ServiceNow continue to expand their ITAM portfolio with the announcement of enhanced Hardware Asset Management capabilities, coming in their “Paris” release in September. Alongside this, SAM Pro customers will also see improvements to Oracle, SAP, & SaaS license management.
Hardware Asset Management
This is the big announcement for ServiceNow ITAM customers. SAM Pro already provides HAM capabilities but coming in ServiceNow Paris will be a much richer HAM experience – Jamón Ibérico perhaps! Capabilities include pre-built and custom lifecycle automations, a comprehensive hardware library covering 130 device classes, and hardware model normalisation.
The HAM module is a separate subscription and can be deployed standalone or alongside SAM Pro.
This is a very timely release as it will support the ongoing and perhaps permanent shift to remote working we have seen in 2020. Once assets leave the office it becomes harder and more important to both track them and be able to service them in a timely fashion. The Hardware Model Library, for example, enables tracking of End-of-Life/End-of-Service dates for hardware, which in turn can feed into planning for hardware refreshes.
ServiceNow aren’t alone among ITAM tool providers in providing rich HAM capabilities as an add-on service rather than as part of the core product. It’s a recognition that not all customers see the need to integrate Hardware Asset Management as part of the ITAM practice, perhaps managing hardware with other tools. Whilst that might still be the case, particularly for smaller organisations, our view is that you can’t do effective ITAM & SAM without HAM, and that the rich capabilities provided by modules such as this one from ServiceNow will become an essential rather than nice-to-have part of your ITAM tooling.
Other Announcements and features
Already available in the Orlando (September 2019) release is SaaS License Management, including new integrations with Webex & Jira Cloud. With the role both those vendors play in enabling remote work these are particularly timely. Coming in ServiceNow Paris is the ability to integrate with Azure AD for SaaS usage discovery. This integration will enable SaaS License Management in SAM Pro to discover all applications using Azure AD to provide single-sign-on (SSO) capabilities. It’s a valuable addition as it will provide at least basic usage data for the long-tail of apps where a richer API-based integration isn’t available. Other SaaS Management tool vendors provide this, typically alongside integrations with Okta. For on-premises scenarios, the Paris release will see ServiceNow add coverage of SAP Engines licensing, clearly important for many of ServiceNow’s enterprise scale customers.
Finally, although currently available with ServiceNow Orlando, we wanted to highlight the partnership with OpenLM to provide management for the common concurrent licensing model used by engineering apps such as those from Autodesk, Bentley, and Dassault. OpenLM are an innovator and long-standing leader in the management of engineering apps – an area which offers a clear value proposition given the cost and complexity of engineering licensing – and the readiness of publishers such as Autodesk to audit their customers. For more on managing Engineering licenses see this article.