The time has come for your organisation to get a SAM tool. You’ve decided to buy into the idea of software asset management and you want to manage and utilise your software licenses better. You’ve received the backing from senior management, and you’ve been given a nice healthy budget to get the best solution for your organisation.
There are a large number of SAM tools on the market today, so how do you decide which is the right one for you? It’s not an easy decision to make, and rushing into purchasing a tool just because the salesman gave a good pitch could lead you into a world of pain. Picking the right tool for your organisations environment is key to your SAM programs successes. It’s no easy task, and can end up being a lengthy project in itself.
Identifying what you actually want out of a SAM tool
This sounds like a silly question, but it is a valid one. What do you want from the tool? There are a number of different offerings on the market, including inventory and discovery tools, metering tools, or a tool that does it all (within reason, no silver bullet tools!). There are a number of solutions out there, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Organisations need to establish what it is they expect from a SAM tool;
- Sophisticated License Management (for Oracle, SAP, IBM etc)
- Inventory and discovery
- Metering (passive or active)
- Usage stats (run times, use times etc)
- Datacentre management
- Virtual environments management (VMWare, Hyper-V etc)
- Mobile devices management (MDM)
- Custom objects management
Along with those points, also for consideration are;
- Data that can be reported. How are reports generated?
- Agent or Agentless technology?
- Do you have web-based applications? An increasingly important factor when picking a tool
- Do you require cloud based application and license management?
- How many licenses do you require? What are the IT plans for the next few years?
Options currently on the market
As mentioned previously there are already a number of solutions on the market some that specialise in certain areas of ITAM. Dependant on your requirements, you may need something that falls into a category other than a general SAM tool. e.g. If you already have some sort of management system for your server environment, hardware assets or mobile devices.
|Inventory and Discovery||
|Specialist License Management (SAP, IBM, Oracle)||
|Overall SAM Tool||
If you are purely looking at managing mobile devices, then I would suggest that a SAM tool isn’t for your organisation. You’ll need a dedicated and sophisticated MDM solution rather than an overall SAM tool. With that said, some SAM tools do actually have MDM integration, so it might be worth looking at which ones do as they may fit the organisations environment easier.
In part two of this series in SAM tools we’ll look at the further issues organisations need to consider when implementing a SAM tool, especially around capability issues and what to look out for when picking a tool
The ITAM Review is hosting a ‘Tools Event Day’ in New York on Wednesday 28th January 2015. This is a great opportunity for ITAM Review readers and end-users to come see ITAM Tools in action, and speak to the tool vendors. You can find out more information about this and the rest of our New York event lineup here!