The ITAM Review

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Software Asset Management – The First Ninety Days [Book Outline]

Software Asset Management - The First Ninety Days

Software Asset Management – The First Ninety Days

I am in the process of writing a book on SAM.

The book in entitled ‘Software Asset Management – The First Ninety Days‘.

My goal is to help new SAM professionals learn the territory and begin to plot their strategy.

Book Objectives

  • Highlight the benefits of SAM
  • Allow the reader to assess their current position
  • Allow the reader to plot their course
  • Provide a framework for progress
  • Balance of SAM theory and pragmatic advice
  • Low cost (say less than about £40/$60/€50)

The outline for our book is published below.

Get Involved

  1. Is there a specific topic you would like to see covered which is missing from our outline?
  2. Would you like to contribute a section based on one of the topics below?

To get involved please leave a comment below or get in contact.

Thanks, Martin

Software Asset Management – The First Ninety Days [Book Outline]

  1. Introduction to SAM 
    1. An Asset Management Primer
    2. Business Drivers
    3. Benefits (Tangible and Intangible)
    4. Risks (vendor audit / licensing complexity)
  2. Key Tenets
    1. Scope
    2. Begin with the end in mind
    3. Business as Usual / Why SAM framework
  3. The Theoretical SAM Framework
    1. SAM Definition
    2. Mission / Vision / Objectives
    3. SAM Process Framework
    4. How SAM relates to other disciplines and frameworks
      1. ITIL
      2. Cobit
      3. ISO/IEC 19770
      4. ISO/IEC 20000
    5. Governance
  4. Pragmatic SAM / Preparation (Where am I? where do I need to be?)
    1. Agree on planning and approach
    2. How to prepare stakeholder interviews
    3. Workshop and Exercises
    4. Maturity Assessment
  5. Pragmatic SAM / Implementation
    1. Your organization
      1. Placement within an organization (reporting lines)
      2. Roles and Responsibilities
      3. Sheriff or Lynchpin
      4. Characteristics of successful SAM professionals / skills
      5. Training
    2. Ownership of the (key) processes (RACI)
    3. Policies – Giving Your Practice Teeth
    4. The Operational Business Plan
      1. Goals
      2. Checklist for building a compliance position
      3. Selling SAM to Stakeholders
      4. Reporting (operational kpi’s)
    5. Your Communications Plan
    6. SAM Artefacts (Data Gathering, Data Sources)
    7. Technology
      1. Pitfalls
      2. Terminology

About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.


  1. What about a section dealing with vendors? Meeting with them, asking them for their data to compare with your own? Especially as you may have more than 1 internal group buying the same software at different times with the vendor – you’d want a consolidated list – it might be that the vendor has more complete information about your enterprise than you do.

    I happened to have blogged about this not that long ago…

  2. itsmreview says:

    Great feedback, thanks Stephen. More on Vendor Management here too:

  3. Criss Scruggs says:

    One area that seems to keep popping up is the personally owned device. There are varying approaches to managing BYOD (laptops v. smartphone/tablet). Without supporting VDI for instance, SAM can become much more complicated. I would love to see a section that focuses on this new trend and how to manage software assets that are a blend of corporate-owned and personally-owned inventoried for a device. I could see the development of best practices on how to work with employees, write a policy for this BYOD approach, etc would be extremely helpful and valuable. Looking forward to this book! Thanks for pulling this together.

  4. Jim Donnelly says:

    Hi martin, I would be very interested in contributing a section. i can be reached on twitter @formerjim if you want to Dm me

  5. Mauro Gario says:

    Hi Martin.
    Good initiative.
    What about some smart/short guidelines to select tools to support SAM (no brands but functionalities) and something about basic templates for data collection/analysis ?

  6. itsmreview says:

    Feedback from a reader: “why not add how to track savings and benefits. This seems to be a key item missing in most publications and impacts teams moving forward to getting the funding for the business case.”

  7. John Boisvenue says:

    Hi Martin, I have been involved in several SAM initiatives as a SAM Manager and currently as a consultant and the issue that appears to be the most difficult to address is that organizations continuously treat SAM as a short term project and need to realize that SAM a living and breathing initiative that is on-going. This appears to happen often where SAM/ITAM reports to the technology area which is an expense department. I am currently south for the winter however would enjoy contributing to your initiative. Thanks

  8. Kappi says:

    SAM in the CLOUD.
    Do I need to say more (-:

  9. Jim Tudor says:

    The Introduction/Business Drivers may already have this suggestion, but if not I think it is important that ITAM newcomers realize what I think is common knowledge, which is that 90% of all ITAM projects are justified by the SAM portion from a $ savings/return perspective. Also, for a quick kill in 90 days, come into SAM with a laser focus on finding a single vendor (e.g., adobe, or Microsoft Office), do a quick comparison of purchase records, install base, and, if possible, usage. Calculate the delta and in a quick fashion this does three things: 1) It gives a very quick validation of savings and/or risk, 2) it teaches the group the complexities of sorting out the three numbers (purchase/installed/usage), as well as versions, upgrades, bundles…things the casual C-level sponsors aren’t typically exposed to, and 3) the lessons learned in one exercise is a good POC to launch a broader initiative.

  10. Jim Tudor says:

    P.S. If you want to launch a crowdfunding exercise:) put up a pre-order ticket, I’d be willing to purchase a copy based on the outline, plus I don’t think there are any good books out there like this, at least recent ones, so this is a great idea and one you should contact a publisher for. Good luck with the process.

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