Flexera Software, the leading provider of next-generation software licensing, compliance, security and installation solutions for application producers and enterprises, today announced a new release of FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises, the industry leading Software Asset Management & License Optimization solution. The latest release takes Software Asset Management (SAM) to the next level, ensuring companies do not overspend on software despite the increasingly different ways they license and access software – including Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and subscriptions.
SAM to the Rescue
FlexNet Manager Suite 2016 offers sweeping new capabilities to help struggling enterprises rein in spending over the numerous types of Microsoft licensing models – from Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions to Client Access Licenses (CALs).
The new release offers automated capabilities to optimize Office 365 subscriptions, Microsoft’s popular cloud-based offering. FlexNet Manager Suite 2016 is the only SAM solution capable of optimizing spending by identifying redundancies, such as users who are licensed for Office functionality via both perpetual licenses and Office 365 subscriptions, or identifying opportunities to reduce on-premises server deployments in favor of Office 365 services, such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Skype for Business Online. It also provides insight into plan usage to identify users who have not used Office 365 within a specified period but still have active subscriptions that can be cancelled to achieve additional cost savings. In addition, FlexNet Manager Suite 2016 can automatically import Office 365 activity and usage data, versus having to do so manually – saving time and effort.
Microsoft CALs entitle users to access software running on servers. Many enterprises use Microsoft products, such as Exchange and SharePoint, that use ‘server + CAL’ licensing, making the ability to manage and optimize CAL licenses a key factor in understanding and optimizing companies’ Microsoft license position.
FlexNet Manager Suite 2016 is the only SAM solution providing visibility into CAL usage – automatically collecting usage data via User Access Logging. As a result, companies can now optimize their licensing of Microsoft products that use CALs, and cover business needs at a lower cost.
“Managing Microsoft Client Access Licenses is a vital part of controlling software costs, but it can also be challenging due to the several license types and software suites involved,” said Ed Rossi, Vice President of Product Management at Flexera Software. “FlexNet Manager Suite 2016 optimizes Microsoft Office 365 and CALs – allowing our customers to manage their full range of Microsoft contracts and licenses.”
Extending SAM to Support Software Subscriptions
Organizations are increasingly moving away from buying software via a perpetual license. Instead, more and more are purchasing term-limited subscriptions. Whether that subscription is for an on-premises application or is SaaS-based, subscriptions can be complex and time-consuming to manage. And most SAM solutions cannot accommodate the unique challenges of optimizing software subscriptions.
FlexNet Manager Suite 2016 now enables companies to more easily manage and optimize their subscription licenses. Flexera Software customers can now consolidate all of the subscriptions associated with a particular software product into one license record so that all of the subscription periods can be viewed and managed together, including the ability to see when renewal and expiration dates are pending. The same applies to managing software maintenance contracts that have different start and end dates. FlexNet Manager Suite makes it simpler, for instance, to split license entitlements and enable partial renewals when a portion of the maintenance, or subscriptions on a given license, are no longer needed – allowing license managers to more easily discontinue un-needed maintenance or subscription coverage and reduce maintenance costs.
Unraveling the Software Bundling Knot
In a software bundle, a customer buys a group of software products sold together under the same license. Bundles are a particularly vexing SAM problem. The same product, for instance, may have been purchased as a standalone product, as well as bundled into another product offering. As a result, software bundles are difficult to manage and can contribute to significant over-purchasing of software. A single Microsoft Developer Network license, for example, provides access to thousands of products, versions and editions, and each product can be installed multiple times without limit – making managing these licenses challenging.
FlexNet Manager Suite is the first SAM solution capable of untying the software bundle knot. Software asset managers can now automatically detect bundled software products installed in the IT environment and match them up with software bundle entitlements. This allows them to distinguish standalone software installations from those that are part of a bundle and, therefore, significantly reduce costs by preventing double-counting.