by Eric Feldman | @EricJFeldman
Flexera Software recently engaged TechValidate, a neutral third party, to conduct an independent study of our customers. We sent 10 questions to a large number of FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises customers, asking them about their business challenges, how they are using our technology, and some of the results from adopting our solution.
We would like to share some of the findings of this study over the course of several blog posts. Today, we are going to look at the results of the survey question "What business challenges did you experience before adopting FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises?"
As shown in the chart (click to enlarge), the top two reasons why businesses adopted Flexera's software asset management and license optimization solution are "Tracking, managing, and understanding license entitlements" and "Time-consuming manual processes for managing the software estate," selected by 71% and 63% of respondents respectively.
These results are understandable. Tracking license entitlements can be difficult. You need to manage volume licensing agreements from many vendors, all of which have different terms and conditions. There are also OEM licenses that are included with hardware purchases. These are not included in any volume agreement and are not tracked by the software vendors. And exacerbating the issue are the single copy and retail software purchases. These may go through enterprise procurement processes and be tracked, or users may install themselves in which case the entitlement may go unknown.
And it is one thing to have access to all license data, and another thing to have an up to date software asset repository that is easy to leverage. Part of the challenge of managing the software estate are the thousands of product codes, manufacturer IDs, and reseller SKUs, and manually tracking these is a time consuming and potentially expensive process.
On top of all this are the myriad of product use rights that outline how the software can be used. For example, on how many devices can a copy of the software be installed or used under a single license? What are the downgrade rights, such as moving from Microsoft Windows 10 Pro to Microsoft Windows 7 Professional? And can the license be transferred from an on-premises datacenter to the cloud?
It is no wonder that a majority of customers need help tracking, managing and understanding software licenses.
The next most frequent reason why our customer adopted FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises was "Cost and risk of expensive software audits."
There is a psychological term called "the Pleasure Principle" coined by Sigmund Freud to describe the instinctual seeking of pleasure and avoiding of pain in order to satisfy human needs.
Software audits can be painful! And expensive. I know of a company that had a $6 million liability as a result of an audit from a major software vendor. That is unbudgeted money which would need to be diverted from funding growth initiatives or strategic activities.
I wrote about this in more depth in a blog entitled “The Pleasure Principle and Software Asset Management.” I mentioned that if we apply the Pleasure Principle to software, then we can conclude that the pain of an audit can be far greater motivators than the “pleasure” received as a result of managing your software licenses. But, of course, software cost control and even cost reduction are major drivers of Software Asset Management programs too.
We will be covering more results from our TechValidate study in upcoming blogs. And to see real world examples of how our customers are using our solution to manage their software estate and reduce the cost and risk of painful software audits, I invite you to look at some of our customer success stories.