Phase 1: Planning

The planning phase involves gathering information on your infrastructure background, identifying plans and goals for the engagement, setting up appointments, and arranging access to begin data collection and analysis.


Phase 2: Data collection

The data collection phase includes taking inventory of your software assets using inventory tools, questionnaires, and stakeholder interviews with key stakeholders. In addition, it will include mapping inventory data, usage, and license entitlements as well as collecting data related to cybersecurity assessment recommendations.


Phase 3: Data analysis

The data analysis phase includes the review and validation of all collected data. In addition, your partner will analyze your SAM maturity level related to current policies and procedures, and review your current environment and map it to an optimized environment based on your goals.


Phase 4: Final recommendations

At the conclusion of the SAM engagement, your partner will present their results, recommendations, and next steps through an overview presentation and detailed set of reports. See the Deliverables section below for more information on what reports you should expect from a SAM engagement.


Data collection and analysis: further details

During data collection and analysis your Microsoft partner will conduct a complete inventory of software deployment and usage, and then thoroughly analyze the data to identify areas for improvement
and develop a set of recommendations and processes to help your company optimize its software investments. Data collection and analysis will focus on these key areas:


Asset inventory

Your partner will work with you to choose the right software inventory tools, define the scope of the machines to be inventoried, identify any extra steps needed to gather data from devices and networks that may not be easily accessible, and prepare environments for scanning and data collection. The inventory tools used should collect a broad range of data points including software deployments, usage, and even device access to the network.


Data interpretation and technical requirements

Analyzing the results from the inventory data collection involves identifying and documenting all product deployments, usage, and license entitlements. From this information, your partner can evaluate such things as your browser readiness for an Office 365 migration, development needs to migrate workloads to Azure, and relationships between on-premises systems (such as an employee database) and cloud systems (such as payroll).


Deployment considerations

Your partner will analyze your on-premises and cloud-based deployments, and take a holistic view of your deployment environment as it relates to your technology roadmap and business needs. For example, they can help recommend the optimal cloud solution based on your current deployment situation and future goals. They can analyze and identify opportunities to align deployments with your overall cloud strategy, taking costs and complexity into account.


Deployment considerations

Your partner will assess whether you are appropriately licensed for your current deployment and usage state to identify areas where you can optimize your software investments and ensure compliance, and recommend the best licensing options to align with your future business plans. They can determine whether you are appropriately licensed to support both your on-premises and cloud-based deployments, mobile access scenarios, virtualized environments, and even cybersecurity risks associated with unlicensed software.


Policy improvements

During a SAM engagement, your partner will analyze your SAM process and policies and if necessary, provide recommendations to develop or improve policies to support ongoing optimization, management, and compliance. They will share key best practices to improve your organization’s software asset management program going forward.



Prior to working with your partner, you will receive a letter of engagement and a full Statement of Work from your partner explaining what to expect during your SAM engagement.
You may receive the following reports during or at the conclusion of the engagement:


Executive overview report

The executive overview report contains a high-level executive summary of the engagement scope, results, recommendations, and next steps.


Established Deployment Position (EDP)

The EDP provides a snapshot of your Microsoft software deployments in a format that enables you and your partner to review for completeness and accuracy.


Effective License Position (ELP)

The ELP report provides a comparison of your Microsoft license entitlements to your Microsoft software deployments, helping to identify any gaps or underutilization in your organization.


Assessment report

This report includes an assessment of your overall IT environment in relation to your technology goals and strategies whether they include a cloud strategy, optimization of workloads, managing mobile device access, or streamlining policies for provisioning virtualized environments. This report will vary depending on the type of SAM engagement being conducted. Every engagement should also include an assessment of your current SAM policies and procedures and improvement recommendations.


Licensing optimization recommendations report

This report provides recommendations on how to optimize your Microsoft licensing program and structure for your company. The report details risks, liabilities, and opportunities associated with your current licensing practices and recommendations on how to better manage your licenses to minimize future risk.


Additional uses of data report

The data and information collected is the most valuable part of the SAM engagement. Knowledge of your infrastructure gives you the insights and power you need to make the best technology decisions for your business. The Additional Uses of Data Report provides suggestions on how to use your data for other purposes, such as developing a virtualization roadmap, cloud migration plan, or a security assessment.

Find out more about what to expect during a SAM Engagement