Reclaim unused licenses with ServiceNow SAM Pro

In most occasions the number one goal for companies to implement SAM/ITAM is to become and to stay compliant. Being able to show that you are compliant can save a lot of money during audits.

Companies can even save more money when they are able to lower their consumption numbers. An efficient way to accomplish this is to reclaim unused license entitlements.  


TIP #36 - March 2020:  How much can you save by reclaiming software licenses using ServiceNow SAM Pro?

Use cases

Every organisation deals with software products that are being requested and only being used once or twice. After this “usage” period, the installation of this product will not be removed, and SAM tools will report on that and calculate License Consumption. Often used – and expensive – products are Microsoft Visio and Microsoft Project. 

A lot of end users request Visio Standard or Professional (instead of the Viewer) to view a drawing they have received via e-mail. It also occurs that Visio is requested to create one drawing and is never used again. Bottomline: the product will not be removed from the system and is calculated for License Consumption while the product is not even being used. 

ServiceNow Software Asset Management Professional

With ServiceNow SAM Pro it is possible to create Reclamation Rules for each product that is relevant for your organisation. For these Reclamation Rules it is important to consider a few things: 

  • Is the application managed within Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)?  
  • When do we consider a product as not being used? There are two different configuration settings that support the decision to be made: 

     • The application was not used for the last X month(s); 

     • The application was used less than X hour(s) in the last X month(s). 

  • Whether or not to notify the user about reclaiming the license. Although notifying the user sometimes seems to be the right thing to do, it is also possible that this will trigger the user to start the application and prevent reclamation that way. This should be taken into account when making this decision. 

ServiceNow SAM Pro will import Software Usage for all products that are configured within a Reclamation Rule. A requirement for this is that usage of those products will be collected by the SCCM agent as SCCM is the out-of-the-box supported source for Software Usage. 

Usage data will be aggregated as per month. The total usage time (in seconds) will be imported for each user per product. If the usage patterns match the criteria – as specified in the Reclamation Rules – a Reclamation Candidate will be created. 

Example: a Reclamation Rule defines that a user should have used Visio for at least 5 hours in the last 3 months. A user in the company did use the application for 2 hours in total the last 3 months. Therefore, the application should be removed and the license will be reclaimed. Hence the creation of a Reclamation Candidate. 

A workflow will be followed for every Reclamation Candidate and phases of this workflow can also include approvals. In the end, the Software Installation will be removed from all devices where this user is assigned to. ServiceNow uses orchestration (this part of orchestration comes with your SAM Pro license) to automatically remove installations via SCCM. 

The license will be released and can be assigned to a user that will actually use the application or it can be subject for discussion during your next true-up negotiations!