This independent review of FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises from Flexera Software is part of our 2012 SAM Tools Review. See all participants and terms of the review here.
|Elevator Pitch||Black-belt SAM|
|Strengths||Industrial Strength Enterprise SAM offering, Enterprise Data Aggregator|
|Weaknesses||The strength is the weakness – not for the feint hearted. Don’t expect an out of the box experience|
|Primary Market Focus||Large Enterprise SAM|
|Product||Flexnet Manager Suite for Enterprises|
|Version reviewed||Version 8.6|
|Date of version release||20-DEC-2011|
|Year founded||2008; Company origins date back to about 1990– InstallShield and ManageSoft|
|Customers||“more than 500”|
|End points managed||Not disclosed|
|License Options||Perpetual, subscription. “Through MSP channel partners, it is also offered as a hosted solution combined with managed services.”|
Back in 2010 I described the Flexera Software offering as ‘Black-belt SAM’. Over the last couple of years Flexera Software have consolidated this position with aggressive acquisition of new customers (from 130 to 500 Enterprise Customers) and broadened their portfolio around the SAM Lifecycle.
The Flexera Software value proposition is built on four tenets:
- Maintaining continuous license compliance to reduce risk,
- Optimizing licensing for visibility and savings,
- Automate workflow for operational efficiency,
- And generating business intelligence to improve decision making and forecasting.
I also mentioned in my review in 2010 that Flexera was not for the feint-hearted. This is not a plug-n-play solution so don’t expect an out of the box experience. This is an industrial strength SAM tool for multi-cost centre multi-country SAM implementations.
Flexera have the most comprehensive coverage in terms of Enterprise SAM functionality. They have really grasped the nettle in terms of wrestling with licensing in the data centre and on virtual platforms. This includes intelligent management of virtual machines, hardware partitioning, and hypervisor integrations.
Flexera were one of the early pioneers in exploiting best use of product use rights and squeezing every last drop of value out of each license purchased. They were one of the first to offer automatic calculation of an optimized license position by applying product use rights such as second use or virtual rights as well as vendor specific license optimization solutions for Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec and IBM licensing.
Flexera also own InstallShield and AdminStudio, software tools for creating installers and software packages. This provides a unique position in the licensing market as serving both licensing creator and licensing consumer. This poacher and gamekeeper combination provides Flexera with a competitive advantage, especially when understanding high-end engineering applications and the nuances of complex licensing models. It is rather like training companies that educate both sales and procurement – it provides unique insight into the dynamics of the market.
Recent developments at Flexera Software include the acquisition of SCCMexpert to add an Enterprise App Store with tight deployment integration with Microsoft SCCM and business intelligence features.
The new business intelligence features are delivered via an inbuilt Cognos engine which provides in-depth reporting and the ability to perform multi-variable analysis of key SAM metrics. Another innovation is their predictive ‘What if?’ analysis capability that allows organizations to assess the impact of IT infrastructure changes on their license position. Simulations can be performed for hardware, software, virtual machine and shared processor pool setting changes. For example Software Asset Managers can simulate a hardware upgrade to an IBM system and forecast the increase in PVU costs.
Overview and Demonstration from Greg Holmes at Flexera Software (44 Minutes):
Flexera Software Customers
- Egger Group (FlexNet Manager for SAP)
- Rentokil Initial (FlexNet Manager for Microsoft)
- Freescale Semiconductor (FlexNet Manager for Engineering Apps)
- Proctor & Gamble
From The Flexera Software Brochure
“ FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises is a comprehensive, proven, next generation software asset management, license compliance and license optimization solution. The Suite provides entitlement based license management and optimization to enable organizations to reduce ongoing software licensing costs and maintain continuous license compliance.
The foundation of the FlexNet Manager Suite is the FlexNet Manager Platform that provides extensive hardware and software asset management (HAM and SAM) capabilities for managing desktop, laptop, server and other hardware devices, and software from more than 11,000 vendors. Key Platform functionality includes:
- Discovery, Inventory and Application Recognition across multiple platforms (Windows, Linux, UNIX, MAC OS, and virtual machines)
- Automated Purchased versus Installed License Reconciliation utilizing software part numbers (SKUs)
- Oracle database discovery, inventory and license management
- ‘What If’ Analysis to measure the impact of IT environment changes on licensing
The FlexNet Manager Suite solutions enable organizations to:
- Consolidate applications and vendors to maximize volume discounts
- Expose under-used software and re-allocate those licenses to reduce new purchases and/or reduce maintenance costs
- Reclaim licenses from retired hardware to defer new license purchases
- Maintain continuous license compliance to minimize audit cost and risk
- Perform trend analyses to forecast future needs
FlexNet Manager Suite license optimization solutions—FlexNet Manager for Adobe, FlexNet Manager for IBM, FlexNet Manager for Microsoft, FlexNet Manager for Symantec, FlexNet Manager for SAP Business Suite, and FlexNet Manager for Engineering Applications— enable organizations to implement multiple software license management and contract optimization strategies that save time, help ensure continuous license compliance and reduce costs.“
About Martin Thompson
Martin is also author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management.
On a voluntary basis Martin a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.
Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.