Software Licensing Featured Articles

Intelligent Design Saves on Software Licensing

November 29, 2012
By Mae Kowalke, Software Licensing Contributor

You usually only hear about software licensing issues in one direction: Illegal installations.

When it comes to software licensing, however, it is just as likely that a software license is purchased for an installation when the company already has unapplied licenses it could draw from.

This scenario can be avoided by designing optimization into software license compliance.

“The status quo for software asset management (SAM) and license management is a reactive process, where software evidence is discovered at the endpoint computer that is reported back to the SAM solution for reconciliation into a list of application titles,” noted Alan Swahn on the Software License Optimization blog. “But it’s all a bit backward.”

A better way to manage software licensing is to first check the SAM system to see if a license is both required and available.

An available license means there are unallocated licenses already purchased by the company, but required implies that software product use rights are checked to see if the current entitlement permits the installation of the new software without needing an additional license, according to Swahn. Only if an additional license is necessary is license availability checked.

Using this design, if a software license both is required and available, the portal might then reserve a license through the SAM system and trigger installation of the software. When the install is confirmed, the reservation is released and the license applied. If the installation doesn’t happen by a defined time period, the reservation is canned and the license is not allocated.

This design can be carried further to also include automatically generating a purchase order if the license is required but not available. Upon purchase order approval, the record can be imported into the SAM and the portal could initiate a reservation and roll out the software installation.

“The solution described won’t stop unmanaged software downloads or full package product installs for users that have admin privileges, but it’s a way to gain control over the largest portion of your software estate,” wrote Swahn.

The elegance of such a design comes from not only being compliant, but also being optimized. This minimizes unnecessary spending where it starts, at the request level.

“To ensure you aren’t buying more software than necessary,” advised Swahn, “you may want to consider this proactive approach as a requirement for your software request and fulfillment process.”

When it comes to software licensing, it a little proactivity goes a long way in the battle to reducing waste and cutting costs.

So instead of just thinking about compliance, also factor in optimization when reviewing your software licensing scheme.

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Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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