How does CQFlexMon help us keep compliant with software licences?

How does CQFlexMon help us keep compliant with software licences?

Software vendors expect any and every company that uses their software to comply with the terms of the licensing agreement. On the face of it, this seems a relatively simple rule to stick to. You buy a software package; you check out what the licence entitles you to and what it precludes, and then these parameters guide your use of the software.

Then something else happens—time passes. The software becomes part of your culture, your everyday procedures and practices, workflows and projects. You get on with things. If someone wants to use a certain application, they just go ahead. Rules get blurred as they get forgotten; and that’s exactly when the problems of non-compliance start to grow. In this blog post, we will look at how monitoring your licences with CQFlexMon can help you stop that happening.

Innocence is no defence

Any software package from just about every vendor—from the big corporations to the smaller niche solution providers— comes with a simple request that you play by the vendor’s rules.

To shrink the sometimes-endless pages of terms and conditions down to one clear message, it’s ‘Don’t Misuse the Licence’. There are two ways you could fall foul of this rule. One is that you figure that no-one will find out if you make the software available to multiple users but only have a single-user licence, in the belief that what happens in your business stays in your business.

Not many companies do this, and even among those that do their intentions are usually innocent—expediency in the light of project deadlines, companionship between colleagues, or every intention of doing it only on that one unavoidable occasion, with the genuine intention that it won’t happen again. The other way, the most common way, of slipping into non-compliance is exactly that—slipping into it.

Company’s lose track of the software they have and the licences that pertain to it. This is hardly surprising when you consider how intensely application-based is the world we live in and work in. Software is everywhere; from basic office applications, to collaboration software, CRM systems, and communications tools, through to AEC and PDM collections and the wide range of sophisticated specialist software available to architects, engineers and the construction and manufacturing sectors. All of it is likely to have some sort of licensing agreement attached to it, so small, no wonder it’s easy to lose track. Yet this is not a tendency to treat lightly. Breach a licence and a fine may follow at some point.

The moment you receive a letter from the software vendor, advising you that they intend to audit your licences, it will be too late to rectify any licensing anomalies you may have in your system. You are unable to uninstall or change anything from when the letter is received through to when the audit takes place. Such actions may be identified in the audit.

Symetri’s CQFlexMon provides tools to monitor software assets and avoid such problems, while also proving a far better return on your software investments than may otherwise be the case.

With tools that enable you to easily track usage, ensure vendor licence compliance, control costs, and ensure that licensing across your software portfolio is in perfect order, CQFlexMon will resolve licensing issues long before they become problems. You’ll gain control and visibility across all your licences—from Autodesk, to Microsoft, to any other vendor product; basically, any executable file. You can find more detail on the benefits of CQFlexMon in my previous blog, ‘Why should I consider software licence monitoring?’

Compliance is a catalyst

CQFlexMon has a specific module to help achieve ongoing Autodesk compliance: the SAM module. It enables you to report on what software is installed on what endpoint. Standard inventory software may well display the name of the application installed on devices, but CQFlexMon goes several steps beyond that; expanding your knowledge of and control over your software estate.

By installing a small software package on your endpoints, you can run a scan of the status quo. The information is stored on the local device and pushed into the CQFlexMon database.

CQFlexMon gives you visibility of application, serial number, licence type, installation date, install source and location, licence server pointer (in the case of Network Licensed software).

With information about your subscriptions/contracts also added, you’ll gain great insight into how compliant your estate is for all your software.

It is also easy to locate unauthorised software installations on workstations for:

  • Cracked – protection bypassed licences
  • Trial licences
  • 'Not For Resale’ (NFR) licences
  • 'Not Issued by [Vendor Name]' licences
  • Educational licences

The controlled use of software is fundamentally about the precise allocation of licences according to need, and complete buttoning-down of your licence situation. CQFlexMon enables you to do this with confidence, but that’s just the start point of something altogether more exciting that arises from licence monitoring.

CQFlexMon provides by a set of modules from which you can select those most pertinent to the way you run your business. It’s flexible, easy to use, and will prove invaluable in enhancing your internal efficiencies while reducing that troublesome non-compliance risk. There are three other blogs to look at regarding the value you’ll gain from CQFlexMon’s robust and data-driven licence monitoring tools:

To discuss any aspect of your licensing concerns, please get in touch with us at sales@symetri.ie. Take a look at CQFlexMon here.

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