“At last, a service that really does make a significant difference!”
Over the last 10 years, I have project managed some of the largest Software Asset Management (SAM) projects in the UK. During this time, I have found the biggest challenge to most organizations is locating their historical license records. Attempting to gather physical license evidence and find individuals who have worked within the purchasing department with a good recollection of all known license transactions is near impossible. Even those organizations that have kept reasonable records and have staff with good memories still find it a nightmare to try to interpret the rights associated to the licenses that have been acquired. This issue frequently stalls the implementation of a SAM program or, even worse, companies understate their license position and re-purchase ‘lost’ entitlements.
Over the last five years, License Dashboard has invested heavily in researching how this issue can be addressed in a cost-effective and reliable manner, searching for a solution that enables organizations to locate their evidence and ensure sufficient information is associated with it, facilitating the easy reconciliation and identification of their end user rights. With nothing available commercially, we were left with two options. Continue to bear this as a highly manual (and thus expensive) task or create a technology ourselves. We don’t like charging customers for manual work, so we opted for the second path, and created the service we’ve just launched – License Cleanse.
License Cleanse combines purpose-built license recognition and appending technology with the experience of skilled licensing auditors to take sub-optimal data sources – such as invoices, reseller records, procurement systems records or even purchase orders – and turn these into credible license entitlements that can be recorded and reconciled as part of creating an organization’s Effective Licensing Position. License Cleanse works by taking these disparate documents, analysing each line item, then automatically reconciling the data against a known product from the License Manager software dictionary, which supports over 9,000 software vendors and 50,000 software titles.
During the process, License Cleanse identifies what applications and suites have actually been purchased and, via the use of comprehensive rules, determines the license constraints associated with each transaction, including license model and metric. The resulting ‘cleansed’ records are then ready to be bulk uploaded into the License Dashboard License Manager and SAM Portal solutions. These records can then be quickly reconciled against software usage to create an accurate Effective Licensing Position.
After successfully piloting this service within some of the most complex SAM implementations, I can safely say that License Dashboard customers no longer have to worry about loss of entitlement due to incomplete or lost licensing records. Using an organization’s (or its reseller’s) existing purchasing records and turning them into entitlement really does mean we can maximize license entitlement. In fact, to prove this point, we returned to some organizations, who had previously completed a manual license reconciliation and, after using our service, we were able to uplift their entitlement representation by 50%, significantly reducing their financial exposure by hundreds of thousands of dollars.Tags: Audits, Microsoft, SAM