Software Asset Management, or SAM, is a best practice and process to help your organization optimize your technology investments. Knowing what you have, acquiring only what you need, and using your software assets effectively at every stage of their life cycle are strategic business practices that businesses of all sizes should employ to realize great benefits. Learn how these benefits include cost savings, enhanced security, enhanced employee productivity and satisfaction, and more.
SAM can help businesses manage risks, control costs, and gain a competitive advantage.
As organizations merge, they acquire a whole new set of software assets. SAM can help reconcile what your business has, what it needs, and what it may have too much of after a merger or an acquisition.Volume License Transfer SheetPerpetual License Transfer Form
SAM can help customers develop Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reporting by helping build software asset inventories, and by enhancing application change management and software depreciation models.
Internal controls for software assets can provide reliability in financial reporting, effectiveness and efficiency in operations, and compliance with applicable laws and regulation.
SAM Partners can help you navigate the complexities of SAM. SAM Partners are specialized consultants who can help you manage and track your software in order to develop greater software efficiency.
If you are ready to start your SAM efforts, but you need a SAM Partner to help you get started, you can search the Microsoft SAM Partner listings to find a SAM Partner near you.
For more information on Software Asset Management, visit www.viewsamkit.com to view or download a copy of the SAM Optimization Kit. The kit includes a wealth of helpful information, including further insight into the benefits of SAM, software assessment tools, white papers, resources, and tips on choosing a SAM partner.
Step 1: Perform a software inventory.
Step 2: Match software to licenses.
Step 3: Review policies and procedures.
Step 4: Develop a SAM plan.
As these case studies reveal, SAM has proven beneficial to many companies. Some have saved upwards of fifteen to twenty percent in their overall IT budgets and experienced significant savings in procurement and administrative costs. In Addition, SAM has brought about less downtime for employees, fewer helpdesk issues, faster inventory responses, and lower labor costs. See how SAM benefited two U.S. customers below.
Struggling with discrepancies with software purchases and license management, Daifuku looked to SAM for help. Daifuku America streamlined licensing agreements and procurement, improved IT management, and reduced costs through SAM Assist. See the complete Daifuku America Case Study.
Experiencing significant growth, Five Star Airport Alliance saw the need for a SAM engagement. This resulted in an improved inventory process, updated SAM policies, and the selection of an optimal licensing program. See the complete Five Star Airport Alliance Case Study.
To see additional SAM case studies from around the world click here
You can perform a manual inventory by checking the hard disk of each computer and recording the information in a report. To start, view the Add or Remove Programs screen on each computer. See Sam Step-By-Step for more info.
You can use a software inventory tool to perform an automatic inventory of your company's computers and servers. The Software Inventory and Asset Management Tools catalogue contains a searchable list of these types of tools. In addition, you can use the Microsoft Software Inventory Analyzer (MSIA) to determine which major Microsoft tools are installed. These automated tools help to simplify the software inventory process.
You can use MSIA or a Software Asset Management (SAM) tool to scan computers that are on a network. You can also scan each non-networked computer (stand-alone). Most SAM tools automatically generate software inventory reports. There are example reports available in the Downloadable Documents section. If you use such a tool on stand-alone computers, you must install the tool on each computer.
After you've taken inventory all of your organization's computers, you can combine the information into one master report. This report will be useful in the next step of SAM and as a reference for all future SAM work.
After you know what you're looking for, how do you find it? The first step is to contact the person(s) responsible for new software acquisition in your company.
If your company participates in one of the Microsoft Volume License Programs, you can visit special Web sites to access your license documentation.
If you still have difficulty in locating your license information, contact your resellers for help.
After you have found all of your license documentation, store it in a safe place (off-site if possible). If your company decides to keep license documentation onsite, use of a fire-proof, waterproof, lockable cabinet or safe is recommended.
After you have collected all of your company's license documentation, record the information in a report. Then compare this report to the software inventory report you prepared in SAM Step 1. You could even use the same summary report used in Step 1 for this comparison. It should be easy to see where your company is over-licensed, under-licensed, or both.
If your company is over-licensed, software assets are going to waste. The software may be installed on additional PCs until the number of licenses equals the number of installs.
If your company is under-licensed, now is the time to acquire additional licenses through an authorized Microsoft software reseller.
Sometimes different departments unknowingly order the same software titles. Centralizing software acquisition can help your company save money. Centralizing software acquisition makes it easier to take advantage of volume license savings.
A centralized acquisition system can also help your company:
Note: Please refer to the terms in your license agreement before transferring software.
Your software acquisition policy can achieve these goals by documenting these policies:
The following downloadable templates can help you create your company's software acquisition policy.
Software acquisition policy template
It's important to be prepared for worst-case scenarios. A disaster recovery plan includes the procedures your company can follow if disaster strikes. Your disaster recovery plan should include information about protecting and restoring your systems and software. Items to cover are:
By outlining procedures to recover software after an unforeseen disaster, you will know exactly how to respond if it happens. It's an important precautionary step that can prove invaluable.
Software disaster recovery plan template
To ensure that new software is added to your company's software inventory, develop a series of steps that employees should follow when the new software arrives.
The steps should cover:
The software check-in process is often overlooked but is an easy way to make sure your software inventory remains accurate. You'll help prevent your company from buying software it already owns.
New software check-in checklist
The software use policy should cover your company's rules for downloading, installing, and using software titles.
To institute a software use policy, you should:
It's important that all employees receive the software use policy and understand what they can and cannot do with the company's software and hardware. You'll help keep your systems free from viruses, reduce the number of support calls, and keep your software inventory up-to-date.
Software use policy template
Before moving forward, you may want to perform the following tasks:
Create a software inventory database or spreadsheet to keep track of software licenses.
If your company has the resources available, you might wish to set up training for specific software titles. Training might be especially valuable for new software titles that have never previously been used at your company. Proper training helps ensure that employees get the most from their new software, which can result in fewer service calls.
To reduce support costs
Limit the number of applications and devices your support staff must support by standardizing applications and systems whenever possible.
Avoid custom in-house solutions if possible—the support overhead is generally greater for custom applications than for prepackaged software. In addition, with prepackaged software your support staff can contact the vendor if issues arise—they have no one to fall back on for applications created in-house.
Encourage your staff to find ways to automate any repetitive tasks that they perform. This gets them thinking more directly about the tasks they do and can result in an astonishing accumulation of saved time. Just make sure to document any automated task and set up a procedure for checking up on it regularly.
Tips on reducing support costs
Keep software safe.It's important to make sure that all licensing documentation and at least one copy of each of software title and version are protected in a safe place. A limited number of employees should have access to the software to help protect against possible misuse or theft.
Create a software and hardware map.Knowing what software is installed on which machines and knowing where they are located throughout your organization can be very helpful, especially for your support team. This information can be included in a software inventory database, created in a separate spreadsheet, or mapped out in a Visio diagram that shows the location of each machine, the user at that machine, and the software installed on that machine.
Software and hardware spreadsheet template
Determine how often you will perform regular software inventories to keep your information up-to-date. The schedule should be determined by the size of your company, purchasing habits, and growth rate. Certain Software Asset Management tools continuously monitor software installations on networked PCs and provide software inventory reports in real time.
Even with such advanced SAM tools, it is important to perform periodic spot-checks on software inventory. Spot checks can be performed on a random sample of specific PCs or for a few specific software titles. Determine a threshold of error for these spot checks—if the difference between the software inventory report and the spot check is significant it might be wise to perform a full software inventory.
After you've completed all of the SAM steps, you'll know what you own, acquire only what you need, and get the most from your software assets. Congratulations!
All midsized business customers with an Enterprise Agreement nearing an anniversary date are qualified to receive a complimentary Software Asset Management (SAM) assistance service called SAM Assist for True-Up.
The True-Up process is your annual chance to take a step back and actively manage your assets. Take an inventory of all the qualified desktops, users, and processors you have added to your organization over the past year, and find out what you have, what you’re missing, and what redundancies you may eliminate.
Through the SAM Assist for True-Up program, a Microsoft Certified Partner with a SAM specialization can guide you through the True-Up process, helping you save time and resources, control costs, and lessen business and legal risks. With this complimentary license inventory and reconciliation analysis, you can:
Talk to a TeleSAM Advisor today. Call 1-866-606-3749 now, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your SAM Assist.
Get tips and tools to help you perform a software inventory
Access your True Up resources here
Read the full Daifuku case study
Talk to a TeleSAM Advisor today.
Terms and Conditions
*Offer good only to Enterprise Agreement customers in the United States through June 30, 2010. Government and education customers are not eligible for this offer. This offer is valid only for a SAM engagement administered by Microsoft Certified Partners with a SAM specialization. This offer is nontransferable and not redeemable for cash.
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