There is no getting away from it, software licence management is a black art, a procedure that many organisations tend to ignore due to its complexity. Licensing terms and conditions have always been written in a confusing language and, if that is not challenging enough, vendors continue to change their terms and conditions on a regular basis. If an organisation does not employ a software licensing expert, it can end up spiralling into a dark place where it is subject to operational risk and financial exposure.
With small to medium sizes businesses now firmly on every vendor’s radar, having a 68% chance of receiving at least one audit request in the next 12 months, it is essential that your organisation has asked the all-important question-are we ready?
To help answer this question, we have detailed below is a list of the essential tasks required to ensure that your organisation is ready to demonstrate its effective licence position.
It is important that your organisation maintains a comprehensive repository of all known licence transactions and that the associated user rights from these records are fully understood. To ensure that this is done effectively, it is critical that you maintain and perform the following tasks:
- Record the full licence description and note the manufacturer’s SKU number
- Associate the acquired licence to the correct purchasing agreement
- Retain the proof of licence and archive effectively
- Record the relevant purchase history information (i.e. Purchase Order, Purchase Date and Invoice Number)
- Record and track all licence types, such as Device, Concurrency, User, Processor, CAL and hundreds more
- Associate the correct licence model (Perpetual, Upgrade etc) to all acquisitions, thereby ensuring that the associated dependencies are adhered to and monitored
- Record licence constraints, such as OEM, CAL, FPP, Upgrade and Maintenance Renewals Monitor Proof of Licence Status (i.e. Order Acknowledgements, Official Licences)
- Reference Upgrade and Maintenance renewals with the correct base licences
- Continue to manage redundant or invalid licences, ensuring all entitlement is fully utilised
- Continue to monitor and control agreements, ensuring that all purchasing discounts are maximised and current Licence Entitlement
- Allocate your licence entitlement accurately, ensuring that all user rights are maximised
- Manage and control surplus licences, ensuring licence availability is reported and prompts effective and legal licence harvesting
- Manage and control Maintenance renewals effectively, ensuring effective use of entitlement and reduce cost of ownership
- Provide a comprehensive audit trail of all aggregated licence entitlement
- Enable effective control of transferring licences between business areas
- Effectively manage and control the distribution of licence entitlement associated to global contracts
In addition to maintaining licence records, it is important to understand what you organisation has deployed, therefore, it is essential that these tasks have been carried out:
- Identify all licencable products installed on the organisation’s network
- Ensure that all licencable products have been measured effectively (i.e. Oracle licences are traditionally purchased as Named User or Processor. Have you acquired this usage information?)
- Effectively allocate available licences on a frequent basis to all licencable products
- Identify and rectify non-compliance issues Manage and report downgrades effectively
- Continue to review contract (i.e. Microsoft Enterprise Agreements) usage ensuring that it is still within the scope of the agreement
- Effectively manage Client Access Licence (CAL) entitlement
As you can see, reporting your organisation’s effective licence position is not a simple task. Many organisations find it impossible to achieve the above tasks, usually because, they do not have the time and skilled resources to available to assign to the tasks defined.
If you are such a company, don’t worry, LMO Consultancy can help? Our unique approach to licence management means that your organisation can gain access to experienced specialists without having to pay the earth. Our goal is to significantly reduce your software licence expenditure, whilst ensuring you are able to meet your contractual obligations. Call us today to qualify for a free risk assessment.