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Inaugural Voyage – The SAM Managed Services Magic Quadrant Sets Sail

by Stephen White  |  August 5, 2020  |  1 Comment

Indeed, the first edition Magic Quadrant for SAM Managed Services has arrived, alongside the first Critical Capabilities for SAM Managed Services. In development throughout 2020, with design dating back almost two years, followed by build, and sea trials completed through review stages, if feels as though today I’m handing over a much cared for vessel to all who choose to take her to sea.

Producing both pieces included crafting a thorough set of inclusion criteria which would satisfy the most particular and challenging requirements, followed by the completion of a deep and data driven study across the full set of criteria, with thousands of data points contributing to the results. The two documents examine the market, with the objective of enabling organizations to address shortfalls in supply of skill and expertise, by utilizing providers to manage and own SAM discipline, in addition to being custodians of data quality upon which SAM discipline relies.

Within the MQ providers are positioned based on extensive analysis across 15 primary criteria, and a detailed set of sub-criteria. A set of 7 capabilities (aligned with those addressed in the most recent SAM Managed Services RFP Toolkit) are examined in the Critical Capabilities across three use cases. Each organisation’s selection criteria, combined with their starting point and geographies will be different, to address this readers with Gartner accounts will find within these two documents far more than the quadrant and positioning, including the capacity to adjust weightings across categories in accordance with their unique priorities.

We identified a range of developments in the landscape in preparation for executing the research endeavour, and during the research activity. To interested parties these may be as valuable as the MQ positioning and can be found within the Market Overview sub section. For readers of the static document this is deep within the content (page 24), Gartner clients reviewing the interactive version on Gartner.com will find the market overview adjacent to the MQ diagram.

In this MQ and Critical Capabilities there are 11 providers. Each were required to meet an extensive set of minimum criteria – which others not included may be working towards addressing moving forward. These criteria can be found in detail within both documents including requirements of service deliverables.

Specific interest in the SAM Managed Services space, reflected by double digit growth in inquiry to Gartner and the market were key in moving forward with this research. Also, dynamics in the market, with cloud and digital lead evolutions in requirements as well as the means of delivering, plus deltas between providers – in category, scale and geographic strategy but moreover service offering and approach.

My thanks to Rob Schafer who worked directly alongside in this effort, but also Kris Doering as a highly experienced MQ and CC author, plus the up front and ongoing peer discussions with former SAM tools MQ lead Roger Williams. I should add my thanks to the analyst relations teams of the providers mentioned for their cooperation, their references, and of course, Gartner clients whose inquiry discussions feedback and experiences provided valuable input to the effort.

Whether already using a service provider and examining making changes or investigating making first use of a SAM managed service, Gartner clients can setup inquiry calls to examine both potential services and market providers.

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Category: asset-management  it-cost-optimization  

Stephen White
Research Director
4 years at Gartner
16 years IT Industry

Stephen White is a Research Director in Gartner's IT Asset Management, Vendor Management and Procurement team, focusing on strategic licensing and negotiation strategies, asset management, and reseller engagement. Mr. White leverages his experience in software sales and consulting to assist IT leaders through his coverage of best practices in license life cycle strategy and trends, license metric and pricing practices, contract negotiations, optimizing terms and conditions, sourcing, and relationship management. Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Inaugural Voyage – The SAM Managed Services Magic Quadrant Sets Sail


  1. Excellent initiative and great effort on your part and that of others at Gartner



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