Sep 28, 2017

(You Can’t Get No) Satisfaction: How To Love Your SAM Tool

When the Rolling Stones penned their famous lyrics “(I can’t get no) satisfaction”, they probably weren’t talking about Software Asset Management. But given the overall low customer satisfaction rate across the SAM industry, Mick Jagger may have as well have been crooning about the perils of dissatisfied customers and their Software Asset Management tools.

In a report earlier this year, Gartner noted that: “Selecting the right tool to support SAM practices is critical to success, yet Gartner research indicates that most SAM tool purchases fail to fully meet expectations…According to the 2017 Gartner SAM Tools Research Circle Survey, only 23% of respondents reported their SAM tools aligned extremely well with their pre-purchase expectations.”1

Proof-of-concept is often missed

The decision to purchase a Software Asset Management tool often comes during a time-sensitive software audit. Pressured by a frenzy to navigate the audit as quickly as possible, many SAM tool buyers may rush to purchase a solution without investing the time to do the necessary “homework” needed to distinguish between immediate audit support and a establishing a long term sustainable SAM implementation and automation.

The “homework” here is a real Proof-of-Concept (POC) or a Pilot, and performing a POC before you purchase a SAM tool is critical because doing so helps identify your specific needs for a SAM tool. Without a POC, you fall victim to relying on shiny marketing promises to make your SAM tool decision, and the risk of empty promises and disappointing results are high. In addition to a POC, always make sure to speak with practitioners who are already working with the particular tool before you sign.

In the same Gartner report, Gartner recommends that companies “validate SAM tool functionality prior to purchase by creating acceptance tests based on the four capability needs.” This step is too often overlooked or not performed correctly, which may be a reason why buyers later feel dissatisfied with their chosen SAM tool’s performance. Likewise, a weak POC using only simple use cases or use cases that a particular vendor is best prepared for will also prevent you from selecting the right tool. A comprehensive Proof-of-Concept provides important guidance, especially if there isn't strong SAM knowledge already aboard.

Data quality drives results

It’s no secret that Software Asset Management requires data. But high quality data is what’s needed to automate processes and provide accurate and cost saving results. Fixing the many mistakes, holes and inconsistencies in the data requires expertise to do it. Although a quick and seemingly convenient solution may seem attractive at first, a tool can only automate so far if no one is managing your data quality.

This is another reason that a POC is so important. Although a POC provides a glimpse of your savings potential, you’ll have to groom your data quality to automate your SAM processes. Performing a Proof-of-Concept will show you exactly how the SAM tool handles data quality, so you won’t have surprises after implementation. As an added bonus, the POC will also show what parts of your data can’t be delivered using a “tool only” approach, because data can’t always be gathered by scanning alone.

Transparent communication builds growth

At Aspera, we want our customers to feel good about our Software Asset Management solutions – before, during, and – most importantly - after implementation. Good SAM is about getting the results you need for success, and we work hard to support customers throughout their SAM journey.

Aspera customers represent over 50 Fortune Global 500 companies across all industries. And we rely on our customers’ feedback to build better products. We use customer round tables, user groups, and customer events to facilitate an on-going conversation that feeds customer insights into our product roadmap, ensuring that our Software Asset Management tools meet user demands.

Transparent communication is a fundamental part of SAM success. Did you know that Aspera can connect you with our current customers to help in your SAM tool decision?

In 2017, we surveyed over sixty of our top customers from around the world about their experience with the Aspera team and our products. Overall, responses show unusually high rates of satisfaction with Aspera – especially in comparison to the Gartner findings discussed above.

Feeling (more than) satisfied about SAM

98% of our customers rate the overall quality of our SAM tools as “good, very good or excellent”. The quality of your SAM tools is critical to your SAM success – and our customers clearly recognize the strengths of our strategic license management solutions. The right automated Software Asset Management platform will keep you compliant, build rock solid audit defense, and increase cost-savings through license optimization.

94% of Aspera customers say that we are “good, very good or excellent” at adjusting to changing situations. As we all know, changes in software license management happen at lightning speed. Our in-house Services team works behind the scenes to manage 250+ vendors for you, with the most important 50 being really groomed. While others may claim to have more, it’s important to peek into the details to verify completeness –quality and integration versus pure size. Be sure: Our large customer base exposes us to even the most uncommon software titles, so we can stay up to date on software licensing changes as they happen. It’s one of the reasons why our catalog remains the best in the industry.

98% of our customers feel “good, very good or excellent” about their relationship with Aspera. At the end of the day, relationships count. For over 17 years, our experienced Strategic License Management has helped companies reach compliance while reducing their licensing costs to an absolute minimum. We believe in partnership, and won’t disappear when the situation gets complicated.

I’m not sure which SAM tools that the unhappy 77% from the Gartner survey are using, but given the results of our 2017 survey, I’m proud to say that I doubt it’s Aspera.



Gartner Research Whitepaper – “Select the Right SAM Tool to Reduce Risks, Optimize Costs and Improve Decision Making”, published 21 Aug 2017.

Evidence section of the Gartner Report:

1According to the 2017 Gartner SAM Tools Research Circle Survey, only 23% of respondents reported their SAM tools aligned extremely well with their prepurchase expectations. This was conducted via an online survey from 9 January 2017 to 23 January 2017 among Gartner Research Circle Members — a Gartner-managed panel composed of IT and business leaders. Gartner Research Circle IT and IT-Business Members were invited to participate. Sixty percent of the base are IT professionals, 38% a blend of IT and business and 2% are business-focused. We had 101 members participate, all of whom have either already deployed SAM tools or plan to deploy SAM tools: 49% of the participants were from North America, 42% from EMEA, 5% from Asia/Pacific (APAC) and 4% from Latin America. Respondents came from a variety of industries, with the highest concentration in manufacturing (26%), and 47% of the base are from companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue. The survey was developed collaboratively by a team of Gartner analysts, and was reviewed, tested and administered by Gartner's Research Data and Analytics team.

Topics: SAM Insights, Success Stories