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  • Published:
    November 4, 2008
  • Languages:
  • Audiences:
    IT professionals
  • Technology:
    Windows Server 2008
  • Credit toward certification:

TS: Designing, Assessing, and Optimizing Software Asset Management (SAM)

This exam has been retired

For currently available options, please see the Microsoft Certification exam list.

Skills measured

This exam measures your ability to accomplish the technical tasks listed below. The percentages indicate the relative weight of each major topic area on the exam. The higher the percentage, the more questions you are likely to see on that content area on the exam. View video tutorials about the variety of question types on Microsoft exams.

Please note that the questions may test on, but will not be limited to, the topics described in the bulleted text.

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Assess software asset management (SAM) programs by using the SAM Optimization Model (18%)
  • Define the scope of a SAM program assessment
    • Identify infrastructure groups and locations, estimated quantity of hardware and software assets, functional descriptions for each group, and key points of contact
  • Assess SAM processes throughout an organization
    • Assess infrastructure groups for the existence of documented SAM procedures, roles, and responsibilities
  • Assign maturity levels according to the 10 components of the SAM Optimization Model
    • Assign one of four maturity levels to each component
  • Perform a gap analysis between the current maturity level and the desired maturity level
    • Review assigned maturity levels, compare assigned maturity levels with desired maturity levels

Preparation resources

Perform software license reviews (21%)
  • Collect and manage complete hardware and software inventories
    • Review an organization's hardware and software inventory collection processes and data to ensure completeness
  • Validate inventory accuracy
    • Normalize software inventories and reconcile them against other data sources to verify the accuracy of specified license metrics, such as user counts based on HR employee records
  • Collect, validate, and manage license entitlement records
    • Gather, store, normalize, and validate license entitlement records; provide reports as needed
  • Perform a periodic reconciliation of software inventories and license entitlements
    • Reconcile software inventory data against software license entitlements data to determine and report license compliance status

Preparation resources

Coordinate data collection technologies (21%)
  • Manage data collection
    • Identify machine type, agent installation requirements, collection schedules, and discrepancies between inventories; define data schemas; identify data storage locations; normalize the collected data
  • Coordinate data collection between operations groups
    • Facilitate data transfer and synchronization between various IT groups, validate data between these groups, and ensure that overall SAM processes are being followed
  • Manage data interfaces between disparate data sources
    • Identify the process of matching common fields, cross-referencing, determine whether an individual record in one data source requires the updating of other data sources by using manual or automated techniques; manage the data transfer process
  • Manage reporting
    • Gather requirements for general user and executive reports, generate and maintain periodic reports, maintain the infrastructure necessary for ad-hoc reporting requests

Preparation resources

Design and manage a SAM program (19%)
  • Secure executive sponsorship
    • Identify stakeholders, create proposal materials, and obtain explicit executive authorization
  • Secure funding
    • Estimate operational costs in both consulting hours and employee time, create a project plan and budget, and obtain from each infrastructure group funding for each task that is associated with managing a SAM program
  • Design a SAM program
    • Identify resources and objectives for a SAM program, align resources with customer requirements and schedules, and coordinate acquisition strategies that may include optimization methods, such as software as a service (SaaS) and application virtualization
  • Implement a SAM program
    • Create a SAM stakeholder group to oversee the project; assess and benchmark the current state of SAM; implement technologies to support asset discovery; enhance purchasing processes to include storage and retrieval of license entitlement information; perform an initial license reconciliation; create policies, processes, and procedures to support SAM efforts; secure support from all associated departments; educate employees
  • Maintain a SAM program
    • Monitor adherence to the policies, processes, and procedures of an organization's SAM life cycle; standardize SAM processes across all domains and organizational units; perform periodic license reconciliation; and provide ongoing SAM awareness training
  • Create and manage a SAM program improvement plan
    • Incorporate SAM analytical data into strategic IT and business unit planning; create detailed metrics and reports to measure SAM adoption, maturity, and adherence to plan; report return on investment (ROI), cost avoidance, and end-user satisfaction to all stakeholders; evangelize SAM maturity benefits

Preparation resources

Manage the software asset life cycle (21%)
  • Manage the acquisition process
    • Identify and manage approved and unapproved purchasing processes within an organization, identify suppliers, and manage software approval and receiving processes
  • Manage the deployment process
    • Validate the availability of software and licenses, select the correct media, specify the software identification characteristics, and track the deployment of software
  • Maintain assets
    • Manage software and hardware during the install, move, add, change (IMAC) processes throughout the software asset life cycle
  • Manage the retirement process
    • Identify hardware for retirement, retire software, harvest software licenses, decommissioning or destruction of storage media

Preparation resources

Who should take this exam?

Candidates for this exam should have three years of on-the-job experience in an IT environment. They are familiar with business processes and audit procedures (for example, ITIL SAM-related standards and ISO/IEC 19770 standards that support the SAM life cycle, including acquisition, inventory, discovery, deployment, reconciliation, maintenance, and retirement).

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Preparing for an exam

We recommend that you review this exam preparation guide in its entirety and familiarize yourself with the resources on this website before you schedule your exam. See the Microsoft Certification exam overview for information about registration, videos of typical exam question formats, and other preparation resources. For information on exam policies and scoring, see the Microsoft Certification exam policies and FAQs.


This preparation guide is subject to change at any time without prior notice and at the sole discretion of Microsoft. Microsoft exams might include adaptive testing technology and simulation items. Microsoft does not identify the format in which exams are presented. Please use this preparation guide to prepare for the exam, regardless of its format. To help you prepare for this exam, Microsoft recommends that you have hands-on experience with the product and that you use the specified training resources. These training resources do not necessarily cover all topics listed in the "Skills measured" section.