Softwarelicensing

Software Asset Management Tools Comparison of 2024

The best SAM tools in 2024 are:

  • Flexera: Advanced optimization and license compliance, ideal for large IT estates.
  • ServiceNow: Integrates SAM within IT service management, which is best for existing ServiceNow users.
  • USU: Specializes in license management and software spend analysis for complex environments.
  • Lansweeper: Offers IT asset discovery and inventory, great for asset visibility.
  • Eracent: Provides comprehensive ITAM/SAM solutions for in-depth setup and customization.
  • Each tool caters to different organizational needs, from detailed asset management to license compliance and IT spend optimization.

Introduction to Software Asset Management Tools

Top Software Asset Management Tools 2024

Software Asset Management (SAM) tools have become indispensable to efficient business operations in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

These tools offer many advantages, from optimizing software expenditure to ensuring compliance with licensing agreements. We recognize these tools’ critical role and have conducted a comprehensive comparison to guide your choice. In this article, we focus on:

  • The Significance of SAM Tools: Understanding why SAM tools are crucial in managing software assets effectively.
  • Key Features and Functionality: Highlight the essential attributes defining a top-tier SAM tool.
  • Comparison Criteria: Outlining the parameters used in our evaluation, including user-friendliness, cost-effectiveness, and support services.

Overview of Top Software Asset Management Tools

Overview of Top Software Asset Management Toolss

1. Flexera

  • Key Features: Advanced software optimization, license compliance, and IT spend reduction capabilities.
  • Pros: Offers deep insights into software and hardware assets and is strong in identifying savings.
  • Cons: It might be complex for smaller organizations without dedicated IT asset management teams.

2. ServiceNow

  • Key Features: Integrates SAM within a broader IT service management framework, automating lifecycle management and compliance.
  • Pros: Seamless integration with IT operations, enhancing overall IT service delivery.
  • Cons: It requires substantial investment and is best leveraged by organizations already using or planning to adopt the ServiceNow platform.

3. USU (formerly Aspera)

  • Key Features: Specializes in software license management, compliance assurance, and software spend analysis.
  • Pros: Strong support for complex enterprise environments and licensing models.
  • Cons: The full spectrum of capabilities may require a mature ITAM/SAM process to be leveraged fully.

4. Lansweeper

  • Key Features: Provides IT asset discovery and inventory, offering detailed insights into software and hardware assets.
  • Pros: Agentless scanning capability, making it less intrusive and easier to deploy.
  • Cons: Focuses more on asset discovery and inventory and may need integration with other tools for complete SAM functions.

5. Eracent

  • Key Features: Delivers ITAM/SAM solutions that improve IT cost control, risk management, and operational efficiency.
  • Pros: Comprehensive feature set including discovery, usage tracking, and license management.
  • Cons: The breadth of functionality might require significant setup and customization effort.

These tools represent a broad spectrum of capabilities within the SAM domain, from license tracking and compliance to asset discovery and operational efficiency.

Choosing the right tool depends on your organization’s specific needs, the complexity of your IT environment, and your existing IT infrastructure.

Detailed Comparison of Top 10 Software Asset Management Tools

Comparison of Top 10 Software Asset Management

This section analyzes the top 10 software asset management tools, evaluating them based on their features, usability, customer support, and pricing.

We aim to give you detailed insights so you can make an informed decision.

ToolKey FeaturesUsabilityCustomer SupportPricing
ZluriComplete software asset visibility, license optimizationUser-friendlyExcellentCompetitive
Alloy SoftwareSoftware inventory management, license optimizationCustomizableReliableVaries
Axios SystemSoftware lifecycle management, compliance assistanceEasy to installUser-friendlyFlexible
AWS License ManagerLicense management for various vendors, compliance rulesEfficientFast and reliableBased on usage
XensamDetailed software usage data, compliance trackingIntuitive interfaceRobustCustom
ServiceNowTracks and manages software licensesUser-friendlyExcellentSubscription
IBM MaximoAsset maintenance, preventive maintenance schedulingStreamlinedUser-friendlyPremium
Qualys Cloud PlatformNetwork security, app scanning, vulnerability managementComprehensiveEfficientBased on scale
Snow License ManagerAccurate software usage and entitlements viewDynamicEffectiveCustom
LansweeperIT asset discovery, automated patching, policy enforcementComprehensiveReliableCustomizable

Best Practices in Software Asset Management

Best Practices in Software Asset Managementss

To maximize the efficiency of software asset management tools, it’s essential to adhere to best practices:

  1. Regular Inventory Updates: Keep your software inventory up-to-date to ensure all assets are accounted for and managed effectively.
  2. License Optimization: Regularly review and optimize your software licenses to prevent overspending and ensure compliance.
  3. Effective Policy Enforcement: Implement and enforce clear software usage and licensing policies within your organization.
  4. Continuous Compliance Monitoring: To avoid legal and financial repercussions, stay vigilant with compliance requirements.
  5. Strategic Planning for Software Assets: Plan the lifecycle of your software assets strategically, from procurement to retirement.
  6. Leverage Analytics for Decision Making: Use SAM tools’ analytics and reporting features to make informed decisions.
  7. Training and User Adoption: Ensure your team is well-trained on the SAM tool to maximize its benefits.
  8. Vendor Management: Maintain good relationships with software vendors for better negotiations and understanding of licensing terms.
  9. Integration with Other Systems: Integrate SAM tools with other systems in your IT landscape for a holistic view.
  10. Regular Audits and Reviews: Conduct regular audits to assess the effectiveness of your SAM strategy and make necessary adjustments.

By following these best practices, you can optimize your software licenses, ensure compliance, and improve overall efficiency in managing software assets.

Different Types of SAM Tools

Agent-less SAM Tools: Agent-less SAM tools scan networks for software assets without installing agents on target devices.

  • Pros:
    • Ease of Deployment: Simplifies setup as it doesn’t require installation on individual devices.
    • Lower Impact on System Performance: Minimizes network and device performance impact since no software runs on the assets being managed.
  • Cons:
    • Limited Depth of Data: This may not collect as detailed information as agent-based tools, potentially missing out on granular usage statistics.
    • Network Dependency: Relies heavily on network accessibility, potentially missing assets not connected to the network during scans.

Agent-Deployed SAM Tools: These tools require the installation of software agents on each device to monitor and manage software assets.

  • Pros:
    • Detailed Asset Information: Directly monitoring devices provides comprehensive data on software usage, installations, and configurations.
    • Real-Time Monitoring: Offers up-to-date information on software changes and usage patterns.
  • Cons:
    • Deployment and Management: Requires time and effort to install and maintain agents across all devices, especially in large or distributed environments.
    • Potential Impact on Performance: The agent software may consume device resources, affecting system performance.

Selecting the right SAM tool and deployment type depends on an organization’s specific needs, size, regulatory environment, and IT infrastructure. Factors like cost, scalability, data sensitivity, and the level of detail needed from software asset data should guide the decision-making process.

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Software Asset Management

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Software Asset Management

Navigating the complexities of software asset management can be challenging. Being aware of common pitfalls can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your strategy.

Here are the top five mistakes to avoid:

  1. Neglecting Regular Software Audits: Failing to conduct regular audits leads to discrepancies in software inventory and compliance issues. Solution: Schedule periodic audits to ensure accurate software usage and compliance tracking.
  2. Overlooking the Importance of User Training: Underestimating the need for proper training on SAM tools can result in underutilization and inefficiencies. Solution: Invest in comprehensive training programs for users to ensure they can use the tools effectively.
  3. Ignoring Software Compliance: Overlooking software licensing agreements can lead to legal and financial consequences. Solution: Regularly review and adhere to licensing agreements to stay compliant.
  4. Inadequate Documentation and Record Keeping: Poor documentation of software purchases, licenses, and renewals can cause confusion and non-compliance. Solution: Maintain thorough records of all software assets, licenses, and renewal dates.
  5. Failing to Plan for Scalability: Not considering the future growth of your organization can result in inadequate software asset management. Solution: Choose SAM tools that offer scalability to accommodate your business’s evolving needs.

Different Types of SAM Deployments

Different Types of SAM Deployments

On-Premise SAM Tools vs. Cloud-Based SAM Tools

Software Asset Management (SAM) tools can be broadly categorized into two deployment types: on-premise and cloud-based. Each deployment type offers unique advantages and challenges, catering to different organizational needs and preferences.

On-Premise SAM Tools:

  • Pros:
    • Control and Security: Offers organizations complete control over their SAM infrastructure and data, often preferred for sensitive or highly regulated data.
    • Customization: More room for customization to tailor the tool to specific organizational requirements.
  • Cons:
    • Initial Costs: Higher upfront costs due to necessary hardware, software licenses, and implementation services.
    • Maintenance: Requires in-house IT resources for ongoing maintenance, updates, and troubleshooting.

Cloud-Based SAM Tools:

  • Pros:
    • Scalability: Easily scales with organizational growth, allowing for the addition of licenses or features as needed.
    • Cost-Efficiency: Reduces upfront costs with a subscription-based model and minimizes the need for extensive in-house IT infrastructure.
  • Cons:
    • Dependence on Internet Connectivity: Requires reliable internet access to ensure uninterrupted service.
    • Data Security Concerns: While cloud providers implement robust security measures, some organizations may have concerns about storing sensitive data off-premise.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Real-world case studies exemplify the transformative impact of effective software asset management tools:

  • IBM Maximo at Riyadh Airports Company: Riyadh Airports Company utilized IBM Maximo to enhance its asset management capabilities, resulting in a 50% improvement in insights through real-time dashboards and eliminating 80% of maintenance paperwork​​.
  • ServiceNow Implementation in a Large Corporation: A multinational company implemented ServiceNow for software asset management, leading to streamlined operations, better visibility into software usage, and significant cost savings in software licenses.
  • Zluri in a Tech Startup: A fast-growing tech startup deployed Zluri to manage its burgeoning software assets. The result was a 30% reduction in software spending and improved compliance with software licenses.
  • Alloy Software in a Healthcare Provider: A healthcare provider adopted Alloy Software, which enabled them to manage their software inventory efficiently and maintain compliance with industry regulations, thereby reducing the risk of legal issues and improving operational efficiency.
  • AWS License Manager in an E-commerce Firm: An e-commerce firm leveraged AWS License Manager to manage its diverse software assets across multiple environments. This led to enhanced license optimization, reduced risks of non-compliance, and better budget management.

These success stories demonstrate the significant benefits of using software asset management tools, including cost savings, improved compliance, and enhanced operational efficiency.

Other Notable Software Asset Management Tools

Other Notable Software Asset Management Tools

In addition to the tools previously discussed, there are other significant players in the Software Asset Management (SAM) space. Flexera and USU stand out for their unique features and capabilities.

Here’s an overview of these tools, focusing on their pros and cons:

Flexera

Flexera is a well-established SAM industry name known for its comprehensive asset management solutions.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive Coverage: Flexera offers an extensive range of functionalities, covering software license optimization, application readiness, and vulnerability management.
  • Integration Capabilities: It provides excellent integration with various platforms and systems, enhancing its versatility in different IT environments.
  • Advanced Reporting and Analytics: Flexera’s strong reporting tools offer deep insights into software usage, expenditures, and compliance, aiding in strategic decision-making.
  • Automated License Optimization: It automates the process of license optimization, ensuring efficient use of software and compliance with various licensing agreements.

Cons:

  • Complexity: Due to its extensive range of features, Flexera can be complex to navigate, especially for new users.
  • Cost Factor: It tends to be on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, which might be a consideration for smaller organizations or those with limited budgets.
  • Learning Curve: Implementing and getting the most out of Flexera’s advanced features may require significant training and adaptation investments.

USU (Formerly Aspera)

USU (formerly known as Aspera), is another prominent player in the SAM market, offering solutions for large and complex enterprise environments.

Pros:

  • Robust License Management: USU excels in managing complex software licenses, especially in large-scale enterprise settings.
  • Strong Compliance Management: It provides robust tools for ensuring compliance with software licenses, reducing the risk of non-compliance penalties.
  • Customization and Flexibility: USU offers a high degree of customization, allowing businesses to tailor the tool to their needs.
  • Strategic SAM Planning: It supports strategic planning in software asset management, aiding businesses in long-term asset optimization.

Cons:

  • Focus on Large Enterprises: USU’s features and pricing model are primarily geared towards large organizations, which may not be as suitable for smaller businesses.
  • Complex Implementation: Setting up and configuring USU to fit specific organizational needs can be complex and time-consuming.
  • Resource Intensive: The tool may require considerable personnel and time for effective management and operation.

Flexera and USU are powerful tools in software asset management, each bringing distinct advantages to the table.

The choice between them would depend on the specific needs, size, and complexity of your organization’s software assets.

Future Trends in Software Asset Management Tools

Future Trends in Software Asset Management Tools

The landscape of software asset management is rapidly evolving, driven by technological advancements and changing market demands.

Here’s a look at some key future trends:

  • Increased Integration with AI and Machine Learning: AI and machine learning will further automate asset tracking, improve predictive analytics for software usage, and optimize license management.
  • Cloud-Based SAM Solutions: As cloud computing grows, cloud-based SAM tools will become more prevalent, offering scalability and flexibility.
  • Enhanced Focus on Security: With cybersecurity threats rising, SAM tools will increasingly incorporate advanced security features to protect against unauthorized software usage and vulnerabilities.
  • IoT Integration: The Internet of Things (IoT) will play a more significant role in asset management, offering real-time tracking and management of connected devices.
  • Blockchain for Transparency and Compliance: Blockchain technology may enhance transparency in software licenses and ensure compliance through immutable record-keeping.

FAQs

What is a Software Asset Management tool?

A Software Asset Management (SAM) tool helps organizations manage and optimize the use of software assets, ensuring compliance with licensing agreements and reducing IT costs.

Which tool is used for asset management?

Tools like Flexera, ServiceNow, and Lansweeper are commonly used for asset management, offering various features for tracking and optimizing software and hardware assets.

What is an example of Software Asset Management?

An example of a Software Asset Management tool is Flexera, which provides comprehensive visibility into software licenses, usage, and compliance.

What is EAM software?

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software is designed to manage the lifecycle of an organization’s physical assets to maximize their use, save money, improve quality and efficiency, and ensure compliance.

What are the four types of software licenses?

The four types of software licenses are proprietary, open-source, free, and copyleft licenses, each defining how software can be used, modified, and distributed.

What is CMMS in asset management?

Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) in asset management is software that centralizes maintenance information and facilitates the processes of maintaining an organization’s assets.

What is Sam’s use in ServiceNow?

In ServiceNow, SAM (Software Asset Management) automates the lifecycle of software assets, helping businesses manage software licenses, compliance, and optimization within the ServiceNow platform.

What is SAM in software engineering?

In software engineering, SAM refers to software asset management, which focuses on managing and optimizing the purchase, deployment, maintenance, utilization, and disposal of software applications within an organization.

What are the 3 main asset management types?

The three main types of asset management are physical asset management, financial asset management, and IT asset management, each focusing on different asset categories.

What are the three tools of asset management?

Three tools of asset management include EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) software, CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System), and SAM (Software Asset Management) tools.

Is asset management part of ERP?

Asset management is often a component of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, providing integrated management of a company’s assets.

Is SAP an asset management system?

Yes, SAP offers an asset management system as part of its ERP solutions, known as SAP Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), designed to manage and maintain a company’s physical assets.

How will you handle software asset management?

Handling software asset management involves implementing a SAM tool, conducting regular audits, ensuring license compliance, optimizing software usage, and maintaining accurate records of software assets.

What is the lifecycle of Sam?

The lifecycle of SAM includes planning, procurement, deployment, maintenance, optimization, and retirement of software assets, ensuring efficient and compliant use throughout their lifecycle.

Need Expert Help To Select a SAM Tool?

If you’re navigating the complexities of selecting the right Software Asset Management (SAM) tool, Redress Compliance will guide you.

Our expertise ensures you make an informed decision that aligns with your business objectives. Contact us today to leverage the following benefits:

  • Expert Guidance: Navigate the selection process with insights from industry experts.
  • Custom Solutions: Tailored recommendations that match your specific business needs.
  • Compliance Assurance: Ensure your software assets are fully compliant, reducing legal risks.
  • Cost Optimization: Identify opportunities to reduce software spend and avoid unnecessary expenses.
  • Strategic Planning: Align your SAM strategy with your overall business goals for long-term success.

Author

  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, enhancing organizational efficiency.

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