Reclaim unused licenses using Tanium

The initial motivation for companies implementing SAM/ITAM is usually to become and stay compliant. A good place to start, as making sure consumption numbers do not exceed entitlements can save a lot of money during audits. ...

TIP #40 - April 2020: How much can you save by reclaiming software licenses using Tanium technology?

... However, companies can save even more on their operational expenditures by further lowering their consumption number. An efficient way to accomplish this is to reclaim unused license entitlements.

Does this scenario apply to your company? Let’s find out with this very easy test:

Create your own business case in 20 minutes or less:

1. Open your SAM/ITAM tool;

2. Create a report with the number of MS project installations

3.Think back, and compare the number you just found with the number of Gantt-charts you saw in your company last year;

4. Look up the price per year you pay for MS Project.

Et voila! Your business case! And if you’re not convinced, try doing the same with MS Visio and the number of flowcharts, or any Adobe product versus the visuals created within your organisation. You get the idea.

So now we have your attention: What does actually happen?

Every organisation deals with software products that are requested and only being used once or twice. No one removes the installation after this “usage” period, so every time you use your SAM/ITAM tools to calculate License Consumption these “dormant” installations add up to your software spend. A lot of end users request MS Visio Standard or Professional (instead of the Viewer) to view a drawing they have received via e-mail. Or they request software to create one drawing and never use the software again.

How exactly does Tanium help?

To save costs, you need actionable data. Tanium makes it simple to gather usage data of applications over a certain time period, filter that data down to applications that have significant costs, and present the resulting data in a comprehensive report. Let’s find out how you can manage these fishy installations:

  • Step 1: Cast a broad net: Using Tanium, you can gather a list of applications and their usage. You can configure Tanium to run every 5 minutes to gather the data you need.
  • Step 2: Focus on the big fish: The next step is to filter the data so you can focus your efforts. The applications you care about for cost saving are the ones that have not been used in over 90 days. These are shown in Add/Remove programs. Application Usage tracks things like Internet browsers and freeware, which do not matter when looking at costs. We want to filter on Installed applications, to show the ones that cost money.
  • Step 3: Choose the right bait: Tanium allows you to clear out the existing application usage data, allowing you to make a fresh start and retrieve data when Tanium started gathering usage data from an endpoint.
  • Step 4: Shooting fish in a barrel: During the next scheduled import, Tanium “Asset” will have the custom report data available. Once you identify the software you want to uninstall, doing so is easy in Tanium. You can use Tanium “Content” or Tanium “Deploy” to manage third party applications. You can also now use the data to work with licensing/procurement, to reclaim license costs.

On the benefits of Tanium endpoint management

The benefit of Tanium lies in the fact that one single agent is used for both detection and reclamation of software installations. Any installation you choose to target will be removed from all applicable devices, causing the license to be released. This way you can either re-assign the license to a user that will actually use the application or it can be subject for discussion during your next true-up negotiations!