How to find the right product for your company
Corporate software managers face a dynamic and unpredictable market for the tools they need to help them manage their company's software purchases, licenses and operations. Considering the rate of new players in this industry and new products brought to market, it's no wonder finding the right software asset management (SAM) tool can be a challenge.
Companies evaluating tools today have a lot of option and features to consider including on-premises versus SAM software-as-a-service, plus specialized tools versus full-function tool suites. This is why independent and comprehensive tool assessments and comparisons are an invaluable instrument that saves time and money. But all tool reviews are not created equal.
Tool Manager, a publication that rates software asset management and IT asset management tools, digs deep into the latest product offerings, from companies such as Aspera, IBM, CA, HP, and Flexera Software. "We work with product management at the software tool companies to provide a full view of each product's features and functions, but we also collect data from end users, plus our own assessors give the tools a thorough test drive," says Steven Russman, editor of Tools Manager.
Russman's reviews, issued several times a year, use a rating system that assesses each tool's attributes, such as ease-of-use, inventory management, wizards and menus, compliance to standards, depth of the software reconciliation library and a dozen more points designed to provide an extensive measure of the product's functions. Each Tools Manager edition focuses on a single vendor, typically one with a new product or version about to launch.
In a recent review of IBM's License Metric Tool (ILMT), Tools Manager affirmed, "IBM delivers what it promises with ILMT, a well-designed tool to capture and report usage for license compliance." Tools Manager says that "IBM customers looking for more will need to upgrade to the full version of Tivoli Asset Discovery and Tivoli Asset Management for IT or another product for repository functions."
Tools Manager strives to provide readers with not only a nuts-and-bolts product assessment but also an experienced interpretation of a company's direction. "We always ask the software company about its roadmap for the future, and the next version of its tool," says Russman. "Many are open to telling us their plans but others are not and require confidentiality agreements, so we're not permitted to share all the materials with our readers, however, we can share our opinions and where we see specific companies headed."
Russman, a 13-year veteran of the software asset management field, is the executive director of the International Business Software Managers Association, the world's largest nonprofit association of business-focused software management professionals, which hosts an annual conference for software asset managers along with continuing education and certifications.
"As the software asset management product landscape continues to shift and new tools are brought to market more rapidly," says Russman, "Tools Manager is ready to provide SAM professionals with the insights and objective information they need to succeed."
More about Tools For Manager, visit the International Business Software Managers Association at IBSMA.com .