“With the help of Open iT specialists, we have set up license management rules for the most critical applications and now we are adding more to the list based on business input.”
Software licenses consume a high proportion of the IT budget for this company creating a desire to reduce cost while maintaining availability of critical software for the geoscience and engineering communities. Collaboration between the technical functions that consume the most expensive software licenses in the company, and the IT department led to significant cost savings and a better understanding of how to automate some of the software support tasks. Additionally, the company needed help with a transition from a legacy application to a new type of software. Open iT became a valuable tool in helping to manage the technology conversion.
In 2006, when the company first purchased Open iT, the IT team was mostly concerned with ensuring key users of technical applications had access to the software they need. Users were being denied access during peak times in the business lifecycle and asking for additional licenses but there was little information on how many were available and who was using them.
When Open iT LicenseAnalyzer alone was in place, the Technical Computing support team used it to document whether new licenses were actually needed and to negotiate licensing agreements that fit the business need. When the company sought greater cost savings in 2015, one area of focus was to reduce the cost of software assets. Not only senior management and the IT department cared about managing cost – the user community was also motivated to look for cost savings if it would not impact the result of their work.
Managing a Critical Software Conversion with Open iT Data
The science team was interested in switching software products from the same vendor. This required engagement from the users to gain buy-in, lead the change and assist in the significant work to redesign workflows, train users on the new tool and monitor uptake.
Open iT usage reports provided the data to identify who the power users in each region are. These individuals then helped with evaluation and conversion while Open iT monitored the uptake of the new software alongside the decline in use of the old one.
Initially, Open iT LicenseAnalyzer was purchased to monitor usage and identify when additional licenses were required. For example, the application manager can go to the Open iT portal, navigate to an application he wants to monitor and drill down to the details showing how many licenses are available, who checked them out and when they started using them.
In this example, the user checked out the license early in the morning and usage looks healthy.
In the case shown below, several users have a license checked out for more than two weeks, indicating they possibly forgot to check them back in and the number of licenses available is dwindling. A call to the user will remind her or him to release the unused license. It takes a lot of communication to keep unused licenses in play.
When Open iT LicenseOptimizer was added in 2014, the business was engaged to understand the cost saving opportunity. Leaders in the IT and the business teams collaborated to automate checking in licenses not being used without disrupting the work of the technical users.
The use of LicenseOptimizer was introduced to the business in a creative manner. First, key users of three “workhorse” applications were identified by reviewing Open iT usage reports. These users were first to try the impact of suspending unused licenses. Even though they made an effort to keep applications checked out so they could test the effect of freezing inactive applications, each participant gave a thumbs up on introducing the process to their colleagues. The IT team engaged a change manager to help with the introduction. Posters were placed on the floors where technical users sit, a compelling communication was sent from the business sponsor to all users and IT sent a notice about the program.
Since then, real cost savings have been derived from minimizing the amount of pay-per-use hours and negotiating a way to return those dollars to the purchase of perpetual licenses where they are needed. Open iT has been the data collection, analysis and automation tool to power this improvement.
Open it LicenseAnalyzer was implemented for monitoring and negotiating license agreements to include a combination of permanent and pay-per-use licenses from multiple vendors. Open iT LicenseOptimizer was added to quietly suspend unused licenses without causing users to lose work in process. With more licenses in the pool, users can access the software they need, when they need it. By combining the capabilities of both Open iT products, the IT support group is able to negotiate the right mix of license types to ensure a balance of investment and productivity for the user community.
Why Customer Chose Open iT
The alternative of creating scripts to monitor and manage software licenses across our diverse and extensive portfolio of applications and license servers is daunting and would consume too many resources. With the help of Open iT specialists, we have set up license management rules for the most critical applications and now we are adding more to the list based on business input. It’s refreshing to move from an environment where IT is asking users to participate in license management to one where the business is asking for the help directly.
Technical Computing Analyst, in-charge for the day-to-day operation of Open iT software
Projected Benefits of the Open iT Products and Services
For one software product alone, cost savings of $639, 000 on pay-per-use licenses were estimated by identifying sessions lasting more than 4 hours where pay-per-use licenses were being used. By adding other high-cost applications to those being optimized, and by reducing the time before an unused license is released from four hours to one hour, the savings are going to grow significantly.
Next steps for introducing cost savings lie in evaluating which additional applications to monitor and optimize. As the data is collected and evaluated, no doubt the application management team will collaborate with the supply team to establish similar licensing agreements with the many more technical and business applications used across the enterprise.
For More Information
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