Thanks to everyone who joined our Strategic SAM webinar on Top 3 Threes of Software Asset Management. We discussed: the top 3 reasons to implement SAM, why SAM projects fail, innovations in SAM today and how to leverage them for successful SAM. Missed the live session? Watch the on-demand recording. Here are some of the highlights from our Live Q&A…
Do I need separate strategies and tool sets to deal with on-premises and cloud-based Software Asset Management (SAM), or should I look to consolidate the approach?
On-premises, virtual or physical, or in the cloud, software asset management is still software asset management. You still have licenses and entitlements and renewal dates and things that you need to manage, and you still need to understand usage.
Now, how best you understand that usage, and your data sources, for calculating and understanding license demand like how many licenses you need based on how things are deployed and used, that can change between server and desktop and cloud and on-premises, but the basic concept – and what SAM is – remains the same.
If you have a tool aligned to ISO 19770-3 (such as 1E’s AppClarity: the only one out there today), that will handle all metrics from any vendor, then it doesn’t matter whether it’s a subscription or SaaS or cloud-based product, or a traditional or perpetual license on-premises, you can track and record it there, and then when it comes to managing those licenses, you can do that as well: you don’t need to have different tool sets.
We’re always firefighting, we go from renewal to audit to renewal. How can we stop being so reactive and move SAM to a business-as-usual activity?
This sounds like an organization that already has a SAM practice in place, and I think if you’re an existing practice you need to actually re-set a bit. If you’re chasing your tail all the time, are you using the right tools? Are your processes correct? If you’re firefighting all the time, you need to look at setting up baseline practices to make sure you can become calmer, spend less time firefighting or chasing a renewal or an audit and more time planning and preparing and reacting properly in advance.
1E’s Peter Beruk offers a service that analyses SAM processes. He does that on the basis of being the secretary of the ISO working group responsible for the whole family of standards, as well as the co-author of 19770-1, which was the ISO standard for best practises as they relate to SAM. Having someone baseline what you do against that might be very useful. It could highlight where you need to look at automation or where you need to look at sources of data you don’t have, or where you need to look at policies or procedures that are missing.
It is going to be a bit of a reset, but if you’re currently doing so much firefighting, I would say that’s a good way to get a handle on it.
There are lots of vendors in this space with what appear to be very similar product capabilities, with different service offerings built on top. How do I choose between them?
There have been lots of tools that are quite similar in this space. Some of them have advantages and disadvantages, such as the capability to handle server technologies, or understand different metrics or whatever. Often the gaps in the products are covered with services. I think you need to look at what you want to do with the company, and I think you need to understand how much you want to self-serve – so, how much external or third party service do you want or need? The more complete or robust the tool is, the less reliant you should be on third parties and the more automated your process should be. My advice would be to focus on the capabilities of the tool, try to get as automated as possible, and leverage that.
For consulting services, you need to pick people with credibility. 1E has a lot of credibility. We are very much a product company and try not to do too much with services, but when we do we’ve got some excellent people, such as Pete Beruk and Steve Klos (and even myself, now and then) that get involved and help companies figure out how and what they should be doing around SAM. But although having the right people is very important, if the tool is weak behind it, you’re building on a poor foundation – people and process need to work together, with the technology, so I’d say make sure all three are right.