Microsoft recently announced its intention to end its Software Asset Management competency. The SAM competency, in addition to 11 other competency subjects, will be retired in 18 months. The news spread like wildfire within the SAM community. Folks that I spoke to asked me my thoughts in my capacity on the ISO SAM working group (ISO 19770) and from my background managing various SAM programs. Perhaps the most intriguing (and very direct) question was “Is SAM dead?”
I answered the question with an emphatic “No, SAM is not dead,” and added, “I think this is a good thing for SAM.” Surprised? Let me explain.
Microsoft, like all vendors, and all businesses, need to evolve continuously. Some call it digital disruption. In short, the thought is that if you do not change, you cease to exist. Let’s look at Microsoft. Microsoft is a very different company today as compared to when it first developed the Software Asset Management competency in 2005. Think of the technology advances (e.g. virtualization), changes in licensing approaches (hear about the one measuring pig’s feet?) and of course, Microsoft itself evolving from a desktop software company to a services and hardware organization. Does SAM fit the new Microsoft?