Challenges in managing license assets arise in different ways – data proliferation, lack of data sharing, data disappearance, timely alerts on expiring license keys, inadequate license asset reporting, and access to binding License Agreements.
Data proliferation results from the shear amount of data related to managing licenses: Vendors, Resellers, Contacts for each, Internal Users, License Agreements (which could be up to 3 per Vendor- Perpetual License Agreement, Subscription License Agreement, Maintenance Agreement), PO’s, License keys, Expiration dates, License Servers, etc.
To compound this, there are many people (3-5) who need this kind of information, so inevitably each creates and maintains their own spreadsheets, Outlook files, and paper folders. Not surprisingly, the information is seldom in sync. More often, there is no sharing of this information.
Reality hits hard when someone who has built these spreadsheets and files, leaves the company. It is entirely possible that a company’s most critical license asset information disappears overnight.
Expirations may be critical if a license key shuts down, shutting down a whole project, but it is just as important knowing when to start “renewal” negotiations with Vendors. If one waits too late, the Vendor has a decided advantage. If one starts earlier, one has the advantage.
How quickly could one prepare a management report on:
- Current License inventory
- Maintenance and Renewal status
- Cost estimates for renewals
- Expiration dates for all time-based licenses
- License Server inventory
- Contacts for Vendors
- PO History by Vendor, etc.
No doubt reports of this kind can be prepared given enough time and effort, but if they are needed immediately, well it might not happen.