4th Generation SAM – Beware of what you’re told about license re-harvesting

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You may have seen a blog post from a well-known SAM vendor last week, in which they announced the availability of automated license re-harvesting to drive a more seamless and efficient SAM process. The “new” solution was described as “4th Generation SAM,” which surprised us on two counts here at 1E. It surprised us because, well, we have been delivering such “new” automated reclaim solutions to our customers for many years, and also because the announced solution seemed to be so limited in scope.

The 1E suite of solutions automates the full lifecycle of software within the enterprise — users request and receive the software they need, wherever they are, in the fastest possible time; security and maintenance is controlled when the software is deployed; and reclaiming unused software allows for smart decision making on licensing. We see software reclaim as a key “business as usual” activity in this software lifecycle automation process — whether in addressing software sprawl as an ongoing function of a well-executed SAM strategy, or in properly planning a large scale OS migration across the enterprise.

Furthermore, it is worth considering what exactly a software reclaim solution is offering and important to understand how such a solution depends on your existing infrastructure. For example, in the announcement made last week, the “4th Generation SAM” solution seems to require Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to do all the heavy lifting for you. This will let you down in one of two ways:

  1. If software has been deployed via SCCM without an associated uninstaller package, then you have no way of doing reclaim using SCCM
  2. If software has been installed independently of SCCM — a common scenario in the modern enterprise, then depending on SCCM to remove the unwanted software will often result in failure

In both cases, you are back to where you started — no reclaim will get done.

Successful Software Reclaim Requires Independence

We at 1E have understood these limitations for many years, and we have made sure from the start that the 1E solution should have its own reclaim facility, independent to SCCM’s basic capabilities. This ensures we can deliver immediate business value with a higher reclaim success rate. For software reclaim, 1E solutions will identify usage for software without requiring metering rules and can reclaim independently of the original deployment mechanism. Of course, this all gets done based on a flexible set of policy-driven criteria that ensure all reclaim is conducted with or without user interaction, depending on customers’ existing SAM and End-User policies and requirements.

Again, this is nothing new or “4th Generation” – this is Software Lifecycle Automation done effectively, done efficiently, and done properly. Just as 1E has done for more than 4 years now!

Register for 1E’s live webinar The Hidden Cost of Unused Software to hear the results of a four-year global study on software waste and reclamation, and to access a free tool to help you easily scan your own IT estate for unused software.

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