Best SAM Tools: Reviews, Pros, and Cons
Software Asset Management tools are great for tracking your software installations and making sure that you are within compliance with your software contracts. If you have a larger infrastructure, with thousands of devices to manage, then having an accurate depiction of your software environment without a SAM tool of some kind simply isn’t doable.
When used correctly, SAM tools are your best defense in any software audit that comes your way.
Picking a SAM tool that is right for you is critical to both ensuring that your Software Asset Management program is a success and avoiding wasting money on a tool that can’t deliver on its investment. There is nothing worse than purchasing licenses and paying consultants to implement the solution only to have untracked data crop up during a software audit.
At MetrixData360, we have worked with many software asset management tools that are in the market today, since our tool set, the SAM Compass, is capable of both acting as your only SAM tool and working in tandem with any SAM tool that is already implementing into your software estate. Having worked with so many different SAM tools, we want to help you make the right decision on which tool is best for you, so here is a review of some of the best SAM tools that are currently available.
Snow Software: Snow License Manager
About Snow Software
Snow is an international consulting firm that offers many different services, their diversity can’t be overstated as they are involved with software asset management, audit defense, licensing and risk management. They also have developed their own SAM tools that you can purchase, their main product being their License Manager.
Benefits of Snow Software
The Snow License Manager provides a singular view of your data. It can track the lifecycle of your applications and has a built-in calculator that can effectively capture your licensing position, even across different licensing metrics. The program is fast and can automatically identify more than 95,000 software publishers and over 550,000 applications. It also comes with flexible deployment options and can access your data from multiple points.
Drawbacks of Snow License Manager
According to reviews in Gartner, the downside with Snow’s environment is that it has been noted to struggle with accurately linking with the Archive Directory.
Who Snow Would Be Perfect For
- Users of IBM, Oracle, and SAP
- New users
- Smaller companies with fewer than 500 employees
Certero is an international corporation with locations in North America, Europe and Australia. They value a more personalized approach, aiming for integrity, trust, innovation and tenacity. They are best known for their Cloud, Oracle and IBM software products.
Benefits of Certero
This product might not be as well-known, but it is very sleek and compact. Their SAM tool is easy to deploy, run and update with areas of expertise that goes beyond SAM. Certero offers full platform and full vendor coverage with license management optimization, and a maximum-security access control.
Drawbacks of Certero
One unfortunate flaw in Certero’s program that comes up in Gartner review are issues around sub-capacity counts within IBM’s ILMT. Also, according to The ITAM’s review, Certero AssetStudio Review, the self-help written content could be improved, meaning that you will have to rely heavily on the customer support team at Certero while you move up the learning curve.
Who Certero Would Be Perfect For
- Cloud users
- Oracle and IBM users
- New Users
- Companies on a budget
Flexera SAM Tools
Flexera has been in the business for thirty years, having managed over 30 million servers and devices throughout their history. They don’t just offer consultation and training but also their top-class SAM tool FlexNet Manager.
Benefits of Flexera
FlexNet offers an interesting ‘what-if’ analysis capability, so you can see how the changes to your hardware or software will impact your future licensing requirements. FlexNet has also been reported to be quite comprehensive in its data gathering so you will have detailed information on your software deployments.
Disadvantages of Flexera
The downside with FlexNet, according to Gartner Reviews, is that it is a complex software estate that might be difficult for new users and require significant investment in consulting and time to set up. FlexNet has also been reported to have some issues working with SQL servers, giving you less-than-accurate license reports.
Who Flexera Would Be Perfect For
- Large organizations of more than 1,000 employees
- Advanced users
- CFO-friendly for projected return and costs
is a global company that was placed as third on Fortune Magazine’s Future 50 List in 2019, which ranks companies on their position for long-term growth. ServiceNow aims to create a smoother digital workflow and prides itself in a high renewal rates and a history of creating strong business relationships with enterprise customers.
Benefits of ServiceNow
ServiceNow is an extremely popular product that has swept across North America, as seen in Gartner reviews. They have a strong foothold in IT Service Management and are excellent at ticketing. They are also looking to leverage this into the SAM space. ServiceNow offers training to their customers, so that you can be effective at using the product. Since it is a broad platform, it is also effective at tracking the life cycle and usability of software and hardware assets.
Drawbacks of ServiceNow
According to ITAM’s Review, ServiceNow (ITAM) Review, with a larger organization, ServiceNow can become complicated and difficult to manage due to the multiple layers of configuration. They also only offer a free Developer instance as a demo, which will expire after seven days of inactivity, and has limited data to test with.
Who ServiceNow Would Be Perfect For
- Smaller businesses of fewer than 500 employees
- Current ServiceNow customers
- ITSM users
This friendly consultant firm has been going strong for twenty years and maintains an excellent customer service reputation where their business resides, in Europe and North America. They aim to take SAM and turn it into something that is easily approachable and customer-oriented.
Benefits of Aspera
Aspera’s SmartTrack Manages offers a wide variety of vendors including Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAP, Adobe, Citrix, HP, CA, Autodesk, Symantec, Attachmate and Red Hat just to name a few. SmartTrack also has software normalization, filtering out the noise of your software inventory. The program has automated license re-harvesting and cloud management services to save you money. They are known to be quite user-friendly, with a free demo offered for potential buyers and information that is easily digestible.
Drawbacks of Aspera
Unfortunately, according to Gartner Reviews, Aspera’s unique compliance reporting takes some getting used to and full deployment into your environment takes time. Comments in ITAM’s review, Aspera SmartTrack review, states that Aspera would be better suited for a larger company with a complex infrastructure, which means if you are a smaller company with a more basic architecture, you might find that Aspera will be too complicated to implement.
Who Aspera SmartTrack Would Be Perfect For
- New users
- Environments with multiple licenses
- Larger companies of over 1,000 employees
Xensam has stretched across the globe in the small time it’s been active. The fairly new player only kicked things off in 2016. They focus on putting their customers first, offering to candidly compare themselves with their competitors.
Benefits of Xensam
Comments from Gartner Reviews have called the program very simple, polished and easy to use. One lovely feature Xensam has at their disposal is the ability to show actual active usage, while other SAM tools just track when the application is open, according to their Xupervisor page on their website. You can try them out for free, as a demo is offered.
Drawbacks of Xensam
As seen in reviews from Gartner and Capterra’s Xensam Xupervisor Reviews, Xensam only offers hardware information for certain devices, which might prove a troublesome gap of information in the case of a software audit. It also offers very few connectors to the Cloud vendors.
Who Xensam Xupervisor Would Be Perfect For
- New users
- On-prem environments
AssetLabs comes with a very personal touch, taking great care to let you get to know their customers and their valued partners. They offer a variety of services including but not limited to audit defense, true up preparation, server optimization, and, software inventory normalization.
Benefits of AssetLabs Prelude
The benefits of Prelude are found in its wide array of services. Utilizing Prelude will get you customer support and free training. AssetLabs are certified by CSAM as experts to help manage your own SAM portfolio, tailored to your specific use. Their data connectors are free of charge, and the environment can provide quarterly or bi-annual ELP updates. Prelude is also great for categorizing and normalizing your software titles to match ISO specifications.
Drawbacks of AssetLabs’ Prelude
Some limitation of Prelude is in the fact that Prelude doesn’t do well with more complex license models like IBM, Oracle, and SAP. It also has no discovery model and therefore would need to rely on other tools to compensate. It’s last struggling point is that Prelude doesn’t have a SaaS application.
Who Is AssetLabs’ Prelude Perfect For?
- Learners in the Licensing Industry
- New users
- Companies who do not want the large costs that come with implementing a complex SAM solution.
For More Information About SAM Tools
Whatever SAM product you choose for your company, make sure that your product can suit your needs when it comes to your company’s size and your software vendors. Finding a SAM tool that can meet your short-term and long-term goals is important in ensuring your satisfaction with the product. For more information on how to purchase your SAM tool carefully, check out our article Things You Should Consider Before You Buy A Software Asset Management Tool.
Be sure that you ask questions and properly weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each SAM tool so that you are confident your license information is accurate and reliable.
At MetrixData360, we utilize our in-house tools to supplement any missing data your SAM tools may have failed to detect. If you’d like to find out how our tools can provide you any missing data points or if you’d like a chance to validate the accuracy of the SAM tool you have in place, clicking the link below will take you to Our Tools page.