Best Practices From Obscurity to Stardom: What License Managers Can Do to Attract the Limelight

22. August 2019 – Katrin Luther
How to step into the limelight
From Obscurity to Stardom: What License Managers Can Do to Attract the Limelight

There is an old rule of thumb, by which company employees may be grouped into three different categories. First, there are the omnipresent stars and performers, mostly occupied with front office activities, representing around 10 per cent of the company staff, and attracting nearly all of the attention.

Those struggling to fulfil all their requirements and presumably not too happy with their jobs form another group of 10 per cent. An then you have the rest of 80 per cent performing their duties quite inconspicuously but highly efficiently and with utter reliability, thereby effectively forming the company's backbone. As a rule, this group includes the back office co-workers–and among those the IT license managers, entrusted with ensuring faultless execution of the organisation's internal license managing processes.

The job is much more exciting than it reveals the job description

Accordingly, job advertisements for this kind of occupation sound rather prosaic. You tend to read sentences such as "putting license management tools to use across multiple company locations" or "detailed guidance for a range of company divisions concerning software licenses and their contractual use" or maybe "compiling and reporting relevant usage data to management". What these job description details fail to mention is the huge contribution that qualified license managers can make to their company's bottom line. The limelight of prestige would be guaranteed to fall on these not so conspicuous specialists as well if this fact was communicated within the organisation in the same way as, say, the latest deals closed by sales ...

The following scenario, which you will see more or less like this in many organisations, is intended to show how large the savings actually are that a wisely acting license manager can achieve:

The executive board decides to follow the manufacturers' reasoning and embark on a journey to the cloud. The plan is to furnish 1000 employees with Microsoft Office 365 licenses at short notice to replace their on-premises Office version used hitherto. Our fictional license manager goes into retreat, does some hard thinking, and comes back with a simple question and a rather convincing calculation.

The question is: How many of the 1000 employees actually need all the features of Office 365? And this calculation follows: There are only about 200 of them so the company could save as much as 270,000 euros within three years by providing the other co-workers with second hand Office 2016 software suites. In his opinion, nothing could be said against this from a functional or strategic perspective.

Honor to whom honor is due

You may rest fairly assured our lowly license manager will now enjoy the company executives' full attention. And future participants of "training courses and workshops for co-workers", which is also part of our license manager's duties according to his or her job description, might see their highly responsible work in something of a new light should the rationale of a decision in favour of such a smart solution be communicated.

copyright article image: © Pixabay

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