CTRL-ALT-DISCOVER: Using KACE to manage software licenses

Welcome to the New Year everyone! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and more importantly some much needed time off. As we jump into 2011, it’s time for many customers to look at software license renewals. One of the questions I often hear from customers is how can they determine how many licenses should they get. They also would love to know if they are buying too many licenses or not enough. Or in other words, are they in compliance.

It turns out that with the Dell KACE 1000 appliance, this customer can determine how many copies of an application are installed as well as who is using it. More importantly, they can also see if they are over or under their license count (in compliance). For this blog, we will use Adobe Photoshop as our application of interest and focus on the customer’s client workstations.
So, how is this done?

The KACE 1000 can perform an inventory scan of the customer’s network devices. We are going to concentrate on their client workstations to see what software applications each client has. The KACE agent installed on these workstations will help supply us with details of the OS and installed software. The inventory scan will now tell us how many copies of Photoshop are installed and what machines they are installed on.

We can now add Photoshop as a monitored asset within KACE. Its license key will also be entered or imported into KACE. Using software metering, the KACE 1000 can now tell us what workstations Photoshop is installed on. We can also determine the last time this application was launched, what user launched it, even how many minutes it was used. We can also start to track the volume license or individual license keys for Photoshop.

Our customer purchased 100 copies, but it seems that only 20 people have actually been using it. They have been over buying. When it’s time for a license renewal, they now know how many they need to purchase.

Now, if they truly wish to make the most of their investment, they can use KACE to reallocate Photoshop from one workstation to another. Let’s say that Jorge in the graphics dept. no longer needs Photoshop and Andrew in publications does. We can use software distribution in KACE to uninstall the Photoshop application and key from Jorge’s laptop and then install it on Andrew’s desktop. The next inventory scan will report where that copy of Photoshop has been moved to. We have now re-used our existing license without having to purchase and additional one.

Using the Dell KACE 1000 to track inventory and software assets made the best use of the customer’s application investment by repurposing existing licenses. It also helped them stay in compliance regarding license count and lastly, helped determine how many copies they should renew for the New Year.

About the Author: Ron Hyde