Saving Money on Software Licensing With Application Virtualization
How can application virtualization save money on software licensing? Now this is a topic. In fact the problem with talking about licensing in an educational context is where to start.
Putting BYOD aside until the end, I think the logical place would be with why it is an issue to start with.
At a university or college it is a major issue (normally dealt with by a team of people) purely because they use such a large number of applications from a huge number of different software vendors. The situation is further complicated by very little standardization with how software is licensed. Number of users, site, device, concurrent, on-site, off-site, own device, student device, etc. The ways are almost endless.
Furthermore vendors take time to catch up with modern delivery techniques. The mere mention of the word Virtual Desktop has them running for the hills as they don’t know enough about the technology and what it means for them. Virtualized Application Delivery on the other hand is simple to explain, at its very basic heart it is delivered and run on the end machine, much like a traditional install. So long as you can control the delivery of this then vendors are more than happy to utilize this new delivery technique.
Virtualizing applications to end-point devices is all well and good, but many of the legacy technologies forget to deal with the licensing aspect. Any academic institution has a responsibility to adhere to the license agreements it has with their vendors. This means any adopted solution to deliver software should be as flexible as possible to cater for the many models of licensing outlined above.
Once we have an understanding of what is licensed and how, the next problem arises around usage. Institutions have a whole load of software and pay for a whole load of licenses, but what's actually used? Are we being efficient?
At Software2 we developed S2 Dashboard, a reporting suite to provide our customers exactly this information. In collaboration with the universities who use S2 Jukebox (powered by Cloudpaging), we created a set of reports aimed at making savings around license usage. Reports that tell an organization which software is never used is a simple and quick way to make savings. Why would a university waste time, effort and money packaging, deploying, maintaining and buying software which is never used?
Furthermore, our peak concurrency report can show you where you're over-utilized with licenses. Again massive savings can be made when taken across the entire software estate.