Expensive software licenses to kill

Recently I was on my way to the office and something interesting came up on the radio. This subject was about an overload of software licenses that a lot of companies have and which aren’t used. In different cases the value of these unused licenses went all the way up to a value of over 1 million euros. The licenses which was already payed for stayed on the shell waiting to be used by new employees. This is a serious matter considering the fact that you already payed and you also have to pay the yearly maintenance fee. In a world where pay per use more and more common gets every day, this is unbelievable. How did it get this far?

Many companies simply not understand the software licenses model of their supplier. Can you blame them? Therefore I putted three different scenarios together to get some overview:

  1. Compliant
  2. Not compliant; not enough licenses bought
  3. Compliant; an overload of licenses

Let’s take a closer look


With being compliant is nothing wrong. You should be proud on your software licenses management team. They did a great job to get things under control. Also the fact that you don’t have to pay extra for things you already use is just a great feeling

Not compliant; not enough licenses bought

This is the one most companies fear. The audits of the big players like Microsoft, Oracle and SAP are optimized to make your company pay. Of course this is fear because you use their software and you are breaking the agreement but when this obstacle arises, beware of your wallet.

Not compliant; an overload of licenses

This is an interesting one. The software companies who sold you the licenses will be that keen to tell you this. However there also many other reasons why this happened. Perhaps a merger or a restructuring of the company. Some of this events are not directly under the span of you control and this overload of licenses can be natural. But what if you are able to create an overload of licenses? You might profit from it. Let’s see how…

In the world of data management this situation more than often the reason to put up a business case proposal. Companies try to scale down the full user licenses from their ERP systems and relocate the use to other systems like data management solutions. Why shouldn’t you if a full user license isn’t necessary.

The Example

Journal Entries are made on the finance department. After creating this entry most of the time the controller wants to see the data and validate it. Perhaps this controller wants a review from his peer or manager. After all these steps a fourth person finally posts the journal entry into the system of record. A quick calculation makes this 4 users in one system. No need for all of them.

What if we can bring back this 4 full user software licenses on the finance department to just 1. Data management tools can do this without damaging your governance or business rules and just by using the regular and daily tools you are allready have.

You might be the James Bond of your organization and you have “An expensive software license to kill”