In large scale software deployments, it is common for organizations to solicit the expertise of a professional services team to ensure a successful rollout. However, this happens less frequently in the case of software licensing projects. This is due in large part to the fact that expertise in all aspects of software licensing is not easily found. Unlike ERP deployments, when it comes to software licensing, requirements can vary dramatically from organization to organization.
A successful deployment requires more than simply configuring the software to an organization’s environment. It involves ensuring that every functional unit is deriving the maximum benefit out of licensing, and that there is the right level of coordination among all groups so that there is no weak link in the chain.
Tangibly speaking, what does this mean? A professional services team with the right level of software licensing expertise should be able to do the following:
- Create a blueprint for a successful deployment, that includes technical and business goals that need to be met, and a clear plan on how to meet them;
- Identify all the components that will co-exist with the licensing software, and list out what needs to be built, modified, customized;
- Create a plan on how missing elements will be developed and integrated to complement the existing technology;
- Map out a detailed license lifecycle flow that indentifies how a license model is conceived, integrated, deployed and delivered; and
- Provide all the training required to ensure the right level of education and understanding of licensing processes at an organization.
The items above may seem like common sense and, to an extent, even services clichés. However, so many licensing projects don’t give these items their due consideration. It requires more than simply assigning and owner and creating a list of requirements. Expertise in the field of licensing is not commonplace, and the challenge most organizations face is that owners are more project managers ensuring the project is moving forward. But momentum doesn’t guarantee that project is moving in the right direction. This is where soliciting the services of a team that has experience in software licensing pays enormous dividends. And, if that team sits outside of the organization, there is the additional benefit of being able to oversee the project in a neutral and unbiased manner.
Third party consulting firms have long made a business in undertaking large and complex projects. However, in the case of a software licensing project, an organization should consider engaging the services of a team that has experience in the very niche and complex field of software licensing and entitlement management. While there is no “one size fits all” approach to this, there is most certainly a right size for your organization. It’s simply a manner of finding some that can tailor a plan to your organizations needs.
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