LearningCenter Post32

Best Software Asset Management Solution: Picking the Right SAM Expert

How to Tell if Your Third-Party SAM Provider is Giving You Quality Results

When you consider purchasing a third-party Software Asset Management provider or hiring a SAM Expert, you want to be able to tell you’ve made a good selection, but the industry is quite new and the results are barely more tangible than numbers on a bottom line or an upwards arrow on a graph, which anyone with a basic level of Excel can create. So, what sort of metric can you apply to see if these software fast-talkers and SAM tool makers are up to the task of handling your intricate software environment? At MetrixData 360, we hold ourselves to certain standards that we have noticed not everyone in the industry adheres to. So, today we’ll discuss what good third-party SAM providers look like.

Their Focus is to Get You to the End Result

There are plenty of SAM tool sellers in the market today whose tool will provide you with plenty of fancy charts and very shallow, surface-level answers. Usually, third-party SAM experts will only give you insight into the compliance of a single product, which can easily prove to be a single piece in a very large puzzle. Their main goal is to get you to sign another contract; to get you on as a regular customer, regardless of whether you have the answer that you were looking for or not. A good SAM provider needs to provide you with real, tangible results. At MetrixData 360, our entire SAM process is arranged around how to quickly and effectively get you the results you need by taking a holistic approach to software asset management. We walk you through the entire process, from gathering your data to using that data to find the most cost-effective way to buy the products you need. We provide you with a full look into your software environment, over multiple products to provide you with the answers you’re looking for.

SAM Experts that Understand the Vendors

Your relationship with your software vendor is delicate and it is mission critical that it is maintained. Many companies depend solely on their software vendor for assistance in making spending decisions and changing vendors can be difficult (think pulling-your-own-spine-out-of-your-mouth levels of difficult), if not completely impossible. If your vendor is providing you with software that is critical to your business or so thoroughly deployed throughout your software environment that you simply cannot change vendors, then contract renewals will feel like a shakedown. When you’re caught in a software audit there’s the urge to simply and passively nod your way through it.

However, this type of relationship is hardly beneficial to you, especially since the vendor’s goals are to sell, sell, sell. They have quotas to meet and they do not have the interests of your company and your business needs in mind, not when it runs up against their bottom line. It is important that your SAM experts understand the nature of this relationship and knows how to navigate it regardless of whether you are stuck in the middle of a software audit or you need to maneuver through a contract negotiation. There are many SAM experts in the market whose goal is to just keep the vendor happy, even if that means sacrificing your own interests. At MetrixData 360, we have plenty of experience handling the software vendors. Our CEO, Mike Austin, actually spent 20 years working for Microsoft, until he left and started working to help Microsoft’s customers navigate the tech giant’s impossible-to-understand licensing rules. We know the vendor, but our goals are your objectives. We act as your secret weapon since many software vendors get defensive when they learn you’ve hired a third party. They don’t even know we’re there; we just tell you what to say, give you all the data you need to effectively say it, and then it just looks like your company did it all yourself.


They Have the Technology and Skills to Back Up Their Claims

There are plenty of SAM tool vendors who, like the software vendors, just want to sell regardless of whether what they’re selling will get you the results you need. The problem is that many people do not understand what software asset management is or how it works. So, when a sweet-talking salesman offers them 60% savings every year for as long as you have their discovery tool installed, it may sound like a tempting offer. However, it’s important to take such a bold claim with a skeptical eye.

The truth is that installing a discovery tool does not create a complete software asset management solution. It is part of the solution, but it won’t take you the whole way. Discovery tools are what they sound like, they show you what is in your software environment in a very high-level sense. Imagine you are standing on top of the Empire State Building, looking over New York City and a man is standing next to you and he says, ‘there are 91,000 people in New York City who are homeless right now,’ and then he walks away. If you want to go and help those homeless people, the man has actually given you very little to work with. You don’t know where they are or why they are homeless, and you now have the entirety of New York to search through in order to find them all.

That’s what a SAM tool does, it gives you an outline of the problems in your software environment. What it doesn’t provide you with is a strategy in going about fixing any of those problems. We have seen many organizations who attempted software asset management simply using a discovery tool and found that they were completely overwhelmed by the data their discovery tool had found for them. They didn’t know what to do with the data and they eventually got too tired and quit. That is why you need someone to manage your SAM solution; someone who can take the data that the man standing on the Empire State Building gives you and say, ‘OK, first we’ll check all the parks for homeless people. Then this bridge in Queens that I know of. There are some homeless shelter workers that we can talk to who will know something. We should also consult the food banks.’

At MetrixData 360, our tools were designed not to sell you more tools, but to make sure you save money at every available opportunity. We also offer our skills in managing your tools, so that we can guide your SAM solution.


A SAM Experts’ Goal is to Empower you

In the old days, software asset management experts were only called upon during an emergency: a software audit, or an EA renewal, and their work was centered around a specific event. They would do their magic, dress up your software environment for the occasion, and then head out when the event was over, leaving your software environment to fall prey to the poor management processes and the bad inventory habits that caused you to call them in the first place. Then at the next audit, what else can you do except call them again? This type of relationship does not allow you to get a handle on your software environment; what it does mean is that SAM expert has a gig every year. You want a SAM expert that can teach you long-term good habits that can ensure the implementations of strong software asset management. Which is why at MetrixData 360, we pride ourselves in not just being SAM experts but also SAM educators. We have blogs, YouTube channels, and webinars designed to teach you about strong SAM practices and how you can get your software environments under control. During our engagement with our clients we like to explain what we are doing and to make sure there is no mystery with our magic.

Want to Build your SAM Dream Team?

It’s important that you know what you’re signing up for when it comes to hiring your SAM expert, especially if this is your first time looking into hiring a professional. The last thing you want when you are stuck between a rock and a software audit is hiring a lack luster SAM expert with half answers and empty promises. At MetrixData 360, our goal is to be different, to give you the SAM solution you need in order to get your software environment under control. If you’re ready to see real results in your software asset management solution, contact us today!

Give Your Microsoft 365 Licensing a Health Check

Book a meeting with MetrixData 360 today and see how much you could be saving on your Microsoft 365.