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.
License Dashboard Video Review
In this video review AJ Witt from The ITAM Review & David Chamberlain from License Dashboard explore the new Risk Engine & Action Tracking features in License Dashboard, features which enable ITAM teams to work within an Agile framework and focus on governance priorities.
Name: License Dashboard
Application Category: Inventory, Normalisation, Dashboarding, BI
Author: AJ Witt
Ease of Use - 8.5/10
Return on Investment (ROI) - 8.2/10
Technical Support - 8.2/10
Customer Service - 7.8/10
Overall Satisfaction - 7.5/10
- 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
- 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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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Customization options, Reporting options, Transparency of the processing workflows in the License Dashboard application, (almost unlimited) Data connector options to data sources,
API to connect to ITSM systems, Value for money.
License entitlement assignment if many BU’s Business Unit levels are present in the User organization.
Custom Import template import to License Manager BU’s (Users and devices).
Reporting Saas usage
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.
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.
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.
The dictionary is key and offers great value. Tracking compliance plus upgrade & downgrade rights.
Dictionary – A feature to automatically submit unknown file details or request a new addition.
- A report writing tool
- Add custom fields
- Add Manufacturer alias names
Easy to Install
No Linux RedHat dictionary
Not possible to track down to user level, e.g. Multiple installs of User based products across multiple devices
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.
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.
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.
Tracking of user products with multiple installs on multiple devices
Customer service is always good. The tool provides some great options for reporting.
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.
- A Type of device column in the software tab.
- The bookmark tick box can sometimes be confusing so perhaps a drop down choice.