MarketScope for the IT Asset Management Repository

2 April 2013 ID:G00247007
Analyst(s): Patricia Adams

VIEW SUMMARY

IT asset management tools are continuing to show modest growth, although the pressure from software license entitlement tools is taking away revenue. This MarketScope reviews the ITAM solutions targeted at midsize and large enterprises.

What You Need to Know

  • Demand for more robust software license entitlement management and compliance tracking from IT asset management (ITAM) is increasing pressure on ITAM vendors to be nimble with functional enhancements.
  • The penetration of new computing paradigms, such as bring your own device (BYOD), software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS), into organizations, is forcing the ITAM discipline to adopt a proactive position.

MarketScope

Since October 2011, when the last ITAM repository MarketScope was published, ITAM tools have been impacted by accelerating customer demands. Software license compliance audits are continuing and organizations can no longer afford to take a "wait and see" approach to license management, because it will be a more expensive route than investment in IT asset management processes and tools. Additionally, organizations are evaluating or have already implemented BYOD or desktop virtualization, which increases the focus on managing software assets more efficiently. For organizations that put their software assets in the public cloud or those that do not own these assets, there will be an increased focus on financial accounting for assets and life cycle management. The encroaching wave of new technologies and the Nexus of Forces (mobile, information, social and cloud) are forcing ITAM managers to either ride the shoulder of the wave or get ahead of it and prepare for change.

Never before have new device types, with smaller, mobile form factors, or new styles of computing emerged so rapidly. This necessitates a proactive stance toward ITAM — ITAM managers need to know more about technology than they did in the past. Furthermore, understanding the business's needs will accelerate the need to take a proactive stance.

The continuing global economic slowdown has impacted businesses' willingness to invest in new ITAM toolsets, which has led to slower tool market growth. Based on Gartner client inquiry trends, software license entitlement and optimization vendors have increased their market share over the same period of time (see Note 1 and "Software License Optimization Vendor Overview"). Software license entitlement and optimization vendors offer a lighter-weight tool that does not provide the full functionality (e.g., SLA and hardware warranty tracking) that ITAM vendors do. Software license entitlement and optimization vendors have not been included in this MarketScope because their products are not broad enough to meet the complete needs of ITAM tracking. However, the business drivers to implement an ITAM program become even more apparent during a financial crisis. This gives organizations an opportunity to focus on cost control and gain performance benefits from their assets.

Based on the most recent market share data available at the time of this research's publication, which Gartner collected from 2010 to 2011, vendors listed in this MarketScope have experienced revenue swings, some of which have been significant declines (such as BMC Software, HP and Symantec-Altiris). HP's decline of 21% from 2010 to 2011 is the greatest decline of all the vendors in this MarketScope, some of which is due to their removal of DDMI discovery tool revenue from the ITAM product line. BMC's decline was almost 16%, while Symantec experienced a decline of 10%. While IBM's market share has grown 12%, it can be attributed to IBM Global Services' extensive geographic reach and foothold as both a hardware and software vendor in many large IT organizations. Small or midsize businesses (SMBs) will likely have LANDesk, BMC-Numara, Symantec-Altiris on their shortlists as cost-effective options. ServiceNow has grown its ITAM market share as its IT service support management solution has been widely adopted.

The total ITAM market size has decreased from less than $452 million to $445 million in 2010 and 2011. We believe this decline can be directly attributed to software license entitlement tools gaining traction as a point solution. Based on Gartner client inquiry data, software license entitlement is continuing to generate a high volume of calls, and we expect that this segment likely took additional market share in 2012.

Market/Market Segment Description

ITAM is the centralized management of the financial (e.g., purchase price, depreciation cycle), contractual (e.g., terms and conditions, purchased entitlements) and basic configuration data of IT assets in an organization. The number of device types and scope of the project may differ greatly by organization, but the primary goal is to begin tracking and monitoring what is happening to the assets throughout their life cycles. ITAM is often confused with the day-to-day management of the configuration of that asset, the financial management of assets that are on the fixed asset register or maintaining an inventory of deployed assets.

The ITAM tool repository market is a database that manages and integrates financial, physical and contractual data throughout the IT asset life cycle, from requisitioning an asset to the retirement and disposal of hardware or software assets. Core attributes include the capability to capture and maintain asset costs, depreciation, chargeback, contract terms and conditions, vendor service levels, asset maintenance, ownership, and entitlements associated with inventory components and configuration items (such as PCs, network devices, servers, storage and software components) necessary for the effective management and optimization of IT asset performance. In addition, it's critical that these ITAM repositories integrate with adjacent toolsets, within IT operations and externally (such as service desk/request, autodiscovery/inventory, PC life cycle configuration management, HR and ERP) to deliver a more holistic view of asset performance over its life cycle. Target buyers range from IT operations managers solving operational asset management efficiency and effectiveness problems to financial managers requiring cost and portfolio data to provide asset-related information to senior-level executives of IT organizations.

Vendor products are slowly evolving from focusing on reporting data to providing better analysis of that data, which will enable better, more-efficient decisions, rather than merely improving reports with better graphics. This can be characterized as moving from "What do I have?" to "What insight can ITAM provide to improve IT business decisions?" Data analysis and scenario modeling increase the value of ITAM to the enterprise, because this level of detail can't be found in any financial tools. Providing this information is critical to IT success, because most IT organizations have a poor understanding of the cost drivers that make IT "too expensive."

Given the intersection and integration of ITAM tools with IT service and support management (ITSSM) products, such as IT service and support and PC configuration tools needed to achieve a centralized view of the environment, vendors will need to offer tight integrations with adjacent toolsets. If these integrations or adapters don't exist, then customers need to recognize their role in building and maintaining them, with the vendor potentially turning that work into a product with the next release. Even taking a suite-based approach within a single vendor's toolset does not guarantee that the integration will be adequate. The combination of tighter integration and better financial information provide the chance for IT to identify opportunities for IT asset portfolio efficiencies and to align costs more directly with customers that are driving down costs.

When choosing an ITAM repository, most Gartner clients say one of the top priorities is to look for how tightly integrated the repository is with adjacent toolsets (see the Evidence section for further discussion). The primary toolsets with which ITAM repositories will integrate, besides inventory and software usage, are IT service support management, change management, and purchasing and configuration management. IT service Level 1 support often requires access to inventory data, while Level 2 and Level 3 support require access to contract and service-level information. Having bidirectional integration among these toolsets is essential, because changes to shared pertinent information can occur in any tool. On the other hand, purchasing tools are typically a one-way integration with the ITAM repository. As new hardware and software assets are purchased, data is populated into the ITAM repository and treated as individual items for asset tracking.

As ITAM implementations mature, change and configuration management processes and tools become integral to successful inventory and license management. Technicians installing software on PCs must verify that a user is entitled to the software and that licenses are available for deployment. Integration with PC life cycle tools is a requirement, especially if they're the source of autodiscovery/inventory data (see "Magic Quadrant for PC Configuration Life Cycle Management Tools").

The needs of SMBs (see "Gartner's Small and Midsize Business Market Definition, 2013 Update"), which we generally categorize as companies with fewer than 5,000 PCs under management, can be vastly different from those of large organizations. There are many reasons why an SMB may not want to consider one of the enterprise vendors included in this MarketScope (refer to the Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria section). SMBs may not be able to afford the purchase price, the cost to maintain a large suite or the customization/implementation costs. They may not want to tackle the complexity of rolling out a full ITAM program, but prefer to focus on software license compliance or hardware asset management only. The problems SMBs face are more reactive (i.e., software license compliance, technology update or leasing), and don't require extensive back-end integration with other toolsets or expensive ERP systems. However, workflows and processes are necessary functions and SaaS platforms may be preferred to an on-premises solution in an SMB environment. Both BMC-Numara and Snow Software offer capabilities that would be attractive to SMBs.

The large enterprise-class ITAM vendors (BMC, CA Technologies, HP and IBM) focus on delivering comprehensive suites around their configuration management databases (CMDBs). Smaller vendors offer viable alternatives to SMBs that can't afford the cost of replacing all the pieces composing an IT service management (ITSM) strategy, or to companies that may have a best-of-breed approach to tools or that want to adopt an alternative delivery model, such as SaaS. Furthermore, SMBs don't want to be treated as "just another customer with a complaint" when it comes to support problems, which is the reaction they may encounter from a larger vendor, leading to extended support problems.

Accordingly, SMBs have turned to vendors that may not have a complete set of modules, but their purchase prices and implementation service costs may be low. These vendors may not offer as much ITAM functionality depth in areas such as financial management or decision modeling as other, more-focused vendors. However, these vendors will likely still be attractive to Gartner clients that are not considered large.

Several players in the ITAM market didn't qualify for this MarketScope (refer to the Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria section) based on limited repository capabilities or because they were not appearing on Gartner clients' shortlists. Customers looking for tools to solve specific problems (such as software license entitlement management tools for expensive design, manufacturing or scientific applications) or that want to only focus on their licensing issues with SAP or Oracle will find that several additional players may have suitable tools. For organizations that fit this description, we recommend augmenting the vendors listed in this MarketScope with Flexera Software, Snow Software and Aspera (a wholly owned subsidiary of USU).

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

Vendors must have an ITAM repository offering to support the most often seen requirements of midsize and large enterprise environments (with more than 3,000 employees) observed in the installed base. The inclusion criteria encompass these eight requirements:

  • Software entitlement controls
  • Asset catalog/service request
  • Software license and hardware asset management
  • Integration capability
  • Financial management
  • Workflow automation
  • Decision modeling
  • Relationship mapping

The vendor's installed base must have at least four of these criteria in production. The vendor must generate sufficient client interest and inquiry to be noticed by Gartner analysts.

ERP players (for example, SAP and Oracle) aren't included in this research. Although products from these vendors can be modified and customized to perform ITAM, most customers find they aren't designed out of the box (OOTB) to manage the more-granular information (especially for software asset management data) required to effectively manage IT assets. In addition, the integrations with autodiscovery/inventory and the IT service and support tools aren't as evolved as in ITAM-specific tool repositories. We find that customers often integrate ITAM systems with ERP products to ensure that the information is consistent with corporate financials and is integrated with the purchase order process.

Other tool categories that aren't directly evaluated in this MarketScope are autodiscovery/inventory products and software usage products. However, these tools often provide a data feed into an ITAM repository, and are essential to understanding which assets are deployed in the environment. Because these products don't offer capabilities in the areas of financial management or contractual management, they aren't included.

Most configuration management tools that are primarily focused on PC life cycle management also provide autodiscovery/inventory capabilities, but most of them don't offer complete ITAM functionality, as described in the eight functional inclusion criteria listed above.

Rating for Overall Market/Market Segment

Overall Market Rating: Promising

As more organizations implement ITIL and build service-based IT organizations, knowing the cost and financial data behind those services is making the ITAM discipline a "must have," so that organizations can understand the cost and maintenance issues related to the assets supporting IT business services. The value of the data in an ITAM tool is becoming essential for many organizations. As a result, we expect market penetration for centralized ITAM tool repositories to increase. However, the global economic climate will affect this adoption rate and the impact will likely be modest. Additionally, the software license entitlement and optimization vendors will continue to take market share until the two markets converge.

Evaluation Criteria

Table 1. Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Criteria

Comment

Weighting

Market Understanding

The capability of the vendor to understand buyers' wants and needs, and to translate them into products and services. Vendors that show the highest degree of vision listen to and understand buyers' wants and needs, and can shape or enhance these with their added vision.

high

Offering (Product) Strategy

The vendor's approach to product development and delivery emphasizes differentiation, functionality, methodology and feature sets as they map to current and future requirements.

high

Business Model

The soundness and logic of the vendor's underlying business proposition.

standard

Innovation

The direct, related, complementary and synergistic layouts of resources, expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes.

high

Product/Service

The vendor offers core goods and services that compete in/serve the defined market. This includes current product/service capabilities, quality, feature sets and skills, whether offered natively or through OEM agreements/partnerships, as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria.

high

Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization)

Includes an assessment of the organization's overall financial health, the financial and practical success of the business unit, and the likelihood that the individual business unit will continue investing in the product, offering the product and advancing the state of the art in the organization's portfolio of products.

standard

Customer Experience

Relationships, products and services/programs that enable clients to be successful with the products evaluated. Specifically, this includes how customers receive technical support or account support. This also can include ancillary tools, customer support programs (and the quality thereof), the availability of user groups, SLAs, etc.

standard

Source: Gartner (April 2013)

Figure 1. MarketScope for the IT Asset Management Repository
Figure 1.MarketScope for the IT Asset Management Repository

Source: Gartner (April 2013)

Vendor Product/Service Analysis

ASG

The current release, ASG IT Asset and Service Management (ASG-ITASM) 4.0, came out in December 2012, closely aligning with ITIL terminology and processes. It is the first release under ASG's ownership after the acquisition of PS'Soft in 2011, and followed the 3.2 release in July 2012. New functionality in this release includes a SaaS platform and supports more of a CMDB approach to asset management, where the inventory data is visualized in a hierarchical relationship map. The product can be run in either a SaaS environment or on-premises, giving an organization flexibility regarding installation and overhead costs. The integration of ITAM functionality into a suite that includes CMDB gives ASG a presence in the IT operations management area that goes beyond the ASG-TrackBird discovery tool. ASG-ITASM continues to be challenged to build its market presence outside the EMEA market. With only a small North American presence, it will take several years for ASG-ITASM to build significant business to justify the acquisition.

Small and midsize EMEA-based companies looking for ITAM features/functionality should consider this product set as an option. However, without continued innovation ASG will likely decline in ranking.

Strengths

  • Applied the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) for defining an asset taxonomy to the product
  • Integrated ITSM suite
  • A cost-effective solution for price-sensitive organizations

Cautions

  • Lacks support for complex license models
  • Has a small customer base outside of Europe
  • Has limited financial management capabilities

Rating: Promising

Axios Systems

The current release of Axios Systems' assyst product is assyst10 and the ITAM functionality is no longer a module, but is included in other areas, such as CMDB and service catalog. While assyst claims complete life cycle management, the focus is on delivering a broad ITSM suite with service catalog, service-level management, incident, problem and change management, and CMDB as an on-premises or SaaS solution. With service and support coming from one vendor, integration issues are greatly diminished due to the organic development of the modules. ITAM capabilities have not been the core of Axios' ITSM offering, and this is evident in the area of IT financial management — specifically, the lack of budgeting and forecasting capabilities. Many of the features that are standard in other tools are available as a customization in assyst, such as predefined-asset-related reports, ITAM roles and license entitlement. Axios has limited ability to model technology or business decisions to determine changes to costs, assets or vendors. The wizards for developing reports are easy to use, but must be used for many reports. There are no OOTB, standard predefined roles, so customers must be knowledgeable enough to define them during the implementation workshops. While Axios offers its own discovery agent, assyst is heavily dependent on third-party discovery tools, so it is essential to ensure that all discovery sources are accurate.

Organizations seeking a tightly integrated ITSM suite with the ability to customize many of the functions will find assyst satisfactory for hardware asset management; however, the software functionality is limited. For Axios to retain its rating, additional OOTB functionality will need to be added to the core product.

Strengths

  • Fully integrated suite that is also available on SaaS platform
  • Strong presence in EMEA
  • Ability to track a wide range of assets, including facility assets (e.g., fire extinguishers)

Cautions

  • Lacks support for complex license entitlement tracking
  • Lacks strong decision support and analytics
  • Discovery strategy is not clearly articulated or robust

Rating: Promising

BMC Software

The current release of BMC Software's Remedy Asset Management module is v.8.1, which is part of the Remedy ITSM suite and became generally available in February 2013. It continues to be the case that many customers do not buy BMC Remedy Asset Management stand-alone, without having at least one of the other modules (most commonly, incident and problem management, due to the suite's underlying Action Request System [ARS] architecture). The overlap between CMDB and asset management is more apparent in BMC's product suite than in any other vendor's ITAM offering. Since Remedy Asset Management is underpinned by BMC Atrium CMDB, some customers are confused about the interaction between the two applications and mistakenly believe that Atrium CMDB and Remedy Asset Management are one and the same. BMC Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping (ADDM) continues to be the vendor's primary discovery tool selected by customers from within the BMC product line. Gartner has seen customers that want in-depth software license management and entitlement data look to integrate those tools into Remedy Asset Management in lieu of using the Remedy Asset Management module. In 2012, BMC's acquisition of Numara, a midmarket IT service and support vendor, will replace BMC Service Desk Express' limited ITAM functionality to become its midmarket solution targeting SMBs. The agent-based discovery tool targeted at PCs will come from the former Numara product line, now called BMC FootPrints Asset Core.

Product enhancements have slowed this year, but BMC is still appearing on many Gartner shortlists.

Strengths

  • Highly integrated Remedy ITSSM solution reduces concerns about data sharing
  • Inventory data stored centrally in Atrium CMDB and shared with Remedy Asset Management
  • Largest market share among Gartner clients

Cautions

  • Slow adoption of SaaS-based ITAM
  • Software license entitlement functionality needs expansion
  • Lacks robust, scalable agent-based discovery

Rating: Positive

CA Technologies

The current release of CA Technologies' IT Asset Manager is r.12.7, which runs on CA's common integration platform across its ITSM solutions and became generally available in September 2012. The next version is scheduled for 1H13. The CA IT Asset Manager tool has three components under a single license: Software Asset Manager, Asset Portfolio Management and CA Business Intelligence dashboard reporting. In September 2012, CA announced an OEM partnership with Aspera, a software license entitlement management tool. Aspera is a wholly owned subsidiary of USU, another ITAM vendor. In the next release, r.12.8, this partnership will bring deeper integration and CA will gain a much-needed license management capability that can assist in tracking vendors with complex licensing models (such as IBM, Microsoft and Oracle). The new release v.12.8 will replace the previous version of CA Software Compliance Manager, which has resource consumption, overhead and data load issues. For large organizations with multiple locations, multitenancy allows viewing of data by region or site, rolling up to a centralized view. However, multitenancy is not available across all the modules and, without OOTB predefined roles and the associated security levels, this is of limited use. The integration with CA Clarity PPM is an advantage for mature organizations that need to understand all the costs across a project or service. In the area of reporting, CA Business Intelligence's dashboard provides the reports that are needed to analyze and interpret what is happening in the environment.

Large organizations that are price-sensitive will find that the IT Asset Manager tool will meet most of their OOTB needs; however, a SaaS option is not available. CA was downgraded to Promising in this MarketScope because the software license entitlement management partnership has not fully replaced the software license compliance manager offering.

Strengths

  • Enhanced software license entitlement management is available through a partnership
  • CA Clarity PPM provides high-level project costing
  • Low-cost provider, compared with other enterprise vendors

Cautions

  • No OOTB predefined roles
  • Customers report difficultly with defining a software relationship on the fly that requires manual correlation
  • Lack of robust agent-based discovery

Rating: Promising

EasyVista

This is the first year that EasyVista has been included in the ITAM MarketScope. While Gartner has been aware of EasyVista for many years, the vendor is starting to gain traction among our SMB clients. EasyVista markets itself as an ITSM and ITAM integrated solution based on ITIL best practices, and it is clear by the product components and terminology that it closely aligns with ITIL's definition of service and asset management. The current release of the vendor's ITAM solution is EasyVista 2012, which became generally available in March 2012 and is sold as both an on-premises and SaaS solution. It includes CMDB, discovery and software asset management. Having both IT financial management and portfolio management capabilities, it offers a complete set of functionality that customers have come to expect from ITAM tools. Wizards, predefined reports, business intelligence, dashboards and key performance indicators provide customers with the data necessary to make decisions about asset life cycle management.

We are giving EasyVista a Promising rating because its ease of use and flexibility are targeted at SMBs that don't want to do extensive customization to an ITAM solution.

Strengths

  • Available via SaaS for midmarket companies
  • Part of an ITSSM suite with ITAM, CMDB and discovery sold together
  • Low cost

Cautions

  • Limited support for complex license entitlement tracking
  • Lacks an agent-based discovery tool for mobile devices
  • Lacks a standard asset catalog for purchasing

Rating: Promising

Eracent

In October 2012, Eracent released v.9.8 of Enterprise Entitlements Management (EnterpriseEM) and Enterprise Lifecycle Management (EnterpriseLM). This is a minor release, following v.9.7 in August 2011 when financial management and work orders associated with contracts were improved. An increased market focus on software license entitlement management has likely increased the installed base for the EnterpriseEM product. Gartner clients have reported that Eracent is on their shortlists, competing with other license entitlement optimization tools. With an increased focus on software license entitlement management in the marketplace, Eracent is making inroads with both of its offerings being sold simultaneously into customer sites. The vendor has a larger installed base with its Enterprise Asset Management (EnterpriseAM) autodiscovery/inventory tool, which tends to pull its other products into deals for evaluation, but we expect this will change in the future. Customers have reported issues with the discovery tool support for Mac and Unix.

The most characteristic Eracent customer will probably be a midsize business or a smaller large enterprise, which will use the product straight OOTB. Eracent is one of those unusual vendors that does not have a complete ITSM suite that it packages along with its ITAM solution. To be successful without ITSM, Eracent must invest in development and ensure that it meets its timelines.

Strengths

  • Functionality and ease of use make the vendor's products attractive to midsize and smaller large enterprises
  • Easy-to-generate dashboards and reports
  • Software licensing for IBM PVUs

Cautions

  • Tool requires above-average administrative overhead
  • Customers report problems with discovery of Linux and Mac OS
  • Lacks support for virtual machine clustering in EnterpriseEM

Rating: Promising

HP

In April 2012, the current release of HP Asset Manager, v.9.31, became generally available, following on the heels of v.9.3, which came out in April 2011. The most recent release brought modest changes to the solution, including a 64-bit architecture for Linux. The four modules that comprise Asset Manager are Contracts, Financial, Procurement and Software Asset Management. ConnectIT is an integration engine that imports data from third-party tools, such as ERP and HR systems. In the v.9.31 release of Asset Manager, the tree structure has been renamed, which can cause some confusion for customers that also use the HP PPM tool. Although the capability is called "portfolio management" in Asset Manager, it is a definitive media library (DML) and definitive software library (DSL). With 200 software counters, which rationalize vendor product files and names, focused on Microsoft (48 counters), Oracle, HP (5 counters) and other vendors, HP needs to focus on expanding the list of vendors. A coup for HP is that Oracle's License Management Service (LMS) recently verified HP Universal Discovery (UD) for data collection of Oracle products. The integration with HP Cloud Service Automation, an internal cloud management tool, through ConnectIT to Asset Manager is a market-leading step, although it will need to be expanded to include cloud services platforms, such as Amazon, salesforce.com and Rackspace. Integration with VMware's vCenter, provides detailed usage down to the minute.

Overall, HP Asset Manager is a strong enterprise offering that provides good functionality, and comprehensive financial management and billing, although not in a SaaS solution. HP's corporate direction and continuing development of new ITAM functionality and associated product sets will be key to the vendor remaining in the Positive category.

Strengths

  • Software counters that track virtual, physical and subcapacity, and convert based on software OEM license terms
  • Integration with HP Cloud Service Automation
  • HP Universal Discovery, a combination of Discovery and Dependency Mapping Advanced (DDMA) and Discovery and Dependency Mapping Inventory (DDMI)

Cautions

  • Customers report that this is typically, the highest-cost provider to buy, implement and maintain
  • Long deployment cycles for many customers
  • Market share decline

Rating: Positive

IBM

In 2012, IBM renamed Tivoli Asset Management for IT (TAMIT) — or Maximo, as it was often called in the marketplace — to IBM SmartCloud Control Desk v.7.5. This renaming is an attempt to capitalize on the momentum behind cloud solutions, although the tool continues to be sold as both an on-premises and hosted solution. With the renaming, TAMIT v.7.2.2 is now part of a SmartCloud suite solution that includes Tivoli Service Request Manager (TSRM) and Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database (CCMDB). This unification means that an organization can no longer purchase IT asset management capability separate from the other products; however, there is now a lower price associated with the entire suite and the past integration problems are likely resolved. Compared with other ITAM tools, the development cycle on TAMIT continues to be extremely slow and there was no new functionality added to the renamed ITAM product.

IBM continues to require organizations that have its subcapacity software installed to use the free IBM License Metric Tool (ILMT) for ongoing compliance maintenance. However, that tool is not integrated with IBM's SmartCloud Control Desk, which complicates compliance with IBM's own products. TAMIT is integrated with Tivoli Application Discovery for Distributed, a for-fee product that is the discovery/inventory tool for purchase upgrade from ILMT.

Gartner continues to see little evidence of IBM selling outside its traditional installed base. ITAM solutions from an enterprise vendor need a major functionality update every four to five years to remain competitive, and this tool is long overdue.

Strengths

  • Suite-based reduced price point
  • Integrated ITSSM toolset and integration with operational technology assets, such as power plants
  • IBM Global Services sells effectively into its installed base

Cautions

  • Limited product innovation since acquisition in 2006
  • Confusing array of discovery tools
  • Minimal support for non IBM software licenses

Rating: Promising

LANDesk

The LANDesk Asset Lifecycle Manager (ALM) has not had a new release since v.5.0 became available in July 2011. At that time, modest behind-the-scenes product enhancements intended to assist larger customers with implementation were made. The earlier version, 4.5, lacked some features, such as a 64MB back end that would make it easier to run in large organizations. LANDesk appears to be focusing its development resources on building a SaaS platform for its LANDesk IT-service-support-management-as-a-service offering. However, with ALM on a separate platform, it will likely be an extended time frame before ALM is available as a SaaS option.

Without a focus on new functionality in the past three years, ALM will likely be a better fit for current LANDesk management suite customers than for organizations that want to purchase and use it separately. We continue to expect that market penetration will slow down until new features and functionality are released.

Strengths

  • Targeted more at midsize businesses or smaller large enterprises with a short implementation time frame
  • Visualization of asset relationships
  • ALM is part of an ITSM suite solution that includes client configuration management

Cautions

  • Weak software license entitlement functionality
  • Few packaged, bidirectional integrations to adjacent toolsets beyond LANDesk Service Desk
  • Limited IT financial and contract management capability

Rating: Caution

Provance Technologies

Provance Technologies has two ITAM solutions available in the market, but the emphasis has been on the vendor's ITAM solution built for Microsoft's System Center Service Manager (SCSM) 2012 platform, and that is the one that Gartner sees most frequently on client shortlists. We expect that the legacy product will not be a focus for future development. The current release is Provance IT Asset Management Pack for Microsoft System Center 2012 CU2, released in January 2013. Because the tool is built natively on System Center Service Manager, integration is seamless. In this release, Provance has added a bar code scanner for asset receiving, inventory and tracking; Asset Request Management, using the System Center 2012 Service Catalog; integration with Microsoft System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager; and event notification for contracts. Now that System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2012 SP1 can discover non-Windows platforms, integration with non-Microsoft discovery tools won't be as essential. However, it's always helpful to integrate with other mainstream discovery, as most organizations typically have more than one tool for discovery. Through its Data Management Pack, Provance can integrate and normalize data from other sources. Given the tight integration with SCSM, Provance has an unusual ability to ship updates and new functionality outside of Microsoft's release schedule. This is extremely helpful, because the Microsoft release schedule is typically extended, and a small, nimble company like Provance can innovate faster. One caution for large organizations is that the IT Asset Management Pack does not support multitenancy, because it is limited by the available Microsoft functionality.

The Provance installed base has grown significantly through the Microsoft relationship, and will likely make it a target for acquisition. Small and midsize Microsoft-centric businesses that don't have robust software license entitlement requirements should consider Provance as an option.

Strengths

  • Tight Microsoft SCCM integration
  • Available in English, German, French and Russian
  • Can ship updates out of band with Microsoft's SCSM release schedule

Cautions

  • Windows 8 support released in January 2013, but unproven
  • Customers report manual reconciliation across various inventory sources
  • No capability to provide multitenancy for large organizations

Rating: Promising

ServiceNow

The Berlin release of ServiceNow's IT Service Automation Application Suite became generally available in September 2012, and included a major overhaul of the ITAM module and software asset management capability. The enhancements included defined-asset bundles, enhanced product definitions, detailed status tracking, automated inventory of spare parts, software license entitlement tracking, vendor software suite definitions, various license models (e.g., enterprise licenses, subscription licenses, upgrading/downgrading licenses, usage-based licenses), software counters, and software discovery models for normalization. While the new features are a huge leap for ServiceNow, the financial and contract functionality is not robust enough for large enterprises. However, customers have found the flat-rate, all-inclusive pricing and the regular schedule of new releases very attractive, although they may not be able to take advantage of all the new features. SaaS solutions are seeing increased popularity as more organizations have grown accustomed to running their IT service desks off-site. Having built the entire solution organically, the combination of an agentless inventory (which requires a Java on-site server that runs within the customer's network environment) and a CMDB, both on the same architecture as the ITAM module, reduces integration issues and improves ease of use.

Organizations that have invested in ServiceNow's IT service support management solution will be satisfied with the ITAM functionality in the Berlin release. The vendor will have to continue the development momentum in the next releases to make it on par with other enterprise-class tools, but it will likely meet the needs of midmarket organizations.

Strengths

  • Ease of use
  • Cost-effective if organization has purchased other modules
  • Separate physical data segregation by customer (multitenant SaaS)

Cautions

  • Needs an agent-based discovery solution
  • Limited IT cost and billing capability
  • Basic contract management functionality

Rating: Promising

Symantec-Altiris

The current release (v.7.1 SP2) of Symantec's Altiris IT Management Suite became available in December 2011. The v.7.0 platform was a migration for existing Altiris users and many reported difficulty with the first release. To address many of the complaints, v.7.1 was released shortly afterward and SP2 several months after that. Customers report that the improvements from v.6 are significant, especially workflow capabilities, navigation paths and reports. With basic workflows, lacking advanced OOTB processes, the tool is a better fit for midsize organizations for which price is a deciding factor. The use of Microsoft Silverlight as the user interface gives the application a common or familiar feel, although customers have reported problems with it. The multiple pop-up windows can make it easy to lose track of where you are in the tool. Since the acquisition by Symantec, development has slowed on the product so customers are adding functionality needed for their specific implementations, such as automated data imports. However, there are still challenges with customizing the tool functionality and the ability to track software OEM vendors with complex licensing models, such as Microsoft and IBM. Symantec has built a tool that will satisfy its installed Altiris Client Management Suite customer base and organizations that are not looking for an overly complex ITAM tool.

Symantec will continue to appeal to its existing configuration management system and/or server management system customers. With slow development cycles, Symantec continues with a Caution rating that is at risk of being downgraded.

Strengths

  • Faster user interface navigation
  • Sells ITAM primarily to its installed base, due to its native integration
  • IT analytics reporting cube for ITAM has received kudos from customers

Cautions

  • Silverlight console navigation is not effective
  • Can't handle complex software licensing models OOTB
  • No agentless discovery tool

Rating: Caution

USU

The current release of USU's Valuemation product is v.4.3. It became generally available in June 2012. ITAM functionality is located in the Service Asset Lifecycle Management suite, which includes service request management, procurement, contract management and software license management. In 2012, USU acquired full ownership of Aspera, a software license entitlement management company that also partners with CA Technologies. While recognition about Aspera's functionality is slowly increasing outside of EMEA, USU was very prescient with the acquisition and will operate Aspera as a wholly owned subsidiary. The 4.3 release included new functionality focused on the service life cycle, service catalog, service portfolio and integration with its other recently acquired products. On the IT financial management side, the ROI calculators and forecasting have been improved to provide more detail and transparency about service costing, thereby delivering value to senior IT managers that want detailed and accurate cost information. The browsers that support the Web-based client are Firefox v.19 and Internet Explorer (IE) v.8 and v.9. Google Chrome and Safari are not officially supported.

Large enterprises based in EMEA that are looking for a suite solution will find USU's Valuemation a viable option.

Strengths

  • ITAM is part of a complete suite targeted at midsize and large enterprises
  • Improved process automation
  • Tool supports multitenancy, which enables location-specific data that can be rolled up centrally

Cautions

  • Limited presence in North America and modest, but growing, presence outside of Germany
  • With customers preferring full-service suites, there isn't native client configuration management, although there are partnerships and integrations
  • Lacks a native autodiscovery/inventory tool

Rating: Promising

VMware

VMware got a foothold in the ITAM marketplace with EMC's acquisition of Infra, an Australian company, that was later transferred along with the Ionix product line to VMware. The product is called VMware Service Manager 9 — Asset Management and the current release is v.9, which came out in April 2010. VMware does not advertise or sell the product on its website, or sell it through partners. While the installed base is decreasing, Gartner continues to come across former Infra customers that are still using the solution. We are not aware of support being discontinued for the product, although it is only out of Australia and not offered globally, so access times are constrained.

VMware has indicated it is shifting its focus specifically on its virtualization ecosystem and has likely stopped development of the ITAM component. Because Gartner still encounters clients using this product, it is included in this MarketScope.

Strength

  • VMware brand

Cautions

  • Without any sign of sales, marketing, advertising or development, the future of this product is questionable
  • Lacks integration into many corollary toolsets, such as PPM, HR and purchasing tools
  • Can't track internal software entitlements based on employee role or job description
  • Lacks a standard asset catalog

Rating: Strong Negative

Evidence

When implementing an ITAM tool, Gartner clients have indicated a preference toward integrating the ITAM database with purchasing systems or ERP tools, if they are available, and with IT service support tools and discovery tools. More-mature ITAM programs will integrate with HR and data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools.

Note 1
Software License Entitlement Description

Software license entitlement and optimization vendors track the entitlement record for the application and correlate that to the vendor product SKU information, if it's available, and to the discovered inventory data to determine license compliance.

Vendors Added or Dropped

We review and adjust our inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes as markets change. As a result of these adjustments, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant or MarketScope may change over time. A vendor appearing in a Magic Quadrant or MarketScope one year and not the next does not necessarily indicate that we have changed our opinion of that vendor. This may be a reflection of a change in the market and, therefore, changed evaluation criteria, or a change of focus by a vendor.

Gartner MarketScope Defined

Gartner's MarketScope provides specific guidance for users who are deploying, or have deployed, products or services. A Gartner MarketScope rating does not imply that the vendor meets all, few or none of the evaluation criteria. The Gartner MarketScope evaluation is based on a weighted evaluation of a vendor's products in comparison with the evaluation criteria. Consider Gartner's criteria as they apply to your specific requirements. Contact Gartner to discuss how this evaluation may affect your specific needs.

In the below table, the various ratings are defined:

MarketScope Rating Framework

Strong Positive
Is viewed as a provider of strategic products, services or solutions:

  • Customers: Continue with planned investments.
  • Potential customers: Consider this vendor a strong choice for strategic investments.

Positive
Demonstrates strength in specific areas, but execution in one or more areas may still be developing or inconsistent with other areas of performance:

  • Customers: Continue planned investments.
  • Potential customers: Consider this vendor a viable choice for strategic or tactical investments, while planning for known limitations.

Promising
Shows potential in specific areas; however, execution is inconsistent:

  • Customers: Consider the short- and long-term impact of possible changes in status.
  • Potential customers: Plan for and be aware of issues and opportunities related to the evolution and maturity of this vendor.

Caution
Faces challenges in one or more areas.

  • Customers: Understand challenges in relevant areas, and develop contingency plans based on risk tolerance and possible business impact.
  • Potential customers: Account for the vendor's challenges as part of due diligence.

Strong Negative
Has difficulty responding to problems in multiple areas.

  • Customers: Execute risk mitigation plans and contingency options.
  • Potential customers: Consider this vendor only for tactical investment with short-term, rapid payback.