Resellers dominate Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management (SAM) managed services, with Bytes, Insight and SoftwareOne among the 12 companies making the cut.
Four of these dozen SAM doyens were classified as ‘Leaders’, four as ‘Challengers’ and four as ‘Niche Players’.
But who finished top?
Here we count down six resellers that made the grade (in reverse order of who finished furthest towards the top right), and summarise Gartner’s commentary on each.
Summary of SAM
As well as profiling each provider, Gartner shared some observations on the evolution of the SAM managed services market.
- SAM managed services uptake is growing
By Gartner’s own definition, SAM managed services providers help end users meet software and cloud services governance and cost optimisation objectives, either on a continuous or a scheduled basis.
The proportion of organisations who lean on expert third parties for continuous SAM managed services will double between 2023 and 2026 (from 20% to 40%), the market watcher predicted.
The 12 providers Gartner featured registered CAGR for the past two years of 12% and banked total sales of scheduled and continuous SAM managed services of over $430m in 2022.
- Resellers rule the roost
No outsourcers, global systems integrators or tool providers met the qualifying criteria for the Magic Quadrant.
Indeed, with the exceptions of KPMG, Deloitte, DXC Technology, ITAM solutions and Noventiq, all are either resellers or specialist SAM consultancies that are owned by resellers.
Which begs the question: if a SAM consultancy is part of a wider reseller business, can it be said to be truly independent of the vendors its parent company partners with?
Addressing this point, Gartner noted that risk-reward models increased in use to over 12% of contracts, from 5% in the previous year. These are “most prevalent in the reseller category, potentially offsetting concerns regarding conflict of interest”, the analyst noted.
- EMEA the largest market
SAM managed services are most used by EMEA organisations, both in terms of revenue and number of clients, Gartner noted.
North America is knocked from its usual perch into second, with APAC and LATAM coming next.
- SAM and FinOps coming together
SAM managed services have recently transitioned from a compliance-led activity to a cost optimisation one, Gartner noted.
That being the case, SAM is increasingly being accompanied by the delivery of FinOps services, according to the market watcher. Over 39% of SAM managed services delivered by the assessed providers are reported to incorporate FinOps services, it said.
There is increasingly a sustainability component to SAM services too, Gartner noted, with SAM and FinOps both contributing to environmental sustainability initiatives.
Who made the cut?
The 12 providers who made the cut for Gartner’s SAM Managed Services Magic Quadrant met the majority of a number of criteria, including delivering SAM managed services across a scope of 20 or more software vendors and at least $5m in annual SAM managed services revenue for fiscal year 2022.
Providers delivering more than half of their SAM services revenues through partners were among those excluded from the research.
So hats off to all of the following reseller-type businesses that got the nod this time around. Let’s see who made it…
Bytes Technology Group
Status: ‘Niche Player’
Any change from 2022? Yes, Gartner put Bytes in the ‘Visionary’ quadrant last year, making this year’s performance a slight downgrade.
Gartner billed this LSE-listed software and cloud services reseller as a “good fit for small and midsize clients looking for a provider that is contractually flexible and engages on a continuous and scheduled basis”.
Bytes was given credit for its investments in cloud consumption management, its technical approach to service management to manage performance and drive satisfaction, and its flexible SAM contracts.
Bytes has a “low share” of large and complex clients, Gartner noted, while also flagging up its “below average” investments in innovation.
The LSE-listed reseller also got pinged for its “fragmented approach” and its lack of service delivery resources in North America and Latin America.