Cutting through the Software License Jungle: Be Safe and Don’t Pay More Than Needed

If you are, or ever have been, a cable TV subscriber, you have asked yourself this question: “Why do I have to pay for 500 channels when I only watch 10 of them?”

You’ve got the same problem with your software. Why are you paying for 500 licenses when you only need and use 20? Multiply that question by all the different software your company uses and you’re spending a lot of money. Software licenses currently account for about 20% of typical IT costs, according to a study by Ernst & Young.

Paying fees for software no one is using is not the only thing that is costing you money, but not knowing the status of your company’s software inventory puts you in danger of possible vendor fines for being out of compliance within their license agreement. As the study notes, “While settlements of vendor audits are normally confidential, vendor audit activity has been increasing. There have been settlements in many cases in multiples of millions of Dollars per vendor for unlicensed application. A recent Gartner report indicates that more than 50% of their clients polled have been audited by at least one software vendor in the last 12 months.”

So why are you paying these costs? Unlike the cable TV question the answer to that one is fairly simple: Because you literally don’t know any better. Now don’t take that the wrong way, this happens because you couldn’t get the information you needed in order to know what you should or shouldn’t be paying for.

Now you can.

IBM Endpoint Manager for Software Use Analysis automatically gets that information and acts on it. It can find all of your organization’s licensed and unlicensed software and give you software usage patterns and trends across Windows, UNIX and Linux endpoints. Because this is an automated process, it will dramatically reduce the time needed to conduct a comprehensive software asset inventory for license reconciliation or compliance purposes.

One of the tricky things about doing a software inventory check is that the tools used to remove a program from a device sometimes leave the executable file behind. If that happens, then those devices can still be counted as having the software on it for licensing purposes. IBM Endpoint Manager for Software Use Analysis can tell the difference. It can also tell if a device is running counterfeit and/or unauthorized software – which is a very popular way to deliver malicious code and programs into a system.

But it doesn’t just give you this information: It lets you act on it as well. From a single console it allows you to manage software down to the version level. IBM Endpoint Manager for Software Use Analysis lets you manage this on up to 250,000 different endpoints per management server, regardless of whether they’re in the same room or on another continent.

In addition to its scalability, Endpoint Manager for Software Use Analysis has other features that can’t be found on other conventional management solutions. For example, other programs utilize endpoint agents that are entirely dependent on instructions received from a central command-and-control server and require lengthy scans to acquire inventory data. With Endpoint Manager for Software Use Analysis, the endpoint itself provides the computational power necessary for assessment and reporting, considerably enhancing reporting speed. The ability to schedule inventory and reporting at times that are most appropriate to the workloads of individual endpoints, rather than requiring a batch to execute all at once, further enhances efficiencies by avoiding bandwidth and endpoint CPU bottlenecks.

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