Software License Optimization offers one of the largest areas for potential cost savings.
Software License Optimization
Software License Optimization offers one of the largest areas for potential cost savings in any organization’s IT budget. This should be a key focus for any maturing Software Asset Management (SAM) program.
Properly managing software licenses from the time they are acquired establishes a strong foundation that can help ensure that your organization is purchasing and utilizing only the software that it truly needs. For numerous reasons including insufficient inventory practices, decentralized purchasing and overly permissive procurement processes, many organizations will find themselves over-licensed at one time or another. This essentially means that the organization owns – and is paying for – more licenses for an application than they are using.
If your organization gains control over software licensing through the License Optimization process, it has the opportunity to save significant money. One of the key outputs from license optimization exercises is a current Effective License Position (ELP), which can be crucial for reducing your organization’s likelihood of being out of compliance in the event that an audit letter is received. Being proactively prepared can also reduce the likelihood of your organization being an audit target – publishers will focus on organizations that are less prepared and organized in order to maximize their potential revenue.
For numerous publishers and license models, Software License Optimization also entails configuration of the physical hardware and virtual server environment in a manner that enables your organization to take advantage of the most cost effective licensing options. Optimization tools that allow modeling and what-if scenarios can provide information and recommendations to make that task much easier.
Eracent provides a comprehensive suite of solutions that help automate and simplify the Software License Optimization process.
The supporting processes include:
Establishing and maintaining a baseline of all devices and installed software on your entire network is essential for effective license management and optimization. Every platform from servers and mid-range computers in the data center to mobile devices and cloud applications should be included in automated inventory processes to provide a complete view of the environment. If multiple discovery tools are utilized, data normalization can be used to standardize naming conventions and ensure that every device is included, and only represented one time in the resulting inventory. This avoids over-counting of installed applications and ensures accuracy.
Application Utilization monitoring provides a view of who is using installed applications and to what extent. This provides critical information: Although you may be compliant based on purchases versus installations, you may have software that is not being used at all or which is underutilized and could be replaced by lower cost versions or freeware. Since others in the organization may be requesting these same applications, automated license harvesting and redeployment can eliminate unnecessary duplicate purchases. This can provide tremendous cost savings.
Inventory and discovery tools bring back an enormous number of data elements, including executables and many other file types. In order to have SAM-ready data that can be utilized by non-technical people, an automated software recognition process is essential to transform all of those files and attributes into useful, reliable information about your commercial and bespoke, homegrown applications.
Well over a decade ago, Eracent recognized that manually generating license position reports was a very time and labor-intensive task for our customers. We pioneered the automated license reconciliation process, enabling customers to quickly import purchase transaction data that could be reconciled against installed software. Additionally, intelligent algorithms and rules are automatically applied for each license type to help calculate an accurate effective license position. These include upgrade and downgrade rights, secondary and home use rights, and many more. Specialized license rules are also provided for IBM PVU and sub-capacity licensing, Oracle database applications, SQL Server and more.
Scenario modeling enables an organization to make a “rightsizing” decision prior to purchasing new licenses or signing new agreements, and it allows them to do the same with existing environments. “What if” scenarios can be simulated to find the most cost effective combination of physical and virtual hardware configurations and applicable license models that will meet business requirements.
In order to provide information about essential licensing data with managers and decision makers throughout the organization, web-based reporting dashboards provide instant access with data views that are customized based on user roles. This enables local-level managers to be active contributors in the license optimization effort through the decisions that they make.
In most organizations, an increasing number of employees are accessing their work applications and corporate data on mobile devices including phones and tablets. Configuration of devices, control over installed applications, BYOD policies, and security concerns are just a few of the aspects that need to be considered in the mobile world. Eracent provides a comprehensive Mobile SAM Management solution – from discovery to data plan and ownership management – as part of its Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) suite.
Eracent’s IT Management Center (ITMC) provides an integrated SAM solution that covers all of the aspects required for maximum effectiveness: discovery, normalization and application utilization monitoring, specialized license reconciliation, modeling and optimization, and coverage for all platforms from data center servers to mobile devices. The resulting data and reporting will help your organization reduce audit risk, save significant money and automate your SAM processes.