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Why a SAM Tool is not enough to operate an effective SAM Program
ISAMJan 25, 2023 11:50:00 AM2 min read

Why a SAM Tool is not enough to operate an effective SAM Program

Congratulations! You have been given responsibility for your company's Software Asset Management (SAM) practice or received approval to hire a software asset manager. So, what’s the first order of business while handling these systems?

A Software Asset Management tool is used to understand the state of your hardware, software, and cloud environments. It is a key part of your organization's strategy, but there are many factors to consider when reviewing SAM tools such as feature, function, and price. When being responsible for these systems ask yourself, how does a SAM tool fit into your company’s architectural strategy? Will your CIO-CEO approve of a Software Asset Management tool purchase if they have already invested in Service Now, or another enterprise solution that has asset management functionality?  

CIOs are responsible for a myriad of tools and many companies lack an ‘architectural blueprint’ that maps technology to business needs. Introducing a standalone Software Asset Management tool can help develop this blueprint. A SAM program is often a hard, sell but a managed service provider may be able to utilize existing technology or provide their own IP as part of the service, thus avoiding the need to purchase standalone tools.


If you do select a Software Asset Management tool, consider the “3 E’s first:

  • Easy to install
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to maintain

This should be your high-level criteria when selecting a SAM program. There are many to choose from, all have their own strengths and weaknesses but that’s an assessment for another article.

The right tool will collect your inventory, and provide a central repository for on-demand access to hardware and software licensing data while giving you dashboard visibility to help you begin to understand your license compliance position. Most vendors provide training on the deployment, use, and maintenance of their SAM tool by offering classroom and virtual online training, but that only goes so far. A week of hands-on training and access to ‘on-demand’ tutorials are, in essence, a “good luck to you” from the vendor. Many customers if they get through the deployment are now asking “now what”?

None of these tools will give you a license compliance position and ensure you are audit ready by simply deploying them in your enterprise.

A good salesperson will acknowledge that and focus on how the SAM tool, in conjunction with a good managed services provider, will not only help you become license compliant but provide the return on investment your CIO or CEO will ask you to justify. That’s the number one issue that Software Asset Management teams face after purchasing a tool. The right managed service partner will help you define a deployment strategy and implementation plan, consolidate the inventory and license data in a central repository, and establish the framework for your journey to an Enterprise License Position. This sets the stage for audit compliance and cost savings. But the tool won’t do that for you.

What a Managed Service provider will do in addition to helping you maximize the value of the Software Asset Management tool, is to assess the data, put together your license position and help you navigate the audit process by minimizing risk, while maximizing cost savings and cost avoidance. The ROI from this activity will provide a sizeable ROI but only if your Software Asset Management tool purchase or utilization of existing infrastructure, is augmented by the services of a Managed Service provider.

We at ISAM Group are ready to help you on this journey!


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