A lot of organisations buy a Software Asset Management tool, but are not successful in achieving their SAM goals. As an existing user of ServiceNow who is looking at implementing or improving SAM, the ServiceNow SAM module should be on the top of your list. The module formally known as SAM Pro, with the Quebec release is now split into two license types, SAM Professional and SAM Enterprise.
Highlights of this page:
- Achieve Compliance, Control & Cost savings by implementing, managing and continuously improving SAM & ITAM in a structured manner
- Mapping the benefits of SAM Pro to the floors of the Softline Solutions’ House of ITAM®
- ServiceNow SAM Pro: one of the leaders in the Gartner Magic Quadrant
- Realising cost savings by implementing the 7 categories of potential savings, defined by Gartner
- Application Portfolio Management: implementing one of the seven Gartner potential savings elements
- SaaS Management: realising cost savings by optimising SaaS spend and usage
- Softline Solutions & ServiceNow webinar series
Creating synergy via one single platform
The implementation of SAM Pro benefits substantially from the implementation activities of other ServiceNow modules and create synergy between ServiceNow SAM Pro and investments already done in modules like ITSM, ITOM and ITBM. A perfect example of synergy is the reusability of data, creating consistency whilst maximising effort and costs. The ITAM team can piggyback, for example, on asset discovery done by IT Operations Management Discovery (ITOM Visibility).
This way, an organisation can reduce the number of point solutions, creating a significant impact on the TCO for SAM, by using a single system of action.
Achieve Compliance, Control & Cost savings by implementing, managing and continuously improving SAM & ITAM in a structured manner
To implement, manage and continuously improve Software & IT Asset Management in a well-structured manner, Softline Solutions developed the Softline Solutions’ House of ITAM®. It is based on the ISO/IEC 19770-1 2017 Standard for ITAM, and forms the basis of the tried and tested approach that is built on many years of SAM experience.
The approach is visualised as a house that is built from the ground up. The maturity levels arerepresented as floors in the house and processes as building blocks on the separate floors. All built upon a strong foundation, the management system that uses the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model as a founding principle and process for continual improvement.
Cost savings with ServiceNow
ServiceNow enables an organisation to prevent recurring software management mistakes, such as changes made to the IT infrastructure without taking into account the software running on that infrastructure. Historically, the infrastructure team would make such a change and the SAM team would only discover that when there’s an audit - internal or external.
Instead of reacting to those changes, with ServiceNow changes can be intercepted at a much earlier stage - because the SAM solution is delivered on the same platform as the ITSM solution. So, when a change to a server is requested, ServiceNow will show - on the change record itself - what the license costs implications would be. Presenting the person doing the change with the full information about what they could do or whether they should approve that change - based on the financial impact. More information on this can be viewed in the on-demand webinar series offered by Softline Solutions and ServiceNow.
Softline Solutions’ House of ITAM®
On the right side of the model, the three main objectives are visualised that organisations typically want to achieve with the implementation and execution of IT Asset Management: Compliance, Control & Cost savings.
In the centre of the model, the actual operational IT processes are shown: what building blocks do organisations need to have in place to realise their objectives?
The left side shows the maturity model: which building blocks must be implemented in what order to move from one maturity level to the next?
Finally, the foundation of the House of ITAM®: the universal framework where all ISO standards are built upon, enabling an organisation to align and integrate its IT Asset Management system with related ISO systems. This foundation shows the governance model: what management processes based on ISO/IEC need to be implemented to control the operational functionalities.
The Softline Solutions House of ITAM® is based on the ISO/IEC 19770-1: 2017 standard for ITAM. It is built upon a strong foundation: the management system that uses the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model as a founding principle and process for continual improvement.
The ISO/IEC 19770-1 standard for ITAM is designed to enable organisations to integrate the ITAM system and processes with related ISO systems like
- ISO/IEC 20000 for IT Service Management;
- ISO/IEC 27001 for Information Security;
- ISO 55001 for Asset Management (non- IT assets, like buildings, cars, etc.);
- ISO 73 for Risk management.
With having the same structure and chapter layout, the focus lays on the management of the operation, and not the operation itself. Offering the possibility to easily align with other departments.
READ MORE ABOUT the ISO/IEC 19770-1 standard for ITAM:
Mapping the benefits of SAM Pro to the floors of the Softline Solutions’ House of ITAM®
In the next paragraphs we will elaborate on how ServiceNow SAM Pro can help your organisation grow by mapping the benefits of SAM Pro on the floors/maturity levels in the House of ITAM®.
Ground floor: Management processes for ITAM
The management system uses the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model as a founding principle and process for continuous improvement of ITAM within the organisation. Softline Solutions has identified 4 ways ServiceNow SAM Pro can support organisations building the essential ground floor of their House of ITAM®:
- The stakeholders for ITAM greatly overlap the stakeholders involved in the implementation of ServiceNow’s ITSM module. Use the pre-existing investment, knowledge and involvement of crucial stakeholders to your advantage.
- The implementation of IT Service Management processes generally have a higher priority than the implementation of Software Asset Management or IT Asset Management. When an organisation links the SAM/ITAM program to ITSM by pointing out the obvious connections, the implementation of ITAM can benefit from stronger support coming from Senior Management.
- The roles & responsibilities involved with ITAM are comparable to those within ITSM, and even overlap partly. Best practices can easily be reused. By using ServiceNow SAM Pro implementing ITAM becomes the logical next step.
- The SAM Process implementation is relatively easy in ServiceNow as SAM Pro fully supports the ISO/IEC 19770-1:2017 standard for ITAM. The SAM and ITAM team leverages additional value of investments already done in the existing ServiceNow implementation (ITSM, ITOM, ITBM):
- On a company level people already have access to ServiceNow for logging incidents or requests
- Less resistance to change as ServiceNow is already fully embedded in the organisation
- Training on how to use ServiceNow is already partly covered
Level 1: Trustworthy data: Achieve compliance
Trustworthy data is about knowing what IT assets you have so you can manage them. It also includes the monitoring of changes in the infrastructure or organisation that can impact your ITAM practice, as well as securing the sensitive ITAM data against loss or unauthorised access. Think of:
- Change Management - Place responsibility of the impact of a change in the project management organisation where it belongs. ServiceNow SAM Pro provides the possibility to auto-calculate the cost of a change or savings as part of the standard IT change request.
- Existing data can be reused! No new discovery or inventory tools for ITAM needs to be rolled out: the ITAM team can piggyback on the discovery functionality by IT Operations Management, IT Service Management and IT Business Management and utilise the data already collected, for example by SCCM.
ServiceNow Cloud Insights application analyses the full range of costs associated with cloud assets, and can be used to integrate with cloud solutions like AWS and Microsoft Azure. It can discover inventory in those environments, but it can also retrieve Billing and Usage data
- Synergy is increased because of a shared responsibility with ITAM processes:
- Data Management - Having a clear view on all asset data is crucial for a complete and correct CMDB, and shared by Configuration Management, IT Asset Management and sometimes even Security. ITAM becomes a stakeholder of configuration management instead of bearing the responsibility for accurate data alone.
- The ServiceNow Incident module can be used to log and track ITAM related requests such as Improvement actions/ mitigation actions deriving from license position reports and improvement plans.
- Discovery: The SaaS License Management Overview dashboard can be used to view license usage data for SaaS subscription profiles. It enables organisations to view potential savings, subscription spend, subscription usage, and subscription usage over time. Organisations can than use this data to forecast future licensing needs and optimise licensing costs.
- Consumption: connections to SaaS API’s to collect consumption data and immediately reclaim unused subscriptions.
- Rogue software spend detection: Use the ServiceNow Software Spend Detection application to track, analyse, and optimise software spending from imported financial data coming from the general ledger or expenses.
Level 2 - Lifecycle integration: Achieve control
Lifecycle integration is about achieving greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the IT asset lifecycle, by assuring that IT assets are managed in the most effective way throughout their lifecycle:
- Realise savings using the Now Platform to reclaim unused licenses. Workflows between departments are automated, so no manual effort (emailing of Excel sheets) is needed to remove installations or revoke software privileges, even for SaaS applications!
- No more duplication of software requests from one tool to the other. SAM Pro provides the possibility to create Purchase Order requests for new software rights, and automate requests through fulfilment, again, even for SaaS applications.
- Available software lifecycle dates such as general availability, end of life, and end of service life cannot only be used for application rationalisation, but also to determine a possible impact on business services which are mapped in Application Portfolio Management.
Level 3 - Optimisation: Achieve cost savings
Optimisation is about achieving greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness through functional focus. Focus on the contractual and financial side of IT assets, as well as the risks involved with using them:
- Performance Analytics for SAM provides customisable visualisations of potential savings or compliance risks. Implementing processes on the underlying floors of the House of ITAM® ensures the quality of reporting you need to achieve cost savings using ServiceNow SAM Pro.
- Other modules within ServiceNow ITBM (IT Business Management) such as Financial Management, Project & Portfolio Management and Application Portfolio Management work closely together with ServiceNow SAM so you can better understand your IT landscape, gain control and start optimising.
- The module “Service Mapping” within ServiceNow ITOM (IT Operations Management) can be used to visualise and manage how IT assets fit together to form the IT Services you deliver to the business. This enables you to move from managing the lifecycle of assets to managing the lifecycle of entire IT services, providing the context and insights you need to get the most out of your optimisation efforts.
In all cases, implementing processes on the underlying floors of the House of ITAM® ensures the quality of reporting you need to achieve cost savings using ServiceNow SAM. As always, the right mix of People, Process, Technology and Data is the key to ITAM success!
ServiceNow SAM: One of the leaders in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Tools
In July 2020, Gartner has launched it’s updated Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Tools to define the Niche Players, Visionaries, Challengers, and finally the leaders of the market. Gartner defines the SAM tool market as tools that provide automation to support the tasks needed around achieving and maintaining software license compliance. Each tool is broken down into seven discrete activities:
- Discover and identify software entitlements
- Normalise software entitlements
- Discover software consumption data
- Reconcile software asset information
- Optimise software entitlements and consumption
- Share software asset information
“ServiceNow is a Leader in this Magic Quadrant; in the last iteration of this research it was a Visionary.”
- Gartner, July 2020 -
As one of the strengths Gartner states that ServiceNow provides customers with a single platform of products on one architecture, making use of the same data model that enables different organisational departments to share through the organisation that helps improve the software asset and technology decision making for the full IT asset life cycle.
Realising cost savings by implementing the 7 categories of potential savings, defined by Gartner
Many organisations are looking into ways to reduce costs. Depending on who you ask within an organisation, different saving potentials will be mentioned. With the annual increase cost for software (licenses), this is one of the first areas for potential savings to come up. In 2016 Gartner published a report on potential savings on software that can be realised by implementing proper Software Asset Management. The report describes seven categories that make up to 30% of potential savings combined.
Categories of potential savings:
- Controlled requisition, purchasing & renegotiations
- Controlled software deployment
- Applying full product use rights
- Re-harvesting of non- or under-utilised licenses
- Recycling of licenses
- Effective governance for SAM
- Standardisation and rationalisation of software
DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT EBOOK NOW and learn more about the following highlights:
- Identifying the key topics
- Creating the technology portfolio with the help of discovery and normalisation
- Identifying potential rationalisation/standardisation candidates
- Transparency in the lifecycle of portfolio
- Making well informed strategic decisions
- Tracking progress on the realisation of savings
SaaS Management: realising cost savings by optimising SaaS spend and usage
Organisations can save up to 30% in software costs within the first year of implementing a SAM solution”
- Gartner -
In hard numbers that is: $185B software wasted by end of 2020, of which $152B wasted software and $33B wasted SaaS.
Translating those big numbers to companies, gives:
Customer revenue $1B
IT Budget $40M (4%)
Software budget $10M (25%)
1st Year Savings $1M (10%) on your wasted software & SaaS usage
Annual Savings $500K (5%)
Discovery: The SaaS License Management Overview dashboard can be used to view license usage data for SaaS subscription profiles. It enables organisations to view potential savings, subscription spend, subscription usage, and subscription usage over time. Organisations can than use this data to forecast future licensing needs and optimise licensing costs.
Consumption: Consumption: connections to SaaS API’s to collect consumption data and immediately reclaim unused subscriptions.
Rogue software spend detection: Use the ServiceNow Software Spend Detection application to track, analyse, and optimise software spending from imported financial data coming from the general ledger or expenses.
- TIP OF THE WEEK: Reclaim unused licenses with ServiceNow SAM Pro
- ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: Kickstarting Application Standardisation and Rationalisation using ServiceNow
- TIP OF THE WEEK: How to get started with application rationalisation
Webinar series on managing licenses in ServiceNow SAM in 2021
Softline Solutions & ServiceNow hosted a joint webinar series on managing licensing in ServiceNow SAM. In these webinars, experts from both companies discussed how to manage licensing challenges using ServiceNow SAM. Addressing how to minimise compliance risks and reduce spend all together, and how to track consumption across the different licensing models.
Managing Microsoft licensing in ServiceNow SAM
- Challenges when managing license compliance of Microsoft products
- Focus points when managing Microsoft properly and without compliance risks
- How the ServiceNow SAM publisher pack for Microsoft allows tracking license compliance position to optimise software spend and reduce audit risk.
Managing Oracle licensing in ServiceNow SAM
- Challenges around Oracle licensing
- Focus points when managing Oracle properly and without compliance risks
- How ServiceNow SAM can help to avoid risks and reduce spend all together
- What effect did the ServiceNow SAM verification as third-party tool vendor by Oracle have on managing Oracle licenses using ServiceNow SAM?
Managing VMware licensing in ServiceNow SAM
- Challenges in managing license compliance of your VMware products
- Focus points when managing VMware properly and without compliance risks
- How the ServiceNow SAM publisher pack for VMware allows tracking your license compliance position to optimise software spend and reduce audit risk, and how to create software entitlements, software models, and track licensing positions using VMware-specific licensing metrics.
For any organisation that has already implemented or are about to implement ServiceNow’s IT Service Management (ITSM) and IT Operations Management (ITOM), using the ServiceNow SAM module could be a logical choice. The strategic choice for making use of the ServiceNow Platform enables SAM to be a more strategic focus as well.
The implementation of ServiceNow SAM can benefit substantially from the implementation activities of other ServiceNow modules and create synergy between SAM and other modules like ITSM, ITOM, and ITBM. A perfect example of synergy is the reusability of data, creating consistency whilst maximising effort and costs. The ITAM team can piggyback on asset discovery by IT Operations Management, IT Service Management and IT Business Management.
Finally, the ability to reduce the number of point solutions will have a significant impact on the TCO for SAM.
Get in contact with the Softline Solutions’ team and learn more.
Softline Solutions & ServiceNow
For many years now, Softline Solutions has been one of ServiceNow’s few specialised Software Asset Management partners globally, to help customers get the most value out of their SAM module. In August 2020 Softline Solutions was awarded ServiceNow’s Premier Partner status. Read more on the ServiceNow partner page.
- Since 2018 one of ServiceNow’s few specialised SAM partners globally
- Softline Solutions is part of the EMEA partner advisory counsil
- ServiceNow overlaps perfectly with the Softline Solutions’ House of ITAM®
Case study: Covéa Insurance
With ServiceNow ITAM, the company will be able to simplify audits with fast access to data and better visibility of its IT estate to ensure compliance. “Eventually we’d like to be able to onboard partners to our platform to enable us to go to market quicker and take on more business, but the first step is getting a solid foundation in place,” explains Deborah Mulderrig (Digital Asset Manager, Covéa Insurance). “Although we’re early in our ServiceNow journey we’re expecting to make savings on software, efficiency gains, and reduce the volume of support calls.”
Read more about the Covéa Insurance case