SAM tools vendors often highlight as features their product’s ability to perform key complex licence management tasks, offering the buyer that crucial tick in the box that it will help them manage their entire software portfolio.
Feedback from the industry shows that often these difficult areas require a great deal of licensing and SAM knowledge from the buyer and a lot of work and time outside of the system in applications like Excel to achieve an accurate baseline, furthermore the data within the system needs to be manually altered to match the externally calculated results- something of an oxymoron particularly when you consider having to do this every time. I guess though that whilst not utopian in terms of managing certain tasks within a reasonable time frame or utilizing trustworthy in-built licensing rules and logic, it can be argued as tool functionality – but in reality it’s like being told a new car you want to buy will get from A to B but finding out that due to its small fuel tank and high fuel consumption, you will end up having to push it some of the way.
Our Top Tips
Before buying a tool it’s imperative to look under the bonnet, read the fine print and understand what these “features” mean to you in reality as you are the one who will have to live with it, use it and report from it every day. Ask these top questions before you agree to purchase your chosen tool:
*Will everything be done automatically within the system?
*Is there specialist input required from me or additional consultancy?
*Can I see a demonstration using live data?
*How will things work on an ongoing basis?
*Am I confident I can perform these tasks regularly and within a reasonable timeframe?
*Are the outputs I will receive actually of any substance, relevance or value?
A final cautionary note – Always read the EULA….
License Management systems can provide invaluable normalized data to your other systems such as Service Management, Help Desk and so on- it is after all data about your systems so make sure that you are fully able to access this – it should be a relatively straight forward conversation with the sales rep to waive any restrictive covenants. We learned of this relatively new EULA clause when approached by a frustrated enterprise customer who, whilst pleased with a competitor’s discovery solution was less than enamoured by the reality of living with its license management capabilities. Of course the IP of business logic and coding should be respected but it is not unreasonable of you to expect to use the data you have paid for elsewhere.
About the Author
Libby Phillipps | Marketing and Events Co-ordinator with License Dashboard | Connect with Libby
Always looking to make the working lives of her clients that little bit easier, Libby Phillipps is dedicated to helping IT, Finance, Procurement and SAM professionals deliver savings to their organization with License Dashboard. She is also crazy about her pooch Kes and have a love hate relationship with aerobics and running…
About License Dashboard
A global leader in Software Asset Management, License Dashboard combine unrivalled software licensing expertise with professionally-developed software solutions designed to help both large and fast-growing organizations manage their software expenditure, minimize costs, optimize utilization and streamline the entire software lifecycle.