By John Emmitt
Flexera Software recently held a customer advisory meeting in Washington D.C. and one of our customers presented on their IT Asset Management (ITAM) and software license optimization program. Their strategy is to: “Build a well managed, efficient [asset management] lifecycle documented by policy and procedures to ensure license compliance, improve utilization, reduce cost and reduce risk for all software and hardware.”
Their goals include:
- Ensure that the asset management database has the physical, financial and contractual data needed to manage the assets and provide reports to our customers
- Meet or exceed Gartner Level 3 of software asset management (SAM) maturity by 12/2012
They have documented what their Director of IT Asset Management calls “hard savings” of $10-12 million (USD) per year for both of the last 2 years and expect to achieve that again this year.
SAP License Optimization
A critical area of initial focus has been on SAP licensing. At the meeting they provided an update on SAP license optimization efforts and results comparing their previous “manual tracking” approach to the SAP License Administration Workbench (LAW) report numbers and the recommendations coming from FlexNet Manager for SAP Business Suite (see charts below). Here we see that for two of the SAP user based license categories—Professional and Limited Professional, they have been able to identify significant reductions in the numbers of these more expense license types by performing detailed usage analysis. Overall, the company has realized cost savings on SAP licensing of more than $1 million, so far.
ITAM Team Structure and Responsibilities
There was a lot of discussion at the recent SAM Summit in Chicago about the size and makeup of a software asset management team and where it should report in the organizational structure. In this particular organization, the director of IT asset management originally reported to the CIO but now reports to the CFO, who is the “real believer” in software asset management and license optimization. They have a rather large team of about 50 people split out into these functional areas:
- Hardware team: About 10 people for receiving and tagging the assets (servers, mobile devices, PCs)
- Tools team: About 10 people running Altiris (hardware asset management and configuration management), FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises (software asset management and license optimization), and other tools
- Software team: About 30 people where about 8 are focused on Engineering Applications which represent about 50% of their software spend and 15 are focused on software license management and SAM processes
The team is responsible for many tasks including:
- End-to-end ITAM / SAM process design and implementation
- Sign off on all enterprise agreements for IT assets
- Record all purchased IT assets (Hardware and Software) in asset management database when asset is received
- Record all proof of entitlement for new software purchases
- Packaging and deployment of standard software products
- Support software vendor audits
- Internal chargeback reports and billing
- Design and implement enterprise disposal for all IT assets
Readers may also be interested in reading the full case study that discusses other aspects of their ITAM and license optimization program, including savings of more than $4 million on a Microsoft annual trueup.