Software Asset Management – History In Your Archive

Written by admin on May 17th, 2011

When your task is to manage the Software Assets, you should pay attention to your historic records when it comes to old licenses, media and proof of ownership. You can be absolutely certain that one day you will need the records and therefore, maintaining a good archive is not only a help in your daily work, it should be a a requirement.

Interestingly, if you are new to the job then you will have to rely on what your predecessor has done before you were appointed to fill the position. Unless you have some good routines in place, this will normally mean that you will have to sort out the situation and create a proper archive. First step would normally be to collect all available media, record it in a system and then start looking for licensing information. Agreements may be anywhere, so you may have to work a bit to find copies for your archive. If you are lucky, there is a structure in place in the company for all agreements entered into, also software, service and maintenance. If luck is not on your side you will have to look around to find whatever you can. When you have sorted out the information you have at your disposal, you have created the start of a good archive, but you are far from done. Next step is of course to complete the records where there are holes and you can be sure there will be holes. With media flying all over the place for years, documentation and licensing information often thrown away “because we don’t have room for the documentation” you can find yourself in a difficult position when it comes to historical records. Therefore you should pay attention to completion of the records as far as it is humanly possible. Proof of ownership can be documented in a variety of ways; normally it will be a combination of agreements, media and documents. I’ve listed these items in order of reliability, in other words item number 1 is the most reliable document while item 3 is the least reliable.

1.Paid vendor invoices with sufficient descriptions, serial numbers, quantities that show that you actually wrote a check for the software license(s).
2.Third party records,if you purchase some or all of your software from the same distribution company they should be able to provide you with an accurate report of software license(s).
3. Media, which are the original DVD/CD discs, licenses, certificate of autneticity, original manuals, etc

To find the older vendor invoices it would be smart to look in the procurement system provided one exists. With a purchase order number it should be easy to locate the original invoice and get a copy for your files.

A lot of dust may be involved though. “Grin”. To document that a vendor invoice is paid you will need some information on the transaction itself.Hopefully the invoice contains enough specifications like application name, number of licenses bought, price per license and so on. This information is worth its weight in “gold”. Use this additional documentation as a replacement option should it be very difficult or even impossible to locate original documentation on the purchase is of course vendor information.

The vendor should be able to provide you with accurate information on your purchases.

Finally, the heap of original media, documentation and various certificates of authenticity you have collected is your level 3 documentation.

When you feel confident that the software archive is complete, arrange for a secure “software Library” where you can store all items.

I suggest you create a file pocket for each publisher and folders within that pocket for each program. Depending on the publisher you may want to go further and designate a complete file drawer to a major publisher in your environment. Make sure that you have the ability to lock this file cabinet (room) and control access. Your archive is now updated on historical software assets.

You have completed a major step.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply