Do you need SAM or SAMS? The distinction’s important.

SAM is Software Asset Management – a big-brush, cost-control effort that typically describes internal efforts to optimize the software investment. Every business needs SAM.

SAMS is Software Asset Managed Services – a more intensive effort that involves the hiring of outside consultants to document, manage and optimize the software investment. SAMS delivers an impartial eye to the enterprise software stack and relieves licensing and regulatory burdens from internal teams. At the same time, SAMS is built to scale so the consultants can smoothly assume a growing management responsibility for the environment. Internal teams are further unburdened from the day-to-day environment problems and are free to focus on business development, new applications, creative solutions and continuous improvement.

Is SAMS right for your business? If you struggle to implement SAM, or if the cost of maintaining your environment is spiraling out of control, then you probably need SAMS.

Assess Your Assets

You need to know what’s running on your stuff. It’s just that simple. But the quest to find the answers can be surprisingly difficult. Some software’s inactive but still deployed. Employees may have downloaded unlicensed copies to fight a vital fire. Auto-renewal payments for licenses may be festering on a former accountant’s laptop.

The effort to control and optimize your software investment starts with wanting to know what you don’t know. TxMQ utilizes the following workflow in its Software Asset Management (SAM) business line. It’s also the initial stage of its Software Asset Managed Services (SAMS) program.

Step 1: Enterprise Discovery

Your business needs to know exactly how many servers are in use. Are the servers spread out geographically? Internationally? What software is deployed? Is it active or legacy? Is it single-sourced? Mixed? Open-source? How sophisticated is security? Is there a single sign-on for the software? What’s the server-level security? How do employees access the servers? What’s the nature of the business?

Step 2: Document The Software

This step determines exactly what software is installed on the servers, the versions, at what levels, how many instances, and how many seats?

Step 3: Determine The SAM Products To Install

Is the goal to manage the assets, or simply audit them? The choice of SAM products and tools is important.

Step 4: Determine Audit Level

Does the enterprise what to perform a simple audit, or a complete audit that includes update histories, patching and software-lifecycle analysis.

Step 5: Develop Reporting Process

Are there limitations to the audit? Who prepares the report? Who sees it?

TxMQ specializes in middleware management and application integration. Licensing is a huge part of our business. We can help. Call or email now for a free, confidential consultation. Reach us before the auditors reach you!

Photo by Daniel Iversen

Jon Storm began his media career in 1996 with Game Informer Magazine and never looked back. He went on to serve as lead and chief editor for several other national magazine titles and is now a senior content consultant at TxMQ. He makes his home in Fredonia, NY.

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