Software License Management: The 8 key ingredients for managing software licenses for the telecom industry

In today’s telecom world, organizations are heavily reliant on software solutions for numerous functions, including task-critical ones. As a result, software licensing can be a significant budget entity for many organizations. Effective license management is essential to preventing inaccurate tracking of software licenses and usage measurement issues that can cause budget discrepancies.

In almost all cases, the software is sold by licensing, whether it be a perpetual license to use the software or a subscription settled monthly or yearly that must be renewed continually. To ensure that you are utilizing every penny spent out of your software assets, the first thing to do is to understand the types of licensing agreements and plan the license management accordingly.

This is where Software license management (SLM) comes in. Software license management refers to all organizational aspects of deploying and maintaining your organization’s software assets. It is a part of the broader software asset management category.

Given the large share spent on software licenses, an exceptional benefit of SLM is the revenue it can save you by identifying unnecessary or unused/underused software. Paying for such software can stack up to a sizable sum for each user or device covered by an unused solution. SLM enables you to track all software purchases and audit their usage, or lack thereof, in the case of unused paid subscriptions.

Another benefit of SLM that can help in even more significant financial savings is that it enables enforcing compliance with End-User License Agreements (EULA). Any device running unlicensed software reveals you to potential financial penalties and legal issues in most circumstances.

When following your software licenses, it is vital to know how the latest technology impacts software usage and policies. With 5G and, thereby, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), machine learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) picking up pace in recent years, software licensing has had to adjust to the advancements introduced by these developments.

The extensive use of automation powered by AI and ML has impacted SLM by enabling the automatic functioning of many of the processes. This includes overlooking what programs are being used, how they are being used, and setting up control protocols to limit their usage to authorized individuals and roles. These tools can also be used in the maintenance of software to make it easier to detect violations of EULA.

IoT devices are now present at all business and consumer levels and functions, including telecom. Observably, the SLM implications of these devices can be tricky, and the software underlying them can be challenging to manage using traditional SLM tools and procedures. It’s important to track new processes for applying SLM techniques to IoT devices to optimize your ability to utilize them. Proactive SLM allows the improvement of your IT efforts. It provides the possibility to lower costs and boost your ability to react to changing business conditions by drawing the maximum advantage of the capabilities of your software rapidly.

As we have seen, managing your software licenses is essential to avoid the negative results associated with non-compliance. The following are points to help your telecom business to manage software licenses:

Document software management policies

SLM records and stores your software management policies to manage and serve when required to avoid costly surprises come audit time.

Usage governance procedures

Establishing controls for managing software usage across the organization and groups of workspaces is a breeze with SLM. It also ensures that only authorized users can download and use the software they are authorized to use. These management controls are critical in an era where users can effortlessly access the software at work or home on various devices. The procedures of usage of software policies in all telecom spaces should be tied to your usage governance utility to effectively onboard and offboard employees via provisioning automation.

Software lifecycle management

Special care must be undertaken to manage all aspects of the software lifecycle, including renewing licenses, updating information, and communicating usage parameters to employees. With SLM, it can be done efficiently.

Usage monitoring

It is necessary to constantly monitor which programs are present on your network, how they are being used, and who is using them to ensure that your authorization policies are working as planned and that the correct solutions are being applied for desired purposes. With SLM integrated, it is still possible to use automated and manual auditing when needed.

Automated updating checks

Automated discovery of software versions is available with SLM, enabling you to operate on the most recent version of any installed programs consistently.

Reclaiming procedures

Regularly uninstalling software that has been idle for a certain prescribed period and return it to stock for future reuse or cancellation if suitable.

Track contracts

SLM analyzes contract databases and procurement records to enable easy compliance with contractual conditions and viewing important contract data such as license type, number of authorized users, and expiration dates with fewer steps than manually looking through them.

Employ license management automation

Software License Management solutions can help optimize your license management by developing vendor licensing profiles you can use to automate the process of moderating your license status to installed software. This can help the efficiency of license management, especially in preparing for a true-up or other large-scale audits.

Establish and track software management objectives

To measure the effectiveness of your SLM efforts or select licenses for cost-saving objectives and track your performance about goals over time that can be achieved with proper SLM.

With a substantial portion of software costs resulting from inadequate software management, the case for software licensing management is a strong one. According to research from Gartner, many organizations can ameliorate software spending by as much as 30% via software license optimization via best practices. Besides revenue optimization, effective SLM can generate revenue, and there are also efficiency gains to be experienced by making better use of the software your organization has acquired.

SLM can benefit telecom organizations by helping them effectively use their software to quickly react and adapt to changing market conditions, optimize operations, and stay in compliance with EULA. At a minimum, SLM can help you track and optimize your software policies to help your managers acquire and use the tools at the right time.

Why is Network License Management crucial for Telecom Operators?

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