Avoid Over Spending and Underspending on Software
Determining what software you have installed is an important first step in developing a software asset management process. But unless you can also match up all those installations to the software licenses you've purchased, you have no way of knowing whether you're in compliance or whether you are over- or under-spending on licenses and maintenance. According to industry analyst statistics provided by Gartner, your organization is probably over-licensed for 60% of its software and under-licensed for 30%. If you're like most organizations, records of software licenses are kept in many different places, some electronically and some in paper files. It is a significant challenge to get all of those into one database with all the information needed to determine software license entitlements, and then compare that data to software installations.
Gathering software license information
With Flexera Software FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises, an Software License Optimization solution, the fastest and easiest way to collect license entitlement information is by importing it from your purchasing or financial asset management systems. FlexNet Manager Suite includes connectors to your accounting, purchasing, ERP system, or to whatever electronic sources of software license information you may have. Any additional information that is not available electronically can be entered manually.
Most commercial software products have stock-keeping unit (SKU) numbers assigned to them; usually with one SKU for every type of software license offered. For example SKU number 021-05339 is for Microsoft Office Standard 2007, purchased under a Select Agreement in English, band A pricing with one year of Software Assurance. There are over 400 SKUs for Microsoft Office 2007 alone.
FlexNet Manager Suite provides a SKU Library of over 100,000 SKUs and their associated products, including version, edition, license type, and maintenance contract data. The SKU Library helps to normalize purchase order data by specifically identifying the purchased applications. FlexNet Manager Suite can save a considerable amount of manual data entry by reading the SKU numbers on all your purchase orders and automatically extracting all of the relevant application, license and entitlement details. FlexNet Manager Suite's SKU Library also ties the purchase order data to the set of recognized applications obtained through the software inventory process, automating purchased versus installed license reconciliation.
"Once the implementation was complete, we found we were significantly over licensed. While we suspected there would be some level of over licensing, we were surprised at the level it had reached. We discovered that local procurement had resulted in employees re-purchasing equipment such as laptops, and at the same time purchasing new software even though there was no need to do so. Our over subscription in the UK alone represents a six figure sum"
- Martyn Howe, Director of IT Services at Rentokil Initial
Matching it all up
In addition to detailed license entitlement data, FlexNet Manager Suite also allows organizational and human resources data to be imported or entered to facilitate the allocation of software licenses to divisions, businesses, departments, or individuals. Once all of the information has been correlated with your installed application data, you're likely to see immediate opportunities for substantial savings in license purchases and maintenance renewals. (See Reducing IT Spend for more information on cost savings with an Software License Optimization, next generation software asset management, solution).