In an audit, the hardware discovery data provides a starting point to assess software discovery completeness. Anytime we reconcile an effective license position, we utilize hardware discovery / HAM data. Combining functions makes sense.
Regarding combining SAM & Contracting functions, I agree with marcneele; there are significant benefits to combining these functions. I'm confident deep licensing and use case knowledge (SAM) combined with market intelligence (Procurement) leads to best-in-class negotiated license & commercial terms, less compliance risk and lower Total Cost of Ownership.