SAM Resources that are FREE!

Not everything has to be expensive in the world of SAM, as May Turnbull explores - there's plenty of useful stuff out there for free.

Published on 26th October 2015

So if you haven’t figured it out already, I like to help people. Which works out really well because EasySAM as a whole like to help people too. So although I am here to answer your SAM (Software Asset Management) questions and potentially work with you too, we also like to throw some helpful information out there sometimes. Which is exactly what this next article is all about.

Now a lot of you will probably know of these resources, but hopefully for the few that don’t, this will help. Below are some free SAM resources that we believe any SAM Manager/person involved with SAM should know of:

1. Tools

Discovery/Inventory tools are a very, very important part of effective Software Asset Management. Which is why an investment in a good agent based discovery tool is a must and shouldn’t be decided lightly. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have the immediate budget, or perhaps just require a patch/reinforcement for your existing investment – the below tools might come in handy.

Microsoft’s MAP Toolkit

This will of course only cover Microsoft software. But it is quick and easy to use and does an agentless scan via a variety of methods. It is an excellent tool to supplement an existing agent based discovery tool with or perhaps use in environments you don’t want to put an agent in. Server farms for example.

Spiceworks

Spiceworks is a free agent based tool. Originally there was a device cap associated to this software, but today’s users will vouch for it handling as many as 5000 devices. No limits, just a gradual drop-off in performance, which can be mitigated with faster drives. The catch of course here is that you will be presented with a no. of advertisements and to have these removed requires purchasing the paid version of the software.

RVTools

This tool is able to display a lot of information about your VMware infrastructure and allows you to export the result (in CSV or Excel). This comes in handy when searching for information, uncovering inconsistencies or just inventorying your VMWare estate.

2. Microsoft’s own SAM Resources

You will find these relatively easily by doing a simple search using your favourite search engine, but to make your lives easier please find the link below:

http://microsoft.com/sam/en/us/downloads.aspx

There are heaps of white papers, guides, checklists and templates here that are certainly worth looking at.

3. SAM Policy Examples

Now these might not be the most comprehensive, but they provide a decent enough framework if you are looking for inspiration for your own SAM Policy document (should you not choose to have a SAM professional help you with this). Again, quite easily found via a search on the internet, but I do like to spoil you:

Cumbria County Council

http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/elibrary/Content/Internet/536/654/1085/1087/4061111123.pdf

University of Wollongong

http://www.uow.edu.au/about/policy/UOW002567.html

Columbia College

http://ccit.college.columbia.edu/sites/ccit/files/CCIT_Software_Policy.pdf

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

http://www.newcastle-hospitals.org.uk/downloads/policies/Information%20Technology/SoftwareAssetManagementPolicy201404.pdf

4. SAM Process Overviews

Nailing your processes is one of the most important things to do if you want proactive SAM. After all, effective SAM is so much more than periodic audits. The ITAM Review do/have done Process of the Month articles that you can find on their website with a no. of other excellent contributions regarding SAM. Simply search ‘Process of the month’ on their website.

ITAM Review

http://www.itassetmanagement.net

These include actual process flowcharts to start the juices flowing and will no doubt inspire you to get the ball rolling in this department.

Obviously there are bundles and bundles of lovely blogs and white-papers produced by experts in the field online. However, there are just too many to list in this article. So hopefully no one feels left out! You are of course welcome to share other handy resources with your colleagues via this article. We really do have a lovely sense of community in this industry.

You are of course also very welcome to reach out to me should you have any questions or require any help regarding any of the above points.

Written by:

May Turnbull

SAM Manager

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