Two software suppliers have separately announced products that track software licence compliance to help companies reduce overspending on licensing costs
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Novadigm has announced Radia Usage Manager, while Softricity unveiled SoftGrid Dual-Mode.
Radia Usage Manager tracks software use on all managed devices, including servers, desktops and laptops, and works with other Radia Management software designed to migrate applications to desktops and servers, said George Kellar, vice-president of Novadigm marketing.
Softricity's product is principally designed to manage and deploy applications for the Windows desktop and Citrix MetaFrame/Terminal Services applications, but licence compliance is "icing on the cake", said Softricity spokeswoman Janice Bedsole.
Royal and SunAlliance USA plans to install Radia Usage Manager next year and predicts that it can save millions of dollars by eliminating unused software licences, said Roger Thibodeau, IT executive for the insurance company.
He estimated that on a survey of licence usage across 7,000 users in January and February, the company discovered that it could save at least $500,000 by not upgrading unused licences for 12 of 131 commercially licensed applications.
Many users had simply installed an application and never used it or did not need the version they had, Thibodeau said. Radia Usage Manager will be used to examine the remaining 119 licensed applications, counting who uses which application in perhaps a day of computations. The manual effort for the 12 applications took two workers two months to complete.
"We've done this to make sure we had adequate licensing, and we didn't want to get sued," he said, explaining why the company undertook the licence survey in the first place.
The Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation (NMFF) will roll out SoftGrid Dual-Mode next week for 1,500 doctors and other users, said Julie Otten, director of IS at NMFF. The product streams applications to users from a server, rather than installing the application on a desktop, allowing an IT manager to count usage of applications and avoid overpurchasing licences, she said.
"In the past, we'd buy 100 more licences when we ran against the limit, but this way we can fine-tune what we need to buy," she said.
Less attention has been paid to proper software licensing this year than last, said Fred Broussard, an analyst at IDC. Quite often, companies that do an inventory can find savings.