FlexNet Manager Platform Datasheet

Benefits to Your Organization:

  • Know What You Have—discovery, inventory, application recognition across multiple platforms
  • Maintain continuous software license compliance to minimize audit risk
  • Reconcile license purchases with software installations and usage to have visibility and control
  • Proactively manage contracts and renewals to reduce ongoing software costs
  • Automate license management to reduce manual effort and improve operational efficiency

Software License Optimization = Software Savings & Compliance

Software is one of the major items on IT expense budgets. Industry analysts estimate that software license and maintenance fees represent 20 to 35% of total enterprise IT spend. Not only are desktop and server applications from major vendors—Microsoft® , IBM® , Oracle® , SAP® , Symantec™ and Adobe® — strategic to businesses, they also represent the vast majority of an enterprise’s software spend. For technology companies, engineering applications from vendors such as Autodesk, Cadence Design Systems and The Mathworks, to name only a few, are critical assets that drive productivity and time to market.

The approach for managing this software asset portfolio is typically immature, local rather than global, and frequently involves spreadsheets or other ad-hoc methods. The lack of mature software asset management processes exposes enterprises to software audit liabilities and overspending on licenses and maintenance. What is needed is a Software License Optimization solution that allows organizations to control costs and reduce risks associated with software assets. FlexNet® Manager Suite for Enterprises provides a comprehensive set of products that enable organizations to manage software applications and optimize licenses for pervasive desktop and server software. Organizations are also able to maintain software license compliance and automate critical processes to improve IT operational efficiency. The Flexera Software solution allows organizations to realize ongoing cost savings of up to 30% per year on their software spend.

FlexNet Manager Platform—Foundation of FlexNet Manager Suite

Components of the FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises are built on FlexNet Manager Platform which provides core hardware and software asset management functionality to identify and manage hardware assets and applications installed on physical and virtual machines.

FlexNet Manager Platform provides hardware asset management (HAM) for desktops, laptops, servers, mobile devices and other physical assets. It provides software asset management (SAM) for enterprises across more than 18,333 publishers and 181,927 applications from desktop to datacenter. Asset reports provide actionable insight into hardware assets, software installations, application usage, license compliance status, upcoming payments, and purchased versus installed license reconciliation.

Platform Discovery & Inventory

FlexNet Manager Platform provides both agent-based and agentless technology to collect physical (Windows, Linux, UNIX, MAC OS platforms), virtual machine (VM), and hardware partition inventory of hardware and software across the IT estate. Application usage data may also be collected. The Platform supports the ISO 19770-2 software tagging standard; the Windows agent collects software tags on each device, if available. These tags are used to identify software installations. The Platform provides specialized discovery and inventory capabilities not found in any other tool, including:

Oracle The Platform offers discovery and inventory of Oracle databases, including the collection of information on options installed and in use for a given database instance. Flexera Software’s Oracle solution has been verified by Oracle License Management Services (LMS), which determined that it provides ‘detailed and accurate’ reports on Oracle database installations and usage. FlexNet Manager Platform reports will be accepted by Oracle LMS during a software audit. Customers no longer need to rely solely on Oracle LMS scripts and tools to provide Oracle with the software licensing information required.

Microsoft SQL Server The Platform’s inventory agent brings back details about SQL Server components (e.g. Reporting Services), versions and editions—information not available from other tools.

Virtual Environments The Platform collects inventory for VMware (vSphere/ ESX Server), Microsoft (Hyper-V), and hardware partition (AIX LPAR, HP-UX nPar, vPar, and Solaris Zones) environments. It correlates virtual machines (VM) and partitions to physical hosts and collects information on the allocation of hardware resources to enable accurate license management of processor/core based license models. The Platform also supports inventorying VMware VMotion and Microsoft Hyper-V server clusters and has built-in rules for IBM and Oracle licensing in cluster environments.

Additionally, the Platform has an out-of-the-box adapter to Citrix XenApp and EdgeSight to allow the collection of user access rights and virtualized application usage data. This allows management of licenses for software running under this Citrix application virtualization technology.

Extensive Integration to Existing IT Systems

FlexNet Manager Platform integrates with many other IT systems to leverage your investment and collect the data necessary for software asset management and license optimization. This includes out-of-the-box connectivity to Microsoft SCCM and Altiris, as well as adapters for other third party inventory and configuration management tools.

<>Other available inventory adapters include Big Fix, Blackberry Server, CA Inventory, Casper, Marimba, LANDesk, SoftGrid and uCMDB. For inventory systems without an adapter, the Platform includes the Inventory Adapter Studio, a graphical design tool that enables new adapters to be easily created.

 

The Platform also provides connectivity to HR, Active Directory, procurement, ERP and other systems for user, computer, purchasing, contract and organizational data. Where an adapter to your business system does not already exist, the Business Adapter Studio enables one to be easily designed.

Hardware Asset Management

Each hardware asset can have an extensive set of properties that are tracked in the FlexNet Manager Platform repository including: identification, purchasing, user allocation, financial, technical, and contractual information. Individual hardware assets (cell phones, printers, routers, etc.) are tracked differently from computers. An unlimited number of hardware assets can be managed in FlexNet Manager Platform, which is licensed based on the number of ‘active’ computers.

For example, FlexNet Manager Platform allows (but is not limited to):

  • Asset Discovery: reconciliation with inventory tool. Computers missing or changed are flagged…
  • Identification: serial number, asset tag, part number, manufacturer, model, parent/child relationship with other assets
  • Purchasing data: purchase order number, purchase order date, price, vendor, acquisition mode (purchased, leased, loaned, rented, etc.), delivery date…
  • Financial Data: warranty, depreciation (current/residual values, depreciation method…), chargeback (monthly charge)…
  • User/group allocation: location, cost center, business unit, user assigned to the asset…
  • Technical: any relevant technical details to the asset…
  • Contractual: relationship with contracts, vendors and payment schedules…
  • Asset status: assets can be purchased, installed, in stock, disposed, retired…
  • Others: documents, inventory (electronic, physical), comments, retirement data: date, resale price, reason (donated, lost, disposed…), recipient, written off value…
  • The data managed for each asset type (from cell phone to printer, computer…) and corresponding screen layout can be customized
  • Baseline tracking of assets: identify changes for each asset over time. (IMAC—Install, Move, Add and Changes
  • Easy integration with service desk and other tools through web services. This is particularly important to keep the repository up to date during IMAC processes
  • Financial Management: reconcile with fixed assets, invoice reconciliation, asset allocation and charge back…
  • Extensive reporting via the Dashboard

Mobile Device Hardware Asset Management

FlexNet Manager Platform imports mobile device inventory from Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync 2007 and 2010, and Microsoft SCCM 2012. This allows organizations to manage the lifecycle of mobile devices using the same tools and processes as all other hardware assets.

Software Asset Management

Similar to hardware assets, each software license record in the asset management repository can store a wealth of information which can be used for identification, reconciliation between purchase orders (license entitlements) and installations, storing financial information, allocating to specific users and groups, managing relationships with contracts, and much more. FlexNet Manager Platform enables organizations to reconcile software purchases with installations to understand their license position and help maintain continuous license compliance.

Key Software Asset Management Libraries The FlexNet Manager Platform contains key Flexera Software content libraries that streamline the software asset management process:

  • Application Recognition Library – For a software license to be consumed, an installation of an application must be found (via the discovery and inventory process) that can be associated with the software license. This is not the case for some usage-based license models, but is most common. The Application Recognition Library (ARL) is used to scrub raw inventory data—installer evidence, file evidence, registry data and/or ISO tags, and provides a list of installed software per device (desktop, laptop, server, hardware partition or virtual machine). The library covers more than 181,927 applications from 18,333 software vendors across multiple platforms including Microsoft Windows, Linux, UNIX (including over 1,000 IBM titles), and MAC OS. The ARL supports the use of ISO 19770-2 tags to identify installed software, when such tags are available.
  • SKU Library – The Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) library contains more than 1,014,464 software product SKUs and is used to match inventory and usage data with software purchase orders and contracts. It helps automate the creation of license records in the asset management repository that contain software license entitlements from purchase orders. This is otherwise a manual, error prone process that may lack sufficient information to be done accurately.

Automated Purchase Order Processing

Purchase order processing is now fully automated. Purchase orders (‘POs’) can be used generate new license records or update existing licenses, without any operator interaction. The Platform uses the SKU library or relationships between existing licenses and POs in the asset management repository. This feature also delivers a management by exception capability, where only “special case” POs require manual intervention.

This purchase order processing automation can be controlled per vendor and limited to new software license purchases, upgrades, or maintenance renewals. Settings enable upgrades to be attached only to entitlements within the same enterprise group(s).

The PO processing user interface exposes the automation steps performed by the system and allows visibility into ongoing and past operations. All operations performed on POs can also be rolled back.

FlexNet Manger Platform uses the concept of a ‘transaction’ when associating a purchase order to a software license. The transaction history constitutes the entitlement audit trail for licenses. It enables customers to demonstrate how the current entitlement was obtained from previous software acquisitions.

Contract Management

FlexNet Manager Platform includes a comprehensive contract management solution. Any contract can be managed, including software and hardware related and general contracts. The capabilities of the Platform include:

  • Business reporting dashboard with key indicators such as upcoming contract renewals, expired contracts, upcoming payments, and much more
  • Associate contracts with purchase orders, hardware assets, software licenses and more
  • Schedule payments both past and projected, actual and estimated
  • Attach documents or store links to documents
  • Search through contents of attached documents
  • Management of projects and tasks, and relationship to contracts
  • Define custom terms and conditions specific to your contracts
  • For software contracts, define product use rights that are applied to all licenses under the contract
  • Per-contract security for precise control of access and modifications to sensitive contract data

Predictive ‘What If’ Analysis

The FlexNet Manager Platform provides industry-first ‘What If’ Analysis capabilities that allow organizations to see the impact of hardware and software changes on their license position, before the changes are actually made. This simulation capability supports Oracle Processor, IBM PVU (in conjunction with FlexNet Manager for IBM), and Microsoft Server Processor and Microsoft Server Core (in conjunction with FlexNet Manager for Microsoft) licenses, as well as the general purpose Processor Points and Core Points licenses. Actions such as modifying hardware properties, moving a virtual machine across hosts or installation of a new software title can be simulated, providing an estimated license position and cost impact that reflects these changes. This enables organizations to proactively maintain license compliance, reducing cost and license liability risk in today’s dynamic IT environments.

Business Intelligence for Software Asset Management

The Platform incorporates IBM Cognos technology to provide new business intelligence and reporting capabilities, including multidimensional analysis, making it easy to ‘slice and dice’ complex data, track key indicators over time for trend analysis, and create custom reports. These capabilities are available via the Business Reporting Dashboard giving enterprises a centralized view to report on and analyze software license optimization data and better forecast future needs.

FlexNet Manger Platform provides extensive reporting capabilities via an executive dashboard that allows users to identify and evaluate areas of compliance concern and make informed decisions that reduce license and maintenance costs for software from thousands of publishers.

Complete Desktop-to-Datacenter Hardware and Software Asset Management Solution

FlexNet Manager Platform is the foundation for other products in the FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises and provides broad hardware and software asset management (HAM / SAM) functionality. Gain visibility and control over your IT estate with FlexNet Manager Platform.

FlexNet Manager Platform provides:

  • Hardware Asset Management
  • Software Asset Management for 18,333 publishers, 181,927 software titles, and 1,014,464 software product SKUs
  • Connection layer to 3rd party inventory, HR, financial, service desk, ERP, and procurement systems including graphical design tools for adapter development
  • Physical (Windows, Linux, UNIX, MAC OS) and virtual machine (VM) discovery and inventory
  • Application usage monitoring
  • Purchased versus installed software license position
  • ‘What If’ Analysis to determine the impact of hardware and software changes on your license position
  • Robust contract management capabilities
  • Advanced analysis, reporting, and alerts

Next Step:
Learn more about optimizing your software license manangement processes - visit www.flexerasoftware.com/elo or contact a Flexera Software representative.

About Flexera Software

Flexera Software is the leading provider of strategic solutions for Application Usage Management; solutions delivering continuous compliance, optimized usage and maximized value to application producers and their customers. Flexera Software is trusted by more than 80,000 customers that depend on our comprehensive solutions — from installation and licensing, entitlement and compliance management to application readiness and software license optimization — to strategically manage application usage and achieve breakthrough results realized only through the systems-level approach we provide. For more information, please go to: www.flexerasoftware.com.

 

FlexNet Manager Platform provides out-of-the-box integration with:
Altiris 7.1
Citrix XenApp & EdgeSight
IBM ILMT
Microsoft SCCM / SCCM 2012
Microsoft Hyper-V
Microsoft App-V (Dec.)
Microsoft Active Sync (for mobile device data)
Oracle
VMware

This is an excerpt. Download the entire pdf: FlexNet Manager Platform Datasheet