Software Manager vs. License Manager

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To be or not to be… a License Manager

In my day-to-day work life, I am often been referred to as ‘The License Manager’. I like to call myself a Software Asset Manager, and here is why:

A Software License, in short, is a contract between a Software Publisher and a Software User, describing the terms and conditions according to which the software may be used (yes, I know this is a very simplistic explanation). Therefore License Management, in my opinion, is nothing more than keeping track of the licenses owned by your company. In other words, it contains an administrative function, an inventory function, a distribution function, and an auditing function.

An Asset, in turn, is a resource with will benefit a company and holds a particular economic value. A Software Asset can be bound by terms and conditions according to its license, but you will understand that referring to it as a ‘License’ is a bit strange.

Software Asset Management involves:

  • IT Asset Demand Planning (Financial Plans, Budgeting, Road-maps, …)
  • IT Asset Records Management (Discovery Tool Maintenance, Data uploads, Reporting, …)
  • IT Asset Deployment (Move and Change, Software Packaging, Installation of Clients and Server Software, …)
  • IT Asset Procurement (Contract Management, Offerings, Purchase Requests, Purchase Orders, …)
  • IT Asset License Management (License Inventory, License Pool Management, Re-harvesting, …)
  • IT Asset Inventory Management (Receiving IT-Assets, Validations, Inventory, Cost Allocation, Payments, …)
  • IT Asset Decommissioning/Disposal (Dispose of IT-Assets (or reuse), …)
  • Etcetera…

These are the main categories, that I work with, which in turn can be defined in several sub-categories. As you can see, there is a lot to it than only the Management of Licenses. In fact, there is a lot to it, in which other functions play a bigger role than the Software Asset Manager. But to make my point, I am involved earlier than a License is purchased and even after a License is put out of use!

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