How To: Cut Software And Licensing Expenses Across Your Environment


According to Gartner, software vendors are expected to sell $326 billion worth of worldwide licenses in the year of 2016. With organizations spending so much on software licenses, it’s important for IT teams to be using these licenses in the most efficient way possible. Unfortunately, due to the complex nature of the modern IT environment, coupled with the myriad of different enterprise license agreements, most organizations end up vastly overspending on software licenses.

Implementing a Software Asset Management (SAM) tool to track software licenses and usage can ensure that software expenses is reasonable and fair. In fact, Gartner estimates that organizations who focus on license optimization see savings up to 30% within one year. Investing in a tool is a wise decision for organizations of all sizes, and there are many options available.

StacksWare is a software metering, inventorying, and discovery tool that allows organizations to quickly see which applications are installed and used throughout their environment. Due to the agentless nature of the tool, installation is remarkably quick & easy; in most cases start-to-finish takes less than 15 minutes. StacksWare works across all types of windows environments: physical workstations & desktops, persistent and nonpersistent VDI, and virtual servers. This is in stark contrast to many other software asset management tools which charge expensive set-up fees and require onsite personnel to install the tool across customer environments.

In this article, we’ll cover how StacksWare is an excellent solution for saving you money on software licenses – either by detecting unutilized software licenses that may be removed, or by exposing software overuse and helping you stay compliant to avoid contract violation fees.

Instant Inventory & Usage of Applications and Packages
Once StacksWare has been installed, you’ll immediately see an inventory of applications discovered throughout your environment.

Drilling into any of these applications reveals a wealth of information, such as the different versions of this application present across the environment, the users who have used this piece of software, the machines and devices on which it is installed, and an activity log detailing every usage of this application and its duration.

Navigating to the packages page shows an inventory of all packages automatically discovered throughout the environment. For each package, you may enter in your license agreement terms, and the system will perform a cost-analysis, detecting whether there is software overspend, indicating unused licenses, or software underspend, indicating a compliance issue and the need to purchase additional licenses to remain compliant.

Drilling into a package allows you to see important details about the Users, Machines, and Devices that have accessed this piece of software. You may also enter your contract agreement details, specifying the number of licenses purchased, and the license type: per user, per device, per processor, per core, etc.

Example Licensing Scenario

This visibility into the implications of your software license agreements has the potential to realize tremendous cost savings. As a simple example, Microsoft sells Client Access Licenses (CALs) on a per-user or per-device model. A CAL is consumed when a user or device (depending on the CAL type purchased) accesses a piece of software. User CALs are 30% more expensive than device CALs, leading many organizations to purchase the cheaper device CALs. However, a common problem arises when each user in an organization has multiple devices – under the device CAL, each device access by the same user counts as a new license!

With StacksWare, this is easily detectable within seconds by analyzing the per-device and per-user model types, and seeing the effect on license position:

Cost Savings Results

In this example licensing scenario, we’ve shown clearly that choosing a per-user licensing CAL is the superior option. Even though this license type is 30% more expensive, using a per-device licensing model would require purchasing 271 additional licenses – over 50% more licenses – just to be compliant! Furthermore, if your team is not expected to grow, you could reduce the number of per-user licenses by over 100, saving a considerable amount of money.

This is just one example of the many ways in which StacksWare delivers the insight necessary to make informed software licensing decisions, ultimately saving your organization time and money.

How to Learn More

Interested in learning more? Feel free to request a demo or email me directly at