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Image: Explaining the Complexities of Software Asset Management

Software asset management is a far cry from being simple

It’s a common misconception to think that software licensing is akin to playing checkers—in reality, it is much more complex and comparable to playing chess. Your company will be outmatched if you don’t have a SAM solution in place that rises to your vendor’s level of technology intelligence. And, as IT budgets shrink, there has never been more of a need to simplify the complexities of calculating an effective license position (ELP). The vendors who consume the majority of your software spend and represent the most compliance risk also happen to have the most convoluted licensing metrics on the planet. This includes vendors like Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAP, ServiceNow and VMware.  

On the surface, software compliance seems straightforward: you buy software, you install software and you count software. In reality, it is anything but. Unlike hardware, software is intangible—and the different ways vendors monetize software is immeasurable. Most likely, it is counted by a combination of licensing metrics, including users, processors, cores, virtual machines, clusters, storage and more.  

To further complicate matters, nothing in your environment is static. You have to manage elastic computing, workloads moving to the cloud, clusters alternating between active and passive, virtual machines spinning up then disappearing, licenses moving to the cloud (BYOL) and employees leaving the organization. The exponentiality of your environment makes it impossible to calculate your license position without robust software asset management capabilities in place.  

Product use rights are deceptively complex

Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and SAP all have intricate product use rights that cause license reconciliation to be anything but simple. If you—or an auditor—simply look at installation counts, you‘re going to spend the absolute maximum amount of money for software. Examples of these complexities include: 

  • Processor/core counting on elastic infrastructure
  • Active/passive clustering
  • Non-production exclusions
  • Virtual machine counting
  • Container use rights
  • BYOL/hybrid use rights
  • Second use rights
  • Disaster recovery use rights
  • Upgrade/downgrade rights
  • Bundles
  • Multiplexing

Separately, these may each seem fairly straightforward. In reality, it’s the combination of these use rights for every software installation that makes it exponentially complicated. Tracking product use rights is deceptively complex when you consider that you have hundreds of software vendors, thousands of applications and environments that span from on-premises to SaaS to private cloud and to public cloud. Flexera navigates this maze to provide a straightforward path to cost savings and risk reduction. 

Achieve simplicity with Flexera One’s Software Asset Management 

Albert Einstein once said, “the definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.”     

Flexera One Software Asset Management gives you the opportunity to become a modern-day genius—we untangle the complexity of licensing for you by automating the “hard math” required to calculate your actual license position. Flexera automatically uses out-of-the-box content libraries that identify what you’re consuming, what you’re entitled to use and your optimal license position based on product use rights.

Flexera specializes in optimizing expensive data center software like Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Windows Server, Oracle Database, Oracle Middleware, IBM Cloud Paks, IBM Websphere, IBM DB2 and SAP engines. For vendors like Microsoft who have a product portfolio that spans desktop and data center applications, SaaS and cloud, Flexera can optimize across these environments so you can rightsize your technology investments—no matter where they are.  

Making licensing simple and automated requires a specialist like Flexera—this is all we do. 

According to the 2021 State of Tech Spend report, organizations spend 34 percent of their IT spend on software and SaaS. To put it bluntly, you simply can’t afford to gamble 34 percent of your IT spend with a jack-of-all-trades SAM provider or depend on processes to get the job done. Flexera provides the market data about SKUs and product use rights you need in addition to the robust license reconciliation engine that will make getting to your ELP simple.  

Realize true business outcomes produced by specialists then share the results with your platform or configuration management database. Flexera One Software Asset Management makes it easy to have the best of all worlds.