A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend the SAMS USA (Software Asset Management Strategies USA 2018) conference in Chicago. SAMS USA is a conference that is somewhat new to North America and brings together SAM Practitioners and Software Asset Managers to share their experience and insights. I was invited to attend as a guest of our friends at Certero – Certero is a leading supplier of the most advanced Software Asset Management solutions and services, delivering improved visibility and control of IT assets. Certero was presenting to Software Asset Managers attending on the topic of Making Your SAM Dreams a Reality. The presentation was well received by both experienced Software Asset Managers and people new to the concept of creating a SAM practice.
At MetrixData 360, we specialize in helping clients with Software Asset Management so, I’m always looking to learn more about common challenges and how we can better assist them. The SAMS USA experience was eye opening as I got to hear from SAM practitioners, and experienced Software Asset Mangers alike, about their experiences inside of major organizations from around the world.
One thing that was hammered home to me in speaking with Software Asset Managers at the conference is that it is very challenging to implement a SAM program within organizations. The larger the organization, the more complex the implementation will be. MetrixData 360 is often brought in once the organizational decision has been made to make investments in SAM but, we are not always present when the discussion starts. What I learned was that it requires a lot of planning, patience and diplomacy. Often the SAM teams and newly assigned Software Asset Managers are the newest members of a long established ITAM/ITIL team and have to tread carefully. It’s also important for the SAM team to integrate with what came before institutionally but, also to effect change as SAM is implemented. One of the software asset managers I spoke with stressed how important it is to celebrate your SAM wins internally. Don’t let them go unnoticed.
SAM teams need to compromise. If you’re reading this article I’m assuming you’re passionate about SAM. However, we have to be aware that to many folks in your organization the “new rules/potential restrictions” may be irritants. Do what you need to do but be mindful of the organizational reality. When I was started my career in software many years ago (and was far too eager) a much older and more experienced mentor I had used to always say to me “how do you eat an elephant?…….One bite at a time.” I would usually roll my eyes as he said this to me so many times and it kind of pains me to say this, but he was right. Approach SAM in this manner too.
As we all know, results from a software audit only reflect a point in time snapshot of your environment but having an agile and dynamic SAM practice can only be beneficial to the organization moving forward. Everyone I spoke to was struggling to rationalize this challenge. The key thing that you need to remember is that when you are being audited the auditor will be drawing a line and essentially freezing the data to review that moment. Business will continue during the audit and things will be dynamic in that regard, but the auditor will only be interested in that point in time when they scanned the environment.
As the Rolling Stones said, “you can’t always get what you want” and I’ll apply this to SAM tools. Here at MetrixData 360 we really like Certero’s SAM tool and for a number of reasons we think it’s the best in the industry.
The reality is that sometimes though you have to work with the tool that your organization already has invested in for ITAM/ITIL. Odds are it won’t be the best of breed for SAM but introducing a new tool can be sort of like pushing a rock uphill. The good news is that MetrixData 360 can work with almost any SAM tool and help you get meaningful, optimized data out of it. Sometimes that’s better than having to wait 18 months to get approval to look at a new SAM tool.