Software Licensing – IT Cost Savings Opportunities

If you’ve followed this blog at all you know that a recurring theme is the money saving opportunities inherent in a successful Software Asset Management program (just ask our client who has outsourced their SAM program to us…and already saved double our annual fee in just the second month of the program). However; this month I want to focus on some specific technology projects that can save significantly on software licensing costs.

This list is by no means comprehensive, so if you’ve had success with others please share!

1) Server Virtualization – it’s on everyones list anyway…but it’s also an area where I see frequent mis-management of licensing so please, do it right! See the Microsoft licensing snapshot below and then do the math of what is the most effective for your organization (and as always, consider future growth).

Microsoft virtual server licensing in a snapshot:

  • Windows Server Standard allows for 1 install (and technically 1 physical instance to enable the virtual environment),
  • Windows Server Enterprise allows for 4 virtual instances and 1 physical instance (but that instance is only allowable to enable the virtual environment, this does NOT mean that Enterprise allows 5 fully functioning installs),
  • Windows Server Datacenter allows for unlimited installs but is licensed per processor (and typically costs about the same amount per processor as Windows Enterprise does per server).

2) SQL Server 2005 upgrade – if you still have a SQL Server 2000 environment, consider upgrading.

OK, this could come under the category of spending money – but considering how many of these I’ve found were never fully licensed in the first place you might find it helps you finally get fully licensed but for less money.

SQL Server 2005 technology and licensing enables many companies to move away from the need for the Enterprise edition and duplication of licensing through higher ceilings on size for Standard and the change in clustering and failover licensing.

3) Look at your network utilities. How much redundancy do you have between your products?

I see it time and time again, a company has a patch management tool and a desktop configuration tool and a asset discovery tool and a software deployment tool and a ….

However; take a took at the toolsets offered by your 3 primary tools. Do not be surprised to find that they’ve expanded functionality into an area you’re covering with a different tool. Find out if you’re paying the extra money because it truly adds value to the organization or if it’s simply out of habit and a need for education on a tools features.

On a wrap up note, there’s plenty of money left on the table with technology. This might be a really good time to gather that money up and put it back to work for your company.

I’ve found a new site focusing on ITAM and SAM, I recommend checking it out…The ITAM Review.

Happy Holidays and a successful and joyous New Year!

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