SAM basics

Software Asset Management

Your hardware and software assets are important investments and should managed as such. Microsoft SAM helps your organization maximize value, minimize risks, and achieve more with your IT investments.

  • Why SAM?
  • What is SAM?
  • SAM Benefits
  • How to get started?
10 reasons to implement SAM now
10 reasons

Why should you implement a Software Asset Management (SAM) plan for your business? Consider the following reasons as you assess your needs and determine how a SAM program might fit into your organization.

Improve financial security

The complexities of managing software assets across an organization make controlling costs a big challenge and can leave you feeling financially vulnerable. Implementing a solid SAM plan controls your costs with standardization throughout the software life cycle. You can thereby secure the information needed to choose the most cost-effective licensing programs, provide better IT forecasting for budgeting, and receive tax benefits associated with software depreciation.

Volume discounts for better price points

SAM can help you save when purchasing your licenses, improve relations with your software resellers, and give you an advantage in future negotiations. These benefits and others are possible because a fully implemented SAM plan gives you a better understanding of what types of licenses—and how many—your organization has purchased and deployed, and what you are using and therefore need. Should you buy on a per-PC basis, or could you save money through volume licensing? Your SAM plan will provide you with the insights to help you make efficient and effective decisions for the unique needs of your organization.

More liability control

A good SAM plan helps you avoid financial penalties and legal costs by ensuring that your licenses are compliant, and helps prevent any potential damage to your reputation that could arise from a lawsuit. SAM can also help you achieve compliance with government regulations that require strict standards of IT governance and controls.

Good corporate governance

Effective corporate governance begins with two basic steps: identifying the risks facing your business, and controlling and mitigating those risks before they can have an impact. SAM can help you identify your business and compliance risks associated with software management (or lack thereof) and establish a set of well-defined best practices that help ensure consistent management of these assets throughout your organization.

Increased employee satisfaction

A good SAM plan will give your employees the right tools they need to do their jobs. Trouble-free software and IT systems that function as they should result not only in increased efficiency but also in better overall employee morale.

Smoother operations

smoother operations

Your entire organization runs better with SAM. Initially, by providing better automation and standardizing processes to help reduce complexity, SAM optimizes your software and IT resources and lets you focus on running your business. You also have added peace of mind by ensuring your software is genuine and compliant. This provides an extra layer of security and efficiency for your IT systems and overall business.

Reduce/eliminate waste and redundancy

Overlapping, non-integrated, and outdated applications are just harder to manage. SAM gives you the information you need to make the best use of your software assets and to pay only for what you use. Thorough and ongoing reconciliation can reveal software overlap, as well as software that you no longer use and can consequently retire but are still maintaining. SAM, therefore, enables you to reduce/eliminate maintenance plans and additional fees on the software you no longer use. *Always check your license agreements before transferring software. Certain agreements may limit the transfer or redeployment of software.

Better market position

SAM can help your business gain the competitive advantage it needs in the marketplace. Up-to-date licensing and a comprehensive documented media library can result in faster, easier processes and streamlined software functionality throughout the organization; both with day to day activities and in times of mergers and acquisitions.

Increased long-term business value

Implementing SAM can increase your organization's agility and enhance its future value by ensuring that you make strategic use of resources in times of changing business conditions. With consistent and effective SAM practices in place, your business is more efficient and can respond quickly to market conditions and opportunities. Following the best practices in your SAM plan results in better information for decision making and a higher degree of operational excellence; ultimately driving long-term business value.

Flexibility for the future

SAM provides better insight into your future software needs and provides a scalable foundation for growth. Instead of buying all the newest software and updates available, you’ll be able to decide exactly what software is needed and when you’ll need it. With SAM, you can plan for your future needs now.

What is SAM?
what is sam

Software Asset Management (SAM) is a set of proven IT practices that unite people, processes, and technology to control and optimize the use of software across an organization. SAM can help you control costs as well as manage business and legal risks, optimize software license investments, and grow IT systems to accommodate your organization’s expanding needs.

Build a healthier financial position

SAM can help you control both the "hard" monetary costs of software and the "soft" costs of IT management. It helps ensure that you have the best licensing programs for your organization’s specific needs, and the most effective IT forecasting and budgeting. It can help you centralize your IT and software asset tracking, automate manual processes for increased efficiency, prepare for technology upgrades, and reduce support costs.

SAM can also help you control business and legal risks that are often related to improper software deployment. Use SAM to identify security vulnerabilities and keep track of the latest software updates, as well as achieve compliance with standards and government regulations.

Do more with what you already have

With SAM, you can get the most out of your software investments by reducing redundancy, standardizing processes, and giving your employees the tools they need. SAM can help you implement IT with business best practices and optimize software assets, enabling you to pay only for the software you use. SAM helps you optimize IT resources by standardizing processes, improving automation, and defining procedures to increase the efficiency and agility of your IT staff.

Lay a scalable foundation for business growth

As your company needs to grow, you need an IT infrastructure that can expand with you. The SAM optimization model provides a solid, scalable foundation for business growth. A fully implemented SAM plan creates efficiencies that enable you to adapt quickly to market opportunities, plan for future software needs, and engage in IT and business best practices that drive value. At its highest level, SAM helps organizations become more agile by making better use of resources, even in times of changing business conditions.

SAM benefits
sam benefits

SAM eliminates waste, overlap, and duplicate purchases throughout your organization. By optimizing your software assets and streamlining your internal processes, SAM can help you save time and money, improve workflow, and increase your competitiveness as your company grows in size and maturity.

Some of the benefits of SAM are easy to see, such as better control over software price points and better record keeping. Other long-term benefits may not be immediately apparent, but they will manifest themselves over time.

Benefits can include:

Cost savings - Reducing costs and eliminating waste

Lower costs that are associated with purchasing and maintaining your software library and IT systems. By capitalizing on overall buying power with vendors and purchasing through single volume licensing contracts, many customers can cut costs on the software they purchase. Also, the overall cost of operations over time may go down as your organization becomes streamlined and standardized to optimize tech support requests, network performance, and overall software efficiencies for personnel.

Risk management - SAM gives you peace of mind

A good SAM program can help control the risks associated with improper licensing procedures. You’ll know where you stand with your software and licenses, plus you'll have peace of mind knowing that you are using genuine products with all their associated benefits. Good licensing practices help you minimize risks and keep your software—and overall workforce—running as they should.

SAM advantage - SAM can benefit your entire organization in ways that can give you an edge

Stay ahead of the competition through streamlined operations and faster time-to-market. SAM provides reliable information that you can use to monitor and provision assets to meet future business requirements. Knowing what software you have now, where it can best be used, and what you will need in the future enables you to make more informed strategic, tactical, and operational decisions—which provides a foundation as your company grows.

Good governance - Navigating the complexities of government compliance

Government compliance does not have to be a daunting task. However, it is best to address your company's compliance with laws and regulations methodically, through careful analysis and planning. Compliance requires that each organization evaluate its internal controls and demonstrate effectiveness through proper fiscal reporting.

SAM can help you achieve and demonstrate compliance with laws and regulations that require strict standards of IT governance and controls. With a fully implemented SAM plan in place, your company will have a thorough, up-to-date record of all of its software assets and licenses, as well as streamlined and carefully controlled internal processes.

Disaster protection - SAM gives you the confidence to weather any storm

Protect your company's valuable software assets in the event of unexpected adversity. A SAM plan can help you recover more quickly from any type of loss, including the loss of inventory data, installation media, and proof of ownership. With a good SAM plan in place, you will have a thoroughly updated, centralized inventory of your company’s software titles and licenses—complete with offsite backups of all your important records and materials.

See how SAM is helping other businesses control costs