A Robust License Management Solution Must Support Software from Thousands of Vendors
The challenges and requirements for managing software assets on your desktop and laptop computers are somewhat different to those of managing software assets in the datacenter. When selecting an Software License Optimization solution you need to ensure that it can go beyond software asset management to handle all the unique challenges of both environments.
Desktop platform support
It's likely that most, if not all, of your desktops are running Microsoft Windows operating systems. However, if you have pockets of Macintosh and Linux desktops as many organizations do, you'll want to be sure that your next generation software asset management solution can collect IT inventory data from those platforms as well as Windows. Flexera Software FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises includes inventory data collection for Windows, Linux and MacOS platforms.
Desktop configuration and inventory management support
If your organization is one of the majority of enterprise IT shops using Microsoft SMS/SCCM for configuration management and IT inventory tracking, your next generation software asset management solution should seamlessly integrate with that product for collection of hardware and software inventory data. FlexNet Manager Suite includes out-of-the-box support for importing IT inventory data from SMS/SCCM, in addition to its own built-in IT inventory discovery and collection. Flexera Software consultants can also configure connectors to other third party inventory systems to meet your specific needs.
Desktop inventory and discovery challenges
The larger and more spread out your enterprise, the greater the challenges of discovering and collecting desktop and laptop inventory and usage data. In addition to security and firewall issues you need to carefully consider the potential volume of data and its impact on network bandwidth. The built-in FlexNet Manager Suite inventory and usage data collection utilizes Flexera Software's patented client-centric software management agent technology and distribution server topology which scales to hundreds of thousands of computers, requires no holes in your firewalls, and handles low-bandwidth and intermittent connections with ease.
A typical enterprise has many thousands of applications from hundreds or thousands of vendors, all with unique software license agreements to manage and with a variety of evidence of their presence on each computer. Application installation evidence such as .EXE and .DLL files, registry keys, and Windows Installer entries must be translated into a set of recognized application titles, versions and vendors.
FlexNet Manager Suite includes a comprehensive and continuously updated Application Recognition Library that performs this raw inventory to recognized application translation.
Desktop software license models
The predominant software license model for enterprise desktop software is the relatively straightforward per user or per computer volume license. But product usage rights also come into play, such as whether upgrade or downgrade rights are included, and whether operation on a second machine per user is allowed, etc. FlexNet Manager Suite provides support for a broad range of software license models and associated product usage rights covering the vast majority of the desktop software you're likely to have in your enterprise.
Software contract management
With the thousands or tens of thousands of desktop applications and hundreds of vendors that most enterprise IT organizations have to deal with it is impractical to manage all of the license and maintenance contracts manually.
FlexNet Manager Suite includes comprehensive contract management functionality, including term license payments and renewals, acceptance periods, true-up management, maintenance payments and renewals, and maintenance cost optimization. All of which adds up to providing many different ways to achieve significant cost savings.
Meeting desktop Software License Optimization solution requirements
As a next generation software asset management solution, FlexNet Manager Suite includes:
- Support for Windows, MacOS, and Linux desktop platforms
- Integration with Microsoft SMS/SCCM for inventory data collection, or ability to connect to whichever third-party inventory solution you have
- Highly scalable inventory and application usage data collection if you don't already have an inventory solution
- Ability to recognize the many thousands of desktop applications installed throughout your enterprise
- Ability to import license information and SKUs from purchase orders and automatically configure license entitlement information
- Support for a broad range of license types and usage rights
- Management of hundreds or thousands of software license agreements