In today’s telecommunications world, organizations rely heavily on software solutions for many functions, including mission-critical tasks. Therefore, software licenses can represent a significant budget entity for many organizations. Effective license management is key to avoiding inaccurate software license tracking and usage metering issues that can lead to budget variances.
In almost all cases, the software is sold in the form of a license, whether it is a perpetual license to use the software or a subscription paid monthly or annually which must be renewed permanently. To ensure that you are using every penny spent on your software assets, the first thing to do is to understand the types of license agreements and plan license management accordingly.
It’s here that Software license management (SLM) comes into play. Software licensing refers to all of the organizational aspects of deploying and maintaining your organization’s software assets. It falls under the broader category of software asset management.
Given the large share spent on software licenses, an outstanding benefit of SLM is the revenue it can save you by identifying unnecessary or unused/underused software. Paying for such software can add up to a considerable sum for each user or device covered by an unused solution. SLM allows you to track all software purchases and audit their usage, or lack thereof, in the case of unused paid subscriptions.
Another benefit of SLM that can contribute to even greater financial savings is that it enables enforcement of End User License Agreements (EULAs). Any device running unlicensed software exposes you to potential financial penalties and legal issues under most circumstances.
When tracking your software licenses, it’s critical to know how the latest technologies affect software usage and policies. With 5G and, therefore, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), machine learning (ML) and the Internet of Things (IoT) accelerating in recent years, software licensing has had to adapt to the progress introduced by these developments.
Extensive use of automation powered by AI and ML impacted SLM by allowing many processes to operate automatically. This includes monitoring what programs are used, how they are used, and having control protocols in place to limit their use to authorized people and roles. These tools can also be used in software maintenance to help detect violations of the EULA.
IoT devices are now present at all levels and functions of businesses and consumers, including telecommunications. Observably, the SLM implications of these devices can be tricky, and the software behind them can be difficult to manage using traditional SLM tools and procedures. It is important to follow new processes for applying SLM techniques to IoT devices to optimize your ability to use them. Proactive SLM enables the improvement of your IT efforts. It offers the opportunity to reduce costs and increase your ability to react to changing business conditions by quickly getting the most out of your software’s capabilities.
As we have seen, managing your software licenses is essential to avoid negative consequences related to non-compliance. Here are some points to help your telecommunications company manage software licenses:
Document software management policies
SLM records and stores your software management policies to manage and serve them when needed to avoid costly surprises at audit time.
Usage governance procedures
Establishing controls for managing software usage across the organization and workspace groups is a snap with SLM. It also guarantees that only authorized users can download and use the software they are authorized to use. These management controls are essential in an age where users can effortlessly access software at work or at home on various devices. Software policy usage procedures in all telecommunications spaces should be linked to your usage governance utility to efficiently onboard and remove employees through provisioning automation.
Software lifecycle management
Careful attention should be paid to managing all aspects of the software lifecycle, including renewing licenses, updating information, and communicating usage parameters to employees. With SLM, this can be done efficiently.
Continuous monitoring of what programs are on your network, how they are used, and who is using them is necessary to ensure that your permission policies are working as intended and the right solutions are being applied for the intended purposes. With integrated SLM, it is still possible to use automated and manual auditing when needed.
Automated update checks
Automated software version discovery is available with SLM, allowing you to consistently use the latest version of all installed programs.
Regularly uninstall software that has been inactive for a certain prescribed period and return it to storage for future reuse or cancellation as appropriate.
SLM analyzes contract databases and procurement records to facilitate compliance with contract terms and display important contract data such as license type, number of authorized users, and expiration dates in less than steps than going through them manually.
Use license management automation
Software license management solutions can help you optimize your license management by developing vendor license profiles that you can use to automate the process of moderating your license status to installed software. This can help with efficient license management, especially when preparing for a true-up or other large-scale audits.
Establish and track software management goals
To measure the effectiveness of your SLM efforts or select licenses for cost reduction goals and track your performance on goals over time that can be achieved with an appropriate SLM.
With a significant portion of software costs resulting from inadequate software management, the case for software license management is strong. According to a study by Gartner, many organizations can improve their software spend by up to 30% by optimizing software licenses through best practices. Besides maximizing revenue, an effective SLM can generate revenue, and there are also efficiencies to be realized by making better use of the software your organization has acquired.
SLM can benefit telecom organizations by helping them effectively use their software to respond and adapt quickly to changing market conditions, optimize operations, and stay EULA compliant. At a minimum, SLM can help you track and optimize your software policies to help your managers acquire and use the tools at the right time.
Why is network license management crucial for telecom operators?
Sandeep is responsible for product marketing of the Analytics portfolio at Subex. In addition to this role, he also handles public relations and analyst relations for the company. He comes with 9 years of experience in the field of Marketing.