Hello! Is anyone in higher education utilizing ServiceNow for SAM? I’m interested in hearing personal experience stories!
We (University of Colorado Boulder) have ServiceNow and explored using it for SAM, but went in a different direction. I’m curious to hear how others in higher ed are using it.
Hi Dan! Would you be willing to share which direction you went? We’re slowly investigating all options, and would love to know why you went a different way (Im’ guessing cost)
Surprisingly, cost wasn’t the driving factor. The short version is, we used an RFP to select our SAM platform and ServiceNow did not respond to the RFP despite repeated requests to our account team to do so. Unfortunate but we were not able to consider them once we started the RFP process.
One cost ramification of the vendor we did select through RFP (Eracent) is that they charge by the (managed) client and not by users/administrators. So we can have essentially unlimited administrators. Part of SN’s cost model is that they charge for each “ITIL user” (e.g. someone who has an elevated role), and as a campus with a distributed endpoint management model, we would have a lot of ITIL users wanting to use SAM Pro functionality. I can’t tell you how the cost comparison would have worked out but there is one to be made - and it’s probably worth exploring how each SAM vendor’s cost model works (even in broad strokes such as per client, per user, per software licensing, etc).
Wow - really interesting stuff. Thank you so much for this info!
I should add that our RFP requirements were very robust. It’s possible that SN and others looked at them and decided that they couldn’t meet them, or that it was too difficult to attempt to meet the requirements. But I don’t have insight into what they may have been lacking in their solution, if anything, to meet our requirements.
Apologies that no one from ServiceNow responded to you. I can assure you it wasn’t due to not meeting requirements . Based on the vendor you selected, we can certainly exceed all of those base use cases as well as offer advanced ones that are only possible when you run ITAM on your IT Platform.
I saw your security requirements on another thread. Happy to introduce you to the right folks to discuss if you’re still interested.
ServiceNow charges per Subscription Unit, which is essentially per number of assets managed. Other ServiceNow products may have charged per user in the past, but has never been the case for ITAM. Hope that helps!
Thanks for the clarification on charging units, Ryan. I expected that ServiceNow would base asset charges on the number of assets. We never got that far with estimates. What I was referring to (aside from that) is that at least under our agreement, we have a limited number of ITIL users. Because our university’s IT operates under a partially decentralized model, we would need to offer elevated ServiceNow roles (such as ITIL user) to many department asset managers, thus increasing the total cost of the solution. Again, this is from my estimate of our current agreement and clearly there would be a different proposal, and also, perhaps the charging per ITIL user has evolved and I’m not current on the charging model.
Following the discussion and adding some input.
I learned recently that SAM Pro is priced by end point device (outside of current pricing for admins, etc) And it is weighted by what they see as valued asset. For illustration purposes only it’s like 1:1 for servers, 1:4 for workstations and 1:15 for SaaS. Meaning for one unit of pricing you could cover 1 server or 4 workstations is how I understood it.
What are others experience of SAM Pro?
From my perspective if you don’t have a tool “might” be worth a look be careful of the needed professional services. If you have a mature program/tool will be a hard sell to migrate over where gained benefit likely to be immaterial.
Revitalizing this older thread. I have moved to a different university where we DO use ServiceNow for ITAM (currently OOTB HAM) and intend to implement SAM Pro within the next year.
@eperry - I’m curious about the purpose of your original question. Are you using ServiceNow for SAM? What’s your experience? I think I am now in your shoes and would like to leverage your experience. Also interested in opinions on how to engage a partner to help implement SAM Pro.
@Bryant , you’re correct on how subscription units work. It has varied across the platform over time, but last I saw most of the SUs mirror each other these days - so the Software and Hardware units have a similar ratio to how Discovery units work.
@dan.herrick , I’d suggest two things - 1) the Hardware asset that comes with the ITSM module has been around since Berlin, which is now 10 years ago, and it’s not very comprehensive or automated, which is why SN launched HAM Professional a couple years ago. At some point I’d suggest you guys do an evaluation of that to see if it will help move your program forward. And 2) Remember that ServiceNow has an extensive collection of Implementation Partners, including some who specialize in Asset Management as a whole. Should you guys get to a place where additional modules make sense, I’d suggest investigating the Partner community for options beyond only asking SN to do the work directly themselves - that might solve the problem you mentioned earlier about lack of response.
Now buyer beware, I currently work for an Implementer, so I won’t go beyond that bit of advice at this point. - no sales pitch here!
Overall, I will also say that previous to this gig, I was on the customer side of SN platform for most of 10 years at multiple companies all with ServiceNow, and I actually think that overall it’s pretty solid, if not really perfect platform. That makes sense though, as we all know Asset Management is one of the jobs that never ends. The best part I think about SN though is that their Product Houses continue to iterate and improve the Asset Management modules, and other functionality between other functions. Being able to correctly link the relationships and activities between a CI and an Asset (regardless of Software or Hardware) and automate to support the ITSM core functions is hard to beat.
Thank you @jamesburson, I appreciate the reply.
I wasn’t very clear on our roadmap. My current organization uses some Hardware asset with the ITSM module. We are already planning (and preparing for) a HAM Pro implementation this year. This will be followed by SAM Pro next year. The evaluation was already performed (prior to my arrival) and they decided that the value for HAM Pro and SAM Pro was worthwhile.
Hi Dan! I love this about networking - following up months later. Congrats on the new gig!
My initial purpose of asking was just to put out feelers and gauge usage in higher ed. We do use ServiceNow but not for SAM at this time. It seems to work well for companies and institutions that are centralized and have strict governance, but academia seems to be a much more decentralized environment with less governance - and implementing any type of SAM can be tricky. If anyone had been successful in their implementation, I was hoping to hear about it…but I haven’t yet…
My thought is to put some definition into SAM-specific goals and see how (not if) your institution can align to it. For example:
If your goal is to calculate an effective license position, define the products for which you need that. You may not need it for the sub-$5k desktop software applications, but you probably do need it for the big ones like Microsoft and Adobe. Outline exactly what you need from the org. (Say, “I need to know the entitlements for every MS license purchased under our EES and Select Plus agreements and I need to know which users and [managed] computers have licenses assigned”.) For each of them, employ IT governance to help you gain what you need - and clearly articulate what you need in order to be successful.
If your goal or objective is to save the institution money, or have a better audit defense, there are some actions you can do without needing to have visibility into every computer. (I know that’s normally the sticking point.) As for control over every computer, forget it - but do leverage what your desktop engineering teams are doing. I find it easiest to align my ITAM goals with “managed computers” and not “every computer”. The benefit of this approach is that you don’t have to be the one arguing for visibility/control to computers - let InfoSec and IT Operations do that for you and leverage what they’re doing. That includes accepting their limitations.
Hi Bryant, most customers who migrate over are usually looking for process efficiencies to raise their overall ITAM program maturity. A few days ago, one partner just completed a migration in 6 weeks (start to finish, staging, etc), with the actual data migration taking a couple hours. There is usually cost savings/avoidance meat on the bone our optimization identifies that others may not have, but not always. But the switching costs are low enough that its well worth it to access workflows for the asset life cycle.
Note: some SAM managed service partners may have varying degrees of knowledge about different providers, (and will naturally want to keep you as a client) so its worth getting their opinion but also exploring independently. Hope this helps!
What a great approach - thank you!!