What is SAM to me? The SAM Manager’s perspective

As part of our ‘SAM deconstruction’ blog series we wanted to look at SAM from different perspectives within the organization. We all know there are many stakeholders involved in the use, purchasing, deployment and management of software, but do we ever stop and think why is SAM important to them, if indeed it is? Does SAM ever even cross their radar?

So, each week through the rest of September we are going to look at SAM from the various stakeholders involved.

First up, the SAM Manager.

The SAM Manager is embedded in SAM every day. They know what it entails. Their job can feel like an uphill struggle against numerous forces inside and outside the organization. Any of these sound familiar?

– End users don’t understand the need to tell you when they’ve installed an application “Er, what’s a software license? I just put the CD in don’t I?”

– Software vendors pestering you to complete an audit or asking for proof that you really don’t need any more than 500 Office 2010 licenses this year

– The CFO demanding to know why the annual software budget is so high

– Never really knowing, with absolute confidence, what your license reconciliation position is because you’re constantly wading through pages and pages of garbled inventory data

– The rest of the organization not really knowing what you do, let alone why it’s critically important

While we hope, for your sake, that you’re not suffering from every one of these, I daresay some will sound familiar. If this is the reality for many of us, what should SAM be to a SAM manager? What is “SAM Nirvana”, as Software Optimization Services (one of our resellers) likes to put it?

What SAM should be to a SAM Manager

The SAM Manager’s primary role should not be educating users or maintaining compliance. These should be part of his/her role of course, but they should be automated to such an extent that the SAM Manager can concentrate on where they add the most value to the organization – in optimizing the spend on software.

As per the high-level definition of SAM in our previous blog post “What is SAM?”, the SAM Manager’s role should be to balance this simple equation:



This is what SAM is, in its simplest form – balancing the equation of software spend with software needs. By definition then, this is what a SAM Manager should be doing on a day-to-day basis. Is this what SAM means to you? If it’s not, what of the above challenges are getting in your way? And did we miss any?

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Ben Eagling

Ben Eagling

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