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Businesses of all sizes use some kind of on-premise solutions or software as a service (SaaS) to operate in the digital era. However, managing these software licenses can be challenging for IT administrators.

This is where software license management tools come into play. With these solutions, you can effectively manage software licenses to avoid legal disputes, wasted money, and inefficiencies.

In this article, we’ll explore the best license management tools available in 2024. We’ll also help you choose which tool might be the best fit for your business.

Types of Software Licenses

Before we discuss the top software license management solutions, let’s first see the different types of software licenses your business may use:

  • Perpetual license: This software requires a one-time purchase to access its features forever. It gives users ownership of the software as long as they continue to meet the software licensing agreements.
  • Subscription license: As its name suggests, it allows users to access the software as long as they pay a subscription fee, either monthly or annually.
  • Concurrent license: It allows a specific number of users to use the software at the same time. Concurrent software licenses are great for businesses with many employees.
  • Site license: This software provides authorized use within one location. It is useful for large offices or campuses.
  • Freeware: This software is free to use, but it usually has limited functionality. Freeware also doesn’t allow users to modify software to suit their needs.
  • Open-source license: Unlike freeware, an open-source license means users are free to use, modify, and distribute the software.

Why Do You Need a License Management Tool?

Manually tracking software inventory and usage can be time-consuming and prone to errors. A dedicated license management software tool can simplify this process. Below are the key reasons why you need one for your business:

Ensure Software License Compliance

Different software vendors set strict rules for how their products can be used. If you don’t comply with these software license usage rules, you risk facing legal penalties and fines.

Fortunately, you can use a software license management tool to stay compliant with the vendor’s terms and conditions. With this tool, you can track software usage and ensure users don’t violate the rules.

Plus, you’ll know whether you’re using more licenses than you’ve paid for.

Thanks to all this information, you can avoid legal issues and costly audits due to non-compliance.

Optimize Software Costs

Software licenses can be expensive. Without a tool to manage them, it’s easy to overspend.

Using a license management software system lets you quickly identify unused or underused licenses. Then, you can either cancel or reallocate software usage to other departments or users.

For example, let’s say you have a site license for financial software. However, the majority of your finance staff works remotely. With a software license management tool, you can easily determine that a subscription-based license is better and cheaper for your team.

You can also track software license renewals and avoid paying for licenses you no longer need. By optimizing your software costs, you can invest the savings in other areas of your business.

Improve Security

Having unlicensed software or expired software licenses is a significant security risk for any business. They may not receive regular updates and patches from vendors, which leaves your IT infrastructure vulnerable to attacks.

Luckily, you can reduce security risks by using software license management tools. With these solutions, you can track all your software licenses, including their renewal and expiration dates. You can ensure that your software is always running in the latest version to prevent security breaches.

You can also get notifications when the software vendor releases updates. You don’t have to worry about operational downtime due to software incompatibility.

Increase Efficiency

You can also rely on a software licensing management tool to automate license tracking. You can receive alerts when issues arise, such as a software license nearing its expiration date.

Thanks to this automation, you can reduce IT tickets and give IT staff more time to focus on important tasks. Using license management software is a great way to increase operational efficiency.

Top 7 License Management Tools

These are the best software license management tools you can use:

1. ezOnboard

cloudview ezonboard

ezOnboard by CloudView Partners is software that connects your existing HR systems to Active Directory. It helps a software license manager reclaim software licenses when employees resign or change roles.

This reclamation offers two main benefits to your business. First, it prevents you from spending money on unnecessary software licenses. Second, it reduces the time and resources spent on manual tracking of software licenses.

Besides basic license management, ezOnboard lets you automate IT onboarding and offboarding processes. It gives your employees the right access to the necessary systems and networks. 

This tool reduces the time and resources spent on manual data entry. It can improve business efficiency and security.

Key features:

  • Seamless integration with HR systems and Active Directory
  • Automatic software license reclamation
  • Custom business rules for access provisioning
  • Automated employee onboarding and offboarding
  • Real-time tracking and reporting
  • Vendor onboarding
  • Custom notifications for all Active Directory changes
  • Available as an on-premise or cloud solution

2. ManageEngine AssetExplorer

ManageEngine AssetExplorer

Source: ManageEngine

ManageEngine AssetExplorer is a web-based IT asset management tool that helps you manage software and hardware assets within an organization.

It provides a complete view of all network assets. This helps IT managers stay on top of compliance with software licensing agreements. It also prevents legal issues and fees related to software misuse.

Key features:

  • Automated asset discovery and inventory management
  • Purchase order and contract tracking
  • IT asset lifecycle management
  • Easy-to-install software
  • Software and hardware asset cost calculator

3. FlexNet Manager

FlexNet Manager

Source: Flexera

FlexNet Manager by Flexera is designed to make managing software licenses simpler. It supports various licensing models from different vendors. This offers full visibility to all your software systems, including license utilization.

FlexNet Manager also helps you maximize the value of your software portfolio, so you can use your savings on strategic business aspects.

Key features:

  • Detailed software usage tracking and reporting
  • Support for multiple licensing models
  • Centralized management of software assets
  • Vendor management
  • Technology insights

4. Reprise License Manager

Reprise License Manager

Source: Reprise

Reprise License Manager is a flexible license management software available on-premises or in the cloud. It uses API integrations to support different types of software licenses without making code changes. 

It can track software usage and provide reports for better compliance management.

Key features:

  • Integration with multiple licensing models and popular software
  • Real-time license usage monitoring
  • Detailed reporting
  • Automatic server discovery
  • Access control via any Internet browser

5. Software Asset Optimization by Altair

Software Asset Optimization by Altair

Source: Altair

Software Asset Optimization (SAO) by Altair can help you manage and optimize your network assets. This software asset management tool provides detailed insights into software usage based on department or region. 

It can also predict future capacity to help you minimize software costs.

Key features:

  • Detailed software usage analytics
  • Compliance tracking and reporting
  • Customization options
  • Costing module
  • A “what-if” simulator for planning future software capacity
  • Third-party support

6. AssetSonar

AssetSonar

Source: EZO

AssetSonar is a powerful license management software tool with a comprehensive tool suite. It features both hardware and software asset management to help ensure compliance.

The tool also supports advanced reporting and analytics. It gives insights into areas of efficiency, so you can reallocate resources effectively.

Key features:

  • Real-time hardware and software license tracking
  • Advanced reporting and analytics of software usage and costs
  • Automated alerts for license renewals and expirations
  • Network discovery and data consolidation
  • Integration with other IT management systems, including IT onboarding tools

7. Zluri

Zluri

Source: Zluri

Zluri is a comprehensive SaaS management platform that lets you view all your software apps. This makes it easier to identify unused or underused licenses. 

It can also reclaim software licenses to increase your savings.

Key features:

  • Complete visibility into SaaS usage
  • Automated license reclamation
  • Contract and vendor management
  • Compliance tracking and reporting
  • Integration with existing IT systems

Criteria for Choosing License Management Software 

Still unsure which license management software system to use? Here are key factors to consider when choosing the best tool for your business.

Key Features

A good software license management tool should offer comprehensive features that address your specific needs. Look for tools that provide the following:

  • Automated license tracking: It helps you keep a record of your company’s software inventory without relying on manual methods. This makes it easier to track license agreements, renewal dates, and other information.
  • Real-time monitoring: It provides real-time updates on license usage, so you can monitor which licenses need optimization or cancellation.
  • Compliance management: This feature helps you meet all licensing requirements to prevent legal issues and costs.
  • Reporting and analytics: It offers insights into software usage and costs, so you can maximize the value of your company’s software assets.

Integration Capabilities

Choose license management software that integrates seamlessly with your existing IT infrastructure. You must check if it’s compatible with your HR systems, financial systems, and other IT management tools.

Thanks to this integration, you can smoothly transfer data between systems. You don’t have to rely on manual data entry, which is prone to human errors.

Usability

It’s important to select an easy-to-use license management software. Look for an intuitive interface that is easy for your IT team to navigate.

You should also consider if the software vendor provides training materials. With these tools, you can ensure quick adoption by the IT staff.

Cost and Pricing Model

The total cost of the license management software is another factor to look out for.

You should consider the initial software cost and any ongoing fees, such as maintenance and updates. Choose a system that fits your budget while providing good value for money.

You should also check the pricing model to see if it matches your financial constraints. For example, you may find tools that require subscription-based pricing, while others require a one-time purchase.

Customer Support

The last thing you want is unresponsive customer support when your IT encounters an issue with the tool. Your operations may come to a halt if this problem isn’t resolved immediately.

This is why it’s important to select a reliable vendor with robust customer support. Check if they have different support options, such as live chat, email, and phone support.

You can also research customer reviews and testimonials online to gauge the quality of support provided by the vendor.

Scalability

Lastly, confirm if the license management software has scalable features. Remember, as your business grows, your needs will evolve as well.

You must use a dedicated system that can scale with your organization. Check if it can handle an increasing number of licenses and users without compromising performance.

How to Implement a License Management Tool?

After selecting the right tool, the next step is implementing it effectively. Below are the steps you can follow.

Plan the Implementation

You should start with a detailed plan to ensure a smooth rollout.

You must define what you aim to achieve with the new software license management software. Do you simply want to reclaim unused or expired software licenses? Or do you intend to track all network assets for improved compliance and security?

Understanding your objectives helps you determine the extent of the implementation. You can identify the key stakeholders who will be involved and their roles.

Then, you can set realistic deadlines for each implementation phase, such as training and testing. This keeps everyone on the same page.

Prepare Your Environment

Before deploying the software, you should assess your current IT environment.

Check if the new tool is compatible with your current systems. If not, you must perform any necessary upgrades to support the integration.

By preparing your IT environment, you can prevent technical issues during the implementation phase.

Configure the Software Licensing Management Tool

The next step is to customize the software license management system to meet your unique needs.

You can set up automated workflows to increase efficiency and productivity. You can also rely on automation to reduce human errors and operational costs.

You must also define how licenses will be used and distributed. For example, all marketing team members automatically receive licenses for graphic design software, while the accounting department gets licenses for financial management tools.

Proper configuration is the key to maximizing the system’s effectiveness.

Train Your IT Team

If you want a successful implementation, you must train your IT team and any other staff who will use the tool.

You can provide training sessions for your employees or give them access to training materials. Make sure they understand how to operate the tool, manage licenses, and troubleshoot common issues.

You must also remember that training should not be a one-time occurrence. You must offer continuous training and support to keep everyone up to date with new features or updates.

Test the Software Asset Management System

Before fully deploying the system, you should conduct thorough testing.

Check if all functionalities are working as expected. If any issues arise during the testing, you must resolve them immediately. Doing so ensures a smoother transition when the tool is fully implemented.

Launch and Monitor

After completing the test, you can proceed with the full launch of the software license management tool.

Make sure to monitor its performance closely to ensure everything is running smoothly during the initial phase.

You can also gather feedback from users. Then, consider their suggestions and make the necessary adjustments to your system.

Maintain and Update the Software License Management System

Finally, you must regularly maintain and update the system to keep it running smoothly.

Schedule periodic reviews to ensure the system remains effective and up to date with the latest features and security patches.

Let ezOnboard Automate Your License Management

Let ezOnboard Automate Your License Management

ezOnboard provides an automated solution for reclaiming software licenses and optimizing your savings.

It connects Active Directory with your HR software to give you full visibility of user activities. When employees are deleted or changed in the HR platform, ezOnboard automatically reclaims licenses and revokes access rights.

Choosing ezOnboard means you can control SaaS spending while providing smooth user onboarding and offboarding.

If you’re interested, request a demo today or check the ROI calculator to see how much money ezOnboard can save you.

FAQs About License Management Tools

What are license management tools?

License management tools help businesses track, manage, and optimize their software licenses. They are important if you want to meet compliance, reduce costs, and improve operational efficiency.

How do I choose the right software license management tool?

You must select a tool with software monitoring, compliance tracking, and data reporting features. You must also consider its compatibility with existing systems, ease of use, support quality, and scalability.

How can license management tools save my business money?

License management tools save money by identifying underused or unused licenses. They provide insights into software usage, so you can either cancel or reallocate the software. These tools also automate the renewal process to prevent costly downtime. Plus, they help you track different software license usage agreements to avoid non-compliance fines.

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