ServiceNow’s Jakarta release, available to customers over the summer, will include license management of both Microsoft and Oracle software titles.
This is ServiceNow’s first foray into the enterprise SAM space, having previously solved license risk, efficient spend and asset knowledge shortcomings in the platform via integrations with pure play SAM providers. We reported back in September 2016 that ServiceNow sales reps were bypassing these integrations in favour of discussions around their own capabilities. See “ServiceNow enters the SAM market by the back door, upsets partners”.
The news of the Jakarta SAM capabilities were timed to coincide with ServiceNow’s behemoth user conference “Knowledge” with a reported 15,000 strong delegation visiting Orlando. Visitors are seeing an increasingly non-IT spectrum of sessions (e.g. Keynote on HR at an IT conference) demonstrating the breadth of the platform. ITAM is well positioned to grow in a similar fashion across non IT connected devices and services.
The notable difference for existing ServiceNow customers is a software recognition catalogue. ServiceNow Jakarta is said to address Microsoft and Oracle, big ticket items for the vast majority of ITAM Review readers. Other vendors will follow. The software recognition library has been licensed from SAM industry veteran Eracent, who fared well in our SAM Tools Universe report. It was unclear from my discussions with the ServiceNow team what Jakarta brings to the table in terms of the procurement side of things, software recognition is all very well but you can’t just squirt that at a bunch of invoices and expect miracles, so I look forward to digging into their capabilities in more detail.
A market leader in ITSM combined with top rated SAM technology will create a powerful player in the ITAM space. This follows Cherwell acquiring Express Metrix in 2014 (Seemingly with little impact) and Ivanti recently acquiring Concorde. There is clearly keen interest in the ITAM market as organizations realize the strategic value of accurate asset data for the entire IT department and beyond.
Many hardened SAM professionals have the war wounds to demonstrate SAM tool marketing spiel not quite matching with reality. Unfortunately this continues with ServiceNow Software Asset Management that promises to “Make Vendor Audits Painless” and magically solve all of your SAM issues “With a few simple clicks”.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating folks, so don’t start junking your existing SAM tool technology in favour of ServiceNow SAM until you can build an effective license position for Microsoft and Oracle that will stand up to external audit scrutiny. When ServiceNow crack this, accompanied with the end-to-end automation (Service request catalogue, authorization, license check, provision, manage, auto-reclaim) that the platform can provide, other Enterprise SAM players should be worried.
At this time it is not known whether ServiceNow SAM will be bundled as part of the core platform cost or additional cost.
About Martin Thompson
Martin is also author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management.
On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.
Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.