• Simon Bolton, Director |
4 min read

Software Asset Management (SAM) is an IT imperative for every business, but many businesses struggle to implement and embed robust SAM practises. We’ve built a service delivery platform called KPMG SAM Navigator to help our clients in execute best in class SAM.

Software is too expensive to waste

The benefits that come from well executed SAM are substantial and varied. For example, sustained cost reductions, insulation against non-compliance with contractual terms, the opportunity to make better informed software spending decisions, assurance on strategic initiatives like cloud migrations or M&A activities, effective re-provisioning of assets, etc.

Software is an elusive asset, it can be easily copied or moved across machines and identical looking installations can have hugely different licence requirements depending on how they are used.

It’s not just the transitory nature of software that creates challenges for SAM. IT environments are complex, evolving, and resistant to overarching inventory and control. Software contracts and licensing metrics vary on a vendor-by-vendor basis meaning there can be no singular approach and, in most cases, recognition of the commercial benefits of SAM are time-bound by contract renewal schedules.

As a result, many organisations struggle to implement and embed robust SAM practises and this often leads to unrecognised financial exposures, overspend, and untapped opportunities to reduce costs.

But, even if you do implement SAM, if you don’t carefully orchestrate day to day activities then there is a real risk of having material gaps in working and understanding. At best this can make your SAM ambitions slower and harder to achieve. At worst it can prevent you from achieving insights and benefits entirely.

Introducing KPMG SAM Navigator

To help our clients execute best in class SAM we developed ‘KPMG SAM Navigator’; an industry leading service delivery portal designed for the specific challenges of managing software. KPMG SAM Navigator is an online delivery platform for SAM hat is specifically designed to solve the operational issue of defining and orchestrating day to day license counting activities. As a web native platform, you can access its features from your internet browser anywhere you need to.

KPMG SAM Navigator contains customised workflows that define the steps needed to collect information pertinent to software licensing, for example, if you use IBM’s ILMT tool, the SAM Navigator can be set to provide instructions on how to run a licensing report and otherwise capture the supporting detail you need to contextualise that report. This information is then stored in a project environment dedicated to you which is compliant with key data protection standards and regulatory requirements.

In its project management and delivery capacity, the SAM Navigator supports allocation of tasks to individuals so you can engage support of your product owners and admins, it offers automated reminders to make sure work progresses, and it allows tracking of delivery dates against plan to provide visibility of progress and issues in order to keep your projects running to smoothly.

License Complexity

SAM Navigator provides unrivalled content aligned to vendor specific license terms and conditions. Whereas traditional SAM tools provide inventory and analytics, SAM Navigator sits alongside existing SAM tooling and focuses on enhancing the quality and reliability of the information collected to provide better outcomes and greater certainty, particularly when working with complex and specialist licensing metrics.

We find it can be helpful to think about the level of complexity that is inherent within software licensing to better understand where, and how, the SAM Navigator delivers greatest value:

Level 1 metrics: are typically counted according to where they are discovered. For example ‘Per Install’ metrics. SAM tools cover many applications with Level 1 metrics ‘Out of the Box’.

Level 2 metrics: are counted according to where they are discovered and how they are configured. For example, Oracle’s ‘Processor’ metric. SAM tools can measure Level 2 metrics once they are properly configured but they need regular administration to stay up to date. SAM Navigator contains workflows that help qualify the combinations of data needed and can be used to set-up schedules to make sure you stay on top of the process of ongoing checks and configuration.

Level 3 metrics: tend to be resistant to automated discovery & counting as performed by a SAM tool. These products require dedicated specialist counting processes outside the SAM tool. SAM Navigator provides the ‘know how’ for data gathering so that KPMG can support you in counting this often-overlooked part of a software portfolio so you can better control the associated licensing risks.

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KPMG SAM Navigator ensures improved SAM performance and lasting value by leveraging our investments in process design, software licensing expertise, and tooling know-how, to accelerate your SAM mission.