You can only get a clear idea of something once you understand its composition.
Considering the legal implications of using software, you should start this process right away. The "jungle of licenses" created by software licensors is only one application of a systematic inventory discovery. In order to untangle it, you must inventory your network.
Only once you know all the facts can you make the correct decisions. In the case of license purchases, it is particularly likely that large amounts of money are involved. Many companies buy too many licenses or choose the wrong license models because they don't understand the real requirements. By performing a network inventory you will be given a detailed view of the facts and gain clarity about the as-is state of your installed products. Once this has been established, you can set up a comparison of purchased licenses in the form of a license balance. This way you can discover deficits (under-licensing) as well as surpluses (over-licensing). Knowledge of the as-is state in your network is the basis for negotiations with the licensors. Understanding the exact as-is state of your network is also the basic module for your upcoming license management.
Default inventory tools can help you to detect its as-is state. These range from simple scanning tools to complete management solutions like our Lan-Inspector System. The latter offers outstanding flexibility in terms of discovering your inventory. The Lan-Inspector scan engine combines several different scan mechanisms in order to reach out to each and every computer in order to scan their content. In the case of a self audit disclosing an incomplete inventory list can cause significant harm. If your disclosure differs significantly from the situation the licensor estimates, you'd better prepare yourself for an in-house verification.
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