Flexera Software is the leading provider of strategic solutions for Application Usage Management, helping businesses strategically manage application usage. Their comprehensive suite of Application Usage Management solutions—from software installation and licensing, entitlement management and software delivery to application readiness and software license optimization—uniquely meet the needs of application producers and their customers by delivering continuous compliance, optimized usage and maximized value.
Flexera Software continues to experience significant growth, including several acquisitions. As a result, they have accumulated several different platforms for electronic software delivery and entitlement management, as well as legacy back-office systems. This resulted in process inefficiencies and an inconsistent user experience. Flexera Software realized the need to simplify, standardize and consolidate systems in order to maximize efficiency and provide a single, consistent user experience.
Flexera Software migrated their business systems to FlexNet Operations Cloud, a web-based entitlement, license management and software delivery solution. In addition, they standardized on Salesforce.com for their CRM system and Oracle for their financial system.
FlexNet Operations Cloud allowed Flexera Software to have a single, unified entitlement and license management system for customers that is available 24x7 while standardizing and streamlining many internal back-office processes.
Bursting at the Software Seams
As the pioneer and industry leader of strategic Application Usage Management solutions, Flexera Software has grown to become a large and successful company—a solidly profitable, top 200 software company with over 80,000 customers and market leadership in each of its chosen markets.
“We chose FlexNet Operations Cloud (with integration to Salesforce.com and Oracle eBusiness Suite) as our solution to accomplish our goal to provide an exceptional user experience… One user interface. One single sign-on. One single process. All product entitlements and downloads in a single location.”
David Espindola, Vice President of Information Technology, Flexera Software
Solid growth, however, does not mean that Flexera Software hasn’t been through some growing pains along the way. Acquisitions and rapid growth had left Flexera Software with a number of different back-office ERP, CRM, software delivery, entitlement and license management systems that did not integrate and resulted in manual and redundant processes.
“At the worst point,” said Project Manager Curtis Chong, “We were supporting more than 20 systems. It was possible that a customer would have to go through multiple systems and processes to manage and access their license entitlements and software downloads. It just didn’t make sense from a cost, efficiency or userexperience perspective.“
Flexera Software’s IT Department, led by Vice President of Information Technology, David Espindola, championed a project to simplify and consolidate their business systems and provide customers with a single user experience.
“The ultimate goal,” said Espindola, “Was to make it easier for our customers to do business with us. We wanted our customers to be able to go to one system with one login and see their entitlements for all the products they have purchased from us and be able to download all the software that they are entitled to.”
Espindola continued, “The project was also part of our bigger goal of improving our quote-to-cash process and eliminating a lot of the legacy systems we had in place and replacing them with the core platforms we relied on—Salesforce.com, Oracle and our own software.”
A Single Software Licensing and Entitlement Management System is Key
The growing pains Flexera Software was experiencing represented a turning point for the organization. It helped that all the business units within the organization realized that it was time to unify behind one system—their own solution: FlexNet Operations Cloud, the SaaS-based version of FlexNet Operations, for their product’s licensing, entitlement management and electronic software delivery processes.
“With FlexNet Operations Cloud our goal was to rapidly and seamlessly integrate our licensing and entitlement management processes with our CRM and ERP business systems,” said Chong. “We also liked that it was API-enabled, very scalable and SaaS-based—and independent of any specific network. Its high-availability was very critical.”
The IT department envisioned a solution where a sales opportunity would be captured in Saleforce.com. The sales representative would then take that opportunity and turn it into a quote. From there, the quote would turn into an order. The order would then be processed and sent to FlexNet Operations Cloud, where the correct entitlement would be assigned. Next, the order information would be passed on to Oracle, and the customer would be invoiced and cash could be collected. Next in the process, the customer would be able to download their software via FlexNet Operation’s Cloud self-service portal.
That was the vision. Now they just had to make it a reality.
From Vision to Reality
In order to migrate all of their solutions into one platform, the Flexera Software IT team created an organized plan to meet their objectives.
The very first step of their plan involved analyzing their technology, data and processes in their current state. This exercise allowed them to understand the opportunity, as well as identify all the risks in their current state. Once they did this, they were able to identify the scope of the project. From this point, they aligned business partners, formalized project teams and created a steering committee. Next, they indentified all the internal resources and put all the tasks in place to create future-state goals. Finally, they put the project into phases for each product. This phased approach was critical to mitigate risk and to quickly deliver a solution that could be improved upon.
Through this very organized planning structure, the IT department was able to complete their conversion within six months!
“Within a very short period of time, we were able to go live and start realizing the benefits the FlexNet Operations Cloud,” said Espindola. “We went from using more than 20 solutions down to a single platform.”
Now Flexera Software is able to offer maximum security and reliability— FlexNet Operations Cloud utilizes an off-site, state-of-the-art datacenter and backup center. In addition, FlexNet Operations Cloud also supports single sign-on—or it can be integrated with an organization’s existing single sign-on solution.
FlexNet Operations Cloud’s electronic software delivery capability also helps keep Flexera Software’s data, and their customer’s data, safe within export laws. The laws governing export of computer software are complicated, and the penalties for violations are steep. FlexNet Operations Cloud provides fast and thorough screening of all endusers and location eligibility for each and every download. It allows only authorized users—in authorized countries—to download software.
From an operations perspective, the standardization to a single platform has benefited Flexera Software across many areas of the company. It has reduced support calls by allowing customers to self-service entitlements and downloads. It has also reduced the amount of manpower needed to support older, inherited homegrown systems. Finally, it has reduced a great deal of waste in processes.
“It was a material risk to the business to have all those different solutions,” said Espindola. “Migrating to one solution helps us keep our support and systems spend in line. But most importantly we have created a single, reliable and secure customer experience across our entire software product catalog.”
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.