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Best software asset management tools of 2019: Top SAM software to reduce licensing costs

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

It pays for organisations to take adequate steps to track their inventory. There are more devices being used in and outside of the workplace than ever before, and IT departments are under increasing pressure to track their organisation’s valuable assets – from laptops all the way up to vehicles.

A laptop going missing is an undesirable scenario, one that could have catastrophic consequences if the machine contains sensitive information on the company that’s not adequately protected.

Software asset management (or SAM) tools are also useful for reharvesting software licenses. If an employee moves roles, is promoted or leaves the organisation, it’s cost-effective to re-use that licenses – and SAM solutions makes it simple to transfer them.

Continue reading to discover our pick of the best software asset management tools of 2019.

  • Want your company or services to be added to this buyer’s guide? Please email your request to desire.athow@futurenet.com with the URL of the buying guide in the subject line. 

(Image credit: ManageEngine)

1. ManageEngine AssetExplorer

Uses a familiar Windows interface

Windows-style interface
Tracks networked and non-networked assets
No mobile app
Remote Control lacks functionality

Available as a fully-functioning trial for 30 days, MangeEngine’s AssetExplorer will make IT professionals who are used to working in Windows feel right at home. It offers excellent tools used for tracking and reporting alongside support for both physical and virtual assets, which can be added manually. Hosted in the cloud, AssetExplorer also offers VM-based asset support and relationship mapping, covering all the standard bases for IT professionals.

(Image credit: ServiceNow)

2. ServiceNow

An enterprise-oriented solution for tracking IT hardware assets

Rich feature-set
Useful audit tracking
Still relatively complex
Need to contact for pricing options

ServiceNow Asset Management is a cloud-hosted SAM that’s more suited to advanced users. In response to customer feedback, it’s been simplified in recent years and now sports an attractive UI that’s navigated using a left-hand sidebar. Still one of the more complex (yet fully-featured) offerings on our list, it lets admins use workflows to automate IT asset lifecycles and track financial, contractual, and inventory details of hardware and devices while recording maintenance activity. It also allows regular audits to be performed up until the point that hardware devices need to be retired.

(Image credit: GoCodes)

3. GoCodes

Stickers make tracking assets simple

Quick and easy to use
Difficult to remove stickers
No uptime monitoring
Can’t manage cloud assets

GoCodes does things a bit differently. The company produces tamper-proof stickers that can be affixed to devices to make them instantly trackable in real time based on geolocation. It’s a cinch to use too – simply attach the sticker to the device, and it’s instantly trackable through a web app that takes care of custom tracking. Stickers come in various costs and sizes ($59 per month or $708 a year for the Premium version), maxing out at $199 per month which gets you 2,000 assets in addition to 10 users. 

(Image credit: Sysaid)

4. Sysaid

IT asset management and a helpdesk rolled into one

Also acts as a helpdesk
Easy-to-use
Reporting functionality needs work

There are instances where it would be handy to have a helpdesk working alongside an IT asset management solution, and this is where SysAid comes in. It features a user-friendly interface that lets admins remotely track, control and track assets. Admins can easily view the assets in their new work and get a full picture of their hardware components and software products. For support, the organisation’s end-users can press a designated hotkey to automatically take a screenshot and capture other relevant information about the asset to log in the event of an incident.

(Image credit: InvGate)

5. InvGate Assets

It’s as complex as you want it to be

Flexible and powerful
Easy to use front-end
UI looks a bit dated
Pricing is a little complicated

InvGate Assets is a flexible SAM that lets you track your assets in a front-end view that’s accessible in a browser. It tracks your inventory and offers a list of features that include Change Management, Advanced Reports ,License Management, Remote Desktop and Software Development. It has a nifty alerting system when licenses are about to expire, and you can also create alarms for tasks that are a priority – such as updated licenses or renewing IT equipment. If you want to take things a step further, data can be store in the backend using a MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server database.

(Image credit: Solarwinds)

6. Solarwinds Web Help Desk

Can be deployed in the cloud on on-premise

Tracks hardware and software assets
Variable pricing
Won’t track licenses
Won’t track software usage

Fast to set up (it took us just under 3.5 hours), SolarWinds Web Help Desk is an affordable option that can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud. A superb asset management took that helps you track your hardware and software assets (while keeping them up to date), it’s available on several different pricing tiers depending on how many assets you want to add. Just be warned that it won’t track licenses and software usage – but it will display the asset and ticket history for individual assets.

(Image credit: Freshworks)

7. Freshworks Freshservice

A SAM that won’t give smaller businesses headaches

Easy to use
Attractive UI
Limited reporting functionality
Lack of integration with other tools

Easy to setup making it a suitable option for SMBs, Freshworks Freshservice helps IT teams with a number of different functions, with IT asset management being one of them. Up to 100 assets can be managed for free, with the next pricing tier ($40) extending that number to up to 250. Admins can get a good view of asset information by opening a timeline that show its associated ticket’s historical activity – from priority assignment and status changes to assigned groups – which can also be viewed by employees.

(Image credit: Asset Panda)

8. Asset Panda

Useful if your assets are numerous

Cloud support
Barcode scanning
No remote access to machines
No offline mode in mobile app

If your business has a huge list of fixed assets and you need a simple way to track them all using the cloud, Asset Panda would be our first choice. Available to test as a two-week trial, it’s also a boon for companies that want to offer teams guides and help material at the same time. It comes with a free Android and iOS app that supports barcode scanning of assets, alongside voice recordings, custom fields, images and videos. It’s all offered for a reasonable annual price.

(Image credit: Ivanti)

9. Ivanti IT Asset Management Suite

A powerful if you can look past the setup

Manage all IT assets
Optimize and manage
Customized dashboard

Ivanti IT Asset Management Software doesn't simply claim to track and claim unused licences, but also to manage and optimize them across all IT assets. Ivanti's IT Asset Management Software covers not just software, but also hardware, servers, as well as client, virtual, and cloud assets. The result is the ability to track assets from purchase to disposal, to ensure full cost-efficiency and avoid paying for shelfware. There's a dashboard provided out of the box to check most obvious issues, but is customizable to define and follow your own workflows. There is no set pricing available, so you will need to contact Ivanti for a quote.

(Image credit: MMSoft)

10. MMSoft Pulseway

Comes with a superb mobile client

Great mobile client
Robust 2-factor security
Only monitors MS SQL Server databases
More expensive than rival software

IT Asset Management is just one component of this multi-talented piece of software, which also offers live chat and infrastructure management as part of the package. It’s a great option for tracking assets on the back of its robust security and support for mobile devices. MMSolf Pulseway was built as a mobile app first, rather than a desktop app that’s been adapted for mobile use, and it shows. There’s also a desktop client that shows the same information, but the interface isn’t as slick or useful.