Market news Marketing SAM Strategy Thoughts

Who is for ?

This is direct question for those who might want to know more about our positioning, and more globally to compare our tool to other tools in the market.

Let’s figure it out, positionning is close to strategy, and what we strongly believe on. So let me provide an answer in 3 sections.

Where do we stand today compared to our competitors & partners ?

The comparison matrix below shows where we stand compared to other SAM Tool providers across 10 key characteristics:

SamBox.ioSAM Tool providers like Snow, Flexera, Aspera, ServiceNow…
1) SW CoverageWindows Server/System Center,
or SQL Server,
or Oracle Database & Middleware
so far
Very Wide
(almost all SW Vendors)
2) Acquisition of SAM Tool100% Online
Public prices, online payment, immediate provisioning of service
Traditional approach
(meeting with sales, quotes, negotiation, deal, installation)
3) Technical Integration / InstallationNo need
100% SaaS, immediate use
Technical architecture depends on the number of devices to be inventoried, and scope of SW to be addressed
4) Ingestion of Acquisitions & EntitlementsFast
Only needed for the delineated SW scope being analyzed. To be filled in into Excel
Requires functional integration
(via consulting services, or training of users).
To be filled in into the SAM Tool
5) Ingestion and/or setting of licensing rulesNo need
Specific engine for each SW Product family, including all detailed licensing rules & specificities
Requires functional integration
(via consulting services, or training of users).
To be filled in into the SAM Tool
6) Discovery capabilitiesFocused on the SW Product family
Through connectors or dedicated scripts
Very Wide
(almost all SW Vendors)
7) Data QualityData quality directly driven on the delineated SW scope
Quality can then easily be improved, directly in the Excel spreadsheet
Data quality indicators for the global SW Scope
Not necessarily easy to know what is wrong for one dedicated SW Compliance snapshot
8) Compliance calculationImmediate & fully automatedDepends on the SAM Tool
Calc can be quite long, and quite complicated to refresh if input data needs to be modified.
9) Optimized Compliance snapshot – best license allocation schemeImmediate & fully automatedDepends on the SAM Tool
Very limited capabilities; requires human being in-depth SAM knowledge to optimize
10) Support on licensing rulesIncluded
Immediate access to licensing expert
On top
via consulting services or profesionnal services

OK, and why such a positioning ? has been released late 2019 whereas SAM Tools like Snow Software, Flexera, Eracent, 1-E, Ivanti … were first introduced 5 to 10 years ago. But Elée, who is the publisher, is also a 9 year old SAM consulting company, pure player, with a very strong record of SAM projects in many customer environments, on many SW Vendors. That is the benefit of hindsight. For the past 5 years, we have worked on many SAM Tool integration projects, and we do have a good overview of key success factors for such projects, associated benefits, but also sometimes the hurdles and all the difficulties which can make such projects quite complex. That is why, before releasing, we have taken a step back and analyze the situation.

Traditional SAM Tools are very powerful because they usually embedd very extended discovery capabilities, they cover the widest scope of Softwares as possible, very large catalogs of SKU, of Software Signatures, and they are very adapted for global SAM steering within a large company (many vendors, many indicators to follow, overall performance of SAM).

The thing is that such SAM Tools are like ERP for licenses, and like for any other ERP Software, when you invest 1$ in the SW, you need to invest 5 to 10$ on integration services to make it work. ROI exist, definitely, but likely more on a 3-5 year cycle than on a 12 to 24 months expected max period. Customers are not always prepared to that, and we have faced a lot of situation where integration services budgets were then too much compressed. Unfortunate consequences are:

  • lack of reliability on license positions (with then still a high level of risk when audits raise),
  • the feeling that the company does not get the value for money…
  • … and the overall legitimacy of the SAM members being challenged into the company (versus outsourced managed services for example). has then been thought to be a tool that does not cover an area of softwares as wide of traditional tools, but that eases as much as possible the SAM cycle on very well delineated perimeters. Key characteristics of are then :

  • Built on verticals, each of them adressing one accurate and delineated scope of softwares (1 vertical for Windows Server/System Center, 1 vertical for SQL Server, 1 vertical for Oracle DB & middlewares, and other verticals to come in 2020),
  • Fast running of a full license position from data collection to optimized balance, in a couple of clicks (less than 10 clicks, 10 min computation time end to end),
  • Highest level of reliability and optimization on the vertical (including a unique easy-going data quality improvement feature),
  • No integration or consulting services needed, no hidden cost, fastest ROI in the market.

With such a differentiating approach, we know that we will never cover the same wideness of SW vendors than traditional SAM Tools, but our moto is to focus on the verticals where value for money are the highest:

  • Software scope that generally represents a large spend on IT budget,
  • Software scope that have complex licensing rules, tricky contracts that are hard to manage and control,
  • Software scope for which financial stakes are high (either to mitigate compliance risks, and/or to optimize and generate savings),
  • Software and services either on premise or delivered by Cloud providers.

Concretely, we believe that you should not need us to calculate your license position on Microsoft Visio or Projects, but for complex Microsoft metrics, Oracle licensing, IBM, SAP, Adobe…. it may be different. We will soon release early 2020 our roadmap for the begining of next year.

Who is for then ? serves both large companies as well as small and medium business. But contexts may be different:

  • For large companies that have already implemented a SAM Tool (with success or not!), can run on top ! We have indeed developed interfacing capabilities which enables to extract the data out of a SAM Tool, process them into, and even re-inject the results into the SAM Tool. Why would companies do that ? Well, main reason is the reliability and optimization seeking, and when we talk about large companies, optimization on SQL or Oracle can definitely be huge amounts of money !!
  • For large companies that have not yet purchased a SAM Tool and do not have an extended budget, is a great opportunity to get started with SAM automation. Cost is much cheaper than other SAM Tool, and it does not imply to think of it as big project.
  • For Small & Medium businesses, we are truly convinced that is the best way to go.
    • First, because SAM may not be as strategic as for large companies (because SW spend is not large enough for them, fortunately),
    • Second, because a pragmatic tactical approach may lead IT managers – with transversal responsabilities from infrastructure to applications – to only consider SAM when risks are the highest, and not for all vendors
    • Third, small and medium businesses are not used to have recourse to consulting or integration services (because IT budget are maybe more constraint than for large companies!), and offers that seamless SAM journey without any additional fees (even questions on licensing rules are included into the support of