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ServiceNow SAM capabilities are looking better and better…

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By: Kareen Tan, Senior Manager at KPMG, UK

ServiceNow are having a busy year in the Software Asset Management (SAM) space. They’ve extended the core capabilities of their SAM Professional offering, they’ve made acquisitions which will extend their overall capability, and to top that they’ve been placed as a visionary in Gartner’s magic quadrant for SAM Tools!

I’d say their SAM proposition is going from strength to strength and there certainly doesn’t seem to be any shortage of market demand given ServiceNow’s existing base of clients who can readily extend existing implementations of the ‘Now’ platform to include the SAM Professional module.

I recently attended a ServiceNow ‘Peak’ event to see the New York release first hand and, specifically, the updates to SAM Professional. With Now Forum happening this week in London – and with IT industry focus being (perhaps) on ServiceNow for a few days – I thought it might be a good time to share some thoughts and observations about SAM Professional.

My main takeaway from ‘Peak’ was that ServiceNow has been working really hard to make SAM Professional integrate deeply and neatly into the whole of the ‘Now’ platform. It might sound obvious, but because SAM Professional sits natively within the ‘Now’ Platform it is critical that it delivers a seamless experience and is able to interact properly with related modules if they are implemented. It’s quite clear that ServiceNow wants SAM Professional to interact nicely with all manner of existing applications and, by extension, to interact with all manner of existing operational processes within an organisation. That’s a pretty exciting direction for both ServiceNow and the wider SAM community.

So, what else is new?

1.      Enhanced publisher capabilities (e.g. SAP)

This addition of license compliance functionality for SAP is probably the change that will have the most immediate impact. This feature is going to benefit organisations who have identified users with indirect access to SAP from 3rd party applications. This means deeper insight into overall compliance and hopefully a means to pro-actively manage SAP licensing from there.

2.      SaaS License Management (VendorHawk acquisition & re-platform)

Since they acquired VendoHawk, the ServiceNow marketing team have rebranded the solution while the developers have been busy embedding it into the ‘Now’ platform. The new ‘SaaS License Manager’ is intended to give organisations end-to-end management of SaaS software licensing – in other words they’re looking to cover finance, procurement, change management, and licensing usage, in one go.

3.      New HR process + Enhanced operational processes

Starters and Leavers seem to be an often overlooked element of software licensing, but this update demonstrates the power of getting SAM working in ServiceNow. This update integrates aspects of software license management with HR processes (for example auto provisioning for joiners and reclamation for leavers). If you couple this with the license forecasting (projection?) capability added with the Madrid release and the software lifecycle content and library added in London you can see ServiceNow have a really developed view on how user admin and service management can interact with and through SAM.

I think it’s fair to say that ServiceNow’s SAM capability has come on in leaps and bounds since it was launched in the Jakarta release. It thoroughly deserves it position as a visionary in Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for SAM Tools. The result of this is that, whether you are using ServiceNow already and want to add SAM Professional, or if you’re looking to introduce ServiceNow and are thinking about including SAM Professional in your design, I’d say that it’s exactly the right time to do so.