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Normalize discovered software for effective software asset management

Improve software reconciliation accuracy and remediation outcomes

  • SAM Professional (Jakarta release or later)
  • ServiceNow CMDB
  • Software discovery data, which you can get using one of these recommended discovery tools:
    • SCCM for Windows desktops/laptops
    • ServiceNow Discovery for data center
    • Jamf for Mac desktops/laptops
  • To opt in to the Software Asset Management Content Service

Main Title

Description Title

Description Text

You’ll find that it’s nearly impossible to effectively manage software assets without first normalizing disparate software discovery data. Using brute force to address inconsistencies in how discovery tools report software publisher names, products, editions, and versions wastes time. Just consider the frustration of managing a single software publisher name—think Microsoft, Microsoft Corp., and Microsoft Corporation. Each name of the company refers to the same publisher, but your discovery tool doesn’t know that. Most importantly, these types of inconsistencies can severely delay your ability to determine an accurate license position and harvest underutilized licenses.

With ServiceNow® Software Asset Management (SAM), you have a software asset management process that reduces normalizing discovery data. While SAM automates the normalization process itself, you can take proactive steps to improve your “hit rate” (normalization percentage) fast.

This best practice guide will help you get the most out of software normalization by:

  • Explaining SAM normalization processes and the importance of normalization in the software asset management ecosystem
  • Helping you establish smart manual normalization processes, including determining how much effort you should put into normalizing outliers and selecting publishers that might require special attention

Terms and definitions

  • To avoid confusion, this guide refers to the ServiceNow Software Asset Management application as SAM and uses software asset management when referring to the overall discipline, including processes and personas.
  • Discovery models are created automatically by SAM for each version of discovered software in your network environment. These differ from software models, which you create to manage software products through the SAM lifecycle from request through disposition. For example, you use the software model in a user request and procurement request and to track lifecycle statuses. You enable reconciliation by linking purchased software entitlements (software assets) to the software model.
  • Discovered publisher, discovered product, and discovered version refer to the raw values reported by your software discovery applications. During the normalization process, SAM populates the Publisher, Product, Version, and Edition fields with normalized values, if found.

Follow these stages to jumpstart normalization and keep it on track:

Explore additional phases


You want to be sure everything is in place for a smooth, successful deployment.


You want to be sure you’re following best practices during implementation.


You’re up and running and want to get the most from your investment.


You’re ready to extend ServiceNow into other areas of your enterprise.

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