In an organization the size of Microsoft, employees need a wide array of tools to accomplish their work. For many, third-party software is part of their toolbox, and that means we need to purchase, organize, and manage software licenses on a massive scale. Robust software asset management is essential for making sure the process is efficient for employees, optimized for license managers, and meets rigorous compliance standards.
Our Software Licensing Service (SLS) is the Microsoft Digital Employee Experience team responsible for software asset management.
“When you think about software asset management, you want to track a license’s lifecycle from requisition through allocation and deployment,” says Patrick Graff, the senior service engineer leading the SLS team. “Then you need to maintain it until you can reclaim it at the end-of-life stage.”
The software asset management lifecycle, including license requisition, allocation, deployment, maintenance, reclamation, and end of life.
If individual departments and employees manage their own software licenses, organizations are open to all kinds of inefficiencies and risks—not to mention a subpar experience for employees who need access to third-party software. Manually tracking the number of licenses enterprise-wide, total spend, and overall software entitlements is incredibly labor-intensive.
Under those fragmented circumstances, how can a procurement department know the total entitlements from a particular vendor? How do they ensure their company maintains the proper enterprise licensing position at scale? Do they know how many unallocated licenses are available? And how do they manage reclamation, reallocation, and rightsizing during renewal and true-up cycles?
SLS wanted an enterprise-level platform that would both streamline the employee experience and optimize license management. So they partnered with Microsoft Procurement and Infrastructure Engineering Services (IES) to implement a unified software catalog.