When employees apply traditional or general licensing skills to modern cloud solutions, it can do significant damage to the company they work for. In this article, we'll look at some of the most common pitfalls of cloud use and explain how software asset management can help you avoid them.
If you have employees who work part-time or shifts, it is common to use shared accounts such as "reception@" or "station1@". In traditional software licensing companies, the PC, laptop or thin client used with this shared account would be assigned a Client Access License "per device". One device license and many users using the device - that is perfectly fine and correct. But in the cloud world, there are no "per device" licenses or subscriptions. Each service requires a named subscription. For example, three people who share the same device during their 8 hours of 24-hour shifts will each need a subscription. Of course, when a company moves from an on-premises to a cloud solution, there is an easy way to keep the shared accounts and have them used by more than one person. Since this is not allowed and software vendors such as Microsoft can track several years of license usage on their systems, there is a risk that the software vendor will end up demanding back payments for the non-subscriptions. Software asset management allows organizations to find these shared accounts in their Active Directory, see them and find out on which device they are used (how often or how many hours). This information makes it easy to convert the shared accounts into named accounts and allocate the appropriate amount of cloud subscriptions.
By introducing the Azure Hybrid Advantage as part of active Software Assurance, companies no longer need to pay for software licenses in the cloud because they have already paid on-premises for them. This makes sense, because who would want to pay twice. I will now discuss this point in more detail in two separate topics:
When deploying a virtual machine in Microsoft Azure, it is possible to check the "I already have a license" box. You should do this if you already have a license that can be reassigned to the cloud, as is the case with the hybrid benefit. But be careful, at this point (so far) there is no check in the backend system. Microsoft assumes that - if you check the box - you know exactly what you are doing. If you check the box, but do not have the appropriate license, a review or audit of the software will reveal this and cost you. Important to know: If you have checked the box, you can uncheck it later. In this case a new VM deployment is required. Software asset management covers both your on-premises and cloud IT environment. Reviewing your deployment and carefully reading your software license agreement will tell you whether or not you are eligible for reallocation. Software asset management allows you to react in a timely manner to avoid unpleasant licensing surprises later.
Let's assume you have the right to reassign licenses as part of active Software Assurance, but you do not renew your Software Assurance. As a result, your rights to reassign disappear and with it your Azure hybrid advantage. This in turn means that you will have to pay for the license in the cloud from that point on. A proper Software Assurance program is part of license agreements as well as terms and conditions, and your Software Asset Management consultant will advise you in a timely manner of a Software Assurance renewal.
In addition to these examples, there are numerous other pitfalls in using cloud solutions that should be kept in mind. Deploying a virtual machine in the cloud is very simple. Entering your credit card and subscribing to any Software-as-a-Service solution is also easy - as is forgetting the legal terms (who reads them anyway?). Software Asset Management identifies and inventories all software and cloud subscriptions. It includes the processes for deployment, approved software and subscriptions and aligns usage rights with actual usage. With Software Asset Management, you gain insight, visibility and control. You are empowered to respond by taking appropriate action. If you follow the above features and instructions, you will not experience any unpleasant surprises when using cloud services.