ServiceNow offers 3 flavours of Software Asset Management viz. ITSM Software Asset Management, Software Asset Management Foundation, and the latest one Software Asset Management Professional. Migration activities would be required to migrate from ITSM Software Asset Management to the latest Professional Plugin; in addition, the professional plugin must be activated by ServiceNow only and cannot be activated by any other means.
In this blog, we would discuss the SAM Professional Plugin and go through a use case of a software asset manager who is using SAM to manage software licenses. As a recap the professional plugin offers lot of additional features which are not available in the foundation or ITSM plugin. Key features of the professional plugin are: –
Software Usage Optimization
Office 365 Subscription Management
Publisher Packs for IBM, Oracle, Microsoft and VMware
It is important to note that ServiceNow has recently acquired Vendor Hawk, a company that is specialized in SaaS Products Subscription Management (currently supporting 36000+ SaaS Apps). As currently ServiceNow offers only Office 365 subscription management; we are sure that the other SaaS application would also be included in the portfolio by 2019!
To support Software Asset Management there are a number of plugins; in addition to the professional plugin, that must be activated to take care of the end to end process
Software Asset Management Professional*
Software Asset Management Professional for Microsoft*
Software Asset Management Professional for Oracle*
Software Asset Management Professional for VMware*
Software Asset Management Professional for IBM*
Integration – Microsoft SCCM 2012 v2 Software Usage or Integration – Microsoft
SCCM 2016 Software Usage* (For software installations into system)
Normalization Data Services Client
Normalization Data Services Configuration
*All plugins identified above with an asterisk (*) must be activated by ServiceNow.
**All plugins identified above with a double asterisk (**) may require additional licensing.
We will see all of these in action in the below use case: –
As we can see in the use case below, vendors such as Microsoft, IBM, VMware, Oracle are conducting audits on the software licenses; the SAM Manager who is using ServiceNow gets an overview of all software products out of compliance; he/she drills down further to understand the reasons of non-compliance.
Further, the SAM Manager gets a view of the software installed that are not used much and are candidates for license harvesting; he/she could initiate reclamation of those licenses directly from ServiceNow through SCCM Integrations. In addition, the SAM Manager could initiate remediation actions from ServiceNowsuch as purchasing new licenses (through raising a Purchase Order that integrates with ERP Systems) or uninstalling unlicensed installs; all through a click of a button.
Through the above measures; the organization could become compliant without traversing through multiple systems!
Figure 1 Software Asset Management Use Case: purview of a Software Asset Manager
Let’s see all of this through an example on ServiceNow!
View through Publisher Dashboard
Through the publisher packs from each vendor, the SAM Manager could get an overview of all vendors; their true up cost (the amount which the organization would need to pay to become compliant), potential savings (software usage data from SCCM) and the products which are non-compliant
View of Products out of compliance
The SAM Manager can easily determine which products are out of compliance; and easily drill down to view the 3 tiers of reconciliation results viz.
Product Result – results for all models and installations associated to the product.
Software Model Results – results for each individual software model related to the product.
License Metric Results (found on the Software Model Results form) – results for each license metric associated to the software model.
Through this a granular view of which software(s) are out of compliance can be easily found out; we can see that in this example MS Project was Non-Compliant and drilling through would let the SAM Manager know that only MS Project 2016 Professional is out of compliance and rest MS Project software are compliant
Drilling Further helps the SAM Manager determine which MS Project 2016 Professional software installed on resources systems are not being used much. The SAM Manager could just click on Reclaim All and harvest all these licenses to offset the True Up Cost!
In addition, the SAM Manager could view the Remediation Options available such as remove unlicensed installs or purchase new licenses
Thereby, the SAM Manager could either remove or purchase licenses! Hence, the SAM Manager could receive the software assets (if purchased) and become compliant. Service Now would integrate with any procurement system like SAP, Ariba to make it happen!
The power of SAM module is its simplicity and having the features to perform all functions right from ServiceNow and not going to any other system of record.
In the next blog; we will see the SAM process from the perspective of a user who is ordering for some software assets.