SoftWatch OptimizeIT Premium provides application usage analytics with unique capabilities which identify excess Microsoft licensing and enable organizations to apply the right licensing model and optimize their Microsoft licensing costs.
Organizations face special challenges when deploying Microsoft software to their employees and devices. Microsoft’s Enterprise Agreement is best suited to a “one size fits all” environment, in which users and devices have similar software and licensing requirements. That’s not the case in most enterprise environments.
For example, to control costs they should license some software by device and other software by user. Also, in most cases, instead of buying expensive MS Office professional suites for their employees they can be better off buying the standard MS Office suite with no negative effect on productivity.
An effective answer to the problem is provided by SoftWatch’s OptimizeIT Premium, a SaaS solution which helps customers align what they purchase with what each user or PC needs.
Supervisors, doctors, , help desk reps, housekeeping staff, retail clerks, shift workers, factory floor workers and call center reps may roam throughout the facility, using PCs, tablets or mobile phones to stay on top of the many demands for their presence. Employees who fill out corporate functions such as financial analysts and managers may have a PC dedicated to their use. Yet others, such as sales clerks, may share many devices on a floor.
Using SoftWatch’s OptimizeIT Premium, customers not only get data commonly collected by software asset management tools, but an additional and critical metric: how much time do users spend interacting with the software in high-value ways, such as actually creating a document or spreadsheet, compared with merely viewing it. This differentiating capability has a significant effect on the ability of organizations to make informed decisions and achieve substantial reduction of Microsoft licensing costs.
Here’s how SoftWatch helps optimizing Microsoft licensing costs:
- Negotiating better deals. Customers with good data are far better equipped to negotiate with Microsoft. They don’t need to guess how much value they get out of their software—they can calculate exactly what value they get out of Word or Excel when 40% of their users only view such documents. Since viewers are free, customers have a strong case to limit Office deployments or to pay much less for the product. Customers can also substantially reduce the number of MS Office professional suites and purchase the standard suite for the vast majority of employees. The result of the analysis may lead to reduce licensing budget and lower costs of software assurance over time.
- Managing software audits and true-ups. To true-up a profile the organization must count the number of users or devices in each profile. SoftWatch makes that easier to collect the data and measure the number of people and devices that fit specific profiles.
- Identifying shared computers. Multiple devices that use a shared logon name are good candidates for device licensing, which covers all users of the devices.
- Accommodate needs of mobile users. Individuals who log on to a variety of devices can be given user licenses, which cover their use of tablets and phones as well as PCs.
- Forecasting costs and pitfalls of moving to the cloud. Microsoft cloud services are licensed per user, but many enterprises have twice as many employees as they have PCs because so many devices are shared by a team or shift workers. Generic logons are not permitted in Office 365, and the workaround, “shared computer activation,” is complex, may still lock out some users, and duplicates systems that many organizations already own: Citrix and Microsoft Remote Desktop Services. In effect enterprises end up using technology they already own, but keep paying Microsoft for software they don’t use.
- Creating usage profiles. Many enterprises control Microsoft costs by creating multiple “profiles.” A mobile worker profile, with Windows Enterprise, Office Professional, and the Enterprise CAL Suite licensed per user, works for the most demanding and mobile document creators. A Dedicated Device profile for users who use one PC replaces the user CAL suite with a device CAL suite that costs 25% less. On the other hand, in Health Care organizations for example, a Clinical Profile covers laboratories, diagnostic facilities, nursing wards, PCs in patient areas and other devices that may be shared by many people, with Office Standard and just two or three CALs rather than an entire CAL Suite. SoftWatch enables more precise definition of the requirements for each profile.
In order to fully benefit from OptimizeIT Premium, better prepare for the software vendor negotiations and take advantage of accumulated experience and knowledge, customers can take advantage of consulting services on Microsoft products from SoftWatch’s license expert partner. The services include:
- Review the data collected.
- Review Customer’s current volume purchase agreements and license position (based on data supplied by the customer).
- Outline compliance measures and purchasing options that could reduce costs.
- Develop pricing models that would illustrate the cost of these options compared with the customer’s current volume licensing program.