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Software License Management

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Software License Management (SLM) used to be about avoiding audits and penalties for being under licensed. But today, many organizations are over licensed and paying annually for maintenance and applications that are not used and sometimes not even installed. Of course it's easier to simply count the number of desktops, laptops and servers and purchase a volume licensing agreement from each major vendor. But how much money are you wasting annually by doing this? Many organizations also use the vendors' licensing data, but this is often incorrect, because it does not include purchases from third parties which are not reported to the vendor.

What software do I have and how is it being used? How many virtual environments?

Another approach, which will take some upfront investment and effort, is to first accurately determine what applications you have installed, and also whether they are being actively used by your end´┐Ż-users. No sense in paying for applications that are not being used or not even installed. Next you will need to determine what hardware you have, including desktops, laptops and servers, and what virtual environments they are running. Keep in mind that most desktop software is licensed on a per client basis, and that often includes virtual instances. Also, most server software is licensed on a per virtual instance and sometimes includes the CPU cores and speed in the license calculation.

The right licensing scheme for my organization

Understand the licensing schemes of each of your major vendors and how they best fit your organization. This is not easy and each of the vendors has their own scheme. Don't feel badly if the licensing schemes are confusing to you, because even the experts often have questions about some of the terms and conditions. In addition the licensing terms frequently change. You might consider hiring an expert in this area if there is a lot at stake. For example, unless you adhere to the vendor's upgrade schedule, an enterprise agreement which includes licensing, support and upgrades, may not be the most cost effective option for your organization.


Examples of how some organizations have saved significant hard dollars in software and annual maintenance costs are:

Please request our white paper, "Software License Management", which describes in detail the steps you can take to optimize your license and annual maintenance costs, by sending an email to:

Belarc's approach to software license management

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