The ITAM Review

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

Flexera FlexNet Manager

Flexera Flexnet Manager
Overall
78%
78%
  • ITAM Review Analyst Score - 77%
    77%
  • Customer Review - Customer Service - 78%
    78%
  • Customer Review - Value for Money - 75%
    75%
  • Customer Review - Customer Support - 74%
    74%
  • Customer Review - Recommend to Friend - 83%
    83%
  • Customer Review - Overall Satisfaction - 81%
    81%

Summary

Medium and large Enterprise customers seeking a software asset management (SAM) and license optimization solution should undoubtedly add Flexera Software to their short list for consideration. Fully implemented Flexera customers should experience an ongoing dynamic license position, optimized financial position and the business intelligence to make smart IT decisions (via a nicely executed integration with Cognos).

FlexNet Manager Suite is a competitive solution in the SAM market place and Flexera continue to be one of the industry leaders.

Pros

Enterprise-grade SAM Solution

Impressive customer list and references

Continues to innovate to address modern technology cost and compliance challenges

Cons

Customers complain of labour intensive or consultancy heavy modifications and upgrades

Competitors are closing in on Flexera’s key competitive differentiators

 

Debbie Turnbull, Engineering
Australia, 2nd October 2015
Customer Service 70%
Value for Money 90%
Customer Support 70%
Net promoter score 80%
Overall Satisfaction 70%

Strengths

The strengths is being able to run reports for the business and seeing at a glance our licenses we have.  The ability the link in our HC data, AD and SCCM that update overnight with changes makes it easy to manage.  Having the ARL database to identify what software is on our network which we could not do with any other reporting tool.

Weaknesses

No being able to upgrade version in house. We need to get a outside support team to do this.  The cloud based solution solves this but we would have to purchase the FlexManager again to move to this platform. This was not a option for us.

Feature requests:

We now are looking to link into our Service Now and application portal for a improved self service function for the business.

Chris T, Denver Water
USA, 14 Nov 2016
Customer Service 80%
Value for Money 80%
Customer Support 60%
Net promoter score 100%
Overall Satisfaction 90%

Strengths

Software License management

Weaknesses

Since we are in the cloud on in a shared environment, we can’t access our data through other connections such as API, SQL.   This limits the connection to our ITSM.

Feature requests:

They need an API and the ability to update/add/customize fields (Such as Asset Types).  Again…only an issue with cloud customers like us.

Anonymous, Telecommunications
UK, 2nd October 2015
Customer Service 100%
Value for Money 100%
Customer Support 100%
Net promoter score 100%
Overall Satisfaction 100%

Strengths

Very strong IBM and Oracle licence management.   Has great reporting capabilities.  Easy to use.  Strong inventory capabilities.  Covers all licensing models, including virtualisation rights.  Ticks all the boxes, including metering, SAP licence management, virtual licence management  We can import inventory from a variety of tools, i.e. ADDM, System Center, etc.

Weaknesses

There was an issue around passwords on the Oracle DB’s but I believe this has been addressed in the latest version of Flexera FNMS, 2014.

Feature requests:

Can’t think of any – ticks all the boxes.

Anonymous, Consulting
Germany, 2nd October 2015
Customer Service 90%
Value for Money 70%
Customer Support 80%
Net promoter score 100%
Overall Satisfaction 90%

Strengths

The potential for customizings is huge. Nearly all license management needs can be satisfied. The product size and its potentials are enormous.

Weaknesses

The product size is also a drawback for SME companies, since out-of-the-box compliance checks for a specific product vendor are not available without additional workload.

Feature requests:

Out-of-the Box features for small Compliance Projects without the additional need of license container creation.

DJ, SAM Consultants
Singapore, 9 Feb 2016
Customer Service 90%
Value for Money 90%
Customer Support 90%
Net promoter score 100%
Overall Satisfaction 100%

Strengths

FlexNet covers a broad range of software license types, applications and publishers. The product connects to wide range of discovery tools and allows customisation of license measurements and software models.

Weaknesses

Not suited or priced for SMEs ie. under 5,000 devices.

Feature requests:

Better reporting for the Cloud offering. 

Anonymous, Transportation
USA, 2nd October 2015
Customer Service 100%
Value for Money 90%
Customer Support 100%
Net promoter score 100%
Overall Satisfaction 90%

Strengths

Once purchasing data has been processed, the tool is extremely easy to use.  It is easy to identify any potential risks and the Flexera staff are very helpful.  We had a professional services engagement with Flexera and their consultants were very thorough in their analysis and were excited about giving us ideas as to how we could save money on license purchases.  Overall, the product and the people have been a very positive experience.

Weaknesses

It can be challenging to setup all the data feeds into the product.  At a minimum, you’ll need feeds from your inventory system, purchasing system, and HR systems.  All those feeds will need to be setup, which can be challenging depending on the data quality.

Feature requests:

Flexnet Manager seems to be a pretty mature product.  It has more features than I would have asked for.  We actually have not yet utilized all of the functionality that the product offers.

Anonymous, Entertainment
USA, 2nd October 2015
Customer Service 90%
Value for Money 80%
Customer Support 90%
Net promoter score 100%
Overall Satisfaction 100%

Strengths

The PURLs, or Product usage rights libraries that are available.

Weaknesses

All technical support for the product must be done through Flexera engagement as the product not well designed for in-house self technical support.

Lizzie, IT
UK, 16 Oct 2015
Customer Service 90%
Value for Money 70%
Customer Support 90%
Net promoter score 100%
Overall Satisfaction 90%

Strengths

Good ARL & PURL.  Good agent range to plug inventory gaps.  Strong Scaleability.  Good range of connectors.

Weaknesses

Flexibility of product – requirement to pay professional services for relatively straight forward changes.

Feature requests:

Workflow approval and service catalogue without having to purchase another product.  Cloud provision of all blades.

Paul Joseph, Banking
Australia, 3 Mar 2016
Customer Service 100%
Value for Money 90%
Customer Support 90%
Net promoter score 100%
Overall Satisfaction 100%

Strengths

Software and Hardwar asset Management through FNMP, Customer service and support  is excellent, staff are always willing to assist where they can.

Weaknesses

FNMP installation is a little awkward. Too many scripts to complete tasks i.e. setup the database. This should all be part of the installation GUI.  One installer is required.

Feature requests:

FNMP 2015 has a front portal page, this would be better if this could be individually customized to suit that user.  Same as Symantec Management Suite and SCCM 2012.

Dirk - Jan Vermeij, Privé
Nederland, 17 Oct 2019
Customer Service 80%
Value for Money 70%
Customer Support 90%
Net promoter score 90%
Overall Satisfaction 80%

Strengths

The accuracy and constant additions are great. The product almost keeps up with technical development in the ITAM-field.

Weaknesses

It is hard to keep a complete picture of the solutions, bought by Flexera, but not yet available in one centralized solution.

Feature requests:

Intergrate the components, exsisting at Flexera as different, stand-alone solution to the main (FNMS) solution.

Anonymous, Software Asset Management
Sweden, 2nd October 2015
Customer Service 50%
Value for Money 80%
Customer Support 50%
Net promoter score 90%
Overall Satisfaction 90%

Strengths

The functionality covers all needed aspects. Flexera has made a large effort to automate and tasks, and make them time efficient. Outstanding application recognition of Oracle database products. Flexera employees has a very professional attitude towards customers during the sales and implementation phases: clarity, service and speed of execution are almost always guaranteed. Flexera are able to present and communicate strategic product plans, once an agreement is in place. Excellent discovery function. There are some stand-alone Discovery products on the market that are better, but there is none better when it comes to Discovery as part of a SAM product. Excellent role and group management. Excellent possibilities for integrations to and from other systems. However, this requires a high degree of knowledge and competence.

Weaknesses

FlexNet Manager Platform would benefit from an improved focus on application recognition/ARL, as there are some important products that are not being recognized at all (i.e. Micro Focus products), as well as some products that are not being recognized correctly. Flexera relies too heavily on customer submitted improvements for application recognition. FlexNet Manager Platform is an enormously competent Product, but its strength is also its weakness: the complexity creates a large in-step to use the product in depth. It is unavoidable that professional services from Flexera are required to at least some degree. The largest weakness is probably Flexera’s support: It is not uncommon that submitted bugs are waved away, and service requests can take an extremely long time to complete. Compared to other competing products, FlexNet Manager Platform is more time-consuming during configuration and roll-out. Hardware inventory on Unix platforms could be improved.

Feature requests:

Recognition of Oracle middleware products (i.e. WebLogic or Fusion Middleware). Customer user groups.,Recognition of Oracle middleware products (i.e. WebLogic or Fusion Middleware). Customer user groups.

Th.J. Vermeij, Employment Services
The Netherlands, 2nd October 2015
Customer Service 70%
Value for Money 80%
Customer Support 70%
Net promoter score 80%
Overall Satisfaction 70%

Strengths

Has proven its added value in a number of recent audits (Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe).

Weaknesses

The manual linking of coplex licenses to (virtual) solutions is not always easy.

Feature requests:

View building possibilities in the user webclient.

Anonymous, Medical
USA, 2nd October 2015
Customer Service 80%
Value for Money 70%
Customer Support 60%
Net promoter score 80%
Overall Satisfaction 80%

Strengths

Application Recognition Library and the organization of the data it recognizes.  PURLS – Specific intelligence about key vendors. This is an EXTREMELY powerful tool with a lot of capabilities.

Weaknesses

Due to Flexera’s growth/success, they lack in customer service and in breadth of internal FNMP expertise.  Sometimes it seems like our engineers know more about the product then some of resources that are assigned to our cases.

Feature requests:

More capabilities around specific license types such as MSDN and Adobe Creative Cloud so the management of these efforts weren’t so manual.  Integration of Engineering module with core FNMP product (although I understand these capabilities exist in the newest releast)  Support for Web based applications  Intentional ability to manage software without a footprint (e.g. CALs).

David J, Consulting
Singapore, 21 Sep 2017
Customer Service 80%
Value for Money 70%
Customer Support 80%
Net promoter score 80%
Overall Satisfaction 80%

Strengths

Application Management, Flexible License configuration, much improved Management reporting.

Weaknesses

Current dashboard needs improvement.

Feature requests:

Transaction types linked to standard SAM processes would assist customers understand and process entitlements.

Anonymous, Utilities
Australia, 2nd October 2015
Customer Service 90%
Value for Money 80%
Customer Support 90%
Net promoter score 70%
Overall Satisfaction 70%

Strengths

Good scanning agent for Windows desktops and servers, Oracle blade is very good. The tool enables you to see what software has been installed and what has been used at a glance.

Weaknesses

Interfaces to platforms and applications such as VMware, Oracle databases and SAP require additional blades which need to be purchased separately adding to the overall cost. Some of the reporting is not that easy to use and there is a distinct lack of “How To” guides with the only operational manual available being a 1300-page Operations Guide.

Anonymous, Telecommunications
South Africa, 16 Jan 2019
Customer Service 50%
Value for Money 50%
Customer Support 50%
Net promoter score 60%
Overall Satisfaction 50%

Strengths

The inventory collection is extensive across multiple operating systems.

Weaknesses

Licence creation requires in depth skill of the tool as this directly affects the way in which the licence is consumed. Reporting is complex. 

Feature requests:

Slicer view in reporting

Anonymous, Insurance
Australia, 14 Nov 2016
Customer Service 30%
Value for Money 60%
Customer Support 30%
Net promoter score 20%
Overall Satisfaction 40%

Strengths

Solid custom reporting, Detailed asset information,

Weaknesses

Cumbersome, over-engineered, not user friendly.

Feature requests:

Less features – more simplification.

JR, Oil & Gas
UK, 23 Feb 2017
Customer Service 30%
Value for Money 30%
Customer Support 30%
Net promoter score 30%
Overall Satisfaction 30%

Strengths

Good Dashboard

Weaknesses

Process very manual, clunky , lacks automation. Reporting not great. No access to user manual ” how to use” . Ability to self manage additional windows , always need consultant, or need to be an SQL guru . Out of box limited management for standard Microsoft products ( Namely SQL).

Feature requests:

Automation of licence linking between purchase and discovery – Improved Licence rules and recognition. Automated renewal notifications. How to use – user manual.

Analyst Review, Martin Thompson, July 2016

Martin Thompson

We’ve been tracking Flexera Software’s FlexNet Manager Suite since 2010. During this time the ITAM industry has evolved and Flexera have consistently maintained a market leading position. Growth has been in both customer numbers and innovation. Once implemented with an appropriate SAM team and resources, FlexNet Manager is the CIO’s cockpit for visibility of software risk, optimizing spend and planning for the future.

User Experience

The user experience and interface is much improved in recent years. Business interpretation has also improved; FlexNet Manager provides a solid commercial layer on top of technical and procurement data. SAM technical zealots may scoff at executive dashboards and charts, but I consider them critical in converting SAM technical jargon into meaningful risk summaries that the business can act upon. Naturally, any information presented within FlexNet Manager can be drilled down into for further investigation.

Expanded Capabilities

Flexera Software has recently acquired Secunia, which provides visibility and risk assessments of software vulnerabilities on end points. I see this as a great strategic fit for Flexera; the IT Management disciplines of ITAM, ITSM and INFOSEC are converging. If you are building an infrastructure to monitor and optimize software consumption, it makes sense to assess vulnerabilities at the same time, especially for the long tail of applications that might fall under the radar of the usual patch ‘to do’ list.

The addition of Secunia completes the software management trilogy of packaging, asset management and security around applications (See Figure 2 – Flexera Software Trilogy). Flexera’s application recognition library already boasts 180,000 software titles, while its Product Use Rights libraries include license characteristics such as processor points tables, upgrade and downgrade rights, mobility rights and so on – adding vulnerabilities into the mix in the longer term can only add value to their core competencies.

On paper Secunia is a competitive differentiator but it may also prove to be a distraction in comparison to Flexera’s key SAM competitors who focus solely on SAM. I would also question whether the economic buyer of security solutions is in the same buying group as ITAM tools. However, there is a common base of functionality around discovery and inventory that ties these two disciplines together. Only time will tell if this is a competitive differentiator and edge for Flexera or hindrance.

Managing Complex Environments

Flexera’s sweet spot is helping customers with the large complex environments, contracts and IT challenges such as virtualization, cloud and BYOD. We’ve written before to suggest whilst FlexNet Manager is the ‘Black belt’ for SAM and an industrial strength SAM offering, we have also warned Flexera’s prospective customers not to expect an out of the box experience, this is not a slight on Flexera but an observation of all SAM tools in large complex enterprises. It’s going to take some work and we’ve observed Flexera develop their offerings and professional services over the years to embrace this, with the emphasis on quick start or managed service approaches to help guarantee or maximize chances of success.

Continuing Innovation

Recent innovation from Flexera includes management of Amazon Web Services cloud infrastructure costs and utilization (via FlexNet Manager for Cloud Infrastructure), as well as further development of their App Portal enterprise app store offering. We especially liked the ability for software responsibilities to be delegated to end user customers via their own login (the feature is called MyApps in App Portal), i.e. much like the personal app store login on your own personal device, so you can download or select to have applications uninstalled yourself. Apple and Android/Google have made this the norm of personal devices, it is great to see users with some involvement and autonomy, whilst meeting ITAM governance objectives. These features sit naturally within the self-service and request automation trends we see in the ITSM space; helping users to help themselves.

Flexera’s App Portal product allows users to request a wide range of authorized applications, including SaaS apps such as Salesforce and Box, as well as desktop and mobile apps. Some of Flexera’s competitors also offer single sign on solutions to automate provision of SaaS from within an app store.

Success breeds competition

Flexera’s competitors are closing in on the Enterprise SAM space and some of Flexera’s competitive differentiators, such as Oracle verification, are based on software publisher verification rather than genuine technological innovation. Feedback from Flexera’s customers on Tools Advisor suggests upgrades and enhancements can be labour intensive. As the SAM market continues to evolve and SAM tools become increasingly competitive and more difficult to differentiate, Flexera needs to continue to prove its ability to execute and deliver returns for large enterprises.

Summary

Medium and large Enterprise customers seeking a SAM solution should undoubtedly add Flexera to their short list for consideration. Fully implemented Flexera customers should experience an ongoing dynamic license position, optimized financial position and the business intelligence to make smart IT decisions (via a nicely executed integration with Cognos). FlexNet Manager is a competitive solution in the SAM market place and Flexera continue to be one of the industry leaders.

Company Details

Headquarters:

300 Park Blvd
Suite 500
Itasca, IL 60143
United States 

https://www.flexera.com

  • Company Metrics
  • Founded: 1988
  • Location: Illinois, USA
  • Territories Served: Worldwide
  • Legal Status: Private Company

Events with Flexera

Flexera News & Analysis

Flexera FlexNet Manager

Debbie Turnbull, Engineering Australia, 2nd October 2015 Customer Service 70% Value for Money 90% Customer Support 70% Net promoter score 80% Overall Satisfaction 70% Strengths

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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 enjoys cycling, music, and spending time with his family.

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