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5.55 min to readAsset Management

Your options to manage your software environment

SoftwareOne blog editorial team
Blog Editorial Team
Asset Management

In many companies, software asset management is already a well-known discipline. There are SAM and licensing managers who take care of a company’s software environment. Given the complexity in (always changing) licensing terms, it’s not uncommon for these professionals to feel overwhelmed. If a few years ago the conversation would have been centered around on-premises licensing, nowadays cloud licensing has become the focus, bringing its own set of challenges.

Most companies are willing to make the transition to the cloud, but they also want to make sure that it’s the best solution for them. Software publishers have their own agenda in trying to get companies to move to the cloud – be it a private or public cloud. Therefore, it’s necessary for organizations to understand all the implications before taking any decisions that might impact their business. Having all the insight needed can be challenging, especially when dealing with multiple software publishers, each with their own set of terms and conditions and associated licensing and counting rules. The obvious solution is to find a consulting company that has extensive knowledge and experience that can provide the necessary support.

In this article we’re covering the options companies have to manage their software environment, the impact their infrastructure choice can have on licensing and the importance of finding and working with an independent advisor that has the customer’s best interest in mind.

Understanding your infrastructure options

When it comes to managing your software environment the first step is to understand what you have and how you can make the best use of it. Although the cloud is now a core IT strategy, most companies still use on-premises software. And even though there are similarities between on-premises and cloud software asset management, understanding the differences between the two is essential to ensure compliance and cost control.

SAP and Oracle are two of the biggest software publishers on the market. Both offer on-premises software programs, as well as cloud solutions.

  • SAP has historically been an on-premises ERP solution for enterprise companies, but is now encouraging its customers to move to RISE with SAP. Looking at where the technology world is going, this sounds like a rather natural step. However, many customers have a highly customized on-premises SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) which means they will face difficulties when it comes to licensing and finding the right solution when migrating from ECC on-premises to S/4HANA in the hyperscaler cloud.
  • Oracle has been one of the largest software publishers, covering the full IT stack: hardware, operating system, virtualization, database, middleware, and applications. Unlike the other big publishers, Oracle has been late to join the public cloud domain, but it’s making efforts to recover and strengthen its position. This means that Oracle is approaching its customers from two different angles. On one hand, Oracle wants its customers to use its SaaS solutions (e.g.: Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP or Oracle EPM Cloud), on the other hand, it wants to position its IaaS and PaaS solutions. When it comes to ERP, Oracle is rather successful, as also recognized by Gartner. When it comes to IaaS and PaaS solutions side, Oracle is running behind compared to Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft Azure or even Google.

Knowing your options in terms of infrastructure is the first step in taking a decision that will support your business needs. But it doesn’t stop there. To be fully informed, you need to understand what implications your choices have on licensing as well.

The impact moving to the Cloud has on your licensing

On-premises software compliance is rather straightforward: what you have installed and/or in use needs to be licensed. When it comes to the cloud, the story becomes a bit more complex. Companies need to look at the migration paths from all angles. Considering the licensing and commercial perspective, a lot of questions will arise. Is the existing licensing metric going to change? What would happen to all the third-party interfaces? How do I make sure that all the functionalities and modules that I am using today on-premises are also covered in the associated cloud services? How do I make sure that I stay compliant during the migration from on-premises to the cloud? These are just a few questions that our customers asked. To some, the answer is simple. To most, we need to look at the specific situation of every company and assess how such a change can impact the business.

Before taking any kind of decision, you need to find all the answers and determine if migrating to the cloud is the right choice for you. For example, are you using industry specific SAP engines? Then you need to understand if they are ready for S/4HANA. Are you considering migrating your Oracle software environment to AWS, Microsoft, or Google? Then you need to understand how the license counting of the Oracle software works on these different cloud providers platforms and what are the differences in pricing.

Apart from this, you also need to consider all the previous investments you’ve made in your software publishers, sometimes multi-million dollars spanning across one or two decades. How do you make sure that this investment isn’t lost when moving to a subscription-based model? Thinking about your future needs is crucial as well, as you want to ensure a guaranteed pricing for additional or new subscription services. Many customers are wondering how they can get a similar or fixed price upon renewal of the initial cloud services. All valid and important questions you need to ask yourself if you want to avoid financial surprises in the future.

Last but not least, have you thought about an “exit plan”? Even though the cloud services seem like the right choice, you might realize later that they are in fact not satisfactory. Negotiation with the software publisher shouldn’t only be around the best commercial deal, but also around terms and conditions, including a possible “termination at convenience” clause.

Working with an independent advisor

What we covered in this article is just the tip of the iceberg and it might already seem overwhelming. Finding answers to all the questions above, and sometimes more, can be challenging even for a well-versed SAM or licensing manager. This is not a one person’s job, but rather a teamwork project for which you need the right partner: an independent consulting company with extensive knowledge that will always have your best interest in mind.

SoftwareOne is an independent advisor that can support you in your SAM journey, both on-premises and in the cloud. We can help you understand and build a business case for moving to the cloud, regardless of you choosing a public or the hyperscaler cloud. We create scenarios with ROIs for such a decision and provide you with insight and everything else needed to get the best commercial deal. Our team of experts will work with you to define the best terms and conditions and negotiate the best contract when moving to the cloud or renewing your on-premises agreement.

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Working with an independent advisor works in your favor

SoftwareOne can support you to achieve and maintain compliance, and deal with a software audit when the case arises, acting in your best interest at all times.

Working with an independent advisor works in your favor

SoftwareOne can support you to achieve and maintain compliance, and deal with a software audit when the case arises, acting in your best interest at all times.


SoftwareOne blog editorial team

Blog Editorial Team

We analyse the latest IT trends and industry-relevant innovations to keep you up-to-date with the latest technology.