The ITAM Review

News, reviews and resources for worldwide ITAM, SAM and Licensing professionals.

The ITAM Review 12 Box Assessment Model

We’ve completed a number of SAM maturity assessments for end user organisations over the last few years.

Companies typically want an external and independent perspective on their current status and some pointers on what to do next.

For organisations looking at their SAM maturity, there are two key frameworks for assessing SAM maturity: The Microsoft SAM Optimization Model and the ISO/IEC 19770-1 standard. Both are good models.

For the majority of companies we speak to the ISO standard is a sledgehammer to crack a nut (Many barely make the first rung of the ISO ladder!). So we often start with the Microsoft SAM model and it’s 10 competencies. However, we feel it has a number of limitations.

Microsoft SAM Optimization Model Limitations

  • It’s Microsoft centric
  • It’s built in a perpetual licensing world (we now face many more license types)
  • It’s built in a desktop world (In our opinion it overlooks Datacentre SAM)
  • Finally – there is not enough emphasis on people and lasting change.

Introducing the ITAM Review 12 Box Assessment Model

To correctly assess organisations and prepare them for the demands of the modern SAM department – we have built our own SAM Assessment model:

  • It’s vendor neutral
  • It’s based on twelve key competencies of a modern SAM practice
  • It’s lasting objective is SAM as business as usual and a state of audit readiness for major software suppliers
  • It recognises that SAM doesn’t happen overnight and must happen gradually as a process of continual service improvement
  • It has a good balance of people, process and technology

The video below provides an overview of the 12 box model. I very much welcome your feedback.

To learn more and order please visit

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. I think this is a great idea Martin. I’d like to see it adopted, as it makes much more sense than the other standards. I would love to see more details behind each process. I gave it some press:

  2. rina says:

    This is great model!! I understand it way better and it makes more sense to me. id like to see it adopted as well as a standard ITAM process.

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