A new release of FlexNet Manager Suite Cloud, Flexera’s Software as a Service (SaaS) offering for software license compliance and license optimization went live on February 1st. This release delivers amazing new features, from being able to manage hardware assets, contracts, purchase orders, and vendors to running license simulations (What If Analysis) and building ad-hoc reports. FlexNet Manager for SAP Applications has also been added to our SaaS delivery model. The new release is built around ‘management by exceptions’, where automated business processes handle most of the software asset management workload, and cases that deviate from the normal or expected behavior are identified and brought to the operator’s attention. These items are found in the dashboard widgets and can be accessed by drilling through or by selecting dedicated features from the menu. In most screens, all known issues are reported and described to the operator.
Maintaining an Accurate and Optimized License Position
License records maintained in the FlexNet Manager Platform asset management database (AMDB) are used to keep track of license entitlements, measure license consumption, and provide an optimized license position. These licenses maintain the list of software products attached to the entitlement and the associated product use rights, enabling entitlement based software license optimization.
Ideally, when a license is created in the system, the relevant applications and product use rights are attached to it automatically, based on the Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) found in the related purchase orders, or from a license template chosen by the operator. Flexera delivers regular updates (at least monthly) to these SKU and Product Use Rights content libraries to keep them current.
In some cases, product use rights are set manually by the operator. For instance, they may have been imported from an existing third party data source. Over time, several scenarios may occur that alter the accuracy of this data. For example, product use rights may be adjusted over time. Once per quarter, Microsoft publishes a document providing the latest product use rights applicable to all of their products. A second scenario is that changes in the applications covered by the license entitlement may occur.
As part of the management by exception approach, there is a key new feature called License Change Review. It automatically analyzes all the existing licenses in the repository and compares them to the content libraries (Application Recognition, SKU and Product Use Rights Libraries) delivered by Flexera. If any discrepancies are found, FlexNet Manager Suite can automatically update the licenses or alert the operator and provide a recommendation for remediating the problem. Another possibility is to bypass the recommendations performed by the product in cases where custom clauses may have been negotiated in a licensing contract between your organization and a software vendor.
Organizations must manage licenses in an environment where more and more publishers dynamically modify their entitlement rules. Many software license agreements have provisions for such changes that can be made without requiring customer acknowledgement. Microsoft was mentioned above. Adobe and Autodesk recently changed the way they are selling licenses and delivering software upgrades. IBM publishes licensing changes on their web site on a regular basis. This new FlexNet Manager Suite License Change Review feature provides the assurance that software product use rights and applications attached to your licenses will always be accurate and up to date. This ensures that you will have an accurate and optimized license position.
License Change Review is available via both the Cloud (SaaS) and On-Premises delivery models for FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises.
To learn more about Software License Optimization, please read our white paper: What Does it Take to Achieve Software License Optimization?