Imagine that you have a piggy bank and it’s time to bring your savings to the bank. It is likely that the counter agent will not count your coins one by one, since banks have automatic sorting and counting machines that allow their employees to spend their time on other tasks while reducing the risk – for example, errors related to manual counting.
The same goes for Software Asset Management (SAM). If it’s simple (and boring) to manually count parts, it’s extremely tedious to go through five Excel reports and three different data stores to find the software license information you need (and if you want my opinion, it’s not much more interesting than counting coins).
SAM services must manage large volumes of supply and inventory data that must be regularly identified and reconciled. For this, they need an automated method that guarantees the reliability of their data.
Standardization is a multi-step process that cleans and systematically identifies data by filtering out unnecessary data. SAM software with an integrated standardization function automatically performs manual work for you.
Data standardization is the key to successful software license management. Here are five reasons to standardize your SAM data:
1. It’s a fast and reliable solution
Renewing your Microsoft licensing agreement is approaching and you need to determine the number of licenses you need. Unfortunately, your data is scattered. Your reseller’s report shows order forms, but does not specify the references you are looking for. Microsoft SCCM can specify the exact version of each SQL Server system, but the editions are listed on another report. Even worse, Service A sends you Excel reports, while Service B uses a data store.
Instead of having to accumulate overtime for the next two weeks to manually clean, combine, and categorize this data, let a standardization platform work for you. It can clean and sort your data in minutes, eliminating the risk of errors.
2. Rely on solid data
It’s important to know what’s behind your data. You cannot rely on it blindly. With a standardization platform, you know how the results were achieved. In addition, KPIs monitor the normalization process and provide you with information about the quality of the data before, during, and after it.
With standardization, you are sure to have the data you need and you can easily contact the owner if you have questions.
3. Reduce your maintenance costs
It is common to buy multiple versions of the same software. But each version can be accompanied by a specific contract, with redundant maintenance costs. With standardization, you can identify each product with the correct naming conventions and software versions. So, do you know exactly what has been deployed and then you can reduce unnecessary maintenance costs.
4. Be in a strong bargaining position
Normalization avoids naming conflicts, missing values, and duplicate records. Thus, the account of your software licenses is always accurate. By knowing what you owe or do not owe to a major publisher, you can confidently rely on your license management data during negotiations, regardless of the speaker’s speech.
5. Expose Security Risks
Really standardized data tells you if your software is up-to-date and safe. Do you remember WannaCry ? Older software versions such as Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks and need to be updated with the latest security patches. Make sure all your systems are up to date to ensure your peace of mind.