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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 up front investment and effort, is to first accurately determine what applications you have installed, and also whether they are being actively used by your end-users. No sense in paying annual maintenance fees for applications which are not installed, or if installed not being used. 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 per physical or virtual instance and often includes the CPU core count and core factors 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.

This is where a licensing tool such as Belarc's Data Analytics module can be very helpful, because it combines the discovered instances of software, with our customer's purchase records and the current product licensing metrics from the vendors. This also allows our end-users to run what-if scenarios to see what licensing scheme works best for their organization. For example, unless you adhere to the vendor's upgrade schedule, an enterprise agreement which includes support and upgrades, may not be the most cost effective option for your organization.

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: whitepapers@belarc.com.

Click for details on our Data Analytics module.

Belarc's approach to SLM

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