Capturing information about your software licenses (i.e. proof of ownership, quantity purchased, contract terms, etc.), and storing it in a way that makes it easy to locate and track, is an important process for any company. Those businesses that don’t properly organize software licenses put themselves at great risk for non-compliance – and the financial penalties that go along with it.
Yet, many companies today continue to use Excel spreadsheets to facilitate their software license management efforts. This approach is not only time-consuming and tedious, it is highly error prone, resulting in many mistakes and inconsistencies that can hinder license compliance. For example, spreadsheets are difficult to correlate with rapidly-changing software inventory, since updates must be validated and entered manually. And, as spreadsheets are shared with and distributed to others across an organization, they become harder to maintain. Changes are made in one copy, while other, outdated versions continue to float around the company.
Organize software licenses with SAManage
What is the most effective way to organize your software licenses? That all depends on the way those licenses were purchased. Some companies will sign a master agreement with a vendor (such as an enterprise agreement with Microsoft), and purchase licenses against it, while others choose to buy from multiple sources without a master agreement in place. SAManage seamlessly supports both approaches.
With a Master Agreement
The best way to organize software licenses when a master agreement is in place is to create a new contract in SAManage. Next, capture all relevant terms and conditions, and attach a copy of the actual document to the contract created in the system. As new licenses are acquired, simply add more items and update the license quantities. New purchases under the same contract can also be easily added, by entering the purchase order details under the original contract. Remember to set a renewal reminder to get an email from the system before your contract expires!
Without a Master Agreement
If you haven’t signed a master agreement, you can organize your software licenses by creating a separate contract in SAManage for each license purchase you make. First, enter the purchased products and quantities under “Items”, then add the purchase order information under “Purchase”. The system will then maintain these multiple contracts to reflect each prior purchase. Any future acquisitions will need to be added as a new contract.
About Kyle Shepard
Kyle is a Senior Manager of the Customer Success team for ITSM at SolarWinds. He works directly with customers to provide ongoing support in service management strategy for their evolving goals. He speaks on webinars and other educational resources in ITSM. He also played college lacrosse.
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