Voted Best Answer
Jan 10, 2016 - 08:27 AM
1) determine the renewal date, contract value and (bonus) Maintenance agreements for those top 5.
Assuming that they are truly 'top 5'; the contract value will be 'significant'; so prioritize reconcilation and MA analysis based upon renewal ( or anniversary) dates. Also keep in mind the 'likelihood of the vendor activating a review during an anniversary date (such as Mocrosoft)
2) Generate a baseline assessment with 2 of the 5 vendors.
This exercise will help you discover any 'resistance' to data sharing that may exist in your company. Such resistance may be technological ( we don't have an inventory agrnet/process for XXX), geographical ( we can't remotely access location XX) or beuracratic ( our security protocols will deny you the data). This is - more or less - the land of ISO19770-1 methods; considering reviewing the 19770-1 methods.
Each of those 'resistance' areas will help determine a future frequency of obtaining data for 'lifecycle' ( or steady-state reconciliation, considering most licenses are immortal) For example, getting desktop data may be inherently easy if you have SCCM, but getting the SQLServer data via your datacenter may only be available to you once every 90 days ( due to operational protocol!)
3) review the Maintenance agreements
typically, the MAs are product specific but contained within a contract. the problem here is that no one in purchasing/contracts may be aware that the product has been reduced or replaced since the MA payments started two years ago. Part of your baseline is to review the cost of the MA against the current deployment position of that product
4) Re-apply steps 1 through 3 with the next 3 vendors.
..and it is likely that methods and requirements discovered for vendors 1 & 2 will dovetail into what's required for 3,4, & 5.... and so on.
5) Publish/Share entitlement position with ITSM/IMAC processes.
Understanding that a license is typically not directly connected to an install on a device, the issue of IMAC churn ( the magnitude of IMAC activity) is not as important as the aggregate entitlement pool for each productline . So, there's no need to record that 5 Acrobat STDs were removed and 6 acrobat STDs were deployed; the net result is that 1 more Acrobat Std install now exists. And you compare that 'one more' against the entitlement pool. This is where a 'tool' comes in; don't even think of using Excel ;) And understand that the licence pool needs to be considered at the "Productline' level where all versions of that productline are taken into consideration. This will align with your purchasing data ( review your Microsoft purchases; there's no version!!)
6)Windows 7: Many SAM vendors still have the Win7 compatibility data elements that Microsoft gave out ( some time ago). It's may still be available on their Website