for profit) as Chief Executive.