Your business is valuable!
But, would you say the same about your current software asset management solution?
Having a great SAM plan has many benefits.
Microsoft promise that software asset management can help your organisation reduce and eliminate waste, remove any license overlaps or duplicates, save you time and money by optimising software assets, and improve workflow and employee agility.
How to kickstart your SAM plan
1. Create a software inventory
- You will need to find out exactly what software you have installed across your company.
- Report your findings.
- Microsoft market the “Microsoft Assessment and Planning (Map) Toolkit”, which is a free downloadable tool to catalogue your hardware, software, and operating systems in various IT environments
- If you have a standalone system, you can catalogue your software manually
2. Organise your software and licenses
- Now you know what software you have, you must match it to your owned licenses.
- Microsoft Volume Licensing programs provide various software products and services, such as Office 365, Skype for Business, and Sharepoint Server. Microsoft has provided an online tool to access licensing terms, product conditions, and versions. Further help on licensing resources.
- If you find more software installations than you are entitled to, you must remedy this by buying more licenses as soon as possible.
- Document your findings to establish a baseline. Microsoft offers a tailored service to help you with this, as well as recommending improvements depending on your requirements
3. Policies and procedures: Review
- Bring together all your procurement policies
- Review policies regarding software lifecycle. If none have already been made, establish some
- Ensure all policies are applicable and cover all departments/employees
- If a software disaster recovery plan is not in place, establish one
- Microsoft suggests using their SAM Partners to help with the above if necessary
3. Create and implement your SAM plan
- Now that you’ve managed to establish what software you have and you’ve organised the licenses accordingly, it’s time to implement a SAM plan. This should include:
- Reports on software needs
- A software map
- Evidence your software is kept safe
- Evidence you carry out regular inventory checks
- An employee software training schedule
- Microsoft suggests using their “Sam Engagement” system to help you with the entire process of implementing a SAM plan.
What are some SAM Engagements that Microsoft can help with?
Microsoft suggests working with one of their SAM partners on your SAM project to benefit from the masses of expertise available to you. It’s not easy to become a SAM Partner, so companies that have the “Microsoft Partner Network” certification, really know their stuff.
They have a vast knowledge of software asset management, they can help your IT department, and they can highlight specific areas that need attention, which you may have been overlooking.
You can find a SAM Partner here. Make sure you ask them questions when you discuss your SAM project, and establish whether they can cover all your needs or whether you will have to use different partners for different things.
Microsoft explains what you can expect from a SAM Engagement further here, and list 4 phases you can expect:
What type of SAM Engagements are available?
Microsoft has various SAM Partners, each boasting a wide range of SAM Engagement packages that can improve the visibility and management of your software assets.
I will show you a small selection of these, but the full list can be found on Microsoft’s dedicated software asset management Engagements webpage.