You speak English?

Would you like to be taken to the English version of our site?

It seems that you speak German.

Would you like to be taken to the German language site?

You speak French?

Would you like to be taken to the French language site?

Oct 25, 2017
Tomás O'Leary
Tomás O'Leary
Tomás O'Leary

Software asset management is a difficult job at the best of times, and it can be thankless for SAMs who lack the necessary support from management. To be a true SAM guru employing best practices, you must master six conceptual pillars. If any of these pillars are missing from your SAM strategy, you will likely experience problems with license coverage and compliance, or software licensing overspend.

So, what are these pillars, and what do they mean?

1. Ownership

At the heart of software asset management is a complete understanding of the assets held. The pillar is mastered by answering the most basic question: “What do you have?”

The would-be SAM guru needs to conduct a full audit of all the licenses held, whether the applications are actually used or not. Only by understanding exactly what is owned, will the guru be able to plan deployments – and future maintenance and support negotiations.

The Pillar of Ownership needs to be regularly maintained too. The results of the audit need to be constantly updated to reflect new software acquisitions – or if a particular product has been retired and the licenses disposed of.


2. Usage

The second pillar of SAM guru status involves understanding which applications are in use and how they are being used. These insights are crucial, allowing you to see:

  • Where newer licenses are not being used, providing opportunities to upgrade users who would benefit from new features.
  • Applications that are under-used, and which could be deployed more intelligently to reduce the number of licenses held.

These usage insights will also prove useful when negotiating maintenance contracts for your applications, helping your support partner plan and cost their services more accurately.


3. Plans

Digital transformation programs and shifting operational priorities will have a direct effect on the applications used by your business. To ensure that IT supports these goals, the SAM guru has a plan to ensure that users always have the applications and support they need to be productive.

Typically these plans will balance vendor demands to upgrade applications periodically, with the needs and preferences of users who may not need new features and “bloat”, who may even find unnecessary upgrades impair productivity. And as always, controlling costs will be a major determining factor in these licensing plans.


4. Contracts

As well as knowing which applications are licensed and used by their business, the SAM guru will have a deep understanding of the contracts that govern support and maintenance for each. Obviously keeping all that information filed away mentally is unlikely, but the SAM guru will have complete records for each, highlighting key details like renewal dates, costs, and license count.

Using their exceptional understanding of how software is used within the business, the SAM manager is now better equipped to renegotiate future contracts – particularly where licenses held outnumber the people using an application. The SAM guru is also fully informed, ready to hold meaningful discussions with third party support providers who offer keener maintenance pricing than the OEM.


5. Control

The age of on-demand access to software and resources has forced the SAM guru to develop exceptional powers of control. Armed with their understanding of license count and install base, they can arrange for applications to be deployed with 100% accuracy.

By exercising increased control of software assets, the SAM guru effectively guarantees compliance of every application across your entire business. As always, accurate records of license count and installations will be key.


6. Versions

The organic acquisition and deployment of software means that most businesses are using multiple versions of key applications. These variations are tolerated because of user preference, cost control, or compatibility problems with other systems.

Whatever the reasons, a SAM guru is able to manage multiple software versions and any contractual/compliance variations smoothly. They will also work closely with the CTO to develop a software strategy that maps out potential upgrade plans. The SAM guru can then plan budget and license requirements to support strategy and help keep the business moving forwards.


What if your SAM is not a guru?

Although it is possible for an individual to master all six pillars, the reality is that most don’t. This is not necessarily a problem however, so long as the SAM manager has an experienced team to assist and support them.

At Origina, our SAM gurus can help you improve software licensing compliance for one of the many vendors you use, IBM, so please get in touch. Our ‘light-touch’ Feasibility Assessment will close any gaps you may have with your IBM SW and help you understand if third party support is an option for you and your business.


Recent Posts

Forrester Research reveals how to save on IT budget in a recession
How can companies find savings during the recession? A new Forrester Research report reveals how to save on the IT budget.
The top 10 best tech podcasts to listen to in 2020
Want to know what the top tech podcasts to listen to are? We've gathered the top 10 best tech podcasts for 2020.
A peek behind the curtain at an IBM® software contract
IBM® software contracts lock businesses into long-term deals, but do they always have what's best in mind for the client?


Ihr guter Vorsatz fürs neue Jahr – Kosten senken
Verabschieden Sie sich von erzwungenen Upgrades und genießen Sie 2020, glücklich unterstützt von Ihrem Vorsatz fürs neue Jahr.
Können auch Sie bei Ihrem IT-Budget 60 % einsparen? Wir sagen es Ihnen!
Wenn Unternehmen zu Origina wechseln, reduzieren sie damit im Schnitt die aktuellen Kosten für Support und Wartung ihrer IBM-Software um 60 %. Wenn Sie wissen möchten, ob das auch bei Ihnen der Fall wäre, ist der erste Schritt zu einer Zusammenarbeit eine Machbarkeitsanalyse.
Neue Rollen, neue Aufgaben – das Profil des SAM ändert sich.
Innerhalb der IT-Abteilung wird der Bereich Software Asset Management gern mal links liegengelassen. Das heißt, der SAM erhält nicht immer die Anerkennung, Unterstützung oder Ressourcen, die er verdient (und dringend benötigt).


Votre résolution pour la nouvelle année: réduire les coûts
Dites adieu aux mises à niveau forcées et profitez de 2020 avec le soutien de votre résolution du Nouvel An promise.
Découvrez comment ÉCONOMISER 60 % sur votre budget informatique
Origina permet à ses clients d’ÉCONOMISER en moyenne 60% sur leurs coûts annuels de maintenance et de support des logiciels IBM. Pour savoir si votre entreprise a un intérêt à confier le support de ses logiciels IBM à Origina, la première étape est de réaliser une étude de faisabilité.
Comprendre l’évolution du rôle des SAM
Dans les services informatiques des entreprises, la gestion des actifs logiciels (Software Asset Management) passe facilement au second plan. Les responsables SAM bénéficient donc rarement de la reconnaissance, du soutien ou des ressources qu’ils méritent - et dont ils ont besoin.