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IT modernization efforts continue to complicate managing software licenses or subscriptions (software entitlements). Determining when entitlements are going to expire and need renewing is costing organizations. It is difficult to predict the actual use of software by each employee or if employees intend to utilize individual software licenses in the future. Software vendors often provide multiple entitlement models yet do very little to help IT determine which is the most cost effective for them. This results in overpaying for entitlements to software vendors. After conducting audits, we found many organizations are overspending by up to 30% on vendor software licenses.

Many companies have implemented a Software Asset Management (SAM) tool like Flexera, Snow, or ServiceNow to help manage the complexities of their entitlements. Most SAM implementations focus on tracking basic entitlement assignment, cost, and compliance, but there’s additional functionality that’s often overlooked. Initial implementations offer peace of mind for passing various audits, but when it comes time to use the SAM tool, you might be missing come key capabilities. Here are three ways to take full advantage of your SAM tool’s functionality:

  1. Use the App Store functionality to process all software license requests
  2. Obtain and implement the SaaS management module
  3. Fully configure entitlement portfolio management

1. Use the App Store functionality to process all software license requests

SAM tools provide the ability for an internal app store as a centralized hub for employees to acquire software they need to perform day-to-day tasks (think the Apple App Store or Google Play). This makes it easy for employees to easily request entitlements and IT to manage deployments. Processes and workflows can established to allow employees to download or subscribe to approved software. To prevent employees from working around the app store, IT needs processes to quickly assess and address requests for new or non-standard software.

Employees or functions that bypass the app store need to be held accountable because accurately tracking the software used within the company is key to achieving the savings by # 2 and #3 below.

2. Obtain and implement the SaaS management module

SaaS software subscriptions enable companies to obtain tools and functionality easily, quickly, and cost effectively. So easily, in fact, that business functions will often bypass IT to get their own versions of instant messaging software like Slack, project management tools like Asana, and video conferencing tools like Zoom. The $5/month per user that’s automatically charged to a company credit card doesn’t feel like a lot of money, but costs can add up quickly. Worse, people move or separate from the company without turning off these accounts. A significant amount of money can go toward unused subscriptions each month. Unfortunately, these cannot be accurately tracked or managed by IT.

SAM tools provide the ability to manage SaaS subscriptions and work well if all requests go through the app store. The SaaS subscription module will track accounts, usage, and pricing models. These modules will notify IT when an account has not been used for a certain period of time or if price breaks are owed to the company. Unused subscriptions can be canceled or be relisted on the app store.

3. Fully configure entitlement portfolio management

Entitlement portfolio management is more than accurately tracking cost and compliance of licenses and subscriptions. Companies can use these modules to track software usage so licenses can be reassigned to people who need the tool. Everyone wants Microsoft Project as it is a premier project management software, but not everyone uses it. Tracking usage and reassigning licenses can save a significant amount of money.

Flexera, Snow, ServiceNow, and others provide companies with the ability to automatically take advantage of newly released pricing models for existing entitlements. These packages connect with third-party sites (often crowdsourced) populated with the latest pricing information. This information is used to compare with what is currently being paid. Alerts and reports are generated to help IT and supply chain to take advantage of the cost difference.

While many companies are overpaying for tools, simple changes to the SAM tool and processes can result in significant savings. At Trenegy, we have been helping global companies save significant amounts of money by better managing software entitlements. To learn more, reach out to Peter anytime at ppurcell@trenegy.com.

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