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License Dashboard review

License Dashboard

Description: License Dashboard is a competitive offering forged at the rock face of everyday SAM and implementation in the real world. We applaud the audit centric approach, audit level scrutiny for audit ready results. This is a straightforward and modern solution, suitable for small organizations, large enterprises, partners or delivered as a managed service.

Application Category: Inventory, Normalisation, Dashboarding, BI

Author: AJ Witt

81%
81%

Summary

License Dashboard is a competitive offering forged at the rock face of everyday SAM and implementation in the real world. We applaud the audit centric approach, audit level scrutiny for audit ready results. This is a straightforward and modern solution, suitable for small organizations, large enterprises, partners or delivered as a managed service.

Strong commitment and investment in the product leads to a full spectrum IT Asset Management toolset that’s ready for the new challenges ITAM teams face. Flexible, extensible, and intuitive, License Dashboard’s partnership approach results in rich and accurate data about IT assets. Best-of-breed reporting capabilities enable ITAM teams to expand their remit and work with stakeholders across their organisations.

  • ITAM Review Analyst Score - 82%
    82%
  • Customer Reviews - Customer Service - 85%
    85%
  • Customer Reviews - Value for Money - 82%
    82%
  • Customer Reviews - Customer Support - 82%
    82%
  • Customer Reviews - Overall Satisfaction - 78%
    78%
  • Customer Reviews - Recommend to a friend - 75%
    75%

Pros

  • Business Intelligence & Reporting Dashboard
  • Modern User Interface
  • Role & Profile access to data
  • Discovery tool agnostic
  • Strong focus on data accuracy & integrity
  • Microsoft Azure discovery & optimisation

Cons

  • On-premises deployment only
  • No integrated App Store or Self-Service Portal
  • No built-in AWS or Google Cloud Platform optimisation

License Dashboard Analyst Review

Author: AJ Witt, The ITAM Review

This is our third review of License Dashboard’s ITAM toolset. Since 2012 we have seen continuous development and improvement as the solutions have evolved from being Microsoft-focused to being a full-spectrum ITAM tool. Over this time, we have also seen ITAM roles evolving from being seen as a clerical, record-keeping, bringer of bad news to a strategic partner for C-Suite decision-makers. License Dashboard has certainly kept pace with this change.

Our 2016 review (accessible here) remains accurate & relevant and so this review will focus on recent improvements to the product and our view of how it meets current and future ITAM toolset requirements. This review focuses on License Dashboard License Manager and License Dashboard Portal (LD Portal).

Inventory & Discovery

This product suite has always been discovery and inventory source agnostic, meaning it will consume data from a wide range of sources, such as Microsoft SCCM, VMware vCenter, and other IT management toolsets. License Dashboard also partner and integrate with Lansweeper to provide rich inventory data for non-Microsoft assets. They will also provide their own agent-based and agentless discovery tools should they be required. Flexible discovery via agent, agentless, and hybrid approaches are a key strength of this product.

Data Quality

License Dashboard’s open approach to discovery and inventory necessitates its powerful integration and normalisation functionality. Multiple sources of data are combined to provide as complete a picture of an asset as the discovery sources allow. The product retains its focus on being audit-ready and this is reflected in its approach to ensuring that data is verifiable and of high quality. This enables an ITAM Manager to be certain about the data upon which they are basing their decisions.

Scalability

License Dashboard is enterprise-ready, currently supporting individual customers with over 175,000 seats. Equally, it will scale down to the SME sector, supporting organisations who perhaps don’t have dedicated ITAM teams with an intuitive and low-maintenance approach to presenting ITAM data.

Reporting

Reporting, via License Dashboard Portal, is the standout highlight of this product and puts it significantly ahead of many of its competitors. It blazes a trail in terms of meeting requirements for BI & Reporting for modern ITAM teams. It does this by ensuring that it balances user requirements with data security. At its core is a BI solution powered by Qlik

which provides real-time drill-down access to all the data held in the core License Dashboard License Manager product. This data is dynamically-filtered based on end-user requests in real-time.

Access to data can be controlled via the use of profiles. For example, very high-level views may be provided to C-Suite users, or department-specific data to individual managers. The latter is particularly important as technology budgets begin to migrate away from central IT control. Where other tools might require export to a spreadsheet and use of complex pivot tables – or even SQL syntax – License Dashboard Portal makes this all accessible within the tool, within minutes, and for any user. Importantly, all roles are centrally configurable to ensure access to sensitive data is restricted. With the increased focus on privacy and user access levels, this is vital to ensuring the product meets regulatory demands.

User & Subscription licensing

The software market trend is very much towards user-based and subscription licensing and this product has functionality for managing per-user license assignments and consumption, along with dedicated optimisation for products such as Microsoft Office 365. Much of this functionality is provided via a partnership with Binadox
further evidence of License Dashboard’s approach of partnering with some of the best-in-breed solution providers rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. There is also an integration for bringing in Microsoft Azure usage information, although not for AWS or other public cloud platforms.

Update: License Manager 12

License Manager 12, released in early 2020, builds on the strengths of previous versions of the product by modernising the user experience and presentation layer. Look and feel is undoubtedly important for software users, and also for stakeholders who benefit from the output from the tool. All too often, ITAM tools surface too much detail in somewhat austere user interfaces. Whilst detail is vastly important – and is still something at the core of License Dashboard’s products – it isn’t necessary to see the “inner workings” every day, particularly if you have a senior stakeholder sat alongside you. License Manager 12, and the corresponding updates to LD Portal, mean that it is perfectly feasible for an ITAM manager to present direct from the tool at a board meeting with a modern, responsive Business Intelligence experience. As well as enhancing the reputation of the ITAM team with senior stakeholders this also saves report preparation time. I know when I was a daily user of ITAM tools that I spent at least a day a month exporting data into other tools to prepare reports – that’s simply not necessary with License Manager 12 & LD Portal.

License Dashboard 12 Notifications

The License Dashboard user experience update makes the tool look professional and aligns it with BI reporting toolsets such as Tableau, Qlik, and PowerBI. It is also en vogue with it’s optional dark mode, something that I would appreciate and make use of as an end user. It is best-in-class and sets a benchmark for other ITAM toolsets.

 

Conclusion

License Dashboard continue to evolve their products to meet modern ITAM team needs. I’m particularly impressed by their flexibility, customer focus, and awareness of what they do well, and when they should partner with other solutions. Reporting & Business Intelligence functions are class-leading. Overall this is a very well-rounded suite of capabilities suitable for any deployment scenario, backed up with excellent support, managed services, and ITAM expertise.

Customer Reviews

Lauren Skeels
Computacenter, 31st October 2016
Customer Service 90%
Value for Money 80%
Customer Support 90%
Net promoter score 80%
Overall Satisfaction 80%

Strengths

Excellent customer services. The team are very quick to respond to issues and get the resolved without having to much impact on your timescales for producing reports.

Weaknesses

The tool can sometimes be slow and non-responsive. When changing the manufacturer in the tool it then changes the entry to Created Manually which has implications on our reports.

Feature requests:

 

Would like to see where the data comes from on the Software Usage tab like on the device tab; e.g. SCCM, Discovery, etc,

License Dashboard Response:

Many thanks for the review Lauren, in versions 10.2 & 10.3 we made some significant performance enhancements for the Enterprise size customer so you will benefit from these when you upgrade. In 10.3 you will indeed see the data origin on the software usage tab.

Anonymous, Logistics
UK, 26th October 2016
Customer Service 90%
Value for Money 100%
Customer Support 90%
Net promoter score 80%
Overall Satisfaction 90%

Strengths

The dictionary is key and offers great value. Tracking compliance plus upgrade & downgrade rights.

Weaknesses

Dictionary – A feature to automatically submit unknown file details or request a new addition.

Feature requests:

 

  • A report writing tool
  • Add custom fields
  • Add Manufacturer alias names
LM User, Government
New Zealand, 25th October 2016
Customer Service 50%
Value for Money 30%
Customer Support 40%
Net promoter score 30%
Overall Satisfaction 30%

Strengths

Easy to Install

Weaknesses

No Linux RedHat dictionary

Not possible to track down to user level, e.g. Multiple installs of User based products across multiple devices

Feature requests:

Tracking of user products with multiple installs on multiple devices

License Dashboard Response:

Thank you for the review, we notice that you are reviewing a fairly old release of LM- whilst it is possible to do this to a degree in 10.x (we have a user specific workspace to capture users, their deployments/subscriptions and so on) LM11- due for release in the new year- has been developed to further address this critical area where all License Management systems struggle, linking users to assets and building important relationships in order that user based licensing and rights afforded by licenses such as O365, Creative cloud, MSDN and so on can be automated.

Warren, Computacenter
UK, 24th October 2016
Customer Service 100%
Value for Money 100%
Customer Support 100%
Net promoter score 100%
Overall Satisfaction 100%

Strengths

The logic that has been designed for managing licence entitlement.For example: it’s remarkably straight forward to associate Maintenance to an underlying Licence.Total control of licences – I haven’t had that in other Licence Manager tools I’ve used.

Weaknesses

Using it for Windows 10 Migration, for example, isn’t actually sensible.  It gives you an idea of what machines need upgrading, from a Hardware Specification perspective, but if you want to use it for understanding everything that’s present on every device, this isn’t so useful.All of the information is there within its Data Cleanse section, but the reporting content isn’t strong enough…. yet.

Feature requests:

Tracking of user products with multiple installs on multiple devices

Shereen Hart, Computacenter
UK, 24th October 2016
Customer Service 90%
Value for Money 80%
Customer Support 80%
Net promoter score 80%
Overall Satisfaction 80%

Strengths

Customer service is always good. The tool provides some great options for reporting.

Weaknesses

There is often a need to change manufacturers due to merges or buy outs. Although you can link the manufacturers within the dictionary, Changing the manufacturer within the Software section causes problems. This makes cleansing and reporting much more manual.

Feature requests:

  • A Type of device column in the software tab. 
  • The bookmark tick box can sometimes be confusing so perhaps a drop down choice.

Company Details

Headquarters:
Blenheim House
York Road
Pocklington
York
YO42 1NS
United Kingdom

www.licensedashboard.com

Market Penetration

  • Number of customers on maintenance: 250
  • Customers by region: 66% UK, 20% USA and Canada, 6% EU, 8% RoW
  • Notable customer references: None provided
  • Key Partnerships
    • UK – Computacenter
    • US – UMS
    • Canada – Compugen
    • EMEA – ITSyndicaat

License Dashboard Resources

Software Asset Management

User Based Licensing

License Dashboard Portal

What makes License Manager unique?

Events with License Dashboard

License Dashboard News & Analysis

License Dashboard review

License Dashboard Analyst Review Author: AJ Witt, The ITAM Review This is our third review of License Dashboard’s ITAM toolset. Since 2012 we have seen

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About AJ Witt

A former IT Asset Manager, AJ is Industry Analyst for The ITAM Review. He's interested in hearing from end users of ITAM tools and also vendors. He enjoys writing about the SaaS Management market, practical aspects of ITAM operations, and the strategy of major software publishers. You can connect via email (aj.witt@itassetmanagement.net) or LinkedIn. AJ is based in the New Forest where he enjoys cycling, walking, spending time with his family, and keeping chickens

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