A few months ago, Gartner published this report: Cut Software Spending Safely with SAM
Organizations can cut spending for software licenses by as much as 30% by implementing the three software license optimization best practices presented in this Gartner research report, including:
- Optimizing software configurations to achieve compelling savings by leveraging entitlements.
- Recycling software licenses by optimizing your daily IT operational activities.
- Leveraging software asset management (SAM) tools to scale your software license optimizations.
Source: Gartner (March 2016)
The Gartner report provides several vendor specific examples, using IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, to illustrate how you can cut software spending.
- IBM—Optimize Processor Value Unit (PVU) licenses for full capacity and sub-capacity (virtualization capacity) licensing. (See also this blog: An Alternative Solution for Managing IBM Sub-capacity Licensing).
- Microsoft—Optimize by understanding Client Access Licenses (CALs), optimize profiles for different subscription plan levels—e.g. for Microsoft Office 635, leverage Product Terms (aka Product Use Rights), and more.
- Oracle—Optimize by choosing the right edition and license metric, select the right virtualization approach, etc. (See our blog series on Oracle Database Licensing in a VMware Virtual Environment, Part 2, Part 3).
- SAP—Optimize SAP Named User Licenses by tracking and analyzing usage to select the optimal user type, find and eliminate idle and duplicate users, etc.
As noted in this previous Software License Optimization post, there are a number of additional ways that organizations can reduce costs:
- Software audit cost savings
- Labor savings
- Reductions in software maintenance costs
- Hardware cost savings
- And, the ability to negotiate more favorable software contracts
Labor Savings from Software Asset Management Tools
Let’s take a brief look at labor savings, as this is an area we don’t focus on as much as we should, perhaps. There are a number of ways that SAM tools can significantly reduce manual effort:
- Reduce time and effort spent on SAM processes through automation. This can include:
- Reduce the time it takes to identify software in the environment through automated discovery, inventory, recognition and normalization processes. These leverage an Application Recognition Library to identify software publisher, title, version and edition for installed software.
- Reduce the time it takes to collect, manage and understand your software license entitlements—this leverages a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) Library and Product Use Rights Library to automatically apply product use rights to reduce license consumption. For example, the tools can apply license entitlements related to production versus non-production use of the software on a server.
- Reduce software audit preparation time and effort, and reduce audit risk, by having an accurate view of your software license compliance position at all times.
- Reduce helpdesk calls and time spent fulfilling software requests by implementing an enterprise app store that is integrated with your SAM solution.
- “With App Portal, I now have 320 hours that I can spend on more critical tasks. And users no longer have to wait four days to get an application. People have their applications within a couple of hours and they can be productive right away.” – Jason Andersen, Software Deployment Specialist, Providence Health & Services. See the full customer case study.
- Note that the app store can also automate the software license reclamation process to reduce costs through license reuse (Gartner’s “Recycle software licenses” step).
Our 2016 TechValidate survey of FlexNet Manager Suite customers showed that labor savings was a key element of overall cost savings and return on investment. This chart shows the results for a few of our customers in the financial sector, for example:
Overall, 36% of the customers in the TechValidate survey said that labor savings contributed to the ROI of their SAM program after deploying FlexNet Manager Suite.
The largest percentage—53%, said that software reuse (recycling of software licenses) was a contributor to ROI.