This article has been contributed by Mark van Wolferen of b.lay.
The SAM tool market is growing, but not as much as expected, according to Martin Thompson’s article. Whether this slow growth is caused by SAM managed services providers, as Martin claims, I cannot substantiate. However, I would like to discuss the steps SAM tool providers need to take to advance the entire SAM sector.
In an ideal world, SAM tool providers and SAM managed services providers (MSPs) reinforce each other. The tool providers offer an organization a solid system and the MSPs ensure that this system is set up in the right way, so that it provides relevant data. These service providers have specialized knowledge of software vendors, the resources to quickly onboard the customer and the ability to advise him based on the data provided. And there are also service providers that set up business processes that help the SAM approach to bear fruit in the long term.
The mutual cooperation should ensure that a customer always has a good overview of software installations, licenses and use. A number of things, however, demonstrate that there is no such thing as this ideal SAM world.
In order to bring the SAM market to a higher level, there is, in my view, only one solution: better cooperation. Initially, the ball is in the SAM tool providers’ court. In addition to their reseller programs, they should build partner programs, where retention is just as important as bringing in new customers. The SAM tool provider is given more of an advisory role, in which he explains the (im)possibilities of the tool and advises which SAM managed services providers can best help the customer to get as much value from the tool as possible. This way he can immediately prevent that the company gets caught in the promise-breakers’ trap and eventually terminates the contract due to lacking results. SAM managed services providers with different specialist knowledge can collaborate in return so that each customer is supported optimally.
Creating such a partner ecosystem around SAM tools is in the interest of the entire SAM market. For me it is the step that we now have to take to advance our sector and let organizations benefit as much as possible from the advantages of SAM. I’m curious about your opinion on this!