We love to hear about how our products are helping organizations of all sizes. Absolute Software is happy so share some case studies in the form of customer minutes. Here is our first instalment, and 'Absolute Minute' with Joy Seeley, who works in the administration office at Grand Valley State University. The interview takes a look at how GVSU uses Absolute Manage to keep track of their software licenses.
GVSU has roughly 24,500 students in West Michigan with 837 regular faculty and 1148 support staffers. All faculty and staff have a computer and there are over 30 computer labs on campus housing a mix of Windows and Mac computers (1000+).
In your opinion, why is managing software licenses important to your organization? Why should anyone care? Are there savings involved?
The managed licenses for our campus are only on the Macintoshes. The savings involved by managed the licenses far outweighs any cost of a licensing software. The classes that are taught on the Macintoshes involved some pretty expensive software. Even with the education discount the cost can go well into 6 digits.
We have 200 Macintoshes in our labs and buying a license per station can certainly eat up a budget. By managing the licenses, we can not only make all software available in every Macintosh lab, but we can also limit the number of times it can be consecutively opened. By monitoring the software usage, we can ascertain the number of copies we need. If a piece of software is only opened 50 times concurrently, then we only need to buy 50 licenses and then put the cap on the number that can be opened with the licensing software.
Some software companies demand one license/one machine and we do have to accommodate those companies, but even with that, the savings we maintain with the other companies still out-weigh the cost of licensing software.
Why do you think software asset management is overlooked as an IT admin. competency?
I wish I had an answer for this. Even within our own Windows environment, there is no software management involved. The software is only installed on those labs that it is needed in. It is not an all software, all labs environment, such as the Macintoshes.
In your experience, what is the single most difficult software title to manage?
Any musical software that is not put out by Apple: Finale, Sibelius, digital Performer. The software is totally discoverable, but most musical software does not come with a site license and a warm body has to sit at every machine and enter in the appropriate serial number.
What is the role of automated lifecycle management systems in helping you to get a grip on your organization’s software assets/contracts?
The automated lifecycle management for software helps us in that it requires us to take a look every year into any discrepancies we may have with the number of licenses. The yearly assessment allows us to grow our licenses at the same rate of growth as our campus.
If you had one piece of advice for an IT admin. team that is just embarking on a plan to effectively manage the software they buy from vendors, what would it be?
Expect a lot of leg work at the beginning, but once you get it set up, you are going to save yourself a ton of time and money, so just keep at it.
Thanks Joy! We have no doubt you'll be able to continue meeting the demands of your growing student & staff population with your pro-active steps to manage your IT assets.