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Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAM Managed Service Providers 2021

Gartner has updated their Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Managed Services.

Managed service providers help customers with some of the heavy lifting involved in delivering ITAM within an organisation. The better providers help customer use the information gleaned to inform strategic direction.

Gartner states that SAM MSP’s:

“…employ the provider’s proprietary SAM skills and methodologies to transform a client’s existing processes and augment their resources. SAM managed services are delivered directly to end-user clients, on either a continuous or a scheduled basis, employing required discipline to meet software and cloud service cost optimization and governance objectives.”

The image below compares the 2020 and 2021 quadrants.

It is recommended reading for anyone exploring SAM managed services, especially larger organisations with an international footprint which Gartner reports favour.

Gartner MQ

2020 vs 2021. Image source Anglepoint

Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAM Managed Service Providers

Notable differences – 2020 vs. 2021:

  • Deloitte, Livingstone and Softline all improve their position
  • USU (Nee Aspera) catches up with the pack
  • It’s disappointing to see the removal of French independent ELEE, I hope they can return. Replaced by Insight.
  • Anglepoint goes shooting off up and to the right.


  • Kudos to the Anglepoint team for this rating. But where does Anglepoint go from here? Perhaps it is so far up and to the right that it spells the end of this Quadrant? Following in the footsteps of the now defunct SAM Tools quadrant? In the future perhaps it is better to broaden the scope to ITAM managed services rather than just SAM, as I suspect will be the case with a future Tools quadrant.
  • Excluding audit firms (who will offer both audits for publishers and audit defence for customers without blushing) Livingstone and USU are the only firms on this quadrant not to either transact software licensing sales or be owned by a group that transacts software licensing sales. Especially for Livingstone, I believe this is a strategic differentiator in a competitive market they are not fully exploiting. After a few years navel gazing internally following acquisitions, I hope they come out swinging and capitalise on their independence.
  • Those “winning” on this quadrant, are using ITAM as strategic enabler for the CIO, as opposed to the race to the bottom of competing on price over crunching license statements.
  • Of the big four audit firms, PWC remains absent and without a significant ITAM practice
  • Outside of big audit firms, major ServiceNow partners have yet to make major inroads into the ITAM space. For example, where are Accenture and DXC? Similarly, historical ServiceNow ITSM integrators are yet to make a splash in this market. I would expect this to change over the next few years, by growth or acquisition.

The quadrant is available from the following sources (Registration Required):

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.

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