The ITAM Review

News, reviews and resources for worldwide ITAM, SAM and Licensing professionals.

Review: Flexera Software FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises

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.

Executive Summary

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

Commercial Summary

Vendor Flexera Software
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
Pricing Not disclosed
License Options Perpetual, subscription. “Through MSP channel partners, it is also offered as a hosted solution combined with managed services.”

Independent Review

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:

  1. Maintaining continuous license compliance to reduce risk,
  2. Optimizing licensing for visibility and savings,
  3. Automate workflow for operational efficiency,
  4. 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.

Video Demonstration

Overview and Demonstration from Greg Holmes at Flexera Software (44 Minutes):

www.demosondemand.com/clients/flexera/001/page/prerelease_FLEX003.asp

Resources

Flexera Software Customers

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.

Further Information

About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the 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. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review. I had expected there where more customers now that Autodesk is including it for some of their larger customers or maybe that is why there now is 500+ customers. To get an out of the box experience with this type of product is hard. I have created JTB FlexReport and it is much easier to get up and running but I still try to get it even more easier to get up and running. The price is also much more affordable for most companies.

  2. TRB says:

    Martin, Thanks for the positive remarks. I see you reviewed FNMP v8.6. In June of 2012, Flexera released v9.0 with an enhanced Inventory Adapter Studio and Business Adapter Studio. These new integration tools make FlexNet Manager’s implementations much easier and closer to plug-n-play. Take a look at the newest version when you can.

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