Software Licensing

Software licensing can be confusing and frustrating, the complexities daunting. Vendors of software such as Adobe, Microsoft, Novell and Symantec each have thousands of SKUs (part numbers) and few vendors have similar licensing fee strategies or easy to comprehend product descriptions, so being sure you have the right product(s) can take far more time, effort and patience than you may have at your disposal. To some extent, the French expression of "why do something simply when you can do it complicated" holds true when it comes to software licensing.

But take heart, we (SCR) will help you navigate the maze of software licensing and make certain you receive the right products at a competitive price. We have the tools, expertise and vendor relationships to get your licensing needs handled quickly and accurately with over 30 major software vendors. If you are responsible for purchasing software licensing in your organization, let us wade through the myriad vendor requirements for you, handle the procurement and make your job simpler.

Give us a call to discuss your licensing needs, whether you're in need of two licenses or more than two hundred, we can assist.  You can jumpstart the process if you choose to by filling in the form you see below with as much information as you can—we encourage you to do so to help us help you.

Software Licensing Quotation Request Form
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Software Vendors
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Agreement #1
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Software is playing an increasingly important role at every company. Today it’s ERP, databases and desktop applications; tomorrow it will be embedded systems and ever-more mobile apps. --Jonathan Feldman

It’s impossible to compare and contrast in a few lines IBM’s Processor Value Units (PVUs) sub-capacity licensing with Oracle’s Core Processor Factors and hard partitioning, let alone bring in Microsoft’s new per-core licensing of SQL Server, which is itself different from the way Microsoft licenses Windows Server. --Duncan Jones, VP at Forrester Research Inc.

What about the cloud, Software as a Service (SaaS) and things like user-based pricing? Do they provide answers? Not really. Business application licensing challenges just morph with computing trends. For some of those trends, such as cloud computing and virtualization, software licensing scenarios can have a negative effect, shackling companies to traditional computing models rather than unleashing efficiency and innovation. --Chris Maxcer, SearchOracle

IT leaders need to come to grips with who owns the software. Whether it’s a commercial or open source license, as users we rent—we never own—so it’s unrealistic to expect “perpetual” licenses that never change over a software package’s life-cycle. Software licensing can also change with shifts in computing paradigms, such as virtualization and the cloud. --Jonathan Feldman

Licensing, it turns out, is more complicated than ever. Years ago business applications could be licensed by the size of the server they were installed on. But today’s multicore, multiprocessor servers are more powerful and more capable of being sliced into virtual machines that chew up simple metrics. Some software vendors cling to processor-based pricing, while others create elaborate systems that assign values to various components to create maze-like licensing tables. --Chris Maxcer, SearchOracle

Companies often don’t know what entitlements they have, so they buy more software than they need. For example, some licenses let you have a secondary copy of the software on a secondary machine—say, a desktop and a laptop. Companies not aware of that provision might pay for up to double the licenses. --Jonathan Feldman

The greatest licensing complexity occurs when it hinges on a combination of usage and scale parameters. "Element" based licensing, as it is called, can take into account a combination of the number of nodes, network interfaces, logical and physical disk volumes, type and count of CPUs, traffic volumes and the number of monitors among others. -- Ronnie Ray, Ipswitch

According to Gartner, software usage licensing audits are on the rise. They’re requiring businesses to invest more in processes and tools to prove license compliance. Alexa Bona (VP of Research) said that five years ago only about 35% of customers were audited in any given year. Last year (2011) that number jumped to 65%. The companies with the highest frequency of audits are Adobe, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, in that order, she said. --Chris Maxcer, SearchOracle

The changing landscape of IT and connecting devices is creating a whole new set of challenges. Per Alexa Bona, VP of Research in IT asset management for Connecticut-based research house Gartner Inc., “We’re seeing a lot more device-based licensing where you’re paying for every device that can access your application services or software", adding that having to pay per-device licensing fees might even double a company’s licensing fees. --Chris Maxcer, SearchOracle

Ensure that no one virtualizes anything without getting specific advice from your central resource on the software licensing implications -- with approval for the cost of additional licenses that might be needed. -- Duncan Jones, VP at Forrester Research Inc

Software vendors are struggling to keep up with the reality of the New IT, especially when it comes to virtualization. Virtualization presents new licensing challenges, because it changes the way IT organizations utilize machines and processor cores.  So it has rendered conventional models of utilization for a given instance of a piece of software obsolete. --Christopher O'Malley, COMPUTERWORLD

Per Ronnie Ray, VP of Marketing and Product Management at Ipswitch, Inc., "software licensing customers — and the market, in general — are confused by the multiplicity of variables in the element licensing definition, resulting in short-term, under-budgeting and overspending in the long haul. A recent survey of over 1,500 global respondents revealed some interesting patterns: more than 50% of network professionals reported selecting an insufficient IT monitoring license level to monitor their infrastructure and applications assets in part because they didn’t understand what they were purchasing.

Note that a whopping 67 percent of mid-sized businesses and 75 percent of early enterprises exceeded the limit of their selected license level at the end of their first year, putting pressure on future budgets as they are forced to "true-up" to their current usage level."

Ensuring that your software licensing model reflects your company’s growing IT needs and keeps organizational IT costs in line is a tough job, one we're here to help you with at SCR. Request a quotation or give us a call!

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