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3 Takeaways: Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAM Managed Services 2021

For the second year* in a row, USU is proud to be recognized in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Managed Services.

According to Gartner, “SAM managed services establish a platform of trustworthy data, incorporating management of usage rights and optimized utilization transparency, leveraging a mesh of techniques to augment SAM tool functions.”

We believe the Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAM Managed Services demonstrates the strategic business value of SAM. Gartner says in their report, “By 2024, 40% of enterprises will use software asset management as the primary mechanism for reducing SaaS contract costs with “dominant” vendors.”

Here are three powerful takeaways to consider for your SAM Managed Services:

  1. Tailored SAM managed services can maximize ROI
  2. SAM managed services provider fills the talent gap
  3. Integrated SAM (services, tools, partners) drives scalability

sam_itam-report_cover_en_800x800See more on how to deliver top value from your IT investment in the report: Foundations of Modern SAM

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1. Tailored SAM managed services can maximize ROI 

SAM managed services must be flexible since Software Asset Management isn’t one size fits all. Every company has their own set of technology, resources, and processes. We often engage with big global enterprises that typically have years of weaving an IT environment with hardware systems, software installations, and more recently cloud services and hybrid licensing.

We see an increasing industry trend for services that are flexible around each specific environment. That’s why USU offers a full range of SAM managed services such as:

  • Baseline Services to quickly build a clear view of your license entitlements and consumption
  • “SAM as a Service” for complete out-tasking (or outsourcing) of your SAM program
  • Technology Services wrapped around our tools and delivered by our in-house experts
  • Specialized vendor support through our global partner network
  • And everything in between!

We believe our tailored approach to match each customer with exactly the services they need ensures the best ROI. With this approach, our SAM managed services ensure your SAM program is set up for success with the perfect combo of people, processes and technology.


See how using skilled SAM services can enhance cost optimization across your software and cloud services.

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2. SAM managed services provider fills the talent gap

Every SAM program needs three things to be successful: People, Processes, and Technology. The hardest thing to find is the right mixture of people, and Software Asset Management is notorious for being short on experts.

Instead of trying to hire, train, and retain a full-time SAM employee (or three), many organizations opt to engage external SAM expertise. This can be a more efficient way to scale and maintain your SAM program, and it can free up an organization’s internal resources to focus on mission-critical tasks.

A SAM managed services provider can be a valuable resource to fill the talent gap of SAM experts, especially as managing software licenses becomes more complex with the ‘new normal’ of a hybrid workforce. At USU, our experts are always full-time employees so we ensure the team is knowledgable about our own solutions and every software vendor that we help manage.

As your organization starts to consider its SAM talent, the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Managed Services provides valuable research.
Here are four other important factors to examine:

  • Is the services provider also hired to conduct audits? To avoid a conflict of interest, some organizations choose to keep separation between the inside view of their software estate and a consulting agency that aligns with software vendors.
  • Is the services provider also a software reseller? This can be a benefit if you use a single reseller for the bulk of purchasing software, however, you may want to research whether their services can deliver the outcomes you need.
  • Does the service provider require you to invest in more tools? If you already have a big technology investment, it might be worth understanding whether the service provider can deliver SAM services purely through its “people power”.
  • What is the importance of the provider’s geographic scope? Having a presence in many locations might make sense if your organization is spread across the world, but may not be important if you operate primarily in a single region.


3. Integrated SAM (services, tools, partners) drives scalability

If your SAM program is powered by resources from a single SAM company, this could mean there is never a gap in delivery, coverage, or most importantly, your results.

Many of our team members were once SAM managers, which gives us a first-hand customer-centric perspective. You get services from people who understand your challenges – because they have walked in your shoes.

Need tools? Our SAM managed services are backed by USU Software Asset Management solutions, which were recognized 3x by the Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAM Tools (2020, 2019 and 2018). However, you don’t need a technology investment to get enterprise-quality outcomes. We have the expertise to scale our SAM managed services around your existing IT systems.

Want more? USU also works globally with partners as part of our customer success. When an organization needs dedicated, customized consulting, we bring in partner managed services to extend and deliver an integrated solution. Whatever it takes to get you the best results, we have the knowledge and the network to make it happen.

We believe the Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAM Managed Services 2021 is aligned with our tailored, full-service approach to SAM managed services. Within the Software Asset Management market, our customized approach to build services around our customer’s existing framework is a bit unique – and we’re proud of that!


See how using skilled SAM services can enhance cost optimization across your software and cloud services.

Get started


*Recognized as Aspera in the 2020 Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Managed Services


Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Managed Services, Stephen White, Yoann Bianic, Rob Schafer, 6 July, 2021. Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Tools, Ryan Stefani, July 20, 2020

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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Lawrence Dempsey

Lawrence Dempsey

As a Service Delivery Manager at USU, Lawrence is committed to providing professional support to global clients of any size. He helps identifying savings, lowering risks, and reporting financial KPIs. He offers more than a decade of experience in software procurement, software management and software reselling. Lawrence's SAM expertise ranges from license eligibility and software deployment reconciliation to contract interpretation and SAM process optimization.

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