Trend: Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAM Managed Services 2020

We’re excited to share that USU Software Asset Management (formerly Aspera) is recognized in the first Gartner Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Managed Services report. According to Gartner:"Through 2022, in any given month, over 30% of the growing expenditure on software and cloud services will be unused."We think Gartner’s decision to research SAM service providers shows an insightful glimpse into the crucial future direction of Software Asset Management for organizations.

Tailored, full-partner approach to SAM managed services

As a software license management tool provider, USU (formerly Aspera) is delighted to be included in both the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAM Managed Services and the 2020 Magic Quadrant for SAM Tools.

We think the report recognizes our strength as a single source of Software Asset Management technology and services, and support of client requirements across a range of publishers. We believe our tailored, full-partner approach ensures the best business value for a company. (more on this later)

What is the value of Software Asset Management managed services?

In the Magic Quadrant report, Gartner analysts explain the value that SAM managed services can deliver to organizations.

Software asset management (SAM) managed services employ the provider’s proprietary SAM skills and methodologies to transform a client’s existing processes and augment their resources. SAM managed services are delivered directly to end-user customers, on either a continuous or a scheduled basis, employing required discipline to meet software and cloud service cost optimization and governance objectives.

Best practices for Software Asset Management are always evolving. Our industry reshapes with new technology options, licensing changes from the software vendors, and the search for skilled professionals to meet companies’ complex needs.

We think this is another key reason that Gartner identified SAM managed services as a research topic. In the report, analysts explain:

Services are delivered by skilled resources, leveraging expertise, intellectual property and best practices, addressing the gap in available SAM skills to enhance SAM maturity.

SAM Managed Services

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

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3 trend takeaways for success with SAM Managed Services

1. SAM managed services mitigate the rise and risk of cloud costs
As referenced in the beginning of this article, there is a growing challenge of unmanaged cloud costs and overconsumption. Companies don’t understand license options for subscription services, or how to balance a “hybrid” between cloud and on-premises. They may not have staff who can plan IT architecture for virtual machines and other platform decisions.

That’s where SAM managed services come in. Our experts advise how to avoid unplanned licensing costs from changes such as how VMs are being used, what is running on them, and the computing capacity you require.

2. SAM managed services fill the industry gap of SAM experts

Tools can’t flip a switch. You need people to manage them. These people need to be taught how to run the tools, or given assistance to run them, or they need to know enough to hit the ground running. But it’s hard to find people who are experienced in any IT niche, and Software Asset Management is notorious for being short on experts. When you hire inexperienced people, however, there are extended ramp up times and a much longer path to ROI for your program.

Instead of hiring a full-time employee (or three), our customers prefer to engage trained Services experts for as much or as little work as they need.

3. SAM managed services must be flexible since SAM isn’t one size fits all

Every company is unique in their technology and processes. A big global company, which is what we often engage with, typically has years of weaving an IT environment with hardware systems, software installations, and more recently cloud services and hybrid licensing. We see the increasing need for services that are flexible around each specific environment.

That’s why USU (formerly Aspera) has a range of Software Asset Management managed services:

  • Rapid Vendor Analysis to quickly find compliance
  • Effective License Positions for audits and contracts
  • SAM as a Service for ongoing full out-tasking
The wild card: Covid-19

In 2020, SAM managed services are even more important. Companies need to save money or keep software costs from rising. They also need to tighten their focus along with their budget. Experts believe that audit activity will rise as vendors struggle to make up lost revenues, and we have seen a demand for SAM services like our Rapid Vendor Analysis, that may not involve a tool purchase at first.

Integrated services and tools delivered by single SAM provider

At the beginning of this article, we said USU is the only SAM provider named in both the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAM Tools and the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAM Managed Services. Still excited about that!

Why these two recognitions? We believe it’s because we do things differently.

USU Software Asset Management (formerly Aspera) is different in the SAM managed services market because we’re also a Software Asset Management tool provider. We're different in the Software Asset Management tool market because we offer SAM managed services, backed by a 100% in-house team of experts. This means we can offer SAM services that are tailored to a company’s needs and design our software license management tools to support their people and processes. And we're really good at doing both.

Another difference is having a SAM managed services team that’s entirely in-house. The SAM experts who work with you are always full-time USU (formerly Aspera) employees. In the traditional services model, software license management tool providers support their technology by engaging with outside consultants, resellers, or even auditors.

We believe our customers are successful because they get integrated SAM managed services and tools from one company. This means there’s no gap in delivery, coverage or results. Gartner placed us as “a Niche Player” in the 2020 Magic Quadrant for SAM Managed Services and we’re proud of that. Within the larger SAM managed services market, we're our own niche.

SAM Managed Services

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

Get started >>


Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Managed Services Stephen White, Rob Schafer, 4 August, 2020. Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Tools, Ryan Stefani, 20 July 2020. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved. 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. Gartner Peer Insights reviews constitute the subjective opinions of individual end users based on their own experiences, and do not represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates.

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