When implementing an enterprise app store, it is important to consider both the needs of users and the needs of IT. IT wants to provide employees a consumer-like experience without jeopardizing control and ensuring maximum utilization of expensive software assets. The following best practice is #2 of 7 that will help ensure wide adoption of your enterprise app store by balancing effective financial control with high-quality service delivery. Download all 7 best practices in the white paper, "Best Practices for Governance and Compliance using an Enterprise App Store"
Enterprise Best Practice # 2 - Reduce, Recycle and Reuse
In most enterprises, a number of software licenses are allocated but are lying dormant for a number of reasons. The employee who was assigned the license might have changed jobs within the company or left the company entirely. The licenses for these applications remain allocated even though they are no longer in use. In the Key Trends in Software Pricing and Licensing Survey, 56 percent of enterprises say that 11 percent or more of their application spend is associated with applications that are underused. Moreover, at a recent Flexera Software webinar, 60 percent of the participants said they do not have a process in place for reclaiming unused licenses. Consequently, idle licenses present an opportunity for significant cost recovery.
There are two approaches to minimize the number of idle licenses. You can implement software leasing or you can reclaim and reallocate idle licenses. With leasing, licenses are assigned for a specific time period and then reclaimed and returned to the available license pool where it is made available to other employees that may need it. Leasing is a good way to handle expensive applications and applications used seasonally or by temporary contractors. You can also use leasing for software needed for short-term projects, such as by leasing Microsoft Project.
App store solutions should automate both approaches to license conservation based on policy. In automating a license reclamation process, the app store must communicate with a Software License Optimization solution to gather and maintain application usage data on all users to provide visibility into who is using what applications and how frequently. The app store notifies users with idle licenses of IT's intent to reclaim the licenses. The users can optionally relinquish the license or provide justification for keeping it.
Enterprises typically get better results from software license conservation programs by engaging users. To get users involved, the app store must provide them with feedback, such as what applications are installed on their devices, the cost of the applications and which applications are unused or infrequently used. Also, if you let users know they can get a surrendered application back very quickly if they need it, they will be more willing to relinquish applications they don't use very often.
It's also important to provide cost transparency to users such as through chargeback or showback. Cost feedback sensitizes users to the high cost of software and encourages them to be more prudent in requesting applications and relinquishing applications they no longer use.
Coming up: Enterprise Best Practice #3 - Stock the Store and Keep It Current
By Vincent Brasseur
Starting December 1st 2014 the Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) will be available as part of the Enterprise Enrollment and licensed per user. This is a major shift in Microsoft licensing policies. User based licenses already exist in a number of Microsoft offerings, such as Client Access Licenses (CALs) and Office 365 subscriptions; however, some of the Microsoft key products, such as Enterprise Enrollment have traditionally been licensed per device. This change is likely driven by these 3 things:
This offering will provide great value and at the same time may benefit Microsoft with users adopting Windows as the platform of choice on all of their devices.
Until now, the Enterprise Enrollment and the Enterprise Platform was a cost effective way for organizations to standardize all their devices with Windows Enterprise Operating System, Office Professional Plus and Enterprise CAL Suite. These are the main three components typically required on every computer within an organization. The Enterprise Enrollment enables all computers to run on the same operating system, provides the Office Professional Plus Suite that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Lync, etc. products and the Client Access Licenses (CAL) required to access server features such as Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, System Center, Windows Server, etc. The new Enterprise Cloud Suite is delivered per user and provides access to Office 365 E3 plan, the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) enabling users to be integrated and managed as part of the organization, and most importantly Windows Software Assurance. With this last component, Windows Enterprise Edition can be delivered to any device assigned to the licensed user.
Something very important to understand is that Windows Enterprise Operating System delivered with an Enterprise Enrollment is an upgrade license and it is meant to stay that way: a base Windows operating system is still required for a device. More accurately, a pre-existing OEM Windows Professional license is required for any device that will benefit from the enrollment except for devices that have an integrated display less than 10.1 inches in size. This excludes all devices that have been purchased with consumer editions of Windows. The Microsoft Enterprise Enrollment only provides upgrades for qualifying devices, with the new offering, assigned to a dedicated user. The main benefit of the new offering is the possibility to only have to consider users in the Enterprise Enrollment, where in the past devices were counted. Each user still requires a primary device licensed with Windows 7/8/8 Pro or enterprise to qualify for the enrollment. If a user has no such devices, a Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) license can be subscribed and will provide the same benefit under the enrollment.
Only users brought under the Enrollment are entitled to use the devices. This will likely exclude any home PC or other devices that can be shared across multiple users. Also, users can be reassigned within the enrollment only every 90 days.
The new Enterprise Cloud Suite brings a significant simplification to the process of managing these enrollments and adds value as all devices for a single user are now covered. It also provides a number of other benefits—for instance a user could access Windows Enterprise edition through Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or Windows To Go from any of his or her devices including non-Windows devices such as iOS or Android devices.
There are three ways to purchase the Enterprise Cloud Suite subscription:
It would not be completely accurate to say that Microsoft has moved from a device to a user metric for Windows licenses with the Enterprise Cloud Suite. This offering is in line with Microsoft’s focus on a “Mobile First – Cloud First” strategy as articulated by Satya Nadella. The remarkable change is the licensing of Software Assurance per user that extends to all users’ devices regardless of their operating systems. This provides great value based on the Microsoft Cloud platform and eases the management of licenses: only users will need to be counted, not devices. Despite all these simplifications that go in the right direction, assessing a license position while taking into account the associated software product use rights is a complex exercise that requires a sophisticated Software License Optimization solution.
To learn more about Microsoft Software License Optimization, please visit our website. You may also be interested in viewing our on-demand Webinar: Managing the Full Lifecycle of Your Software Assets where you can hear from Gartner analyst Patricia Adams.
See also this recent blog by Cyndi Tackett-- Microsoft Announces Major Licensing Changes for Windows OS: What Does it Mean for License Management?
If implemented following best practices, enterprise app stores can reduce software license compliance risks and fees, while increasing the ROI of the entire application portfolio. Reducing software spending and maintaining proper governance and compliance of software licenses is an imperative for organizations of any size. Easier access to business apps through an enterprise app store delivers clear benefits for employees. That alone is a compelling reason for embracing this technology. However, the self-service model also offers major benefits for the enterprise. Defining and implementing a strategy for an enterprise app store following a few best practices will make a huge difference with a very meaningful ROI, but without the right solution, an app store can compound existing problems.
Take care that the enterprise app store does not exacerbate the problem of maintaining software license compliance. IT must ensure that sufficient software licenses are available to meet the needs of the business. Another important consideration is that the app store must help ensure that the software installed on employee devices is actually used and not sitting idle. Without proper oversight and governance, these problems can quickly compound and result in license compliance audits and fines as well as overbuying of software licenses. An enterprise app store can help find the right balance between too many licenses that drive up costs and too few licenses that increase compliance risk.
The challenge for IT is to offer users a consumer-like experience while still maintaining control. That requires establishing best-practice processes for implementing and managing the app store, and supporting and automating those processes with the right technology. In future posts, we will present seven best practices identified based on the experiences of early adopters and research from independent firms such as Gartner, Inc., and Forrester Research, and how the right solution can support these practices to ensure success and maximize the value that your enterprise app store will deliver.
Seven Practices for Success
In implementing an app store, it's important to consider both the needs of users and the needs of IT. Users want a consumer-like experience in obtaining digital services. IT wants to provide that experience without jeopardizing control. The following best practices will help you ensure wide adoption of your app store by balancing effective control with high-quality service delivery.
Enterprise Best Practice # 1 - Always Know Your License Position
Complying with software license contract terms is a burdensome but necessary job. Noncompliance can be costly. True-up costs as a result of an audit can run in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. In the Application Usage Management Survey: Consumerization of IT: Opportunities & Risks, more than half of organizations indicated that they don't have a plan to balance the need for self-service with the ability to maintain continual software license compliance: 35 percent do not know how they'll accomplish this balancing act, and almost a quarter of respondents–24 percent–have no plans to do so. Ensuring that each application delivered through the app store is properly allocated and licensed eliminates excess spending.
To maintain continuous license compliance, the store needs accurate license position data that includes how many licenses the enterprise owns, how many are allocated, how many are in use and how many are available globally or by group. At the time an employee requests an application, the store must check license availability. The check must be made in real time so as to avoid delays in delivery. If a license is available, the app store should reserve that license so it cannot be allocated to another user requesting the application later (there's no cutting in line). If a license is not available to fill the request, the app store should trigger a process that engages the procurement team to acquire additional licenses.
The process is automated through integration of the app store with solutions to manage the entire enterprise application lifecycle.
Steps 1 and 2: Applications are packaged and authorized, then deployed simultaneously to the software deployment system and the enterprise app store.
Step 3: The user requests an application through the app store.
Step 4 and 5: The app store checks availability and reserves a license. If no license is available, the procurement team is notified to review the impact of the request.
Step 6 and 7: When a license is reserved, the app store initiates the approval process and upon authorization, triggers deployment to the user's device. When delivery is accomplished, the license status is updated from reserved to consumed and if the delivery fails, an incident is created at the service desk to enable proactive support.
Tip: It's a good idea to get users involved in software license compliance by providing feedback on their level of participation such as with a Software Policy Score. If an application is out of compliance, the app store can alert the user and solicit information from the user to prove that an application has been acquired legally, such as by submitting proof of purchase.
Coming up: Enterprise Best Practice # 2 - Reduce, Recycle and Reuse
By Randy Littleson
As your organization tackles the business challenges and takes advantage of the latest trends for buying, managing and using enterprise software, how do you stack up against the competition? Our new industry benchmarking survey could provide you with some answers.
Flexera Software is conducting an anonymized survey to understand how enterprises are addressing these trends, and how software vendors are helping you meet these challenges. We would appreciate five minutes of your time to complete our brief survey.
Survey results will be consolidated and reported on anonymously via an industry report, which we expect to be out early next year.
I hope we can count on you to participate.Thanks in advance for your time and consideration.
Participants will receive a copy of the survey results report.
As a special thanks for your time, participants will also be entered into a drawing to win one of five Apple Watches!
By John Lipsey
KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm, and Flexera Software, a leading provider of Software License Optimization solutions, announced an alliance on November 10th, 2014, to offer holistic Software Asset Management and License Optimization software and services to enterprise customers.
The alliance leverages KPMG and Flexera Software’s strengths in software license management technology, services and processes to help companies improve their operational capability, effectively manage their software license estate, help optimize spend and reduce license compliance risk.
“Currently, companies spend as much as 25 percent of their IT budgets on software and find themselves under increasing pressure to identify and eliminate waste and risk around this critical corporate asset,” said Paul Baguley, Principal, Contract Compliance at KPMG. “KPMG has a dedicated network of hundreds of software licensing and Software Asset Management professionals around the globe, and our alliance with Flexera Software allows us to help clients effectively manage their IT software budgets and more accurately plan for future needs.”
In an effort to discover the burden software licensing places on companies, Flexera Software and industry-analyst IDC recently concluded research on software audits and compliance risk and software applications that were purchased but not used, known as “shelfware.” The research revealed that 85 percent of organizations were non-compliant with some software license agreements, and nearly all enterprises (96 percent) conceded that they owned “shelfware.”
These aspects pose a significant risk to businesses as, according to the reports, nearly two-thirds of enterprises (63 percent) were audited by their software vendors in the last 18-24 months. As a result, 56 percent of companies researched were assessed “true-up bills” that cost, in some cases, $1M or more.
“Enterprise software counts among the most difficult of assets to manage for any organization. The sheer diversity of software titles, the complexity of licensing terms, the evolving environments in which the software will be run, and constantly changing workforces represent just a few of the challenges,” said Jim Ryan, Chief Operating Officer at Flexera Software. “Effective license management requires top-notch people, processes and technology. Flexera Software’s market-leading Software License Optimization solution and KPMG’s high-quality service offerings provide a one-stop-shop for organizations seeking to reduce waste and risk in their enterprise software investments to help ensure they’re only buying what they need and using what they have.”
The alliance combines KPMG’s contract compliance experience and methodologies with Flexera Software’s FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises to help enterprise software customers proactively manage their software assets – and budgets – from procurement through to retirement. Through the alliance, clients can increase visibility into software application deployment, entitlement, and usage; strengthen contract negotiations with vendors; reduce risk of software compliance audits; and gain continuous control of software with repeatable, automated best practice software asset management processes.
Flexera Software’s Software License Optimization solution will also seamlessly integrate into KPMG’s existing alliance-based offerings with ServiceNow to provide a comprehensive IT asset management solution.
To learn more about managing the full lifecycle of your software assets, please view our on-demand Webinar: Managing the Full Lifecycle of Your Software Assets. Hear about industry trends and best practices from Gartner analyst Patricia Adams.
By Cyndi Tackett
Microsoft recently announced the availability of per-user licensing for Windows 8 Enterprise for customers covered by Software Assurance. (See more information here on the Microsoft website). Previously, the Windows Operating Systems were licensed on a per-device license model. Starting on December 1, 2014, Microsoft customers can buy an Enterprise Cloud Suite bundle that includes Office 365 E3 subscriptions, Enterprise Mobility Suite and the new Windows Software Assurance per user license.
The announcement comes as a welcome relief to organizations that are rapidly moving to virtual desktop (VDI) and BYOD infrastructures. Instead of tracking devices that multiply daily in our “three devices per user” world, organizations can now move more easily to virtual delivery methods and simplify counting of those complex Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) licenses. Best of all, the Windows Software Assurance per User license eliminates those pesky Companion Device Licenses (CDL), which were previously required to allow access to Windows virtual desktops from iPad and Android tablets (up to 4 devices).
It is not yet clear if the per-user Windows 8 licensing option will actually reduce software licensing costs. But, it does give more OS licensing options to choose from, which may be cost beneficial for some organizations (for example, companies that have more devices than users). Organizations will need to do careful cost/benefit analysis based on the number of devices, users, VDI instances, and future virtualization and BYOD strategies.
The big question is: does this change simplify license management and optimization? The short answer is “yes and no”. The new Windows per-user option has very complex Product Use Rights (see chart below). For example, with the Software Assurance Add-on Option, companies must track user assignments to a primary device that has Windows 7/8 Pro or Enterprise already installed and covered by Software Assurance. While the license model itself may be simpler, the Product Use Rights associated with Windows OS (formerly fairly straightforward with the per device model) are now a maze of complexity.
The biggest take-away is that licensing models for even basic software products are in a constant state of flux. Even if the change is eventually beneficial to customers, the change itself causes uncertainty and consternation in the industry. Organizations that have massive Excel spreadsheets to count OS licenses must now make fundamental changes to how they are counting and start tracking new Product Use Rights and restrictions. Protect yourself from major license model shifts by automating your software asset management (SAM) processes.
At Flexera Software, we employ licensing experts who can help our customers navigate through the shifting licensing tides with ease and help them deploy automated software license optimization solutions that stay current with these types of changes.
To learn more about optimized management of Microsoft licenses, please visit our FlexNet Manager for Microsoft product page.
And, to learn more about Software License Optimization in general, read our white paper:
By Cyndi Tackett
Do you consider software license implications during the IT change management process? Consider the following scenario: your ace developer, Jim Smith, creates an awesome business application that requires IBM Websphere which is licensed by Processor Value Units (PVUs). We will call it “WhizBang Websphere."
Jim puts in a change management request to move WhizBang Websphere from pre-production to production. This is a licenseable event – you now need to buy as many PVUs as WhizBang Websphere will consume once it moves to production.
Fast forward a few months. Good news, WhizBang Websphere is adding a ton of value to the business. End users love it and use it every day. You need to move WhizBang Websphere to a bigger server to handle the demand. Business stakeholders decide that WhizBang Websphere should be highly available to all of business users. So, the capacity management team puts in a change request to move WhizBang Websphere to a highly available cluster. Now, you are consuming tens of thousands of PVUs and haven’t considered the cost of the changes on software licenses.
Fast forward a few more months. Wow! WhizBang Websphere has transformed the business. You put in a change management request to uncap WhizBang Websphere and let it dynamically consume as much capacity as it needs. You replicate WhizBang Websphere to datacenters in Europe and Asia-Pacific to support global users. It needs to be unleashed! WhizBang Websphere has saved the company tens of thousands of dollars! Jim is a hero.
Fast forward a few more months. You get an IBM audit letter. Uh oh, Bad news. Because you did not consider the software licensing implications of all the capacity you added to WhizBang Websphere during the IT service management (ITSM) change management processes, you now owe IBM hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This is a common story. Your environment is very dynamic, but software licensing visibility and costs are not transparent. Software audits are extraordinarily painful if you lack the technology and processes required to understand software cost implications of day-to-day ITSM decisions proactively. The Whiz is gone and now you are just left with a big Bang.
By John Emmitt
It's Halloween, so I wanted to come up with the list of some of the scariest things that software asset managers face when dealing with enterprise software. Here's my list:
What's on your list?
For a Halloween Treat-- read this Gartner report: Gartner Research: How to Assess a Software License Optimization and Entitlement Tool
This Gartner report provides guidance to help software asset managers define selection criteria that differentiate available tools and identify the one that will best meet their business needs, when choosing a Software License Optimization solution.
By Cyndi Tackett
Another important factor to consider in selecting a Software License Optimization solution is the level of automation supplied to reduce the manual effort required for maintaining your optimal license position across your software estate.
For instance, you want to make sure your solution is able to automate these critical processes:
Software License Optimization is a resource for IT Asset Managers and IT Procurement to help them better optimize software use, reduce software costs, and ensure license compliance with vendor license agreements.