What is Software Asset Management?


Software Asset Management (SAM) is the practice of monitoring and managing software licenses and inventory within an organization for the purposes of tracking their usage, ensuring compliance with vendor agreements, and optimizing license costs. It encompasses creating an accurate record of all software applications installed in the computing ecosystem, where the software is being used, and reporting detailed analytics on the same. By analyzing and comparing against the planned expected usage, an organization can optimize their consumption of application and OS entitlements by matching actual usage with expected usage and entitlements. So, if you need to track usage, ensure compliance, and optimize license costs of your software estate, then you need SAM.


What makes HCL BigFix Inventory Unique?


One agent to rule them all


Unlike other market offerings, HCL BigFix Inventory utilizes a single, versatile agent not only for powerful SAM capabilities but also for unparalleled IT and security management of the endpoints as well. By providing a unified solution, you can solve your SAM problems as well as business and IT problems involving your endpoint computing environment. Yes, the identical HCL BigFix endpoint agent can be used for other functions including workspace management, patching, security, cyber risk measurement and reduction, configuration management, and performance monitoring – meaning you get the maximum value for your organization with an elegant and unified solution that does it all. This allows you to accelerate your business speed, align security, IT, and business imperatives and ally your tools, teams and processes. All while simultaneously solving your SAM needs - in record time - with less complexity and a lot fewer resources.


One solution, many capabilities



Only HCL BigFix can support scenarios like this, where it not only can inventory software consumption for SAM purposes but can take many management and control actions through a single, lightweight agent. You can also grow into these scenarios by purchasing SAM first and then adding management capabilities later, or vice versa. It’s a flexible consumption model that’s all up to you.


Integrations add value


HCL BigFix Inventory is also recognized as a leading solution in providing accurate inventory data with top Gartner players such as Flexera, Snow, and ServiceNow, leveraging our agent discovery through integration. Additionally, our agent has an extremely good ROI, so it’s easy to set up. In fact, it doesn’t require any costly or complex software to be installed on the endpoint to run properly, unlike other market offerings.


With HCL BigFix, you can discover information without an agent. It can inventory software in containers by scanning the image, and even isolated machines can be inventoried using a disconnected scanner.


Certifications

Capabilities

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Discover Assets

Our Software Asset Management solution automates the process, providing you with an up-to-date inventory of the software installed on your systems. Whether it's desktops, laptops, servers, virtual machines, containers or Kubernetes clusters, we've got you covered. 

With our advanced features, you can accurately find and track a wide range of software products and their versions. Our solution supports multiple forms of discovery including Software Identification Catalog (ISO 19770 enabled), customized template signatures, an installation registry and vendor-specific discovery solutions. 

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Report on Software and Hardware

Gain visibility and control over your hardware and software inventory with our dedicated software and hardware reports. Our powerful solution provides you with complete insights into your assets, enabling you to effectively manage your IT estate and to make informed decisions around your software needs. Our enhanced reporting system empowers users to exercise complete control over their reports meaning you have the freedom to select and arrange all the columns (no matter if it is hardware or software) as per your specific preferences. With HCL BigFix Inventory you can finally say goodbye to Excel.

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Track Software Assets

Track software usage and gain valuable insights into how the installed software and purchased licenses are being used within your organization. HCL BigFix Inventory provides real-time monitoring and reporting on software consumption allowing you to make data-driven decisions for software purchasing and software license compliance. As noted earlier, you can also upgrade to advanced endpoint management packages allowing you to not only have visibility and measurability of your software estate, but control over it as well, so you can patch, update, install, uninstall and perform functions that other SAM products only dream of.

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Manage Software Licenses

Unlock the power of HCL BigFix for Software Asset Management to efficiently manage license entitlements and streamline software expenses. With our integrated solution, you can effortlessly store links to your software contracts and invoices, all while receiving automated reminders for renewal dates. Utilize our Contract Management feature to conduct a reconciliation between actual licenses consumed and those purchased, ensuring that you maintain the optimal software licensing balance. Find unused products and reduce software spending to maximize your ROI of HCL BigFix Inventory.

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Prepare for Audits

As software audit frequency continues to rise, businesses are increasingly challenged to prepare for audits, highlighting the critical importance of being audit-ready. Without the support of a comprehensive Software Asset Management (SAM) tool and a well-defined strategy, the complexities of maintaining licensing compliance become even more daunting. With HCL BigFix Inventory, you gain a robust solution to effectively mitigate audit risks across a wide range of prominent providers, including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Adobe, and many others, streamlining your path to compliance and ensuring a less stressful journey.

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Improve Security

Our EOS reporting enables security teams with the power to detect potential threats or suspicious activities early on. HCL BigFix Inventory can also support you in setting up security compliance policies for software and system configurations. This helps your IT o Security organization collaborate to secure the enterprise by monitoring for unauthorized software while removing software that poses a security risk. HCL BigFix Inventory can also be combined with other HCL BigFix software to act on potential threats by removing, patching or even managing mitigation or compensating controls like Endpoint Protection Products (EPP).

HCL Compass

How to be a Successful Software Asset Manager

Building a successful software asset management program requires consideration of aspects beyond managing software audits and managing relationships with software vendors.

Answers to Common Questions

What is a perpetual license?

Perpetual licenses grant the right to use a specific version of the software indefinitely. Once acquired, the organization can use the software for as long as they wish without additional fees. However, perpetual licenses might come with limited support and maintenance, and software updates may require additional costs. It is crucial for SAM professionals to track perpetual license entitlements and ensure that software usage complies with the agreed-upon terms to avoid any compliance issues.

What is a subscription license?

Subscription licenses provide access to software for a fixed period, typically on a monthly or annual basis. These licenses offer more flexibility, as organizations can adjust their software usage according to their needs. However, it's essential to monitor subscription license usage carefully and renew or terminate licenses as required to prevent unnecessary costs or non-compliance due to expired subscriptions.

What is cloud-based license?

Cloud-based licenses, also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) licenses, enable users to access software applications hosted in the cloud. These licenses often have a pay-as-you-go or subscription-based pricing model. SAM professionals must closely monitor cloud-based license usage and consider factors such as data privacy, security, and access rights to ensure compliance with vendor agreements and data governance policies.

Understanding the differences between these license types is crucial for making informed decisions during the software procurement process. SAM experts should assess the organization's needs, budget constraints, and future growth plans to determine the most suitable license type for each software application. Additionally, tracking license usage regularly and comparing it against the purchased entitlements ensures compliance and avoids potential risks associated with software audits.

What is the difference between Virtual and Physical License Model?

Software Publishers offer different license models, each having its own benefits and drawbacks. Understanding them can help with over-licensing.

The Virtual and Physical license model is a critical consideration for organizations running virtualized environments. In this model, organizations pay for software licenses based on either virtual machines (VMs) or the number of physical processors or cores on which the software is deployed.

For virtual environments, SAM professionals must ensure that all VMs are adequately licensed to prevent compliance issues. Overlooking virtual instances could lead to under-licensing, exposing the organization to risks during vendor audits. Conversely, licensing more VMs than necessary results in over-licensing, incurring unnecessary costs.

In contrast, physical licensing involves counting the number of physical processors or cores in the server hosting the software. SAM experts must accurately track and report the physical hardware inventory to ensure compliance and cost optimization. Properly managing this license model ensures the organization only pays for the actual hardware capacity utilized.

What is Full Capacity and Subcapacity Licensing?

IBM offers two licensing models, Full Capacity and Subcapacity, which apply to software products in their portfolio. Full Capacity licensing requires licensing all physical processors or cores on a server, irrespective of actual utilization. This straightforward model simplifies licensing management but might lead to over-licensing if servers run at lower utilization levels.

Subcapacity licensing, on the other hand, allows organizations to license only the actual processing capacity used on a server. It is particularly beneficial in virtualized environments where not all physical cores are fully utilized. To leverage Subcapacity licensing, organizations must accurately measure and report usage using IBM's approved tools. This model helps optimize licensing costs and promotes efficient resource allocation.

Read more about HCL BigFix Inventory certification for IBM: https://public.dhe.ibm.com/software/passportadvantage/SubCapacity/BFI_and_HCL_FAQ.pdf