Over the last few years, Software Asset Management – some still like to call it “License Management” – has become increasingly important and relevant for organizations. Their costs for software licenses and cloud subscriptions are constantly increasing, and audits remain at a consistently high level. This also increases the pressure to act.
In addition to many organizational aspects, the selection of the right tools is also of great importance. How nice and fitting that Gartner Research has finally reacted and published a “Magic Quadrant” for SAM Tools! It’s about time. Because others have been thinking about it for a long time.
A seal of quality for SAM tools already exists
As early as 2012 – almost six years ago – KPMG Germany recognized that companies need support here. Although the number of SAM tools available on the market has always been reasonably small, the complexity of such solutions makes it anything but easy to compare them and make a robust choice.
Accordingly, the consulting firm, which is very experienced with audits and software licensing, has not only drawn up an extensive catalog of requirements. In addition, SAM tools are subjected to a practical test in a simulated audit. The result is a group of verified solutions that are demonstrably capable of being implemented and operated as a core component of SAM projects. A seal of quality so to speak and suitable for separating the wheat from the chaff. Because not everywhere where “SAM” is written on it, license management is also included.
Proven success in Europe
Providers such as Amando, Aspera, Brainware Spider, DeskCenter, License Dashboard, Matrix42 or Snow Software have proven for years that their SAM tools keep their promises. For example, successful implementations by well-known companies are presented every year at the SAMS conference in Berlin. The number of visitors is constantly increasing, as is the quality of the SAM initiatives presented and discussed in discussions. I can report this from my own experience.
Software Asset Management has matured enormously as a discipline in Europe. My discussions with European analysts about global trends confirm this and show, on the other hand, that the US market here still lies years behind. Actually a good reason for an American analyst to take a look at the “old” Europe and to perceive and take away the successes achieved there. This also applies to the tool landscape used here.
A wondrous little quadrant
Gartner has taken the right step and finally released a Magic Quadrant for SAM. A long overdue action, but due to the lack of width it unfortunately now has a dull aftertaste. It is quite surprising that Gartner lists only six (6!) providers in his publication. It did not become a full quadrant. Rather a little quadrant with vendors mainly focused on the US market. While the listing of some vendors as “SAM tool manufacturer” is quite surprising, only the European third – Aspera and Snow Software – are certified by KPMG Germany.
Where are the others? Where are the remaining providers of SAM solutions? Where are ServiceNow, BMC, Eracent, Certero, 1E, HPE, License Dashboard, OpenIT, Scalable, CA Technologies, Cherwell, Brainware/ Spider, Matrix42 or Sassafras? Especially as a global consultant, it would be natural to look beyond the borders of the USA. At Gartner in Stamford, Connecticut, people seem to prefer to think locally when it comes to Software Asset Management. I would personally like to see the slogan “Gartner is an indispensable partner to more than 11,000 organizations in 110 countries” lived differently.
Don’t get mad, just wonder
Regrettable, somehow. Why such a powerful instrument as the Magic Quadrant, which is intended to provide an independent market overview for SAM, simply hides an important part of the SAM market is incomprehensible. The first Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAM that reduces this important market to a handful of solutions and ignores many proven successful products?
As product manager for SAM at Matrix42, I witnessed the one-hour interview with the responsible analyst Roger Williams and his team. Our solution meets 14 of Gartner’s 15 criteria – 93%. KPMG Germany, on the other hand, tests 100 checkpoints on two days, which we meet 100%. Meanwhile more than 1,600 customers trust our SAM tool. Adding this number to the customer base of other vendors not included in the Gartner Magic Quadrant means that even with conservative estimates, approximately 25% of the market in this “Wondrous Little Quadrant” are not taken into account. Thus, in our view, the important topic of SAM is not be sufficiently recognized.