A proper SAM tool is essential when you seriously want to start working with Software Asset Management (SAM). After purchasing (in-house or hosted) one of the first tasks on the to-do list is filling the SAM tool with available data. This usually means transferring data from available spreadsheets and databases. When the SAM tool is set up, the importance of this first step is immediately clear. Eventually, you will encounter the following problems:
A SAM Tool indicates that the carefully created (old) dataset is not complete;
A tool forces a precise way of working in the interface, whereas a sheet doesn’t, because it offers you the opportunity to leave fields open and fill them in later when you have assembled the correct information. And this carries the risks of forgetting to fill it in, because other urgent matters require your attention.
SAM tools are specially developed to support a process and spreadsheets are developed according to the need of the moment. Along the migration you may discover some omissions have entered the system as time passed by. Or you might suddenly remember that it was a conscious decision.
A SAM Tool points out where a problem occurs;
Data formatting like currencies and dates is mandatory in a SAM tool and is safely guarded in the database. Self-assembled spreadsheets and databases often don’t contain this type of safety mechanisms and little errors occur, for example contacts that seem to appear twice in the system (Janssen and Jansen), but in fact are one and the same person. Or American and Dutch date formats that are both used, but cause confusion when it comes to the lifetime of a contract.
A SAM Tool enhances the quality and leads to new insights, based on the old data.
SAM Tooling leads to new insights, based on old data. This raises new questions, with the corresponding actions. You can for instance find out that not all servers are at the same patch level, that databases are not configurated in conformity with the applied license model or that hardware and software counts do not match the counts from other systems. Using a SAM tool does not only lead to new activities but also to a next step in the maturity level of your SAM processes.
In short: a SAM tool guides your organisation in that rapid growth to maturity. Are you ready to take the plunge?