SAM Platform that Actually Works, Just Imagine That

by | 17 Sep 2019 | CAM, Cloud, Cloud First, Data Center, Digital Transformation, ITAM, Mobile, SAM/SLO, Software Asset Management

A SAM Platform that actually works is like an urban myth: nobody has one, but almost everyone knows someone who knows someone who has – but cannot tell you how or where to get one.

After years of being over promised and under delivered by SAM tool vendors, enterprises have lost faith in their ability to deliver solutions that work. In fact, according to Gartner, “25% of enterprises will be satisfied that their SAM tool purchases align well with prepurchase expectations of value”. Ultimately, this means that 75% of enterprises will not be satisfied with their SAM tools.

Vendors that market ‘SAM Platforms’ are often selling vaporware, offering little more than a disparate collection of products, fragmented data sources and a whole load of manual processes to extract basic levels of value – not what you expect from a true Platform-based solution.

 

SAM Platform vs Vaporware Tools

At a glance, you can see the main differences between a true SAM Platform and your typical vaporware tools.

 

SAM Platform
Vaporware Tools

> Holistic, interconnected solution

> Disparate collection of tools

> End-to-end SaaS, on-premise or hybrid deployments

> No end-to-end SaaS offering

> Rapid deployment in minutes – not months

> Lengthy deployment processes

> Advanced levels of automation

> Overabundance of manual processes

> Single login, with one UI and UX

> Multiple logins, with conflicting UI and UX

> Single, normalized data source

> Fragmented data sources and formats

> Complete and accurate data across all devices and platforms

> Incomplete data with limited coverage across the IT estate

> Coverage across all mega vendors (Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, IBM)

> Focus on one or two mega vendors

> Cloud asset management, covering SaaS, PaaS and IaaS

> Limited or no capability for cloud

> Advanced analytics built into the platform

> Limited analysis and access to data

> Bespoke, dynamic reporting

> Limited pre-built reports

 

How to Get A Real SAM Platform that Actually Works

It is not surprising that reading a Certero blog would result in us claiming that we offer a true SAM Platform that is years ahead of the competition. However, unlike other vendors you are probably familiar with, we don’t base our commercial success of on marketing smoke and mirrors. Our organization is built on solid, reliable solutions that deliver real, tangible value. Perhaps the video below will help explain it better.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Certero are obviously going to say how awesome Certero is”. Well that is true, but we are not the only ones saying it. In the most recent Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice, Certero scored higher and received more five-star reviews than any other provider. These are completely independent reviews by our customers and are not the opinions of either Certero or Gartner. They are a true reflection of the market. It is these reviews that validates Certero as the true technology leaders in the ITAM and SAM industry.

We can also demonstrate the benefits of our SAM Platform via a Proof of Concept project and are confident of beating anyone in a head-to-head ‘Tech-Off’.

 

Selecting the Right Technologies for SAM Success

Spotting the difference between a true SAM platform and a fragmented collection of tools can be quite difficult. However, organizations can cut through the marketing spin by booking software demonstrations or arranging proof of concept projects. This enables businesses to validate the technology on offer, examine the quality of the support available and assess how easy it is to do deal with the vendor.

Below is a list of critical factors that should be used to analyze and validate solutions. The list is not exhaustive and organizations are encouraged to add their own criteria to determine best fit with their specific business challenges and objectives.

 

Easy Implementation

What to Look For: Whether deployed as SaaS, on-premise or a custom hybrid combination, SAM platforms come packed with a wide range of advanced functionality, automation and reporting capabilities that work straight out-of-the-box, making implementation quick, simple and hassle free. The advantage for businesses seeking to deploy in the cloud is rapid time to value. Unlike fragmented tools, a SAM platform can be deployed in minutes – not months. This enables customers to easily deploy products and add value faster than they can implement other tools. Likewise, service providers can deliver solutions faster without having to compromise on quality and results.

What to Avoid: Vendors offering fragmented tool sets make many claims about their technology, which customers later realize are not entirely true. For example, most SaaS solutions for SAM do not contain ITAM data, which is not always obvious from the outset. As SAM cannot be performed correctly without ITAM data, customers have to purchase a separate ITAM tool to realize any tangible value. However, this typically requires on-premise servers to gather and inventory the data. What this means is all the pain and hassle of implementing on-premise tools cannot be avoided if the customer wants a proper solution that delivers real value. With lengthy internal sign off processes and complex deployment and implementation procedures, the time to value is massively extended and the whole point of purchasing a SaaS solution becomes redundant. Implementation is anything but easy.

 

Automation

What to Look For: Single platform solutions have advanced levels of automation at their core, made possible by elegantly designed architecture. The automated functionality of the platform should work straight out-of-the-box, with little to no additional configuration. Automation should not be limited to daily operations and should include the implementation process, making it quicker and easier to deploy. With advanced levels of automation, customers and service providers can deliver more accurate data, better results and greater value faster and with fewer people.

What to Avoid: At the core of older tools is architecture designed and built decades ago, which limits the functionality and quality of solutions and forces customers and service providers to hire additional people to perform manual processes. In addition to reducing the overall value of the solution, it dramatically slows down the delivery of results and allows human error to creep into the process. For example, fragmented data sources cannot be automatically provided in a single view and require a lot of manual intervention to normalize and compile data sets. By the time this work is complete, the results are out of date. Similarly, the implementation process is lengthy and complex, with customers having to perform manual configurations and processes to integrate tools and deploy agents.

 

Scope

What to Look For: A fully interconnected SAM platform will deliver solutions that cover all platforms, from Mobile to Mainframe to Cloud (including SaaS, PaaS and IaaS), across vendors such as SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and many, many more. The results produced and value added is consistent across all scenarios.

What to Avoid: Older, fragmented tool sets typically specialize in one core area and struggle to deliver value outside of that narrow focus. For example, they may be comfortable delivering solutions for Microsoft on PCs, but fail to deliver the same level of value for other vendors and devices. As a result, organizations inevitably purchase different solutions from different vendors to get the full scope they require, but this also creates different data sources and a lot more manual processes.

 

Flexible Configuration

What to Look For: Only platforms with modular configurations can be customized to the specific needs of individual businesses. SAM platforms deliver this flexibility as standard so it does not matter what the business objectives and challenges are, the modular structure of individual products, combined with elegant architecture, means anything and everything is customizable. What this means is customers do not end up paying for products and functions that are not required and can configure their platforms to meet their specific challenges and objectives.

What to Avoid: With older tools customers often pay for additional products and functionality that they do not actually want or need. Again, this is due to legacy technology. Customers often have to pay for these functions simply to access part of the solution that gives them what they want. Ultimately this makes simple solutions expensive and overly complex to implement, set up and manage. Similarly, once the tool has been implemented, it lacks the capability to be customized to meet specific business requirements. The result is an expensive, complex solution that is not flexible enough to meet customer’s objectives and business challenges.

 

Single Pane of Glass Visibility

What to Look For: A true SAM platform must provide single pane of glass visibility of the whole IT ecosystem, with a one UI, one UX and single login. Ultimately a holistic, interconnected single solution. Combined with a single data source and full scope across all devices and vendors, customers only need to log into one system to manage all their IT hardware and software assets. All of this makes management, analysis and reporting quicker, easier and more cost-efficient, helping to maximize optimization potential and provide greater governance of the IT ecosystem.

What to Avoid: Legacy technology in older tools means that not only do individual products have individual data sources, they also function independently of one another. Like their sources of data, older tools are similarly fragmented and disparate. As a result customers have to log in and out of multiple products in order to manage their IT hardware and software assets. With each product carrying inconsistent data, which is not updated in real-time, customers are forced to decipher a labyrinth of information to derive any value. In addition, each product has a different UI and UX, making it more complicated for the user to produce meaningful outputs. In fact, with such limitations, using older tools to manage and optimize IT hardware and software assets is futile because the quality and validity of outputs are difficult to trust.

 

Single Data Source and Advanced Analytics

What to Look For: SAM platforms can provide a single source of data for all vendors and platforms that works straight out-of-the-box, making data management, analysis and reporting quick and simple. Interrogation of the data source is easy and business intelligence can be obtained in just a few mouse clicks. With advanced levels of automation, data from across the entire IT ecosystem can be maintained in real-time, so inventories always contain the latest data. In covering all devices and vendors, true SAM platforms create a large volume of data during their discovery processes. Unlike older tools that discard valuable items of data, SAM platforms use everything to compile the most comprehensive inventories imaginable.

What to Avoid: Discovery and inventory processes and functions produce a wealth of data. Older tool vendors feed this into fragmented and disparate databases in order to power different products. This makes analysis difficult, time consuming and manual, as multiple data sources need to be normalized and merged to provide a complete picture of the IT ecosystem. The resulting analysis and business intelligence is produced from data that has a higher probability of being invalid, incomplete, out of date or a combination of all three.

 

Customizable Reporting

What to Look For: Customizable reporting is a standard feature in SAM platforms, not only for individual devices and vendors, but across all variables within the single source of data. What this means is businesses can create their own interactive reports and dashboards inside the tool itself for absolutely anything they desire, so extracting data for bespoke reporting is not necessary. Reports and dashboards can be shared with others, making it quick and simple to update management and the wider team on status, progress and performance. By providing this functionality across all variables in the single data source, businesses can rapidly transform data into valuable business intelligence in seconds.

What to Avoid: In addition to fragmented data sources and multiple logins, older tools have basic reporting capabilities. Outside of built-in reports there is very little scope for developing anything new. This means organizations have to extract data and build reports and dashboards in other reporting tools or spreadsheets in order to provide status, progress and performance reports to management and the wider team.

 

Speed of Service Delivery

What to Look For: A straightforward test is to ascertain how long the provider needs to be able to deliver their service. If the lead time is running into months, they are almost certainly using older legacy tools. Service providers with a true SAM platform should be able to deploy SaaS solutions in a matter of minutes, enabling them to deliver services rapidly. What this means is service providers can help organizations prepare for audits within constrained time frames, without any problems.

What to Avoid: Service providers are limited by the same older legacy tools. As a result, the speed of delivery of services is often slow. It is typical for tools to take months to implement, which is before it is fully configured and before it gathers any data. Due to the timescales involved in delivering services, organizations usually have to book them in months in advance. But with vendors knocking on the door to perform audits, slow delivery of services is not what businesses want.

 

The Added Value of a True SAM Platform

Certero has a true SAM Platform – so what? What does this mean for you? Well, the advantages for you of having a true SAM platform are vast. Take a look at some of the benefits you and your organization get from an interconnected, single-platform solution.

Rapid Time to Solution
Near Zero Manual Processes
Better Compliance & Optimization
Faster Time to Value
Single Data Source for ITAM & SAM
Accelerated Technological Change Programs
Flexible Deployment Options
Accurate & Complete Data Sets
Greater Efficiency & Lower Costs

Discover the Power of An Interconnected SAM Platform

See why Certero has more five-star reviews than any other Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice