The ITAM Review

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

Podcast Episode 102: ‘The missing SAM Magic Quadrant’

In this podcast I speak with Becky Trevino of Snow Software, Cory Wheeler of Zylo and Mathias Knops of USU on the role of magic quadrants in the marketing mix for technology companies, why Gartner might have stopped the SAM magic quadrant (withdrawn in February 2021) and the research required to help the continued growth of the ITAM market.

Thanks to Becky, Cory and Mathias for an interesting conversation looking at the future of ITAM and the challenges and opportunities we will all face over the next few years.

Agenda – The missing SAM Magic Quadrant

    • What is the Gartner MQ for SAM tools and what role does it play?
    • Why did Gartner cease coverage of SAM tools and what might they do in the future?
    • What industry research is required for the growth of the ITAM market?

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As well as our experienced in-house ITAM analysts, Wisdom Online will also feature industry expert speakers from across North America covering key topics including audit defence and licensing, cloud cost management, contract management, addressing SaaS & IaaS risk, Hardware Asset Management, IT Asset Disposal and much more. Register for free today.

Image source: Gartner

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.

One Comment

  1. Adam says:

    Hey Guys, thanks for a good session and a good platform for discussions. Very interesting. I’d like to toss in a few comments though. Apologies for being slightly critical towards the “solutions industry” but it seems we forget here the customer needs, apply terminology too loosely and promise things that simply are never delivered, and in some cases, we sell to customers software which can at best deliver a portion of what SAM is, and in case it is needed, please refer to ISO19770. I don’t mind solutions being proposed, but I mind when partial workarounds are called solutions.
    Thus I offer a few definitions:

    Asset: “An item of property owned by a person or company, regarded as having value and available to meet debts, commitments, or legacies.”

    An asset is thus a representation of an investment that is intended to provide a value for the company not in itself, but through the improvement, it is to produce.
    So if a company buys a bunch of computers those are supposed to improve something and bring value for the company in terms of a return, such as faster processing of a business function. If they buy or lease a piece of software it isn’t because they need a tax write-off, it is because the software is supposed to solve a problem that is better solved through the use of the software.

    The discipline (SAM) is a set of practices to manage the value invested in software.

    The discipline is intended to save companies money, this on ownership of present software portfolio. Save money on new technology implementations, and optimizing ownership and usage, and of course planning for tech changes. Consequently, SAM makes it possible to see what happens after buying something and attempts to improve that for this purchase and future ones.

    The ultimate goal of SAM as a discipline is making costs of doing business visible and transparent and not provide the option of reaching/maintaining license compliance. What really offends my sensibilities is that terminology is being kidnapped in the process within the market and consequently many assumptions are being made. We do have dictionaries and terms already established do not need to be redefined.

    “Return on investment (ROI) is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency or profitability of an investment or compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. ROI tries to directly measure the amount of return on a particular investment, relative to the investment’s cost.”

    That translated to software assets means the ability to measure how investment into software has improved production of a product or quality of service, or the efficiency of production.
    So in my mind, most tools can provide maybe partial TCO “total cost of ownership (an estimate of all the direct and indirect costs involved in acquiring and operating a product or system over its lifetime).” and not an ROI

    This episode has been very informative, and for that I thank you, but let’s face it, the value of SAM is not a cash cow to try selling more “solutions” to potential customers. To run an effective SAM program you need several tools or “systems”, you need to establish many processes and you need professionals who will make use of the systems, improve the processes, automate and in the final effect, make visible costs of usage, cost of waste (time mostly, using substandard software)costs of downtime, so leaders of companies can have a base to calculate the cost of doing business… That’s why ISO19770 makes use of PDCA,

    Since I work as a SAM “resource” specifically and have been managing software for some years I have seen many “solutions”, have created a few of my own and have been in constant contact with the business and thus heard what they wanted to see.
    I also have eventually jumped ship from being an internal SAM resource towards being a consultant in the matter. And I agree, selling SAM is difficult mostly because it’s a huge topic that is so complex that salespeople have to cut corners to get a customer to buy.
    So let me exemplify this a little. Taxation laws indirectly require as SAM program to exist through legislation pertaining to finances and their management.
    Ownership laws regulate part of it and since software publishers do not offer solutions for self-management of their products, management of software in a company is essential.
    Some publishers until fairly recently for their volume customers required a SAM program.
    The challenge isn’t what tools to use, but to understand the organizational context and needs and taking time to define requirements, then keep adjusting as market and organization changes.
    There are no shortcuts and none in software solutions and taking one (by thinking you’re buying an start to end solution) will not resolve any problems but create several others.
    I know, moving to the cloud moves more spend into opex, which creates less pressure on managing the costs from a tax perspective, but it doesn’t remove it and the universal truth is and has always been: that a business wants to make the production of goods and services lower, not higher, and so SAM helps to do exactly that for the software portfolio in so many more way than any tools in itself is capable of. And for that professionals are required, processes are required and then some tools.

    After all, time is money and software is at best a tool.
    But that’s my 5 frustrated cents 😉

    I’ll keep visiting so please keep it up!
    Best regards

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