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Prioritize what to normalize manually

Learn to manage unnormalized discovery models to improve your reconciliation accuracy.

  • You’ll have 80–90% normalization for common publishers right away—the content service raises it.

So, you’ve run normalization, and you have discovery models SAM couldn’t fully normalize. How do you adequately complete the normalization process? You follow the money. In the 1976 film All the President’s Men, reporter Bob Woodward gets a tip to “follow the money” while investigating the Watergate scandal. That’s good advice when working with partially normalized discovery data, too.

When reviewing less‑than‑fully normalized discovery models, start by working with the publishers that represent your largest software spend. Focus initially on vendors that make up 80% of your total software expenditures. After that, work with software titles that have a high unit entitlement cost.

Prioritizing based on your upcoming software publisher true‑ups is another good option. This way, you’ll get ahead of the game and get into a regular cadence. Make this part of your standard preparation for your renewals, and your true‑up cycles will get easier.

Then, make sure you’re only spending time on licensable software products. Remember, normalization supports the software reconciliation process—it only concerns software you’re managing entitlements for.

After you’ve identified the publishers and titles that need your attention, it’s time to improve your reconciliation accuracy. We’ll begin with an overview of the process flows for managing unnormalized discovery models.

Figure 2: Manual normalization activities

Identify unnormalized discovery models

First, select the discovery models for your target less‑than‑fully normalized publishers. Start with your Discovery Models module in SAM, then apply filters to generate your punch list.

Make sure you have the following columns in your discovery model list: 

  • Display name 
  • Normalization status 
  • Publisher 
  • Product 
  • Version 
  • Edition
  • Product type 
     

The normalization status of your discovery model determines your next steps. You may need to perform one or more of the activities below, resulting in multiple tasks occurring in parallel.

Let’s look at four specific scenarios and how to address them. Note that the blue and green text in the scenarios correspond to the normalization activities in Figure 2.

Scenario 1: Normalization status = Normalized, but Edition cannot be automatically discovered

 

Condition

 

Sometimes, your discovery tool can’t automatically discover the edition of installed software, such as professional or standard, and this leads to potential errors when reconciling installations with entitlements.

 

Reconciliation impact 

 

You may have inaccurate installation counts, resulting in an inaccurate license position.

 

Input needed 

 

Software installation: Manually enter the correct edition value for the affected software installation records. This is the only attribute that you can update manually on this record.

 

Output generated

 

Discovery model: With the edition updated on the software installation record, SAM maps the updated record to a new discovery model, which you can then normalize through the automated process.

Reconciliation: Calculations include software installations associated with the discovery model.

Scenario 2: Normalization status = Partially Normalized or Publisher Normalized

 

Condition

 

If SAM can’t fully normalize the discovery model with the publisher, product, and version values, it attempts to partially normalize the discovery model using the discovered publisher and discovered product values. If it finds a match, it sets the publisher and product values, and sets Normalization status to Partially Normalized. The rest of the discovery model (version and additional information, such as platform and edition) requires manual update.

If SAM can’t normalize the discovery model using the discovered publisher and discovered product values, it validates the discovered publisher in the normalization engine. If it finds a match, it sets the publisher value and sets the Normalization status to Publisher Normalized. The rest of the discovery model (discovered product/ version and additional information) requires manual update.

 

Reconciliation impact 

 

You have understated installation counts, resulting in an inaccurate license position.

 

Input needed 

 

Content Service: If you opted in to the Software Asset Management Content Service, submit the discovery model for research by the content team. Allow the content team to research the software and update the Central Software Library.

Discovery model: Manually update the remaining attributes, such as product, version, platform, and edition.

 

Output generated

 

Discovery model: If you submitted this to the Content Service, SAM will update the Normalization status after normalization processes run with the new content included.

If not, SAM will update the Normalization status to Manually Normalized upon the creation of the software product and pattern normalization rules.

Reconciliation: Calculations include software installations associated with the discovery model.

Scenario 3: Normalization status = Match Not Found for homegrown software

 

Condition

 

The attributes of the discovery model led to no matches in the content library since the software is homegrown.

 

Reconciliation impact 

 

Since reconciliation is based on normalized values, SAM can’t include these software installations in reconciliation calculations, leading to an inaccurate license position.

 

Input needed 

 

Software product: Establish publisher, product, and product type (e.g., licensable) and create a custom software product.

Discovery model: Manually update the remaining attributes, such as product, version, platform, and edition.

 

Output generated

 

After you complete the discovery model attributes, SAM updates the discovery model Normalization status to Manually Normalized.

 

Scenario 4: Normalization Status = Match Not Found for non‑homegrown software

 

 

Condition

 

The attributes of the discovery model led to no matches in the content library. This can be the case with obscure software.

 

Reconciliation impact 

 

Since reconciliation is based on normalized values, SAM can’t include these software installations in reconciliation calculations, leading to an inaccurate license position.

 

Input needed 

 

Content Service: If you opted in to the Software Asset Management Content Service, submit the discovery model for research by the content team and inclusion in the library.

If you do not wish to submit the discovery model to the Content Service, you can manually normalize using the information below:

Software product: Establish publisher, product, and product type (e.g., licensable) and create a custom software product.

Software entitlement: For licensable software products, create a software entitlement record with the appropriate attributes that reflect the accurate licensing of the software.

Discovery model: Manually update the remaining attributes, such as product, version, platform edition.

Pattern normalization rules: Create and apply pattern normalization rules to apply to custom software products. Specify text for discovery to search for in the software publisher/product fields.

Specify the normalized attributes (product type, platform, language, version, etc.) that you want normalized when discovered.

 

Output generated

 

Discovery model: If you submitted this to the Content Service, SAM will update the Normalization status after normalization processes run with the new content included.

After you complete the discovery model attributes and pattern normalization rules, SAM updates the discovery model Normalization status to Manually Normalized.

 

Expert Tip

EXPERT TIP

Focus manual normalization efforts on vendors that comprise 80% of your spend.

 

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