Five signs it is time to change the way you manage your licences


Posted by
Romain PISANI

March 7, 2017

Working as a Licensing Specialist at Valiantys, I have the opportunity to be in contact with many companies where keeping track of the licences has become very complex and tedious. In this context the administrative workload can quickly become a burden for the people in charge and create frustration among users.

I have noticed some recurring signs that can be considered as early (or late) warnings that it might be time to re-think the way your teams handle licensing. Whether you encounter these signs or not, you should be aware that there are solutions out there for optimising this process. At Valiantys, for example, we have developed and optimised a process for the procurement and management of your licenses. This is how we can help:

1.  You are missing / almost missing the deadlines:

This might seem obvious, but if you have come close to missing the renewal of your maintenance it is a sign that something is wrong! In most cases that can be explained by the absence of dedicated resources or proper processes in place. While Atlassian does give warnings, when teams rely solely only on them without real management of the licences a simple change or delay in the purchasing processes of your company can be enough to cause a failure to meet the deadline.

 How Valiantys can help: 

We set up a single renewal cycle for your licences, meaning that we consolidate the dates of renewal, payment and delivery to one time to minimise the administrative workload generated by the management of software licences. Our Licensing Specialists will contact you long before the due date to review and prepare you for the impending renewal.

2. There are too many licensing models to track:

On the Marketplace if you come across the mention “paid via vendor”, it means this item cannot be purchased through the Marketplace and you will need to contact the editor directly. This is often the case because the add-on is offered through a specific licensing not compatible with the Marketplace. Therefore you have to track both the renewal date and a different licensing model leading to an extra contact to manage, another invoice to process and another delivery to manage. And that’s only if you have one add-on in this situation! If you find yourself overwhelmed as your need for add-ons grows, it is time to act!

 How Valiantys can help: 

At Valiantys, we are your unique point of contact for the whole ecosystem. Whatever plug-in you may need or request you have, our licensing specialist will help you. Our experts know the products and processes very well and optimise your portfolio of licences to control your costs.

3. Who is charge?

License Management is not the favourite task of JIRA Admins and the purchasing department might not have enough visibility to manage the licences on their own. It is not rare to see companies where nobody fully assumes the responsibility of managing licences. If you can’t clearly name the person in charge of this aspect of the process, there are potential problems.

How Valiantys can help:

By giving the management of your licences to an expert who guarantees everything runs smoothly, your team can focus on their core job responsibilities.

4. No global view on your portfolio of licences:

Atlassian tools often make their way in a company from the bottom up. It usually starts with a dev team who falls in love with JIRA. Soon after, the IT team joins the movement and within a few months even the marketing department might be on board. The idea that the tools belongs to the users is part of what makes Atlassian so successful.

But when each team takes care of the procurement of their licences without real processes in place it can become complicated and expensive. It is not uncommon for me to see companies where nobody knows exactly what licences the company owns. I’ve worked on several cases were add-ons were purchased twice by two different employees for the same instances, and unused licences were still being renewed because the person in charge of renewals had no clues it wasn’t needed anymore. The cost of not having a clear view of your licence portfolio can quickly become substantial in large companies where many tools and add-ons exist.

How Valiantys can help: 

Don’t despair, if you have already passed that threshold we can still help you! The first step is to identify to which team each licence belongs and if there are duplicated products. Thanks to the tools that we have at your disposal this can be a fairly straight-forward process to help regain control over your licences. Once this step is completed,  the licences you wish to keep can be consolidated into one single renewal cycle. Any requests for new products can be centralised through your dedicated licensing specialist who will ensure that they are consistent with your current portfolio and attribute them to the proper team. That way your team can still benefit from a certain level of autonomy regarding the tools while you have a clear idea of the state of your licences and maintenance at anytime. This, of course, is  just an example. We can adapt the process to fit exactly to your company’s structure.

5. The purchasing processes are not followed

This might sound familiar for many of you working in large companies: you have been purchasing your licences directly from Atlassian and everything was fine. But now, the number of users and tools you need has grown, so the budget for renewals has become extensive and requires a different purchasing process. This process may require issuing POs or dealing with a registered supplier, signing agreements or simply making payments in your local currency. Unfortunately this type of process is not compatible with Atlassian licensing model. What can you do?

 How Valiantys can help: 

At Valiantys, we are able to provide quotes with a choice of currencies (USD, CAD, GBD, EUR, CHF). We accept POs and provide invoices according to your local regulation (i.e Harmonized Sales taxes in Canada). As a Licensing Specialist I often find myself becoming a link between the end users (i.e dev teams)  and the purchasing department and their process requirements.