Information Technology is constantly evolving and changing. It is estimated that every 18 months computing power doubles. Where IT used to be a company asset, it is now the backbone upon which the majority of businesses conduct their operations. As a result, the number of the devices, their locations, and their uses within a company is constantly changing. All of this technology from servers to clients and mobile devices have one thing in common. They will run software that requires licensing.
Licensing is a fundamental part of software distribution; it enables vendors to track the usage and popularity of the product and is also ensure that customers are paying the correct amount for their usage. For IT Managers and Administrators licensing is one of the most frustrating aspects of their work. In an environment where the use of devices is always shifting it becomes increasingly harder to track where devices are being used and more importantly who is using them. Different departments will make use of different technologies and software and as such it is imperative that IT Admins keep a track of who is using the devices at any one time, so that they can ensure that the correct licensing is being used.
The risk that this situation presents is that devices will remain licensed for software which is no longer needed. This then causes a problem for the IT Administrator as they are unable to license the correct devices due to the limitations of their agreement. The same problem can also occur when a major expansion or merger is carried out; if the size of a department or company increases at short notice there can also be an issue with licensing. For example; A company has a license to use a piece of software on 100 devices. It is currently being used on 89, which leaves them with 11 ‘spare’. However, the company management decides to expand the use of the software to 120 clients at short notice. It is possible that the IT Administrator will be required to deploy the software to all of these machines before the licensing has been reviewed and additional licenses purchased.
This is a problem which can be addressed, at least in part by software vendors. There is the option for vendors to provide what are known as overflow licenses. As the name suggests, they are a type of software license which allows for a certain amount of overflow by a customer. The user can activate more licenses than they own, which means that the software can be used, but these additional activations are recorded by the vendor and are then subsequently billed.
This has multiple benefits for both the user and the vendor. The user is able to comfortable activate the necessary number of licenses, which means that their IT infrastructure can be adapted at short notice to meet the changing needs without the headache of calculating the cost of additional licenses and waiting for them to be ordered. They can activate the software as soon as it is needed.
This model benefits the vendor by making their product more appealing, it is a great selling point!
We will allow you to use as many licenses as you need and we will calculate how much you owe
The customer is able to focus on ensuring that their IT works, and the vendor receives a fair price for the use of the software.
Image Credits: © Jeff Sheldon - unsplash.com