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Optimising software assets

29 Dec 2014
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Software asset management is complex – making it a great option for resellers seeking to add value for customers, says Hugh Darvall, Flexera Software director, Asia Pacific telebusiness and alliances.

Although the shift toward software-as-a-service has its merits, it’s not as simple as some enterprises assume. Instead, many of the ongoing challenges associated with perpetual software licenses remain (or are amplified) with subscription-based software, particularly with the rapid surge in smartphone, tablet and cloud adoption.

For managed service providers (MSPs) in New Zealand, the complexity of software asset management (SAM) in this new environment presents a unique opportunity to add value. With SAM skillsets scarce in this region, vendor audits increasing and IT budgets shrinking,

MSPs like Spark Digital are making it easier for resource-poor businesses to better manage their software license estate and optimise software usage.

For many organisations, implementing a SAM solution in-house demands a significant people, process and technology investment for its success. 

Not only does effective software license management require organisational buy-in and specialist skillsets, it also demands dedicated software procurement, software usage and license tracking as well as a SAM specific toolkit - the majority of which are out of reach for small businesses.

This is where an MSP can simplify the software license estate, provide complete transparency around usage, and even distil some of the misconceptions around subscription based licensing. With enterprise software representing a substantial proportion of IT budgets, a solution that streamlines the software estate and increases ROI is vital for companies of all sizes.

Our local channel partner provides both managed and hosted services to many organisations across New Zealand, both enterprise and government, so they too can realise the cost and operational efficiencies that come with software license optimisation. Their SAM specialists offer consultancy to support best practice, to validate data integrity in the SAM database and assess SAM maturity measures. 

Metric equations Focusing only on the perceived flexibility and cost reductions that come with a move to subscription licenses has meant many organisations have turned a blind eye to issues of shelfware and non-compliant use that can exist under this model.

To combat this, resellers can assist organisations in understanding and monitoring key license metrics such as the number of named users on a system, CPU seconds and the number of transactions processed, all of which, if mismanaged, can incur penalty. 

While the problems associated with application usage management are complex, they are solvable and automation is available. 

Organisations which recognise the true value of their license estate and put a solution in place to optimise it can enjoy tremendous ROI and competitive advantage. Working with an MSP can allow businesses to automate license management tasks, reduce ongoing licensing costs, maintain compliance and increase procurement efficiencies. 

Given the growing complexity of managing software licenses, particularly in environments like BYOD, automated commercial solutions such as software license optimisation tools have emerged to ensure continual compliance. The opportunity is there for resellers to bridge this gap by providing added value around implementation and training, and help organisations ensure are paying the right amount of attention to one of their most important assets.  

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